Happy Valen... er, Happy Lupercalia! Surprise! Another Borrowed Pagan Holiday!

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posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 07:13 PM
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Hey there, love birds. Just thought I'd bring some awareness to the origins of Saint Valentine's day.

The Romans used to celebrate it but it was called "Lupercalia". The goddess Juno Februata (where we get the name February) gave the young men and women a love fever on this day that would help ensure continued fertility in Roman cultured areas of Europe.
Diana (who Februata is often associated with)



The namesake in this is, of course, the god Lupercus (the Roman's version of Pan), God of the Shepherds. He also helped ensure the randiness of the men in order to preserve population levels. That's the god who was replaced by "Saint Valentine" by Pope Gelasius in about 500 AD or so.
Lupercus doing his thing



The high priests of Jupiter (Flamen Dialis)
would sacrifice a couple of goats and a dog (the whole Romulus and Remus connection) then hold a ceremony where they'd smear the blood on the foreheads of a couple acolyte Jupiter priests who would then run around the city, flogging any women you got near with the skins of the animals (playfully). Women would actually line up to receive the play lashing since getting hit with the skins held promises of fertility and less pains during childbirth.
Women running up to the acolytes, blindfolded, in hopes of being graced with the leather thongs



Plutarch weighed in on the holiday as well and almost sounds like he was a fan:

"Lupercalia, of which many write that it was anciently celebrated by shepherds, and has also some connection with the Arcadian Lycaea. At this time many of the noble youths and of the magistrates run up and down through the city naked, for sport and laughter striking those they meet with shaggy thongs. And many women of rank also purposely get in their way, and like children at school present their hands to be struck, believing that the pregnant will thus be helped in delivery, and the barren to pregnancy."


The other customs that may be more familiar to the rest of us is the card giving. For once, giving greeting cards for a holiday wasn't just a greedy invention by Hallmark. Women would place a bunch of love notes in a jug (or whatever) and then the men would draw them at random. They would then pair off in couples based on who drew what cards. Sounds a bit like college parties, eh?

So there you have it. The evolution from Lupercalia to Valentine's Day is also very interesting but I just wanted to keep this light and friendly and to avoid debates about religion. This is some cool history that Christians and Pagans can both enjoy.

Whatever flavor you celebrate, just celebrate love today!
edit on 14-2-2013 by Cuervo because: Sleepy as crap.




posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 08:01 PM
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um, I'm pretty sure a lot of that isn't true. I studied Latin and Roman history for several years. I tried finding legitimate source for some of those things that seemed odd to me and couldn't find any.
edit on 14-2-2013 by Ghost375 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 08:21 PM
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Originally posted by Ghost375
um, I'm pretty sure a lot of that isn't true. I studied Latin and Roman history for several years. I tried finding legitimate source for some of those things that seemed odd to me and couldn't find any.
edit on 14-2-2013 by Ghost375 because: (no reason given)


Really?! You actually studied this and never read the "Catholic Encylopedia" (1913)? Much of this is documented by Catholic scholars. It is also discussed in the Pauly–Wissowa, a German encyclopedia of scholarship. Hells, even Plutarch spoke of this. Do you not think he is considered a primary source?

I didn't even bother including the occult reconstructionist theories or collections because I didn't want this issue. Virtually everything I wrote is very public knowledge and relatively undisputed, even by most biblical scholars.

There is nothing sketchy about it. Just interesting history.



posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 08:44 PM
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I was thinking about this earlier today... Which past pagan celebration was re-crafted into St. V. Day? I figured it had amorous underpinnings.

I make a point of telling my family about the origins of our holidays, and how they were co-opted by the church to coerce and exert control over the populace.



posted on Feb, 15 2013 @ 06:40 AM
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reply to post by Q33323
 


It's not necessarily about borrowing or stealing or coersion and control. Religious expressions evolve over time... always have always will. Sort of like how the organs of our bodies evolve. We wouldn't say we borrowed or stole features like eyes and ears from earlier life-forms. We just evolved. It just happens.

The archetypes of the collective unconscious change the costumes they wear from age to age. Yes its important to acknowledge pagan roots and in so doing rise above petty tribal bigotry and unthinking dogma. But the way the archetypes are expressed is going to change over time no matter what. They have changed before and will change again. No blame, no guilt, no fear.

edit on 15-2-2013 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 15 2013 @ 08:39 AM
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Hate to break it to you, but the Feast of St. Valentine no longer appears on the Roman Catholic calendar -- 14 February is just another day.

The Anglican Church, Eastern Orthodox and Lutherans still celebrate it, though, so I suppose you can take it up with them.



posted on Feb, 15 2013 @ 10:04 AM
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Originally posted by BlueMule
They have changed before and will change again. No blame, no guilt, no fear.

edit on 15-2-2013 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)


While there was value in everything you said, the part that I quoted above made me very happy. It is rare to bring up something like this without some people taking offense where there's none to be had. Thank you for appreciating it for the interesting thing that it is.



posted on Feb, 15 2013 @ 10:12 AM
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Originally posted by adjensen
Hate to break it to you, but the Feast of St. Valentine no longer appears on the Roman Catholic calendar -- 14 February is just another day.

The Anglican Church, Eastern Orthodox and Lutherans still celebrate it, though, so I suppose you can take it up with them.


I wasn't aiming this thread, in a contemporary sense, towards any particular denomination. It was adopted by a pope (a matter of debate) but most of modern western culture celebrates it. Sort of like Halloween (Samhain); it's not celebrated in Christian churches but it is celebrated by many Christians.

As far as having me "take it up" with anybody, I don't need to. I think the whole evolution of it is awesome and there is no finger pointing or bitterness from me when I bring it up. I don't bring these type of things up to devalue the Christian faiths as I don't think it is even something to be ashamed of. I'm not one of those witches.


As far as it being removed from there modern calendars, that's interesting. Thanks for putting that in the thread.



posted on Feb, 15 2013 @ 10:25 AM
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Whatever ... pagan or christian .. it's a fun holiday



posted on Feb, 15 2013 @ 10:55 AM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 

"You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown
Which he did thrice refuse-was this ambition?"
(Mark Anthony to the Romans)



posted on Feb, 15 2013 @ 11:15 AM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI
reply to post by Cuervo
 

"You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown
Which he did thrice refuse-was this ambition?"
(Mark Anthony to the Romans)



Awesome reference. Shakespeare referencing Lupercalia isn't so surprising to me. What is surprising to me is that he wouldn't have used it as a featured backdrop to some sort of murder drama. It's so perfect for him.



posted on Feb, 19 2013 @ 08:16 AM
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Love should be expressed everyday.





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