The day of love is upon us! Have you ever wondered where did Valentine’s Day and its traditions come from? The holiday we are so used to celebrating is derived originally from an ancient Roman festival. The Lupercalia Festival or Pagan Valentine’s day as it is often referred was directed towards enhancing virility and atonement. The reason we associate Valentine’s Day with Lupercalia is that they both coincide on the same date, as well as the fact they are shared holidays with similar components of sex, love, fertility, and food.
Let us go over what other pagan traditions are associated with this archaic festival. Find out what happens on Lupercalia and see is Lupercalia still celebrated in the present times? As well as taking a look at what Lupercalia Festival (Valentine’s Day) traditions you can modernize and assimilate into your witchy rituals to bring them into the 21st century.
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What is the meaning of Lupercalia?
How does Lupercalia pronounce: lu-per-cali-a
The word Lupercalia is conceived from 2 words. (Lupus) meaning wolf and (Luperci) which was a priesthood (secret society) at the time. Thus representing the Brotherhood of the Wolf.
“The Lupercalia festival was an ancient, possibly pre-Roman Pastoral annual festival, observed in the city of Rome from the 13th to the 15th of February to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility. Lupercalia was also called dies Februatus, after the instruments of purification called februa, which gave February (Februarius) its name.” – Wikipedia
So, what exactly is the Lupercalia Festival?
It is thought that the Lupercalia festival may be even older than the ancient Roman origins it is thought to come from. Lupercalia said to be the ancient Roman jubilee aimed at delivering well-being and salvation. Unlike Valentine’s day, which is only celebrated on February 14th, Lupercalia is celebrated from February 13th-15th. For the sake of atonement, the ancient Romans would partake in sacrificial rituals then engage in partying and sexual acts. This was all done to ensure a happy community, plentiful crop, an individual’s strong physical constitution, and the blessing of many new births for years to come. It should be noted that this festival was also mentioned in Shakespeare’s play Julius Cesar. The (Lupercalia Festival in Julius Cesar) “gives us some insight into the final months of Caesar’s life as well as a look at the Roman holiday.”
Lupercalia Festival Sabrina, What The Show Didn’t Tell You About This Antiquated Festival’s Rituals
Lupercalia was for lack of a better term, a shit show. Keep in mind it is connected to the infamous brothers Romulus and Remus, pioneers of Rome, as well as the lactating Goddess Rumina. With this yearly ritual came many crazy, enticing, and outdated traditions. Be warned some of these practices are disturbing and nowadays illegal. We do not condone any type of sacrifice. Not for the faint of heart. Now let’s take a look at the erotic, titillating, and often lewd and disturbing practices of the first practitioners of Lupercalia.
Lupercalia Festival Ritual Sacrifice
A common staple throughout history is the practice of ritual sacrifice to the gods, whether it be animals or humans. Doing so to clinch a grandiose outcome. The ancient Romans participated in animal sacrifices of a goat and a dog during the Lupercalia Festival each year. This was led by the Luperci. They were called to a cave where a sacrificial altar was ready and waiting. This is when the dog and goat would be surrendered to the gods. Invoking good fortune for the year to come. As the ritual was coming to a close the Luperci cleric would then baptize himself with blood from the dead goat on his forehead.
Erotic Virility Observances
As seen on the show Sabrina and mentioned earlier the Lupercalia Festival is a celebration centered on potency and fertility, making it a highly charged sexual get together. Devoted to intimacy and the act of sex. Coitus was how you showed your gratitude and acclaim during these glorious festival days. During Lupercalia youthful pontiffs and aristocrats would charge the town nude, brandishing switches. All who crossed paths with the men on the streets would be hit and whipped.
Although this does not sound pleasant to the modern witch, the women of the time invited the tradition. The more daring or should we say masochistic of the ladies would pull up their dresses so the men could whip their bare flesh. If you were lucky enough to get hit, it was a sure-fire way to secure a pregnancy while also warding away dark entities. When Lupercalia was in full swing you could ensure plenty of crazy events to take place, as well as lots of sex and great food.
How To Get Started Celebrating Lupercalia and Her Customs!
This is a great holiday to start celebrating for those of you looking to get into witchcraft or even if you are just tired of regular old Valentine’s Day and her customs. Obviously do not partake in any type of ritual sacrifice. Instead, take part in and delve into the other aspects that the Lupercalia festival has to offer sensually speaking and otherwise.
Fornicate and/or Procreate!
As shown once again on the tv show Sabrina, during Lupercalia join in the festivities and enjoy some steaming hot sex! This is probably the most enticing and exciting part of this festival and the rituals it is associated with. The ability to engage in animalistic lovemaking for no reason other than it is fun and pleasurable, a celebration for good luck and procreation in the coming year! As Rick James would say on the Chappell Show, “it’s a celebration bitches!” This is a great time to engage in fertility spells and rituals. Whether your aiming to have a baby or not. This is a festival of fertility. Abundance and Fertility in all areas of life and career alike.
Incorporate Red and White Into Your Lupercalia Festival Wardrobe
This is a simple way you can participate even if you are not willing or able to take part in the other ways mentioned. Wear white or red clothing. That’s it! The same colors we wear on regular Valentine’s Day apply here. The color choices signify the sacrificial blood used in ancient times as well as milk.
Restoration and Purification
Februatus, (where the word February comes from) in translation means “expel.” Thus making February the month to eliminate what is of no purpose to you any longer. Do so with sage by smudging your space as well as cleansing one’s physical body. Absolving you of repugnant thoughts and clearing your energetic field.
Socialize, Eat and Drink Wine!
Although sharing similarities with Valentine’s Day, Lupercalia is not only for people in relationships to enjoy and partake in. The Lupercalia festival is about praise and partying. Enjoying all that we have been blessed with on the earthly dimension. This is the ideal time to host a get-together! Toast to the gods for a life filled with potency and fertility. Make sure to clink mugs together, thus warding off evil entities wading in the awaiting spirits. Incorporate red wine into this party as the ancients were super into the red (the red color encompasses potency and intimacy). During this time share delicious food, mouth-watering drinks, and the company of others.
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Those are the true origins of what we know and celebrate as Valentine’s Day. The Lupercalia festival was a period of love and love-making! Conception, plentiful crops, and an abundance of good luck for the year to come! Leaving out the ideals of sacrifice, this is a great holiday with many enticing traditions we should make more prevalent in today’s world.
For more information on the Lupercalia Festival check out the books linked below:
The Lupercalia By Columbia University
The Pagan Origins of Christian Holidays By CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Ancient Ways: Reclaiming the Pagan Tradition By Llewellyn Publications