So what is Valentines Day? Where did it come from. What kind of terrible fucked up things from long ago do we now emulate in ignorance and bliss?
Modern Valentine named after the Roman Christian Saint Valentine, carrying on the rituals of the old physical Roman Empire into the new spiritual Roman Empire we know today as Catholicism, the mother of the protestant Churches and the religion we now call Christianity whether in orthodox or unorthodox form. Prior to the rebirth of Rome into an international religious institution Valentines day (like all “Christian” holidays) was actually a pagan astrological and fertility ritual based in blood and sacrifice. This day was called Lupercalia from the Latin root “Lupus” meaning “Wolf.”
Well here you go. Happy Valentines Day (and make sure you cover yourself in animal blood and lash her with a bullwhip this year instead of giving her some crummy card in memory of our completely fucked ancestors 😉
I’ll let wikipedia tell you the rest…
Lupercalia was a very ancient, possibly pre-Roman pastoral festival, observed on February 13 through 15 to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility. Lupercalia subsumed Februa, an earlier-origin spring cleansing ritual held on the same date, which gives the month of February (Februarius) its name.
The name Lupercalia was believed in antiquity to evince some connection with the Ancient Greek festival of the Arcadian Lykaia(from Ancient Greek: λύκος — lukos, “wolf”, Latin lupus) and the worship of Lycaean Pan, assumed to be a Greek equivalent toFaunus, as instituted by Evander.
In Roman mythology, Lupercus is a god sometimes identified with the Roman god Faunus, who is the Roman equivalent of theGreek god Pan. Lupercus is the god of shepherds. His festival, celebrated on the anniversary of the founding of his temple on February 15, was called the Lupercalia. His priests wore goatskins. The historian Justin mentions an image of “the Lycaean god, whom the Greeks call Pan and the Romans Lupercus,” nude save for the girdle of goatskin, which stood in the Lupercal, the cave where Romulus and Remus were suckled by a she-wolf. There, on the Ides of February (in February the ides is the 13th), a goat and a dog were sacrificed, and salt mealcakes prepared by the Vestal Virgins were burnt.
Late Republic and Empire
Plutarch described Lupercalia:
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 Lupercalia festival was partly in honor of Lupa, the she-wolf who suckled the infant orphans, Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, explaining the name of the festival, Lupercalia, or “Wolf Festival.” The festival was celebrated near the cave of Lupercal on the Palatine Hill (the central hill where Rome was traditionally founded), to expiate and purify new life in the Spring. A known Lupercalia festival of 44 BC attests to the continuity of the festival but the Lupercal cave may have fallen into disrepair, and was later rebuilt by Augustus. It has been tentatively identified with a cavern discovered in 2007, 50 feet (15 m) below the remains of Augustus’ palace.
The rites were directed by the Luperci, the “brothers of the wolf (lupus)”, a corporation of sacerdotes (priests) of Faunus, dressed only in a goatskin, whose institution is attributed either to the Arcadian Evander, or to Romulus and Remus. The Luperci were divided into two collegia, called Quinctiliani (or Quinctiales) and Fabiani, from the gens Quinctilia (or Quinctia) and gens Fabia; at the head of each of these colleges was a magister. In 44 BC, a third college, the Julii, was instituted in honor of Julius Caesar, the first magister of which wasMark Antony. Antony offered Caesar a crown during the festival, an act that was widely interpreted as a sign that Caesar aspired to make himself king and was gauging the reaction of the crowd. In imperial times the members were usually of equestrian standing.
The festival began with the sacrifice by the Luperci (or the flamen dialis) of two male goats and a dog. Next two young patrician Luperci were led to the altar, to be anointed on their foreheads with the sacrificial blood, which was wiped off the bloody knife with woolsoaked in milk, after which they were expected to smile and laugh.
The sacrificial feast followed, after which the Luperci cut thongs from the skins of the animals, which were called februa, dressed themselves in the skins of the sacrificed goats, in imitation of Lupercus, and ran round the walls of the old Palatine city, the line of which was marked with stones, with the thongs in their hands in two bands, striking the people who crowded near. Girls and young women would line up on their route to receive lashes from these whips. This was supposed to ensure fertility, prevent sterility in women and ease the pains of childbirth.