Many of you may have already heard of the term Lupercalia and many of you many even know the details of its complicated arrangement with the Holiday of Love, St. Valentines Day.
As it comes around again we wanted to take this chance to shed some light on the past, and perhaps give some insight into the holiday that may have come to be Valentines Day.
As we all know the Christian / Catholic Church and the Pagans have had a history. In this
particular point in history the then Pope of the church, Pope Gelasius was having some trouble getting people to convert. What, with all the tell of a festival wherin the patrons feast, coupulate, and run about naked, how would anyone even consider his religion.
You see, Legend has it that long ago there were two boys born to the virgin daughter of the king. Rhea, as her name happened to be, was the daughter of King Numitor. A king who had a jealous brother hungry for the throne. As luck would have it, with the birth of Princess Rhea's twins but no father to speak of, (Apparently it was Mars who hooked up with her in a sacred grove one afternoon), Amulius had the perfect scandal to due away with the current royalty. After doing away with the king and his daughter he ordered the twins to be tossed into the river.
Whether the one in charge took pity on them, or they were saved by a river spirit is up for speculation, but at the end of the day they survived the cruise and were found by a She-Wolf. This relevant later as they were kept alive on her milk till they were later found by a shepherd. Through their lives they exhibited a prowess for leadership and battle, not truly knowing their bloodline. Their divine opportunity came in the form of an altercation with a faction that supported their dear uncle. This altercation ultimately lead to them defeating their evil uncle Hamlet style and putting their rather back on the throne. Justice served, they later went back to their homeland to find and honor the wolf that raised them. They named her Lupercal/ Luperca.
Romulus later went on to found Rome. . . after murdering his brother whent they had a dispute about where to actually build it. . .
The Lupercalia fest was celebrated over the course of Feb 13 - 15.
The Festival would begin with what can only be described as a Love Lottery
-Patrons would put their names into a Bowl and draw from a separate bowl, spending the entirety of the festival with the person whos name they drew. (Normally divided via sexual alignment)
-Two males are selected for the Ritual of Lupercal
-The Romulus and Remus icons run through the town laughing to officially begin the Celebration and opening Feast.
-Red candles are burned
-The hides are stripped from the feasted animals and fashioned into fur flails
-Female patrons are chased and playfully flogged by male participants in a ritualistic warding of infertility