Lupercalia was a bloody, violent, and sexually charged celebration that included animal sacrifice, random match making and coupling with hopes of warding off evil spirits and infertility.
No one is really sure how far back this Roman festival really goes, but some have traced it back to the 6th century BC. Every year on February 15, the festival began by going to the Lupercal. It is said to have been a Shepard’s festival that was brought to Rome by Romulus and Remus..
The legend has it that the Roman king, King Amulius, orders his twin nephews be killed for their mother’s broken vow of celibacy. They were to be thrown into the Tiber River.
Symbols used for Valentine’s Day:
- The color red, which symbolizes the blood of the ritual sacrifice of the goat and the dog.
- The color white, which symbolizes the milk with which they would soak the wool is before wiping the blood from their heads. It also symbolizes new life and protection.
- Phallic symbols- these can include Athamas and wands.
Ritual Ideas to Celebrate Lupercalia:
- You can make an offering of ground meat or milk on your altar. This offering can be to the God Pan or the God/Goddess of your choice.
- Go to your local farm or farmers market and get some fresh milk. Have a feast that includes this milk.
- Have a big celebratory dinner with some friends or other couples. Celebrate the love that you have for your friends and your partners.
- Do something super romantic for your partner. I can’t really go into detail because everyone has different ideas of what is romantic.
- Create a ritual to a Goddess of Love and Fertility.