Sunday, November 4, 2012

Valentine's Day Is A Pagan Based Celebration

Valentine's Blessings!

February 14th is a special time of year. Valentine's Day is celebrated worldwide with many spending large amounts of money in celebration of a holiday named after the Catholic Saint Valentine.

Hidden from most is the actual Pagan origins of this day, that far predate Valentine's Day. The Pagan festival is Lupercalia, which began actually on the 15th of February. The 14th was a day that the love lotteries took place in Pagan Rome. This holiday was a devotion to the Queen of the Gods, Juno, and the patroness of marriage. On this same day, girl's names were written on pieces of paper and tossed into jars that would then be picked out by boys. The pair joined by this drawing would then be partnered for the whole celebration of Lupercalia. Many times this partnership developed into long lasting relationships.

Lupercalia has quite a history, and was celebrated until the end of the reign of Anastasius I in 491-518 CE. Pope Galesuis dedicated the Eve of Lupercalia to the deceased priest Valentine of Rome. It was at this time that the lottery was banned due to it being deemed un-Christain. The un-Christian ties to fertility were also not taught or mentioned any further by the Church.

In recent times, there has been many Christians that have attempted to ban the celebration of Valentine's Day as they have come to learn its true orgins had nothing to do with honoring a long deceased saint, but had everything to do with Pagan heritage.

A common figure in the modern Valentine's Day celebrations is Cupid who is the God of desire, affection and erotic love in Roman mythology. Cupid is thought to be the son of the Goddess Venus (goddess of love) and Mars (god of war).

To be shot with Cupid's arrow meant you would be filled with uncontrollable desire.

A thought in closing, when you mention to that girl or that boy to be your Valentine, you are engaging in a fertility rite that is very ancient and Pagan. To top it off is that you are throwing in some Pagan magic as well.


Cupid and Psyche courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons