Io Lupercus (Pan) Io Lupa (She-Wolf Mother)
The Lupercalia is a notorious Roman Festival, usually celebrated on Feb 14th, which today we celebrate as Valentines Day, a day of Love and Romance. Back in ye olden Roman Days, this was festival of cleansing, purging and then fertility, the idea being that to make fertile and affluent the coming year, one should first clear the field, prior to seeding the field.
The cleansing and purging aspect of this Festival had its roots in an older Greek Festival called the Lykaia. This was a Ritual that focused on the purging of complications; issues and trappings, often associated with those socialized societal aspects of our humanity, which binds our primal power and nature within. During this Rite of the Lykaia, Human Sacrifice was practiced as a form of the Hieros Gamos, ritually sacrificing the Flesh of Humanity to the Gods or Spirit of the Divine. Participants would lose themselves in their primal nature, sacrificing their humanity to the liberated spirit of their animalistic forces within. This early form of shape-shifting, classically associated with the Werewolf and the Lunacy of the Full Moon, became a central aspect of these rites. Over time Pan also becomes associated with this Festival, as the primal forces of the Werewolf and the liberation of the animalistic identity allowed for the subsequent revelry of a primal Bacchanal to fertility and nature!
From this Greek root came the Roman Lupercalia, where the two main God Figures were celebrated as Lupa, the She Wolf Mother of the founders of Rome, and Lupercus, the Roman Pan. This combination brought together the purging of weakness and the foibles of our humanity with the freed spirit of our powerful primal nature, in a bacchanalian fertility festival of life! Which all in all is a far cry from the Hallmark Valentines Day of Love and Romance!
To translate the power and potential of this working to our modern times, we first look to purge ourselves of the petty issues and traps that bind us and our primal power within, so that we may better take on the challenge of life! Then, charged and free from the limitations and expectations society puts upon our flesh, we embrace our primal power within and celebrate the liberty of our nature and desires as we bring fertility and abundance to our lives and the year ahead. We do this in conjunction with the guidance and manifestation of the patron Gods of this Festival…
Io Lupa! (She-Wolf mother) Io Lupercus! (Pan)