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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Pagan Festival Shout Out: Libertas (In Honor Of Liberty/Freedom)

libertasLibertas (Latin for Liberty) is the Roman goddess and embodiment of liberty. The spring festival in honor of Libertas, the Roman goddess of liberty, is celebrated on April 13.  Libertas is one of the most popular Roman dieties and her name is Freedom. She is an ancient goddess dating back to the beginning of the Republic. 

The daughter of Jupiter and Juno, she is depicted as a Roman matron arrayed in white, holding in one hand a broken scepter, and in the other a pike surmounted by a pileus, or cap.  Both were symbols of emancipation; i.e., Roman slaves were released from bondage by a ritual which they were touched with a wand and given a stocking cap as a symbol of their freedom. 

Libertas, along with other Roman goddesses, has served as the inspiration for many modern-day symbols, including the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island in the United States of America. According to the National Park Service, the Statue's Roman robe is the main feature that invokes Libertas and the symbol of Liberty from which the Statue derives its name.

April 13th is also the 2nd day of Cerealia in honor of the goddess Ceres (here)
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