Thursday, May 8, 2014

Pagan Festival Shout Out: Lemuralia

1May 9th, 11th, 13th are the days of the Lemuralia, a Roman festival to remove evil household spirits. Rites to exorcise the malevolent and fearful ghosts of the dead are performed in the homes. The unwholesome spectres of the restless dead, the lemures or larvae were propitiated with offerings of beans. On those days, the Vestals would prepare sacred mola salsa, a salted flour cake, from the first ears of wheat of the season.

Within each home, the head of the household was to rise at midnight, wash his hands three times, and while walking barefooted around the house throw black beans behind his back and recite the following nine times: “Haec ego mitto; his redimo meque meosque fabis” meaning “I send these; with these beans I redeem me and mine”. At the conclusion of each of the nine recitations, the members of the household clashed bronze pots and required the spirits to leave.

Incorporating this ritual holiday into today, you don’t really have to toss beans over your shoulder while reciting the chant. Place the beans at the altar, light your appropriate candles and recite the chant. Toss salt, burn sage, however you normally cleanse your home from evil, on the Lemuralia perform those rituals. Plus however you normally honor your household spirits do so on these days as well, only with stronger intensity, asking them to help chase away and protect the home from the evil of malevolent spirits.

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