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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Pagan Festival Shout Out: Festival Of Bellona

1Bellona is the Roman goddess of war who is described as the companion, sister, or wife of Mars. Appius Claudius the Blind vowed a temple to Bellona that was erected on the Campus Martius. This was the site of meetings with foreign ambassadors. The fetiales declared war near the temple of Bellona, at the Column of War. The festival of Bellona was on June 3.

Bellona may have been Mars' wife or sister. She may have been of Etruscan or Sabine origin. She was associated with the Greek Enyo. Priests of Bellona were called Bellonarii. In early years they wounded themselves when they made sacrifices to Bellona, although in later years the wounding on the March 24 dies sanguinis (day of blood), was symbolic. Bellona is the female embodiment of military virtue, and an excellent opportunity to portray the feminine form in armor and helmet.

In honoring Bellona today, as she is the embodiment of the feminine warrior, this can translate into strength-courage and fortitude. Light white and red candle on either side of a mirror placed on your alter with an image of Bellona placed against the mirror. Meditate and ask for the attributes of the goddess to guide and shield you on this day. Honor the goddess with a symbolic offering which represents the things you need Bellona’s strength to deal with. Write them on a red piece of paper and burn at the alter.

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