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Friday, January 23, 2015

Pagan Festival Shout Out: Paganalia/ Sementivae

All cry, "Hail Ceres!" Then all surround the seeds and hold their hands over them, and together sing Ohm and Ah in harmonies, to carry Ceres' blessing. The seeds are then placed in a special basket shaped like a cradle, and covered with a cloth, and sung to.

It is time once more for the annual Paganalia, also known as Sementivae, the time we give offerings and ask blessings from the gods Ceres & Tellus in honor of the planting season. January 24th marks that time. Ceres, of course, is the Roman grain goddess, and Tellus is the earth itself. This festival was held in two parts -- the first part was held from January 24 to January 26, honoring Tellus, and was a season of sowing the fields. The second part, which began a week later on February 2, honored Ceres as the goddess of agriculture. Ceres is the Roman variant of Demeter, who is strongly tied with the changing of the seasons. (Read Further on this here.)

in the Sabine territories, and among the Samnites, two special priests, called Semones, performed the sowing ritual. At times the Semones were identified as Lares paganales, protective spirits of the pagus fields. the Semones priests offering a sacrifice, and then casting seeds, before the sacrifice is complete, over the altar fire. Minor deities are also mentioned: "Vervactor, the god of breaking up fallow land; Reparator, of renewing its powers; Obarator, of plowing; Occator, of harrowing; Imporcitor, of drawing furrows; Insitor, of grafting; Sarritor, of hoeing; Subruncinator, of weeding; Messor, of harvesting; Convector, of gathering in; Conditor, of storing up; Promitor, of bringing out for use."
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