Sunday, August 25, 2013

Pagan Festival Shout Out: Festival To Ops (Goddess Of Abundance)


On this day in Ancient History, the Saturnalia festival continued for the Romans, with merriment, gambling, and role reversals. This is also one of the days in which the Roman chthonic goddess Ops was honored with a festival named for her. Ops was the goddess of abundance, who came to be associated with Rhea/Gaia (Earth mother-titan), Demeter/Ceres (grain goddess), and her daughter Kore/Persephone/Proserpina. She was often paired with the god Consus at whose festival, in the early legends of Rome, the Sabine women were seized by the lusty young bachelors of the recently-founded city of Rome. She was also paired with Saturnus perhaps because of their festivals' overlap.

It was believed that Ops was the wife of Saturnus by some, Her worship was intimately connected with that of her husband Saturnus, for she had both temples and festivals in common with him; she had, however, also a separate sanctuary on the Capitol, and in the vicus jugarius, not far from the temple of Saturnus. Ops is associated with peace, plenty, and an abundant harvest. She was the protectress of every thing connected with agriculture. Her abode was in the earth, and hence those who invoked her, or made vows to her, used to touch the ground. And as she was believed to give to human beings both their place of abode and their food, newly-born children were recommended to her care. Ops was also invoked to extinguish harmful, dangerous fires.

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