Gardening with the Gods

Any activity you undertake can be transformed into a ritual act.  By doing so, the action takes on a greater significance that integrates the conscious, external actions of the body with the unconscious, internal motivations of the soul.  During repetitive activity, rhythm that makes the work easier to perform can lead one into a ritual consciousness that opens into realms of awe.  Religious awe offers a loss of self-awareness that empties one into a greater whole.  It is a type… Read more

Conventus Sarmatia

Earlier this month a Protocol was affirmed between the international fellowship of Cultores Deorum Romanorum (CDR http://cultusdeorumromanorum.blogspot.com/) and the Respublica Romana (RPR http://www.respublica-romana.com/English).  The RPR is an international belief organization that is registered in Sweden. Under the Protocol RPR recognizes the Religio Romana as the main religious tradition for its organization, although RPR is not exclusively for cultores Deorum Romanorum alone. This is an important step for the future of the Religio Romana because it could mean the first step in gaining… Read more

A Host of Gods and Goddesses

Religion is a way of life.  It is not about which tenets you may espouse, but about the  actions you perform. This concept takes on a special relevance in the Religio Romana where a cultor Deorum is defined by the rituals he or she performs, as well as  by the principles on which his or her actions are made. That is, there are Roman virtues by which we live our lives, and there are certain rituals we perform, not on a… Read more

Kalendae Februariae

The Kalends of February honors Juno Sospita of Lanuvium. She is called the Queen of Heaven, our Heavenly Mother, and Savior. Juno Sospita is generally depicted armed with a shield and spear.  Her long gown is covered by a goat skin that is drawn up with the horns  on Her head.  Her temple stood high atop the acropolis at Lanuvium, , where She was probably named Catana, the Goddess of Good Wisdom.  In Her attributes She is similar to Athene atop the… Read more

Structure of a Formal Roman Ritual

The Roman caeremonium is composed of a number of stages, each stage composed of one or more rituals. The arrangement of these stages, and the order in which they may appear, can vary according to the kind of caeremonium.  Here I follow a model posed by John North of University College London for the structure of Roman ritual, on which I have expanded some of the details. I. – PRAEFATIO The preliminary stage of a formal Roman ritual begins with a… Read more

The Altar of Peace

Today, 30 January, is the anniversary of the dedication of the Ara Pacis, the Altar of Peace.   The image, below, is from the Ara Pacis, showing Tellus, who is Mother Earth, or else Ceres.  On Her lap sit Jupiter and Juno, or, as some think, Romulus and Remus. On either side of Her are Lympha and Nympha representing the waters from the air above and from springs beneath the land. Behind Her are the reed and poppies that are… Read more

Rites, Rituals, and Ceremonies

The Latin term ritus means means a rite that is performed in the customary and usual Roman manner (Festus s. v.).  More specifically ritus refers to a Roman rite where prayers are correctly spoken, and the customary gestures and actions of Roman ritual are used. It is a marriage of prayer and action where the words giving meaning to an action and the action gives substance to the words. Furthermore a Roman ritus can be said to be composed of… Read more

Ritus Romanorum: an Introduction

“Lares, gods of my fathers, preserve me! While young and still nursing, you guided me when I played at your feet.” ~ Tibullus I.x.15   At a makeshift altar of built-up turf, young Gaius’ family had come to meet with their  gruff neighbor, Aulius Curius. Atop this altar Gaius’ father and the other man had built a frame of sticks. His mother and another woman each held out lebetes, deep basins in which they each carried hot coals from their… Read more

Opening Prayer

Most holy Minerva, to You I call upon, virtuous dancer, come,  and for a moment listen to my prayer. I pray the You may guide my mind in this study that I have undertaken; kindle in me the Shining Light of Truth, and enlarge my understanding; open the gates to my soul that I may receive inspired guidance. Anchoring my thoughts in the full splendor of reality, hold me back from too much conceit of wisdom and from the paths… Read more

Women as Pontifices

“Numa appointed Numa Marcius, the son of senator Marcus, [as pontifex maximus] and all the regulations bearing on religion, written out and sealed, were placed in his charge. . . . He placed all other sacred functions, both public and private, under the supervision of the pontifex, in order that there might be an authority for the people to consult, . . . Nor were his functions confined to directing the worship of the celestial Gods; he was to instruct the people… Read more


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