Spring seems to have finally arrived warm and sunny. Each year brings a new surprise and this year shall be remembered for the extraordinary brightness of color in the plumage of birds we have seen. The gold finches, scarlet finches, cardinals and red breasted grosbeaks are noticeably brighter than in years past.  The clear skies and bright colors of birds and flowers is how we often think of spring. It may therefore seem a little odd then that in the Religio Romana the month of May is devoted … [Read more...]

Hortus Cereris

My own plot of land is only about a third of a iugerum, but sufficient to meet my needs and produce more vegetables than I can use. A large portion of the gardens' produce are given to family, friends, and neighbors. Its true value for me lies in its being a place to practice my Roman values of frugality, moderation, and industry, as well as a place to practice the religious traditions of my family. In other words, my spiritual life revolves around my gardens. Central to these is a place I have … [Read more...]

Roman Values

When Rome was faced with a grave crisis it turned to the one man thought capable to lead them. Senators thus went to the home of Cincinnatus to offer him the position of magister populi (dictator). They found him in his field, plowing the land as a simple farmer, and when he had succeeded in his duties to Rome, he laid down the instruments of power and returned to his fields. Cincinnatus was a model of the "good citizen," exemplifing the idealized citizen-soldier even in the American Revolution. … [Read more...]

'The Long Goodbye'

Sundays are for sharing crossword clues and reading book reviews in the NY Times, online at NPR, and elsewhere. Yesterday I came upon reviews for Meghan O’Rourke’s The Long Goodbye on her period of mourning the death of her mother. The reviews thought of her posing “the lack of mourning rituals in contemporary American life,” where the only impression I received was that what was lacking was in Ms. O’Rourke herself. She writes about her dark night of the soul, feeling abandoned after … [Read more...]

Eclipse of the Soul

Today, sixteen days before the kalends of Maius, marks the anniversary of when Ulysses and his son Telemachus slew the suitors of Penelope. It took place during a solar eclipse that occurred around noon that day.  Based on such details of information found in Homer, with reference to specific astronomical events, the year and date of Ulysses return to Ithica can be placed to six days prior. Homer then alludes to an eclipse that would have been visible in the area of the Ionaian … [Read more...]

Spring Arrivals

Goldfinches and scarlet finches have taken on their summer colors. Hyacinths and Narcissus sway in the breeze beneath the magnolia trees just blooming. Only two weeks ago the ground was frozen and covered in snow. But with the warmth and sunshine comes early spring's arrivals. Two women pull up in front of my house in an SUV. Well dressed, well groomed, they are obviously out of place in my neighborhood. They wish to tell me about some celebration they were holding next Friday, for Good Friday, … [Read more...]

Community News

For the past few years I have traveled to meet members of our different communities. Most frequent were my visits to the Clarion Temple of Apollo in the area of Philadelphia, Pa.  Amica meae Diana, co-founder of the Clarion Temple, has moved to Florida and recently remarried. Congratulations to Diana and Robert.  Diana's daughter, Sophia, also celebrated her fifth birthday in March! A new sacerdos of Diana some day? Matrona Diana is seen below at the Archaeology and History Museum of the U. … [Read more...]

Beliefs: The Parental Gods

A second point of discussion on the beliefs of cultores Deorum stated "That our Gods and Goddesses are benevolent and parental towards humans" This was followed by another point, "That the Gods do take an interest in human affairs and in the lives of Their individual worshippers in the same manner as parents hold an interest in their children." Again, it is implicit from ritual practice that there is an underlying belief that the Gods take an interest in our actions, that They  respond to our … [Read more...]

Beliefs: That the Gods of Ancient Rome Exist Today

In recent weeks a discussion began with the leading members among those who share in Romanitas as cultores Deorum. This discussion concerned what beliefs we hold in common.  The intent was initially to provide a general statement for the Cultores Deorum Romanorum (CDR) website that would distinguish us as a fellowship of worshipers, as a community and a communion.  We have since expanded our discussion at the Yahoo Groups, Religio Romana Cultorum Deorum (RRCD)  for individual Romani to voice … [Read more...]

Chimera: Misunderstanding Myth

Sunday I came upon an article concerning the discovery last December of the archaeological remains of a house in Nazareth.  The discovery was received with much enthusiasm by the Mary of Nazareth Association.  "The discovery is significant. Up till then, there was no scientific evidence affirming the existence of a village of Nazareth of the epoch of Christ." http://www.h2onews.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=224448513 They are assuming, first, that one building … [Read more...]