Kalends Rite for Juno Limentina

Kalends Rite for Juno Limentina January 12, 2013

Marcus Horatius Pont. Max. cultoribus, Quiritibus, et omnibus s. p. d.

Juno Limentina

In ancient times the Regina sacrificorum, alongside her husband, would perform a sacrifice of a ewe for Juno. Sometimes it is assumed that this ritual was for Juno Capitolina, when more likely it was for Mater Matuta or Iana (Djana), Goddess of the Dawn and of new beginnings. Rituals were performed at private homes on the kalends for a Juno, but we ought to note that these were for the Juno of the front door. She is a lesser Goddess and not the same Goddess as found in the Capitolium. That is, She is Juno Limentina.

At the kalends of each month a ritual was performed for Janus at a shrine set up near the front door of a house. This would have been inside the house. We know from our sources that offerings for the Juno of the front door were instead left on the step outside the house. This was usually a bowl of milk and some bread, placed with a candle lit at night, but other things may have been included as well. Also, protective amulets were placed near the front door, both indoors and outside. A wreathe of laurel was placed outdoors above the door on the houses of sacerdotes and replaced once a year. We can assume that other amulets were regularly replaced as well, annually if not monthly. These might be the thorny branch of a hawthorn or whitethorn tree. Bunches of herbs were possibly hung up near the door, as were bells, phallices, and charms. One such charm was made of oak twigs formed into a cross, enclosed in a circle, and wound with red wool yarn. As part of this ritual, you would begin by making your invocation and an initial offering of incense followed by a promise to offer bread and milk. Whatever amulets and charms you may wish to place to protect your house are then hung up, stating what each is for, during the middle of your ritual before completing any sacrifice.

Thus a ritual for Juno Limentina might go something like this:

“Hail, Juno Limentia, and hail you immortal Gods! Come Limentia, and come you Gods and Goddesses, take part in this ceremony and protect this doorway.”

“To You, Goddess, whom Janus gave the arbutus bough as a sign of His good faith, I pray that You may protect my family, my home, my household, and all within it. Listen, You Gods and Goddesses of our ancestors, who cherish this City, this neighborhood, and sacred places within it. Gods and Goddesses of our forefathers, I make this offering of incense to You and pray with a sincere heart that You will look favorably upon us and our children, on our house and on our household.”

Offer laurel as an incense.

Front Doorway

“To Limentia and the Gods deservedly I give thanks. May you look down upon us with favor and preserve us. Limentia, I do beseech You by Your good juno, come forth. Do not keep us in suspense any longer. We come before You, dear Goddess, with open hearts, pure and chaste that we may share in Your numina during these rites.”

Make a circle of salt. Place a bowl within the circle. Pour a little milk into the bowl.

“By this libation of a smaller portion of milk I seek to honor You. Hear me, O Juno Limentia, and may You honor us this day with Your presence.”


Approaching Cultrix

Using a cloth wet with water in which verbena or mint has been steeped, wash down the door. Next, take up a sprig of an herb, such as arbutus or rosemary, dip it into olive oil and dab each door hinge three times. place three leaves of bay laurel on the door sill. Then take a piece of bread on a pottery shard and place it inside the circle of salt.

“In offering this bread to You, Juno, I pray that You may look kindly and favorably upon me and my children, on our house and on our household.”

It is at this point that you may place wind chimes, bells, and similar protective amulets around your door.

Continue in the same manner as above in offering more incense, salt, oil, water, drizzling honey onto the bread, each time saying, “In offering this ____ to You . . . (etc.)” Conclude by offering a libation of milk into the bowl once more.

“Juno Limentia, may You be strengthened by this libation, may You be honored by this milk. In offering this libation of milk to You, Juno, I pray that You may look kindly and favorably upon me and upon my children, on our house and on our household.

“Accept this libation and these offerings, and send upon us Your kind thoughts. In You, dearest Goddess, in Your hands do we place our safekeeping.”

Adding then a pinch of incense on your focus, conclude:

“No more, Juno Limentia, do I ask of You today; it is enough.”

Reflect for a moment. Ensure that no signs of disapproval appear. (If any do, then you need to make a piaculum, but otherwise the ritual is concluded.)

“Thus it is done. May all the Gods and Goddesses above and below always love me and mine and may They wish happiness to us in all that is good.”

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