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The Festival of Love

Love is one of the most transcending experiences one could have.

It’s vibration and energy runs through the entire cosmos, and touches each being, one way or another. The month of February is considered the month of love in many different cultures spanning across the map. Love is one of those energies, that in my opinion, sustains the universe; along with hate of course because you can’t have one without the other. 

Cultures have expressed their need for love and romance since the beginning, and the Gods are just as entranced by love as we are. They marry, they divorce, they date, they hook up, they do it all, like us. They’re the ones that taught us these vary acts. This is a time of the year when the Gods and Goddesses of love should be celebrated like Freyja, Erzulie Freda, Oshun, Eros, Aphrodite, Frigg, etc. Pan is another God honored at this time for his sexual and seductive nature which is another factor of love, at this time of the year, which comes through with much fervour and fire. 

During this time we have Valentine’s Day, whose name we get from the Saint: St. Valentine, for the Western culture, which is on February 14th and on this day we celebrate our love for one another in a number of ways. Dinner, chocolate, flowers, presents, and just beautiful company. All types of love are celebrated, not just the type from a couple. In Haitian Vodou traditions, the month of February is dedicated to the Lwa Erzulie Freda; a Lwa is a spirit of Haitian Vodou. She is the Lwa of Love, beauty, sexuality, and wealth. All night celebrations will be held for Freda and offerings will be given to her. She enjoys things like makeup, jewelry, Anisette Liqueur, Pompeii lotion perfume, pink cakes, and other things. She is a beautiful Lwa, but she does not settle for less than what she deserves. 

During this time Freyja is another Goddess that may be honored: she is the Nordic Goddess of love, sex, romance, etc. Frigg, wife of Odin, is another Goddess that can be acknowledged during this time as Goddess of marriage. Look to Kendall’s article about Freyja for more information on the Goddess. Frigg enjoys breads, chocolate, wine, and things of the finer sort as well, she is the Queen of Asgard after all. 

Another Roman holiday which was celebrated around this time of the year was called Lupercalia which was celebrated on February 15th. It honored the She-wolf that fed Romulus and Remus, the founder Children of Rome where she nursed and raised them in a cave. It also honored the Roman fertility God Lupercus. During this time ritual animal sacrifices took place, the sacrifices were performed by Luperci, a group of Roman priests. Afterwards, the foreheads of two naked Luperci were smeared with the animals’ blood using the bloody, sacrificial knife. The blood was then removed with a piece of milk-soaked wool as the Luperci laughed. During this time, another festivity which took place was men would draw women’s name from a jar to be coupled with each other for the duration of the festival. Often the couples stayed together until next year’s festival, and many fell in love and married. 

Lupercalia was also celebrated on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, if you would like a more popular culture example to look at; the students did couple up and spend the duration of the festival together in this episode, which was an interesting Lupercalia tradition to see face to face- in a way. Lupercalia influenced our modern day Valentine’s Day. This month of love has been celebrated and continues to be celebrated all across the world in many different ways and many different cultures. 

Love is one of the most powerful forces and energies in existence and it will continue to be celebrated by Gods and men, it both blesses us and curses us, but we can’t live without it. The Gods and Goddesses of love constantly dance in our minds, and that is why we have holidays and celebrations dedicated to them. Love is important. Understand that my Kingdom, Love is important.

By Jake Kline, Feature Writer for the Hrafnarfjall Times

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