So in order to enrich my blog and hopping that others will create similar posts and show the diversity within the Religio, I’ve decided to start posting my own calendar on a monthly basis, starting – appropriately – in January.
Keep in mind that it will change in the future as I add new celebrations or move some in order to create a more balanced calendar. Gods do come in and out of one’s life and balance is one of my main concerns. In ancient Rome, to some extent, public life was organized to accommodate religious activities, but that’s no longer the case and modern routine can be unfriendly to ritual practice. Which is why I try to avoid crowding months or weeks with a large number of festivals and, whenever possible, work a more even distribution throughout the year. This, so to speak, gives breathing space to both the religio and modern life.
Furthermore, not all of the festivals are historical. In some cases, because they derive from individual experience: the anniversary of a vow I fulfilled is a practice with an historical background, but not necessarily an historical date. Also, when dealing with the revival of pre-Christian religions, gaps are inevitable, so at some point you have to create something new. Think of it as adding new stones when rebuilding an old temple – not doing so means risking the whole structure if you can put it back together at all. Of course, not every block of stone will do and it will have to be carved to fit into the general building. So, for instance, Ingui Frey’s birth at midwinter and Inguinalia at midsummer are modern creations, but they fit into the cult of a god with solar qualities (more on that here) and take on elements from Germanic folklore – the Yule tree, the boar, the midsummer pole, etc. The same goes for Mercury’s offerings on the first Wednesday of every month: it joins the Roman days of the week with the Greek practice of worshipping Hermes on the fourth day.
So in short, what follows is an example of how a modern cultor’s calendar looks like. It’s not dogma, just a personal religious structure. I’m sure some elements are common among Roman polytheists – Saturnalia, Parentalia, and the Ides or Kalends, for instance – but others will be different. It would be interesting if we could gather a good bunch and link them at the calendar section of the Cultus Deorum website.