Saturnalia soil

Today I performed a formal ceremony to Saturn and unveiled His statue. It wasn’t particularly elaborate or anything, but there was a sense of excitement when I took the clay image out of the cabinet where I keep it, wrapped in purple cloth, and brought it to the living room for the first time in a year. Then during the ceremony, after making the opening prayers and offerings to Janus, Vesta and Jupiter, I unveiled the statue, crowned it with wheat and finally presented my gifts to Father Saturn.

Because He’s a chthonic god, I didn’t burn the food and wine; instead, I poured everything into a bowl with fresh soil, as I do for Silvanus and Faunus. Usually, once the ceremony is over, I take the bowl out and empty it under a tree, but because Saturnalia lasts several days and I make daily offerings to Father Saturn, I decided to keep the bowl with me until the night of the 24th. So, as I moved the statue to the dining-room table and surrounded it with green and gold, I placed the bowl in front of Him.

Saturnalia 2013

This way, everyday, I can pour wine into it and burn a stick of incense in it, so that what is given to Father Saturn will be collected like the offerings in the Saturnalia ceremony. It gives devotional continuity, from the 17th to the 24th of December, and in tune with the god’s chthonic nature. I’ll even put my first midwinter walnut muffin in the bowl. Io Saturnalia!


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