Calendar: an example

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One of the things that shapes and sustains a community is sharing. We share ideas, gods, ceremonies, sacred spaces and feast days. But a community is not monolithic and so it is also diverse in the exact same things: we share ideas, but not all; our rituals follow a common frame, though there’s also a personal, family or regional dimension to them; we share some festivals, but not every date is celebrated by all. This is especially true with polytheistic religions like the Religio Romana – rich, diverse and with a multitude of deities and celebrations. The surviving ancient Roman calendars feature dozens of yearly festivals, some of them overlapped, plus monthly observances (see here, for instance). It was a crowded calendar, but it was also a list of public festivities from one city. Other cities would have their own lists of celebrations, some common to Rome, and in each place individuals would attend some of the ceremonies, but probably not all. And all of this refers to public religion: private and family practices were another matter that, as with everything else, had common elements with public celebrations, but also differences.

Today, the same principle applies. Polytheistic religions are normally diverse, since the variety in gods tends to generate a diversity in devotions and practices. And in much of the modern world, where public life is no longer organized around a religion, there’s also a tendency to focus on the festivals that are relevant on a personal and family level. It’s practical and a lot easier to combine with a modern work routine.

What follows is my festive calendar. It’s an example of how the monthly and yearly practices of one modern Roman polytheist can look like. Because people often assume that all Roman polytheists celebrate the same dates; actually, a lot of people still believe that modern polytheists use a wiccan-based eightfold year. That’s far from being true and this page is an example of how things really are. I will stress, however, that this is the calendar of one modern polytheist. Being a cultor, it’s essentially Roman, from the structure to most of the monthly and yearly celebrations. This is where I meet with my fellow cultores. But it also reflects my personal connection to Egyptian and Norse deities, as well as my Portuguese origin, which makes it my religious calendar, not entirely identical to that of other cultores. As with the Romans of the past, we share festivals and a common framework, but there are also practices that are unique to one’s own identity, be it individual, local or national. It’s a form of unity in diversity.

FASTI

Fasti

This is the general view of my religious calendar (click on it for a clearer image). Yellow stands for yearly festivities, some of which last several days, while blue means monthly and generally less formal observances. In all, it’s a mixture of traditional, adapted and modern celebrations, indicated as such in the list bellow by capital letters: [H] for historical, [SH] for semi-historical (ancient date with a modern name, for instance) and [M] for modern.

Monthly celebrations
[H] 1st day: the Calends, sacred to Juno and Janus
[H] 5th or 7th day: the Nones, no deity assigned
[H] 13th or 15th day: the Ides, sacred to Jupiter
[M] 19th day: sacred to Minerva
[M] 21st day: sacred to Ingui-Frey

The Family Lares and Penates (i.e. Ancestors and housewights, respectively) are also worshiped on the Calends, Nones and Ides. Additionally, I also mark the first Wednesday of the month [M], which I dedicate to Mercury, but because it is a moveable celebration, it doesn’t appear in the calendar above.

Yearly celebrations
January
[H] 1st: New Year, dedicated to Janus
[M] 4th: Vialia, dedicated to Mercury and the Lares Viales (e.g., see here and here)
[M] 7th: Apotropalia, dedicated to Apollo
[H] 9th: Agonalia, dedicated to Janus
[SH] 27th: Geminalia, dedicated to the Dioscuri

February
[M] 11th: Cinocefalia, dedicated to Anubis
[H] 13th-21st: Parentalia, dedicated to the Di Parentes
[H] 22nd: Caristia, dedicated to the Family Lares and family members in general
[M] 23rd: Laralia, dedicated to the Lares Alcobacenses

March
[M] 9th: Nabialia, dedicated to the Iberian goddess Nabia
[H] 19th: Minervalia, dedicated to Minerva

April
[M] 1st-4th: Ludi Mercuriales, dedicated to Mercury (e.g., see here)
[M] 25th: Diantalia, dedicated to Proserpina’s return from the Underworld

May
[M] 7th: Ilurbedalia, dedicated to the Iberian goddess Ilurbeda
[H] 15th: Mercuralia, dedicated to Mercury and His mother Maia
[M] 25th: Dominalia, dedicated to the Norse goddess Freya

June
[SH] 1st: Junonalia, dedicated to Juno
[SH] 13th: Vestalia, dedicated to Vesta
[M] 20th-22nd: Inguinalia, dedicated to Ingui-Frey
[M] 24th: Portugalia, dedicated to Nabia Portugalensis and my Lares Portugalenses (i.e. national heroes)

July
[M] 9rd: Niordalia, dedicated to Njord (e.g., see here)
[SH] 15th: Apollinaria, dedicated to Apollo
[H] 23rd: Neptunalia, dedicated to Neptune

August
[M] 5th: Herculalia, dedicated to Hercules
[H] 13th: Nemoralia, dedicated to Diana
[M] 24th: Quangealia, dedicated to the Iberian god Quangeio

September
[M] 5th: Arentalia, dedicated to the Iberian god Arentius and goddess Arentia
[SH] 13th: Capitolinalia, dedicated to Jupiter

October
[M] 25th: Proserpinalia: dedicated to Proserpina and the Manes
[M] 29th: Figulalia, dedicated to the Egyptian god Khnum (e.g., see here)

November
[M] 5th: Dies Juliani, dedicated to Emperor Julian the Faithful
[SH] 9th: Tonitralia, dedicated to the Norse god Thor
[M] 23rd: Silvanalia, dedicated to Silvanus

December
[H] 5th: Faunalia, dedicated to Faunus
[M] 12th: Ulleralia, dedicated to the Norse god Ullr
[H] 17th-23rd: Saturnalia, dedicated to Saturn
[M] 20th-22nd: Dies Natalis Inguis, dedicated to Ingui-Frey
[M] 31st: Transitalia, dedicated to Bonus Eventus

3 thoughts on “Calendar: an example

  1. Pingback: Welcome, 2015! | Under Two Trees

  2. Pingback: May the Road Rise Up to Meet You | Under Two Trees

  3. Very interesting. I’m also a Portuguese polytheist, priestess, researcher and author (A Deusa do Jardim das Hespérides), and live very close to you… It would be great if I could share with you, even if our practices are quite different, some of my discoveries in the area… Don’t know if it makes sense to you. My contact email: jardimdashesperidestemplo@gmail.com.
    LF

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