Valentine’s Day AND Lupercalia

Astrology, one of the most amazing achievements of the Classical World, an astronomy-based metasystem for humanity, and all it’s Gods and icons, lives on. Astrologers see it and are immersed in it, as if it was leaves of gold dappled with Holy Water, every day. It’s like taking someone’s pulse and finding it throbbing with celestial energies, to view and analyze someone’s natal chart. It’s always an awesome experience. We can see LOVE there, for one thing, rising from the placement and aspects of one’s Venus. That’s just an example. Venus will be Venus; she doesn’t need a spokesman, but I don’t mind promoting this Goddess of Love. She’s like Family; I was born with Venus and Mercury in a 2 degree conjunction, right on the Ascendant, in Cancer, in sextile with Mars, square with Neptune, semisextile my Moon, and trine South Node. Some people sadly have NO contacts with Venus. (One could bravely say they have simple lives!) The more aspects, the more that’s going on. So it is I speak, write, sing, play guitar and keyboard, take pictures, draw and paint. ‘Straight’ (Venus in good aspect to Mars); full of longings, mental debauchery and mystic musings (Venus square Neptune.) Venus is the focus of talent, one of the guiding angels between my dreams, adventures and writings.
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I like when holidays can bring-in the Moon and planets and asteroids, and February 14th and 15th evoke enough planetary gods and goddesses to satisfy the most jaded Star Gazer.
I spoke of this on my BlogTalkRadio show two weeks ago (February 16,) but here, not at all stressed by a full screen of phonecalls, I can go into a little more detail about it.
Can you imagine how strict and boring Western Civilization would be without Venus? Having risen from the sea as Aphrodite, (as she was called in Ancient Greece), on one valve of an enormous scallop or cockle, and esconced as the Goddess of Love in her very own Temple, who was like unto her? Who Is, to this day?
I recall there was an actual Temple of Venus that opened its doors near the Haight Ashbury District of San Francisco in the ’70’s. The purpose of that place, you can be sure, was love, and all that passed for love in the eagerly sensuous, psychedelic and yet strangely idealistic early ’70s. (What a challenge to any other churches or temples nearby which were not dedicated to a focus on the feminine and idylls of leisure, romance, wine, and grass (as we used to call it, and we weren’t talking about meadows in Golden Gate Park!)
Can we imagine her without her varied Olympian suitors, ranging from Mercury to Mars, whom she would deign to consort with, and raise children with, though she never got the benefit of any male god’s marriage certificate or nuptuals? Would she have been the same without a mother’s concern for her naughty immortal kid, Cupid, who may or may not have ever grown up, at least not past a certain point — that of voice breaking, and needing to shave his beard? For despite the myth of Cupid and Psyche, could that doomed love affair have pictured him as any more mature than a callow youth of sophomore years? No, he was never much older than an erratic perpetual cherub, lofting his arrows into people’s hearts. He flew around, sometimes on match-up errands, often just to playfully toy with people’s love lives, targeting sometimes innocent, sometimes miserably lovelorn victims with his persuasive quiver, bow, and golden arrows. (What if this was NOT the merest legend? What if evoking love magic, starting with one’s natal chart, WAS possible? I think it is!)
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Say! If Peter Pan flew from Neverland to London to match-up shy Victorians, he’d be a modern airborne literary equivalent of Cupid. Except Cupid never had a Tinkerbelle, though he might have had a Wendy.
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Would you have rather that these immortals were replaced in human consciousness and veneration (Venus is the root word of veneration) with the religion of the crucified Jesus (and his Mosaic, Abrahamic roots, honed down by apologizer Paul (the former Saul) on the one hand, and/or Mohammad, who knew much more about waging war than finding peace, just a few hundred years after the Church in the form of the Roman Rite ascended to absolute primacy in the realm of the Caesars, on the other? Because that’s exactly what happened in the Classical World and then in its dim aftermath, in two waves of allegiance to religious conquest by Male Gods of the Sky, without much of a female component at all, except insofar as the Son of God can have a mother who is more than a vessel and figurehead in Christian love of family and children, in appeals to the heart… While Islam’s early centuries were all about a love of the conquering sword… isn’t that exactly what happened? Conquering the unbeliever?
But no love or precious allegiance remained for Venus. Because her temples became unused, or converted to the masculine Hebrew and then Roman images of Father and Son. The men, who were believed to have been made in God’s image, put themselves right up there, at the altar. I like women. I like the idea that THEY can feel represented, as well as VERY WELCOMED, in whatever church or temple is their pleasure. A Temple of Venus, with its common language of ‘the feminine’, would not alienate women. Venus is a normal female energy. It is not akin to the wild drunken women of Dionysus who in their revelries committed atrocities. It is not some destructive or self-destructive clique of deviants or man-haters.
No! HERE SHE IS, visible in the Heavens, and in everyone’s natal charts. I see Venus every night as she’s the Evening Star until Venus and Earth both continue their sweep around the Sun and she becomes Morning Star again. And somehow, Planet Venus is linked astrologically to all the traits of the Goddess Venus including the Arts of leisure past-times; attraction to love through wide associations and friendships; and easy, nearly carefree, female fertility and fecundity.
The Moon nourishes; the Moon is the goddess to the infant; all milk can be said to flow in the creamy richness, from the Moon (so to speak). The Moon and dwarf planet Ceres figuratively bestow the nourishment. But it’s also all about THE MOTHER. Find one’s natal Moon to see if someone wants children or not. A crazily-aspected Moon can indicate a wacky mother… two generations of scary mamas. But Venus is far less frightening. She bestows and points-up all sorts of matters of love and affection and talent. The many Graces and Muses are comfy with her.
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Think of all we have gained — sort of — by boxing-up and disposing of the Gods of Mt. Olympus, but also, all we have lost! If the Roman Empire, despite it’s self-destructive failings and blind spots, had survived, unchristianized, for just 400 years longer than it did, the exclusive Monotheisms and the noxious dualisms that saw life as a constant battle between light and darkness, all angels and demons, fallen man and the risen Christ, temptation and destruction, would have been suppressed. The Gods and the Zodiac and its Signs first noted and demarcated by the most ancient Babylonians and Egyptian priest-astronomers… (more likely by even earlier civilizations, since there is c evidence the Great Sphinx may be closer to 34,000 years old than 5,000…) would have ruled the culture as preserved and described by Priest Kings, not conquest-minded tribal zealots, howling across the desert on their camels. Jerusalem, Constantinople and Rome would not have been sacked by thugs. Charlemagne would not have existed, per se, as power would have been concentrated in Rome, in the august person of the Emperor. The Normans would not have invaded England and destroyed King Harold and the Saxons, because the Roman outposts in Britain would not have disappeared. London would probably still have a fortified and walled garrisoned core. All roads would have continued to lead to Rome. Of course, all along the Appian Way, there might still be unending rows of crucifixions. With absolute power at the top, comes absolute lack of rights at the bottom. The Crusades would not have happened. No Norman Conquest. The discovery of the Americas would have been vastly different, maybe worse. The Reformation would not have happened. Colonists would have crossed the Atlantic, but no Pilgrims or Puritans. The East India Company would not have seized India. No Napoleon or Revolution because NO French or British kings. Irish potato famine would not have occured. Under a continuing Roman Empire, the 1st and 2nd World Wars, and the mad rush to harness atomic energy to use in war, and the Russian Revolution, would not have happened. Hitler would have been a second-rate painter.
And huge images of Venus would be honored in her temples, and school children would be taught the Circle Charts and Zodiacal signs, starting in the early years of Elementary School.
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We redirect history at our peril. Venus could have continued as the Goddess of Love, but you can’t have a goddess in a vaccuum. Enter Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. They all carve-out portions of the human experience. So it is that love is JUST ONE of the themes of life.
The sweet romance of St. Valentine’s Day is a 24-hour thing, though a big box of See’s Chocolates can make the Venusian pleasure principle energy live on for days and days. People should get 3 or 4 bags of dark chocolate Tollhouse morsels and extend Valentine’s out to April!
But little do most people know that the bliss of Cupid’s arrow gives way, in a calendar-sort-of-way, to a very different kind of commemoration: the Lupercalia; a day given to Lupa (or Lupe), reputed wolf-nurse to lost little orphans Romulus and Remus, near-victims of a horrible family crime, who were left to die in the Etruscan wilds of 700 B.C., but, because they were suckled by the She-Wolf, survived and grew up to found the Eternal City, Rome. There is or was an actual cave on the Palatine Hill in the middle of urban Rome devoted to the ancient She-Wolf. Whether the cave was home to one or more wolves in the days of the Republic or the Empire, is unknown. Suckled by a She-Wolf! A bronze of unknown origin; though known now to be about a thousand years old, commemorates the fierce, wild, proud origins of the Romans.
So it’s obvious to me, unlike most people, that the vibrations of the day after Valentine’s Day are those of an immortal suckler to the needy orphans of the world… Orphans who could grow up to be Kings like Romulus and Remus. Is it a wolf god or goddess? Lupa in ancient Rone argues strongly for it being a she-wolf. The Wolfman and Werewolf, as they are conceived by Hollywood and as they are in nature, because I think they do exist, both come under this energy. It really doesn’t seem strange to me that the day after the day of Love should be the day of Wolfine reckoning. It should make lovers move faster, and never dawdle, or walk across the moors on the midnight which seperates Valentine’s Day from the Day of the Hungry Wolf. Or at least, the Hound of the Baskervilles.
Maybe I’m 100% wrong about Lupercalia. Just like Lupa, Romulus and Remus, it’s not about werewolves; it’s about nurturing the young!
I did live, briefly, in the environs of a woman who identified with wild maternal wolves and bears. She was a really natural woman, with some fierce cave-woman in her! She and her kids get about a chapter in my “Sacred Desert Womb Pool”, (2008), available at Lulu.com as a trade paperback. As I recall, she had a great chart! Most wolf-mothers do. An admirable, normal, protective Mom! Her Venus was conjunct the Moon in Cancer.

Until again, —–Ed