A Ripe and Ready Lupercalia

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Yes, Valentines Day is quickly upon us.   I love it all: the hearts; the red and  pink,; fat frolicking, well-armed babies.  The Christianized St. Valentine’s Day falls on the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia, where love notes called “billets” were exchanged. That celebration was a bit more to the point, with a Sacred She Wolf, permissive orgiastic rites, Lupa’s grottos and all the poetic euphemism this celebration invites.

The church later replaced this day with a celebration of the mythical St. Valentine, a kind of slap-dash re-invention of Pan who was still called on love charms and other such workings.

The heart appears in my work quite often. It is one of my favourite symbols.  Not only does it have a lovely, comforting symmetry as a motif– the rounded top and pointed bottom offer a satisfying contrast. But beyond aesthetics, the heart offers much profound human meaning. Hearts were offered to Aztec gods while they were “still dancing” and the ancient mother goddess was often referred to a “swallower of hearts.”  Hearts are the currency of the soul.   Later manifested in Catholic tradition as the sacred heart, it was the gift of the god to his devout followers. This original vision is attributed to Saint Alacoque who saw it as a blooming rose, a communion cup, a furnace and bridal chamber.

The most important part of this holiday is not erotic or romanic love, but love of friends and our selves. These are worth celebrating.

I’m offering 20% off my Feral Valentines Collection with coupon code LUPERCALIA from the 12th of Feb. to the 15th, 2016.

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