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Romans, though you’re guiltless, you’ll still expiate
your fathers’ sins, till you’ve restored the temples,
and the tumbling shrines of all the gods,
and their images, soiled with black smoke.
~Horace, Odes, III, 6; A. S. Kline trans.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Prepare for the monthly Kalends and Ides rituals.

"The worship of Juno claims our Italy's Kalends
While a larger white ewe-lamb falls to Jupiter on the Ides." - Ovid, Fasti I

Cato the Elder gives instructions for the vilica, the wife of the overseer of the farm. These instructions probably reflect the duties that fell upon the materfamilias of every family: "On the Kalends, Ides and Nones, and any holy day, place a garland over the hearth and pray to the household gods as opportunity offers" (Cato, De Re Agricultura 143).

The Kalends and Ides rituals are a great way to start being active in the sacra privata of the Cultus Deorum.

The first step is to set up a lararium. We have a guide for setting up a lararium, but maybe we can make it even simpler than that, at least to start. In my opinion, to get started, just select and clean a location. Clear a space, and if you feel the need to mark a boundary, use a piece of string, put down a small cloth, place a small metal tray. In the space you need a candle, something to burn incense, a small tray for offerings. Lacking an image of any kind, why not make a small card and write "to the Lares" on it?

My personal opinion is that you should make your initial offerings, maybe incense, wine, bread, flowers, - ask the Lares to protect your household. Be attentive for signs of their acceptance. I think that your display of pietas is more important than fancy ritual or formality.

Obviously you can elaborate your lararium as time passes, but you probably have everything you need to start right now in your home. Get your lararium ready now, and you will be ready for the Kalends. I hope that we will all be able to perform our rites together this and every Kalends and Ides. Comments?

1 comment:

  1. This is my private worship:
    Kalendas Nonae and Idus
    First i am going to purify myself and the place where the rituals take place (usually home)
    the deals are small prayers with the offering of candles, incense, bread, wine or dry vegetables,
    beginning with the worship offering to the Gods:
    - God Janus
    - Genes Loci
    - genes familiaris
    - Lari
    - Gods and rituals relating to the Nonae Kalenda et Idvs
    finally conclude with the latest offer for protection
    i am on facebook please i wish have you all there with me.
    add fb - Paolo Cristiano Scipio eutimo