Lupercalia is an ancient and possibly pre-roman celebration of purification and the beginning of fertility.
The festival was in part a way to honor Lupa,the she-wolf who had suckled the twin orphans ,Romulus and Remus. This would explain the name of the festival , Lupercalia or “the Wolf Festival”.
At one time the celebrations took place near the cave of Lupercal which was located at the base of the Palatine Hill.Here the Luperci (Priests of Lupercus) would sacrifice a Dog and two goats. The dog to represent the protector of the flock and the goats because he was a god of shepherds. It was normally celebrated on February 15th.
It is also one of the Eight Treguenda’s to the Strega falling on February 2nd.
Lupercus or Candelora (as I have also seen it called), marks the puberty of the Wolf God Lupercus.He is the wolf of winter , Traditionally known as the great golden wolf. He drives away the “wolfs of night” and we can see the solar aspect of Lupercus who was born at Yule as the child of promise.
It was said that the Grigori had set twelve labours for the young wolf God to complete in order to prove his worth as the new sun God. The twelve are interestingly enough connected to the western astrological/zodiac signs and are as follows
To carry the sacred ram and set him among the stars.
To purify the hide of the sacred white bull.
to tame the twin serpents of Teramo.
To carry the Great Sea Crab to the Western Horizon.
To free the sacred Lion.
To fashion a bow for the Goddess Diana.
To forge the Great Scales of Justice for the Gods.
To seal the giant scorpion back within the Earth.
To make a golden arrow for the King of the Centaurs.
To fashion two golden horns for the Great Goat Fish.
To purify the jugs of water which are bore to the Gods.
To leash the two Great Fish of the Sea and set them among the stars.
For the Misfit sanctuary this is a celebration that consists mostly of desserts, it is always done before the fire and it usually entails a gentle scourging from our Priest. ( to promote fertility for the coming year of course and as a way of getting rid of the negative)
and there is even a little bit of howling at the end of the ritual.Followed by more revelry , talking and joking around the fire.
Lupercus is invoked at this time of year to scatter the wolves of the dark winter night. Assisting us in releasing the atavistic power within us all. Through him, we are free of the constraints of our bodies, and of the winter season.
May everyone have a blessed Sabbat whatever it may be!