In the spirit of the holiday, I thought we could learn more together about the history of Lupercalia. It’s no secret that many modern holidays have Pagan origins and some, though not all, historians believe that Valentine’s day is no different.
The celebration of Lupercalia (from February 13 to February 15) is in honor of twin brothers Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome. The brothers had been ordered to be killed by their uncle but were instead floated down the river in a bakery and saved by a wolf, who kept them safe and healthy. On this day they went back to the cave the wolf lived in, naming it Lupercal.
Ancient celebrations involved ritual sacrifice of a goat and a dog, after which they would have a celebratory feast. Nowadays not all paths support ritual sacrifices, though if yours does, I respect that. That said, you may wish to change the ritual to more modern traditions.
While Valentine’s day is about love, Lupercalia is more about fertility, family, and brotherhood. In ancient sacrificial rituals, two priests would perform the sacrifice, which would involve stripping down, wiping blood from the knives on one another’s faces, then cleaning it with wool dipped in milk and laughing. A more modern ritual could involve grilling on an open fire with a ceremony over the food led by two people, representing the two brothers. Good spirits and laughing were an important part of the ancient ritual so any alteration of the ritual you decide to do, I recommend keeping it light-hearted.
Correspondences of the Wolf: knowledge, loyalty, family, perseverance
Go in peace.