The Paganism of Valentine’s Day

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Not only is February 14th celebrated all around the world as a day of affection and love, but its also highly debated  as to where it originated from and if it should be celebrated at all by certain religions.

Yes, to some Valentine’s Day is yet another Pagan sin-fest of wild sex orgies and unforgiveable transgressions.

*wink*

 

While Valentine’s Day is steeped in Pagan roots….it’s celebrations were, in my opinion, beautiful and enriched with every cultures traditional stamp.

What do the other Religions say? One source says:

According the website American Catholic; to some Valentine was a priest in the Roman Empire who helped persecuted Christians during the reign of Claudius II. He was, as legend has it, thrown in jail and later beheaded on Feb. 14. In fact there is no historical supporting evidence of such a man. Others say Valentine was someone who secretly married couples when marriage was forbidden, or suffered in Africa, or wrote letters to his jailer’s daughter, and was probably beheaded. Still others say Valentine was a Catholic bishop or Terni, during the reign of Claudius II who was beheaded. The historical evidence supports none of these legends that have been handed down for generations. Source

 

February itself is dedicated and sacred to the Roman Goddess Juno Februata, Goddess of Love or the ‘fever’ associated with love, passion, women, fertility, etc.  (every culture had a Goddess representing this)

Valentine’s day at one time revolved around her and this febris, fever of love,…the joining of God and Goddess. It represented the spiritual marriage between man and his Goddess, and or woman and her god. Men and women played the role of both….

 

One festival that took place February 15th called Lupercalia. Lupercalia revolved around Lupa—mother of Romulus and Remus—two twins. Romulus and Remus (their tale possibly spurring Cain and Abel myths)were believed to be the founders of Rome, whom were raised by wolves or Lupa– the Sacred She-Wolf. The cave they were suckled and parented by Lupa, was named Lupercal and would later become the very center for the festival of Lupercalia.

During these, many rites and rituals,revolving around lovers, passion, and fertility.

Other traditions became something of a lottery where young men would draw the names of women from a box. The name drawn would mean that the boy and girl would become sexual partners for the rest of the year.  The girl would receive a gift from the boy and came to represent the Goddess Juno for whom the month name came. She, representing and becoming a vessel of the Goddess, while he became her lover and vessel of the God—Juno’s God Husband, Jupiter.

This became the source for many erotic games, renounced by the Church many moons later.

Babylon….

This day surrounded the Babylonians god Saturn, using their own rites and rituals, represented  by many Gods and Goddesses.

So where did the belief that Valentine’s day came from St. Valentine?

In ancient culture, the Babylonian/Roman/biblical Nimrod (also believed to be the God Saturn) was known as the first St. Valentine. It is said that the heart representing Valentines came from Babylonian culture—the heart, the symbol, representing Baal (a title for Lord) of Babylonians—Nimrod. His name was also Santa or Sanctuc—hero/god—meaning saint. The title St. Valentine was shared by many throughout history.

Other Cultures gave rise to Cupid , less not forget, and Eros and Aphrodite reflected the sacred day in Greek civilizations.Venus, Kama, Priapus, and Pan to name a few more.

 

One thing that is unchanging concerning what efforts were made to do so…Valentine’s Day is all about the Lovers and or love.

 

Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentine%27s_Day

http://wilstar.com/holidays/valentn.htm

Google

Assorted

The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths & Secrets by Barbara G. Walkers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Coming in February Announcements

January was a busy month here at The Pagan & the Pen. Thanks to our writers who worked really hard bringing us on-Theme and off-Theme articles! And a HUGE thank you  to our readers who stopped by, commented, dropped a Tweet, and or read them.

If you want to know who will be blogging in February, about the 5th, I will have it listed here: Who’s Blogging When? Calendar

So what’s going on for February?

LOTS!!!!!

HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT:

The Pagan & the Pen will be adding ‘Pagan’ Non-Fiction writers to it’s team. That means if you ARE a Pagan and write non-fiction of ANY kind….and would like to join us, then we would LOVE to have you.  Please contact C.H. Scarlett at :

belovedisis (at) directv (dot) net

 

 

Don’t forget to grab 2010 February Desktop Wallpaper Calendar

THEMES, THEMES, THEMES!!!!!!!

 

If you follow us on Twitter, then you know I sent out a tweet asking our Followers (whom we proudly follow back) to send in their requests of Themes for upcoming months. Which means, if you haven’t done so already, you can DIRECT MESSAGE us anytime or drop a comment here tossing us an idea of what YOU want to read.

We usually do ‘ first come first serve.’ However, when I sent the tweet, in a quick two seconds flat, we received a unique request from soulsprite asking that we base a theme on Urban Paganism. (Everyone else who sent in requests, don’t worry, we will be doing yours too!)

 

So for February, think…. ‘Pagan in the City.’ 

 

Since so many Pagans do not live in country areas, but rather apartment buildings, neighborhoods, and where being a Pagan may not be easy to keep from wandering eyes, we hope to dedicate this month to the issues you may have to deal with under these circumstances.

 

We also have two new people joining us this month!

 

Marie Dees– a fabulous Pagan Author that we are excited about!

 

&

 

Megan—I don’t have this lady’s bio up yet but Megan is a spiritual feminist and will be posting things on Women Empowerment, Women Issues and so forth!

 

We say good-bye to Kelley Heckart in being our

January: Pagan Artist of the Month: Kelley Heckart

But alas, we still have her as an author for Pagan & Pen. *winks*

 

We welcome, however, a new Artist:

 

Our Pagan Artist for February is : Neil Geddes Ward !!!!!!!

 

Bryn Colvin was NICE enough to do the interview and I truly think she got down to who he is. So check it out!

 

Some of our authors have announcements this month:

 

Red Tides of Desire – lesbian erotica with pagan undertones – releases at www.loveyoudivine.com on the 12th of February

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Rie McGaha is still trucking but you can catch her here on the 4th, and Valentine’s Day.

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Christopher C. Newman will have a new book going to print called: The Scandalous Tale of Agnes Biggenbotten". Eternal Press (date unknown)

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Our very first Pagan Artist of the Month Tom Brown has opened The Moth Festival here on WordPress. Tom is not an author for P&P, but since he is one of our favorite artists, we continue to stalk him, and what he’s doing! *wink*

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The Pagan & the Pen still needs more reviewers! Our book lists are growing and so are our followers. If you are interested, please check out Request a Review and drop us an email.

 

 

Ok, that’s it so far!!!!! Thank you again for everyone who enjoys the articles and says so,….and to everyone who has spread the word. Now fingers crossed that we will keep you entertained this month!!!!!

C.H. Scarlett

February: Pagan Artist of the Month: Neil Geddes Ward

Interview by Bryn Colvin

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Neil Geddes Ward is an artist whose work has inspired many a Pagan along the way. Talking to him raises some interesting questions about how we use ‘Pagan’ as an artistic definition. There’s a great deal of spirit in his creations. Is it the artist, the audience or both who decide what any given image means?

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Bryn : Tell us about the Pagan that lives inside of Neil and do those beliefs inspire your fabulous art?

Neil: There is no pagan in me, haha! I tend to think that I read a lot, and think a lot, and then have an opinion. That does not make me Pagan, I think, but more a person who is interested in paranormal things and where that might take us, and I think if you say you are a Pagan it can limit your experience, and I would rather say, I have a common interest in things that folks who call themselves Pagan might have. I do not worship any Goddess or God, but tend to think more of the overall picture. If that makes me Pagan for some people, then that is fine with me, but I am not totally saying I am!! Now that, that has confused you!!! But I do get ideas of what I want to do in my art through Pagan channels and also other areas too, and also I am inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites too!

Bryn: You describe yourself as visionary – it’s even in your email address. Can you expand on what that actually means for you?

Neil: Now what do I mean by visionary?? Well hard to explain but I would say, going beyond what we see to expand our minds a little more, open to more possibilities etc, to see things in new ways and to try to think outside the box a little more! Better to think like that than just accept the world the way it is!


Bryn: So is it more about giving people opportunity to find their own meaning and resonance in your work?

Neil: My work tends to be cryptic, some of it is very clear to me, and others are more like dreams that fade with mornings first light! So a lot of people find their own meaning in my work to an extent, I certainly don’t send out explanations with every print I sell!  Some people just like the look of something, some people choose a certain image because it reminds them of a spouse or something, and some like it because of the moon or the owl or some other element that my paintings contain. We all free drawn to something special that resonates and I guess many of my paintings resonate with some people to some extent or another.

Bryn: When did you first discover your talent?

Neil: It was not a case of me discovering my ‘talent’ but more of discovering other people in my class at school could not do what I did! So I guess I took it for granted that everyone could draw or paint! But not so, and I guess others with other talents would say the same thing. I did know something different from others, in the fact that when I was at school, when I was very young, I would always paint the sky all the way to the horizon whereas other kids my age just painted a blue band at the top of the paper. I guess I was actually looking out of the window! In fact I tended to look out of the window a lot at school! I was told I was too much of a day dreamer! haha!

Bryn: What is the process behind most of your art? What mediums do you use? Gallows wake for the web

Neil: I paint in Oils and also draw in pencil. I find Oils are very flexible and a lot easier to use than water colour or other paints. Oils have a slow dry time which helps me greatly in blending colours and tones! I also take many reference photos of models to help get the look just right!

Bryn: What artists and or musicians–and songs– if any, inspire you and why?

Neil: Brian Froud, for his vision of faeries, the Pre-Raphaelites for their genius and ability! I admire Rush, the Canadian rock group for their excellent songs and musician ship. I play bass guitar too, so I know what standard they are!!!

Bryn: If the world was created in the image of your imagination, what would it be like when we woke up tomorrow and seen it with new eyes?

Neil: Oh blimey!! Well there would be no money to argue over and no wars and no murder, pollution, or wrong doing. Hmm, is this called Heaven?? I think we all blame everybody else sometimes and sometimes, you have to take responsibility for your little corner of reality, whatever reality is, if there
is a real world out there at all!! More acid Vicar??

Bryn:  If someone would like to commission your talent, where can they find you? What are you open for—Book covers, Graphic Novels… what?

Neil: People can view my art on www.neilgeddesward.com and email me at neil@geddesward.co.uk and also find me on Facebook, Neil Pagan Artist . I do take commissions, so long as are serious ones, in the sense that people will really want them!! I will be happy to consider most projects, books, portraits, etc so give me a call!

Bryn: Any new projects in the future or plans?

Neil: Currently working on a children’s novel proposal for publication, me doing the illustrations and also basic plot lines. Will be featuring Elves and Orkney! Aim to get that to an agent in the New Year! fingers crossed!! Plan to do more pagan conferences, so if anyone needs a speaker, please email me, and I would be happy to discuss. neil@geddesward.co.uk

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A huge thank you to Bryn Colvin and Neil Geddes Ward for putting together a fabulous interview. And don’t forget….we will be featuring some of Neil’s art with our Pagan Holidays throughout the month. So be sure to check his web site out and consider him for any ‘art needs’ you have in the future!

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