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Every Day Is Sacred: The Opiconsivia


Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.
Epicurus (341-271 BCE)

Every Day is Sacred: August 25

Today is the celebration of the Opiconsivia, honoring the Roman Goddess of abundance, Ops (also known as Opis).

Already considered an ancient deity by the Romans, She is the consort of the God, Saturn and was worshiped as a great Underworld Goddess who regulated all aspects of sowing and reaping. She rules over working the land, which is the source of riches and prosperity.

In early Roman times, Her festival was held in Rome’s main grain storage area, which as you may recall from the Aug. 21 post about Consus, was kept sacred and underground.

The Opiconsivia was a mystery rite attended by the Vestal Virgins and the Flamen of Quirinus, high priest of an early Sabine God thought to be a deified version of Romulus.

During the festival, the Vestal Virgins and the Pontifex Maximus (the high priestess, who wore a white veil and carried a praefericulum, a large, two-handled ceremonial vase associated with sacrificial rites) would enter Her shrine in the Regia.

Her name means Wealth from Planting. She is the planter and reaper, Lady of the Cornucopia, Bounty of the Harvest, and Sustainer of Life. From Her name, we derive the word opulent. Her medieval name was Habondia or Abundance. Ops is also related to the Sanskrit word ápnas (“goods, property”).

Blessed Ops is our own Lady Bountiful, and after paying homage to the three Graces, I always give thanks to Her at my first meal of the day.

Her altar should be heaped with abundant flowers, wine, and fresh-baked bread. And as the Roman Priestesses did, when invoking Her for today’s celebrations, you might reverently sit upon and touch the Earth.

May this day be sacred.
May you be blessed.

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