… And now, home again. Yes, I am home from my amazing journey, but will not be officially “at work” until tomorrow. All I say is, “After the ecstasy.. the laundry.” I hope you all enjoyed the videos I posted on my website while I was away!
“I beseech Minerva and Venus, of whom one protects the olive yard and the other the garden.”
–Invocation for Vinalia Rustica
Meantime, we return now to our guided tour with the luscious Grace of Festivity and Cheer, Euphrosyne, as She teaches us about the rich diversity with which cultures throughout the world celebrate this season of festivals.
Today is day three of of the nine-day ordeal of Sky Father God, Odin, who hangs on the world ash tree Yggdrasil until the agonizing moment when He falls, having seen at last the secret of the runes.
The image of the God hanging in suspension as He surrenders to the trial of wisdom mirrors the figure of the Hanged Man in the Tarot, and even the Native American Sun Dance rituals, in which young men hang from a giant wooden wheel symbolizing the Sun.
This motif is also closely related to many ancient myths of the solar hero and savior who is sacrificed in the prime of his vitality, and dies hanging from, or sealed within, a tree.
Today is also the ancient Roman Vinalia Rustica, the “Rural Festival of the Vine.” This feast was held to beseech Jupiter to not send storms, hail, heavy rains, or floods before the grapes could ripen and be harvested. Divinations were sought, to ask Him when the most auspicious time would be for harvesting the grapes.
According to Waverly FitzGerald’s fabulous resource, The School of the Seasons, on this day, the priests went into the fields and ceremonially plucked the year’s first ripe grapes, asking Jupiter’s blessing.
Venus was also honored during the Vinalia Rustica as a Goddess of vegetation and gardens. Houses and gardens were dedicated to Her, with the invocation quoted above. Celebrations then followed, with a holiday for all vintners and kitchen gardeners and picnicking outdoors.
As we approach our own harvest times, this is a day to give thanks for Nature’s bounty. May I suggest you embrace this lovely holiday spirit today? Why not join with friends and dine al fresco? Enjoy a sip of wine, and honor Minerva, Venus, and Jupiter.