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Well, Here's Something I Haven't Tried Yet…

If you don’t already have plans this Valentine’s Day, may I suggest a lovely little Lupercalia ceremony–the predecesor of our Hallmark holiday? In case you want to know a little more about the celebration before you commit, Lupercalia was a Roman fertility festival. Sounds good, right?

Oh. You want to know what it entails? Well, according to Wikipedia, Lupercalia began with a ritual sacrifice of two male goats and a dog. This sounds relatively straightforward. The blood was then smeared across the foreheads of two men–presumably to symbolize the human sacrifices that were originally part of Lupercalia. If you’re worried about having to deal with blood stains that may drip onto your carpet, may I recommend performing the ceremony outside? Or on top of a tarp? Does Home Depot sell Lupercalia tarps for sacrificial occasions?*

After a feast, the high priests dressed up in the skins of the sacrificed goats, cut themselves pieces of hide, and ran around the city, whipping everyone who came near. The whips were then dipped in blood and the female inhabitants of Rome would line up along a route to be whipped with these blood-dipped skins. “This was supposed to ensure fertility, prevent sterility in women and ease the pains of childbirth.”

So…any takers?

Or…what…you think romantic, candle-lit dinners and boxes of chocolates beats out being smacked with a piece of bloody hide?

*No offense was meant towards anyone who does practice sacrificial offerings or enjoys whippings–either for fertility-sake or other reasons…


1 Carol { 02.03.07 at 6:03 pm }

sounds…um…interesting. But looks like I may have made it to the other side w/out the sacrifice rituals.

2 Anonymous Infertile { 02.03.07 at 6:29 pm }

Hmmmm…. I guess anything is worth a try but I not a big fan of blood so I don’t think this would have worked for us. Personally, I am not a big fan of Valentine’s Day to begin with. Even after years of being with my husband I still think of it as a depressing holiday – maybe because I still have friends who are single and I know it is for them.

3 Bea { 02.03.07 at 7:55 pm }

I’m heading down to Goats-R-Us right away.

You can probably get Lupercalia tarps from specialist pagan stores, but I wonder if they’re strictly necessary. In reality, any old tarp from down the hardware shop will likely do.


4 Susan { 02.03.07 at 8:12 pm }

Hmmm… Lupercalia or IVF… it’s a tough call actually.

5 Aurelia { 02.03.07 at 8:56 pm }

I’m with Bea, Goats-r-us sounds good right about now.

Hell, if it would make me ovulate, I might even consider the whipping part…but only if the high priest was good-looking.


6 Kris { 02.03.07 at 9:03 pm }

Hmm… Only if we could indeed do it outside. I’m worried about the stench of goat and dog death. We’re trying to sell our house, you know.

7 TeamWinks { 02.03.07 at 10:45 pm }

I, uh,um, think I will have to pass on this one. Hey, I was willing to try anything, but there is a line you know!

8 Ellen K. { 02.04.07 at 7:29 am }

Well, sign me up!

Just kidding.

Anonymous Fertile’s remark on it being a depressing holiday for single friends made me think that Valentine’s Day is akin to Mother’s Day in that regard. High expectations, sociocultural prescriptions of what makes life worthwhile, etc.

9 Stacie { 02.04.07 at 11:09 am }

There were good reasons that, when wearing my Latin teacher hat, I avoided bringing too much Roman culture into the classroom.

10 Adrienne { 02.04.07 at 1:35 pm }

I can’t believe I’m saying this (shudder), but where do I line up?

11 GZ { 02.04.07 at 6:43 pm }

Damn, “Goats” is not listed in the yellow pages. I am calling my high priest…

12 S { 02.04.07 at 7:32 pm }

Well…..uh……I think I’m busy. Yeah. Washing my hair. Yah…that’s right….

Goat hides and bloody whip accessories are SO last season, anyway-and they just don’t go with anything in my wardrobe.

Damn. And I was SO looking forward to it.

13 sharah { 02.05.07 at 8:24 am }

Ask me again after the RE appointment on Thursday… Depending on the results, I might take you up on that 🙂

14 Josh { 02.05.07 at 2:09 pm }

I meant to ask you why you were referring to the backyard as “the grazing pasture.” I guess I know now.

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