Planetary Correspondences: A Ritual to Jupiter

Since I am a Roman Polytheist, the spell that I constructed followed a traditional Roman ritual. The items I used were from my Lararium (altar). For the correspondences, I repurposed a lapis lazuli and amethyst from my collection. I gathered oak leaves and cedar for offerings. I did purchase a purple candle and carved the Pentacle of Jupiter on it.

In Roman rituals, Janus (Ianus), the two-headed God, receives the first and last offering. He guards the Threshold between ordinary and Celestial space. Offerings are made to Salus and the Lars for blessings and protection. I made an offering to the Planetary Being Jupiter. (The Roman God of the same name is called Iuppiter.)

Jupiter Spell for Finishing My Studies in a Timely Manner

Materials:

Turibulum: Incense burner with incense.

Salinum: Salt Cellar with salt.

Gutus: Milk pitcher with milk.

Lucerna (The Sacred Fire): A purple candle with Jupiter Sigil on it.

Patera: Offering bowl.

Talismans for blessing: small lapis disk and small amethyst ball.

Offerings: incense for Jupiter, cedar and oak leaves gather from around the building.

At the Lararium (Altar)

Signal approach: ring bells

Light the incense in the Turibulum:

Salve Ianus Pater!

Two-headed God

Who watches the comings, who watches the goings.

You guard the Threshold

Keep this inside and that outside.

Salve Ianus Patulcius!

I make the first offering to You to ensure that the opening of the Celestial Doors will result in good.

Offering the salt:

Salve Salus Mater!

The Purifying Goddess,

The Giver of Salt,

The Keeper of Public Health,

I offer this salt to You.

Offering the milk:

Salvete Lars Familiaris!

Guardians of the Home,

Guardians of the Family,

I offer this milk to You.

At the Lucerna, lighting the Jupiter Candle.

Salve Jupiter, Upholder of the Law.

Magnificence of Sovereignty

I offer this fire to You

Please attend and bless my rite.

Peaceful Jupiter fill the rite with your generosity.

Ritual Workings:

I sing the praises of

The Source of the Forces of Life,

The Disposer of True Wisdom,

The Great Benefic,

Most Magnificent and Bounteous.

I sing of Jupiter, the Upholder of the Law

Praise and Honor to You.

I offer this incense for your blessings on my endeavors. I offer this cedar and oak in your name. I wish to finish my Grey School of Wizardry studies in a timely manner. I will be at Level Seven in the next three months. Let me not tarry but continue onwards. Bless my efforts to graduate and become a Journeyman Wizard in two years.

Fill these talismans with your blessings that I may carry them with me to remind me of your wisdom. I thank You, Most Exalted Jupiter.

Unwinding the rite:

I thank you, Royal Wielder of the Scepter. Most Sovereign Jupiter.

(Blow out candle.)

I thank you Lars Familiars, Watchers of my home and family.

(Cork the milk bottle.)

I thank You, Salus Mater, Protector of Public Health

(Cover the salt cellar.)

The last offering is for You, Ianus Clusivus for guarding the Threshold. I thank You to ensure that the closing of the Celestial Doors will result in good.

(Offer incense.)

Ring bells to signal the end.

Household Spirits: Brownies and Lars

Pondering what a Fae is, I researched the difference between that Being and the Roman Lar (Note 1). In “Fairies: A Guide to the Celtic Fair Folk,” Morgan Daimler writes that “fairy” is a catch-all term for otherworldly beings. Teresa Moorey, in “The Fairy Bible,” classifies the Lars and Penates with House and Hearth Fairies.

Claude Lecouteux, the medieval scholar, describes how Brownies (Note 2) and Lars are connected. In “The Tradition of Household Spirits,” he explains that Brownies were originally Domestic Gods. They had two major duties. First, Brownies supervised the “ethics of the household” (i.e. the behaviors of the family). Second, they protected the house from both human and supernatural attack. For the Brownie to do his work, he and the household had to reach a mutual sense of understanding.

Delving deeper into the lore of Brownies, I find that they are one of the few Fae who prefer human habitation. Edain McCoy in “A Witch’s Guide to Faery Folk,” says that Brownies want to keep the home peaceful and happy. (This fits with Lecouteux’s two duties for Brownies.) According to McCoy, Brownies are considered to be lucky to have around. If asked, they will protect the human heart.

McCoy says that the most benevolent Brownies are the House ones of Scotland. According to various sources, Brownies were brought to the New World by Scottish immigrants. That I can attest to since my Scottish Grammae did tell me about Brownies.

Daimler says that there are two species of Scottish Brownies. The Highland ones have no fingers or toes. The Lowland Brownies have no noses. McCoy details other Scottish Brownies. The Dobie is dull-witted while the Killmoulis looks after mills.

The lore concerning Brownies has many ambiguities. McCoy list Brownies as being world-wide under different names such as the Domovoi of Russia. Meanwhile, Moorey includes other Beings who live in homes as Faeries. My sense of Brownies is that they are to the Scots as the Lars are to the Romans.

In the lore collected by Daimler, a Brownie is usually referred to as “he.” Although females do exist, they are not often encountered. When a female is, she is generally rampaging against a person for harming her child or husband.

Traditionally, Brownies are depicted as squat brown beings. In the lore collected by Lecouteux, they wear brown rags. Do not offer a Brownie any clothing. He regards clothing to be an empty gift, since it indicates that he has to conform to human rules. Moreover, the clothing implies that the Brownie is a servant. An offended Brownie will immediately leave the home.

When a Brownie adopts a home, he will come unseen on a quiet night. He will clean and organize the house. If a human follows the rules that the Brownie has laid down, they will be blessed. Tara Sanchez, in “Urban Faery Magick,” writes that what makes a Brownie mad are messes. If a person regularly leaves a mess, the Brownie will trash the home. (A Bogart is a good Brownie gone bad.) To keep a Brownie happy, put out a bit of milk or bread in odd places.

Brownies remind me of the Roman Lars. Brownies would be as welcomed in my home as are the Lars. I make offerings to the Lars and Penates of milk and bread. Perhaps Brownies do inhabit my home since I do keep it neat and clean.

Notes:
Note 1. As a Roman Polytheist, I have altars to the Lars and Penates (Roman Domestic Gods). The Lars protect the family and the home, while the Penates keep the pantry full.

Note 2: Lecouteux in “The Tradition of Household Spirits” refers to the Fae as “Brownies.” In “Witches, Werewolves and Fairies: Shapeshifters and Astral Doubles in the Middle Ages,” he explains that “fairies” are people’s doubles.

Works Used:
Daimler, Morgan, “Fairies: A Guide to the Celtic Fair Folks.” Moon Books: Winchester (UK). 2017.
…,” A New Dictionary of Fairies: A 21st Century Exploration of Celtic and Related Western European Fairies.” Moon Books: Winchester (UK). 2020.
…, “Pagan Portals: Fairy Witchcraft.” Moon Books: Winchester (UK). 2014.
Lecouteux, Claude, “The Tradition of Household Spirits.” (Translated by Jon Graham). Inner Traditions: Rochester (VT). 2013.
…., “Witches, Werewolves, and Fairies.” (Translated by Clare Frock). Inner Traditions: Rochester (VT). 2003.
McCoy, Edain, “A Witch’s Guide to Faery Folk.” Llewellyn: Woodbury (MN). 1994.
Moorey, Teresa, “The Fairy Bible.” Sterling: New York. 2008
Sanchez, Tara, “Urban Faery Magick.” Llewellyn: Woodbury (MN). 2021

Babylonian July/August: Month of the Dead

In the Mesopotamian Wheel of the Year, from mid-June to mid-September, the confluence of An (the heavens), Ki (the earth) and Kur (the Underworld) (Note) occurs. During this time, the Dead wander freely among the living. Fires are lit to guide Them to their families, where the Dead stay for a brief time.

In Sumer, the month is called Ne-izi-gar, and in Babylon, it is Abu. These names refer to the rituals for the Dead. There are three that are done during this month – the Maqlu (the Burning), the Ne-izi-gar (The Return of the Dead), and Ab/pum (the Offering at the Mounds).

As the moon wanes until it disappears completely (The Day of the Disappearance of the Moon), malevolent spirits come out. Because this is a perilous time for the living, the Maqlu ritual is conducted. First, offerings are made to the Gods of Fire, Nusku and Girra, at night. Then at dawn, people recite the following, “Evil demon, to your steppe” or “Get out evil rabisu! Come in, good rabisu!” Afterwards, they encircle the entrance of their homes with flour paste,

The Ne-izi-gar is the Festival of Ghosts, when the Dead eat a ceremonial meal with their families. The Benevolent Dead have to follow a special passage from the dark Netherworld to the land of the living. For these Dead to find their way to their families, the people light torches.

Three days before the full moon, offerings are made for the journey of the Ancestors. When the full moon arrives, the doors of the Netherworld are at their widest. This is the time when Ancestors return through the ab/pum (the mound). (The ab/pum is a mound placed over the passage to the Netherworld.) At the Abe (Ab/pum) festival, beer, honey, oil and wine are poured into the mound. Then the person places their foot over the ab/pum and kisses the ground.

Since the Dead do not sever their ties to the living, Babylonians regard death as a transition from being human to that of a gidim (spirit). After dying, the gidim is reunited with their dead relatives, and assigned a place in the Netherworld. Funeral rites ensure the gidim’s integration into that world. Offerings of food and water are made since the Netherworld have little of either for nourishment. If they do not receive this, then the gidim will become vicious and haunt the living. In Babylonian theology, diseases are often caused by the angry Dead.

Notes: The Netherworld is known by many names – arali, irkalla, kukku, ekur, kigal, and ganzi. Kur means “the land of no return.”

Dreaming with Mugwort and The Big Cicada

I chose mugwort since the herb gives prophetic dreams. Moreover, mugwort is also a sacred herb of the Anglo-Saxons. According to the “Nine Herbs Charm,” mugwort, the oldest of herbs, has power against the “loathsome foe roving through the land.” (Note 1.) As a Roman Pagan, I use it to repel bad spirits (Lemurs and Larvae).

I decided to make a dream pillow out of mugwort and blue felt. To invest my own energy into it, I hand-sewed the pillow. Then I put it under my pillow and recorded my dreams. At first the dreams came fast and furious – several blips at a time. They rumbled and tumbled all over themselves. Finally, the dreams slowed down allowing me to identify three categories.

During the time that I was dreaming with mugwort, I experienced terrible allergies from tree pollen. Then the Periodical Cicadas (Brood X) emerged, complete with their weirdness. I believed that these two events impacted my dreaming, as well. They combined with the mugwort to have me experience extremely odd dreams.

To begin with, a Periodical Cicada invited me to ride on his back. Big Cicada was a black-green handsome male with big red eyes. I believed that the mugwort enhanced my connection with the Spirit of the Periodical Cicadas. Like me with my brain injury, they live outside of time. Their Spirit sent Big Cicada to aid me in navigating the dreamscape.

First, Big Cicada took me to experience some of my past lives. In each dream, I inhabited the body of the person of my past life. One was as a teenaged girl in Ancient Rome. I did not want to marry but Father chose that I would wed a stone mason. Another past life was as an English soldier in the Great War. I was trying to survive in the trenches at the Western Front.

Then, Big Cicada took Brainie along with us. (In real life, I have a stuffed brain toy, the size of a pillow. “Brainie” has large goofy eyes and smile.) On our brain adventures, we revisited old traumas such as the wall falling on me. Whenever something threatened me, Brainie would squish them. There was “a whole lot of squishing going on” as Brainie took care of each trauma. After the series of these dreams, I was spent but healed.

Finally, after the New Moon, I had a series of apocalyptical dreams. Each one was more disturbing than the last one. The only relief for me was visiting the Abode of the Squirrel Gods. (These Beings were both the Gods of squirrels and Gods who were squirrels.) The Squirrel Gods gave me a chant of protection to recite when I went to sleep. The chant saved my sanity as I kept seeing the world being destroyed in various ways.

In one dream about the end of the world, Africa went completely underwater. I did save a Two-Tusker, a whale being with two tusks. I was told by Big Cicada, the Two-Tuskers would create the coming New World. However, it was still disturbing to watch each continent be flooded.

My conclusion is that the mugwort pillow had strange effects on me. First, my body and the herb had to mesh before I could dream properly. As I reported, the initial dreams were fast blips. As the herb strengthened my psychic abilities. I would go into Deep Time. However, the New Moon triggered frightening dreams of the far future. In contrast, the chant from the Squirrel Gods was life affirming. However, I am not sure if I will dream with mugwort again.

Works Cited.
Note 1: From the Nine Herbs Charm:
“Remember, Mugwort, what you made known,
What you arranged at the Great proclamation.
You were called Una, the oldest of herbs,
you have power against three and against thirty,
you have power against poison and against contagion,
you have power against the loathsome foe roving through the land.”
Quoted in Dawn Black’s Witchipedia,
https://witchipedia.com/book-of-shadows/herblore/nine-herbs-charm/

Works Used:
Burdett, Anne and Chelsea Granger, “Dirt Gems Guide Book.” Superior Pod: Vestal (NY), 2020.
Cantin, Candis and Michael Tierra, “The Spirit of Herbs: A Guide to the Herbal Tarot.” U.S. Games System: Stamford (CT). 1993.
Kaldera, Raven, “The Nine Sacred Herbs,” Web. 2019. https://www.northernshamanism.org/the-nine-sacred-herbs.html.
Sowton, Christopher, “Dreamworking.” Llewellyn: Woodbury (MN). 2017.
Zell-Ravenheart, Oberon, “Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard.” New Page Books: Franklin Lakes (NJ). 2004.

Roman Gods for July

Hot and dry July (Julius) has Romans focusing on the Gods of Water. The major festival for Neptune, the God of the Waters, is held in July. Also, Apollo, as the God of Healing, has games held in his honor. Other festivals held in July include the Nonae Caprotinae (Nones of the Wild Fig) and Lucaria (Grove Clearing). (Before the calendar reforms of Julius Caesar, July was Quinctilis, the fifth month. Later it was renamed for Caesar, himself.)

Apollo
On the advice of the Sibylline Books, Romans held games for Apollo for to ask for help in the Second Punic War (212 BCE). They had just experienced several major defeats. Then later, the games became yearly to thank Him for his help in ending a city-wide plague. The Ludi Apollinares (Apolline Games) are held from July 6 to 13. They include theater performances, games, and fairs. People would wear garlands and feast at the entrances of their homes.

Apollo was first considered to be a God of Healing by the Romans. Since He was a Greek God, his temples were built outside of the official boundary of Rome. During the Empire, the Romans also considered Him to be a God of Bards and Diviners. (Sol Indiges is the Roman God of the Sun.)

Pales
The second Parilia is held on July 7. (The April Parilia is for small livestock.) The July Parilia is for sheep and cattle. Animals and their pens are cleaned out and smudged with sulfur. Pales are/is the God/s of Livestock.

Juno Caprotina
Also on July 7, the Nonae Caprotinae is held. Traditionally, offerings of figs were given to Juno Caprotina under the wild fig (caprificus). This is to honor Her as the Goddess of Serving Women. In modern times, it can be celebrated by giving figs in Juno Caprotina’s name to service workers.

Honos, Virtus, and Victoria
On July 17, these three Gods are honored. Honos and Virtus is honor and bravery in the military respectively. Victoria is victory in war. This is a good day to honor those who have served in the military.

Silvanus and the Forest Gods
Lucaria, the Festival of the Grove, is held on July 19 and 21. Traditionally, the Romans would clear land or thin woods at this time. They made offerings of a pig to Silvanus and the Forest Gods for permission to clear wood. Lucaria also included votive works of arts placed in the standing groves. On these two days, I make offerings to the stands of trees near my home. (Silvanus Lucaria)

Neptune and Furrina
Coming into the driest part of the summer, the Romans were concerned about their water supplies. Held on July 23, the Neptunalia celebrates Neptune in his role as the God of Irrigation. Neptune (Neptunus) is the God of Fresh Water, and Salacia, the Goddess of Salt Walter, is regarded to be His Wife. (Neptunus Oceanus is Neptune of the Oceans.) On July 25, the Furrinalia was held for the Goddess Furrina, who watched over wells and other underground water sources. Modern Roman polytheists hold ceremonies to thank both Gods for water.