Gods of the Month: Mars

ndmars

Mars came to me early in my polytheism. For a long time, I struggled as to why the Roman God of War would want to be my Patron. I had nothing to offer Him. As I began to know Him more, I realized that Mars Pater (Father Mars) is a complex and multi-layered God. During the time of the Roman Kings, Mars along with Jupiter and Quirinus governed the State. Mars also defended the fields and protected the cattle. These elements together make Him a God of Sovereignty for me. Mars Pater incited people to protect their own and stand against those who would conquer them.

In October, the Armilustrium (October 19) is held to purify the soldiers and their arms. At this time, the soldiers become regular citizens. The weapons are stored away for future campaigns.

 Salve Mars Pater!

At this time

Our soldiers become civilians

With garlands, we honor them

May they rest.

 

Salve Mars Pater!

At this time

The weapons of war

Purified and stored away

May they rest.

 

Salve Mars Pater!

Vigilant as always,

Alert as always

We thank You.

The image is “Mars Prayer Card,” by Lykeia. I wrote the prayer for the card, which can be purchased here: Etsy: Mars Card

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6 thoughts on “Gods of the Month: Mars

  1. That sounds like a wonderful festival and something today’s soliders could really use. My husband, brother and several close friends are military. I keep seeing over and over again how lost military members are when they leave the service or just come back from deployment. Having some type of festival like this to help transition them seems so beneficial.

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    • That was what it was intended for to have people transition to bring civilians. They would sacrifice to Mars thanking Him. Then they were spritzed with water and bathed in incense. Afterwards, they received garlands and were welcomed back into the community. Their weapons were decommissioned as well. It’s something well worth doing for today’s military.

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  2. I have always really loved the art by Lykiea! ( My dictation is not great with spelling unusual words.) That’s a really great ritual. We know that there were similar ones in a lot of hunting cultures, basically the transition from being wild and also connected with death required some form of purification before bringing brought into peaceful society. A friend of mine her husband had 50 men under him in Iraq and within the first year back to them committed suicide and almost all of them had divorces and she said that it seemed like the PTSD was worse when home. Like it was just so much harder at home than it was in Iraq on some level. And we know about flashbacks and having emotional reactions are connected to trauma as opposed to what is happening at the moment so there is kind of a time warp with PTSD. That’s why the big mantra is ” that was then, this is now.” Without having rituals for major transitions I think people do get really lost. Even if you were not involved with war the military is very structured and it’s a totally different culture . And I know from traveling that culture shock is worse when you come home than when you actually live somewhere else. I was just talking to another person I’ve met who had her Vietnam veteran father commit suicide. Anyway because a lot of these cultures had campaigning seasons with war it makes a lot of sense to have ceremonies like this!

    From astrology I always associated Mars with assertion and how are you going to protect something. Learning about him in an agricultural context , defending the land of the farmers which means people eat , gave me a lot more insight as an astrologer.

    I have a question ( I should just say that when I meet someone LOL) . This is something that I struggle with when there are dates given for different holidays . Because the calendar change to the Gregorian one do you make adjustments so it matches when people would have done it back then or do you adapt it to today? Like Samhain is Nov 12 if we go by before the calendar changed. And that’s a pretty long time for agricultural and pastoral people during harvest season. With ceremonies that go by the lunar months that probably makes it more consistent with how it was originally done? Even though we know lunar calendars don’t match solar calendars – the reason Easter doesn’t have a set date – at least you have some sense of this is when other people would have done it.

    I think. How do you deal with that?

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    • The Roman calendar was out of whack when Julius Caesar reformed it. They were having harvest festivals in spring, etc. I follow the moons for the Kallends, Nones, and Ides (1, 9, 15) of the month. These were geared to the new moon and full moon. The New Year, I use the traditional one in March – the Ides. As for the rest, it depends on the festival or temple founding. Since many have a range, they do fall within both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. I usually try to match the seasons if I can. For the temple founding days, I use the Gregorian since the Julian changed the dates of the original founding. So it is already floating in time, sort to speak.

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      • This is really good to know! That’s one of the things about going further back in time. Calendars never are exact (I wonder in the future what people will think leap year was all about) and this is the best response anyone has given me. Thank you.

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  3. Pingback: Gods of the Month: October | Neptune's Dolphins

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