God of the Month: Diva Angerona

Diva Angerona, the Goddess of Secrecy, is honored at the Angeronalia, held on December 21. (This festival has nothing to do with the winter solstice.) Diva Angerona is shown with a finger over her gagged month for She guards the secret Name of Rome. (It is thought that if a city’s Name is known that the Tutelary God would leave or be captured by the enemy.) Today, Diva Angerona is also known to relieve anxiety and worry.

For polytheist traditions, keeping certain rites secret is expected. For example, the Bona Dea rituals are known only to women. To tell what these rituals were or what happened during them is to the betray the God(dess)’s trust. Therefore it is considered to be one of the great impieties for Roman Polytheists.

“Last and greater than all, Rome herself, whose other name the hallowed mysteries of the sacred rites forbid us to mention without being guilty of the greatest impiety…. It had been long kept buried in secrecy with the strictest fidelity and in respectful and salutary silence…”

(Plinius Secundis, H.N. 3.9.65-67)

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