Feriae Sementivae: Early Spring Planting

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Starting January 24, for seven days, the first half of the Feriae Sementivae is dedicated to Tellus Mater. The second half, on February 2, is dedicated to Ceres Mater. These Goddesses of the Earth bless and protect the seeds of the newly planted crop. During the Feriae Sementivae, the fields are “purified,” and made ready for planting. Prayers are said for the seeds to be protected after planting.

Tellus Mater houses the seed in the ground while Ceres Mater forms the seeds. Wheat cakes and pork are offered to each of the Goddesses. (Romans would sacrifice a pregnant sow to these Goddesses.) Meanwhile, people hang clay discs (oscilla) in the trees. These oscilla are decorated to ward off the evil eye from the farmers and the newly plowed land.

Prayers are said to protect the new shoots from the killing frost. Other prayers are said to save the seeds from the hungry ants and birds. Even today, the land and new sprouts still need our prayers. Diseases and the weather still wreck destruction on our crops.

Salve Tellus Mater
Tender Mother
Prepares the home
For the precious seeds

Salve Ceres Mater
Tender Mother
Forms the seeds
Of the precious seeds

Salvete Matronae
Tender Mothers
Thank You
For Your precious care.

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One thought on “Feriae Sementivae: Early Spring Planting

  1. Pingback: Gods of the Month: January | Neptune's Dolphins

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