Salus, Goddess of Public Health and Safety

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For Romans, Salus is the Goddess of Health and Safety, both public and private. In her public aspect, Salus Publica safe guards the fertility of the community. Often conflated with Hygeia, the Greek God of Hygiene, Salus is also a Goddess of Prosperity. (Valetudo, the Goddess of Personal Health would be similar.

On August 6, the Augurium Salutis is held. For the preservation of the community, divinations are taken. Then vows are made to Salus Publica to preserve the fortunes of the people. In addition to Salus Publica, offerings are made to Pax (Goddess of Peace), Concordia (Goddess of Concord) and Janus (God of Doors).

Salt is associated with Salus since this mineral ensured purity and good health. A Roman lararium (Household shrine) has a salinum (a container of salt). An offering of salt is made daily to Salus for her protection of the family’s health and well-being.

Prayer to Salus:
“O Holy Goddess may whatever herbs grow by your providence bring health to all humankind.”

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