ROMAN GODS OF THE MONTH: OCTOBER

My devotional calendar is an organic thing that grows and changes, as I learn more about the Gods who I venerate. Since I follow a Roman-centric practice, I use many sources for Roman festivals (fasti). Starting with that basis, I work out the Gods of the Month.

For the Romans, October is a month to focus on the affairs of the state and of the community. Fides (Good Faith), Felicitas (Good Fortune) and Venus Victrix (Venus Victorious) are honored for the protection of the people and the continuing favor of the Gods. Di Penates (the Gods of the Pantry) are also given sacrifices for protecting the food stores.

Also, October is a month of transitions. The campaign season is over and soldiers return home. They and their weapons need to be purified before they can rejoin the civilian population. Meanwhile, welfare of the people are prayed for by offerings to springs and drinking the first wine for health.

GODS AND THEIR FESTIVALS

FIDES PUBLICA: The Goddess of Good Faith and Trust, Fides Publica has sacrifices made to Her on October 1. This Goddess presides over oral contracts both political and social. Roman priests make offerings to Fides with gloved hands, to show their absolute trust in Her.

MANIA and DII MANES: The Opening of the Mundus (the Well to the Underworld) is conducted for the second time in the year on October 5. At this time, the Dead (Dii Manes) go amongst the living. I say prayers to Dii Manes and Mania, who is Guardian of the Underworld, to protect my family from the restless Dead.

FAUSTA FELICITAS: On October 9, a festival is held for Fausta Felicitas, the Goddess of Good Fortune. As Felicitas Publica, She is the Divine Force of the State. People pray to Her in both aspects to keep the commonwealth prosperous and successful.

VENUS VICTRIX: The Roman Goddess Venus has many aspects. One of them is Venus Victrix (Venus Victorious), who protects the State. As Venus Genetrix, She is considered to be the Ancestress of the Roman People. As the Evening Star, Venus led her son Aeneas to Latium to settle. Her festival is also on October 9.

MEDITRINA: The Meditrinalia, the Festival of First Wine, is held on October 11. Cups of new wine mixed with old wine is drunk to Meditrina, Goddess of the First Wine and Healing. She is the daughter of Aesculapis God of Healing, and the sister of Hygenia,

FONS: Fons, the God of Springs, is honored at the Fontinalia on October 13. I make offerings for clean The Water at a neighborhood stream.

DI PENATES: On October 14, Romans honor Di Penates, the Gods of the Pantry. Along with the Lars, Di Penates protect the household. Since They guard the food stores, Di Penates can be considered the Gods of the Food Banks. Taking canned goods to a food bank is one way to honor Di Penates.

MARS: In October, the Roman armies came home from the wars. They and their arms had to be purified, and Mars thanked for another campaign season. The final sacrifice to Mars for the season was the October Horse. The Armilustrium was the purification of the weapons and trumpets (tubae). At this time, I honor Mars and say prayers for veterans on October 18.

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