Roman: Mars: God Of War and Protector of the Fields

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.

The month of March (Martius) is named for Mars. Besides being the God of War, He is also the Protector of the Fields and Crops. The Feriae Marti (Festival of Mars) includes besides the preparation for war, purification and rituals for planting and good harvests. This festival is important since Mars is the Father of Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome. (The Ancient Romans regarded themselves to be the “sons of Mars.”)

Starting March 1st, which is the birthday of Mars, the Salii (Leaping Priests) dance through the streets of Ancient Rome. Wearing the original military uniforms of Rome, the Salii beat their sacred shields (ancilia) and sang ancient hymns to Mars (Carmen Saliare). They repeated this two more times on March 8 and 24. Beating hides and skins, the Salii drove out pestilence and disease. They sent away the Old Man of March (Mamerurius Venturius).

At the Regia (Temple of the Gods), the ancilia and hastae Martiae (spears of Mars) were kept in the Sacrarium Martis (Shrine of Mars). Shaped like figure eights, the ancilia were a gift from Jupiter to the Roman people. The Salii started their dancing, and the Roman army assembled at the Regia. Before leaving for war, the commanding general would shake the spears shouting “Mars Vigila!” (Mars Awaken). Then he would invoke Mars Gradivus (The Marcher) to lead the army.

Other events for Mars would be the Equirra, the horse races held on March 14. Then from the 19th to the 23rd, the arms and the soldiers would be purified for war. The purification of the war trumpets (tubae) was the Tubiluistrium on March 23. Then the war and planting seasons began in earnest.

Modern Romans do dance, sing hymns, and beat drums around fields in honor of Mars. Offerings of sliders (small hamburgers) are made to Mars, with prayers to protect the soldiers in His Care. (The sliders is a Group Unverified Gnosis of Roman Polytheists.)

This is a hymn to Mars, similar to what was sung by the Salii. (Marmar and Marmor are ancient names for Mars. Lares are the land spirits.)

“Carmen Arvale” of the Fratres Arvales
Help us, Lares!
Help us, Lares!
Help us, Lares! Marmar, let not plague or ruin attack the multitude!
Marmar, let not plague or ruin attack the multitude!
Marmar, let not plague or ruin attack the multitude!

Be filled, fierce Mars! Leap the threshold! Halt, wild one!
Be filled, fierce Mars! Leap the threshold! Halt, wild one!
Be filled, fierce Mars! Leap the threshold! Halt, wild one!

By turns call on all the gods of sowing!
By turns call on all the gods of sowing!
By turns call on all the gods of sowing!

Help us, Marmor!
Help us, Marmor!
Help us, Marmor!

Triumph!
Triumph!
Triumph!
Triumph!
Triumph!
–Translation by Amra the Lion, 2005

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.
— Virginia Carper, 2016


The image is “Mars Prayer Card,” by Lykeia.

Planetary Correspondences: A Ritual to Jupiter

Since I am a Roman Polytheist, the spell that I constructed followed a traditional Roman ritual. The items I used were from my Lararium (altar). For the correspondences, I repurposed a lapis lazuli and amethyst from my collection. I gathered oak leaves and cedar for offerings. I did purchase a purple candle and carved the Pentacle of Jupiter on it.

In Roman rituals, Janus (Ianus), the two-headed God, receives the first and last offering. He guards the Threshold between ordinary and Celestial space. Offerings are made to Salus and the Lars for blessings and protection. I made an offering to the Planetary Being Jupiter. (The Roman God of the same name is called Iuppiter.)

Jupiter Spell for Finishing My Studies in a Timely Manner

Materials:

Turibulum: Incense burner with incense.

Salinum: Salt Cellar with salt.

Gutus: Milk pitcher with milk.

Lucerna (The Sacred Fire): A purple candle with Jupiter Sigil on it.

Patera: Offering bowl.

Talismans for blessing: small lapis disk and small amethyst ball.

Offerings: incense for Jupiter, cedar and oak leaves gather from around the building.

At the Lararium (Altar)

Signal approach: ring bells

Light the incense in the Turibulum:

Salve Ianus Pater!

Two-headed God

Who watches the comings, who watches the goings.

You guard the Threshold

Keep this inside and that outside.

Salve Ianus Patulcius!

I make the first offering to You to ensure that the opening of the Celestial Doors will result in good.

Offering the salt:

Salve Salus Mater!

The Purifying Goddess,

The Giver of Salt,

The Keeper of Public Health,

I offer this salt to You.

Offering the milk:

Salvete Lars Familiaris!

Guardians of the Home,

Guardians of the Family,

I offer this milk to You.

At the Lucerna, lighting the Jupiter Candle.

Salve Jupiter, Upholder of the Law.

Magnificence of Sovereignty

I offer this fire to You

Please attend and bless my rite.

Peaceful Jupiter fill the rite with your generosity.

Ritual Workings:

I sing the praises of

The Source of the Forces of Life,

The Disposer of True Wisdom,

The Great Benefic,

Most Magnificent and Bounteous.

I sing of Jupiter, the Upholder of the Law

Praise and Honor to You.

I offer this incense for your blessings on my endeavors. I offer this cedar and oak in your name. I wish to finish my Grey School of Wizardry studies in a timely manner. I will be at Level Seven in the next three months. Let me not tarry but continue onwards. Bless my efforts to graduate and become a Journeyman Wizard in two years.

Fill these talismans with your blessings that I may carry them with me to remind me of your wisdom. I thank You, Most Exalted Jupiter.

Unwinding the rite:

I thank you, Royal Wielder of the Scepter. Most Sovereign Jupiter.

(Blow out candle.)

I thank you Lars Familiars, Watchers of my home and family.

(Cork the milk bottle.)

I thank You, Salus Mater, Protector of Public Health

(Cover the salt cellar.)

The last offering is for You, Ianus Clusivus for guarding the Threshold. I thank You to ensure that the closing of the Celestial Doors will result in good.

(Offer incense.)

Ring bells to signal the end.

Prayer Beads: Shapshu and Yarikh of Canaan

Materials:

Charms:
Sun and moon: 1
Hamsa: 1

Beads:
Clear Quartz: 3 beads
Light Jade: 4 beads
Dark Jade: 4 beads

Pattern:

Sun and moon charm
Clear quartz
Light Jade (3 beads)
Clear Quartz
Dark Jade (3 beads)
Clear Quartz
Light Jade
Dark Jade
Hamsa

Prayers:

Sun and Moon:
Bring peace and well-being, O ‘Ilu and the Gracious Gods

Clear Quartz:
Bring peace and well-being, O Gracious Shapshu the Torch and Yarikh the Lamp

Light Jade:
Bring peace and well-being, Yarikh Lord of the Sickle

Dark Jade:
Bring peace and well-being Shapshu, the Burner of Illness

Hamsa:
Bring peace and well-being by your loving kindness, O Gracious Gods.

Prayer Beads: The Well of the Wyrd

Materials

Charms:
Tree of Life: 1
Well: 1
Small suns or moons: 4

Beads:
Rhodochrosite: 9
Clear Quartz: 9
Smokey Quartz: 9

Pattern:

Tree of Life: 1
Small moon: 1
Rhodochrosite: 9
Small moon: 1
Clear Quartz: 9
Small moon: 1
Smokey Quartz: 9
Small moon: 1
Well: 1

Prayers:

Tree of Life:
I sing of the World Tree
From the misty void of Ginnungagap
The Great Tree of the Nine Worlds
At whose roots lies the Well of the Wyrd
There live the Norns
Weaving the threads of all

Small Moon:
In the Turning of Time, we are our deeds.

Rhodochrosite:
I sing of Urda
Of Which Has Been
Who governs the threads
Of memory,
Mists and shadows

Clear quartz:
I sing of Verdandi
Of Which Is Becoming
Who governs the threads
Of the ever present,
Clarity and light

Smokey quartz:
I sing of Skuld
Of Which Is Yet To Come
Who governs the threads
Of endings
Night and blackness

The Well of the Wyrd:
The Well feeds the World Tree
Deeds upon deeds
Rippling in the waters
Layers upon layers like fallen leaves
The Past becomes the Future

Prayer Beads: Meditations on the Elements

Reflecting on the elements helps people to be a fuller part of the world. It can help to restore a person to wholeness. The following is how to use prayer beads in these meditations.

Materials:

Charms:
Tree of Life, large: 1
Tree of life, small: 6
Medallion of Stars: 1

Beads:
Clear quartz: 5
Amazonite or blue lace agate: 5
Carnelian: 5
Picture jasper: 5
Labradorite: 5

Pattern:

Tree of Life, large
Tree of life, small
Clear quartz: 5
Tree of life, small
Amazonite: 5
Tree of life, small
Carnelian: 5
Tree of life, small
Picture jasper: 5
Tree of life, small
Labradorite: 5
Tree of life, small
Medallion of stars

Prayers:

Tree of life, large:
May The Air blow to All with inspiration
May The Water flow to All with cleansing
May The Fire warm All with courage
May The Earth shelter All with love
May The Spirit embrace All with wholeness

Tree of life, small:
May the elements flow together in harmony
May They join as one in the Spirit

Clear quartz:
I sing of The Air of the Elements
May The Air blow change
May The Air blow dreams
May The Air blow wisdom
May The Air blow purpose

Amazonite:
I sing of The Water of the Elements
May from The Water, flow healing
May from The Water, flow peace
May from The Water, flow love
May from The Water, flow serenity

Carnelian:
I sing of The Fire of the Elements
May The Fire burn cleansing
May The Fire burn creation
May The Fire burn intuition
May The Fire burn excitement

Picture jasper:
I sing of The Earth of the Elements
May The Earth bring steadiness
May The Earth bring nurturing
May The Earth bring abundance
May The Earth bring rootedness

Labradorite:
“The Spirit above me
The Spirit below me
The Spirit before me
The Spirit behind me
The Spirit all around me”
(“The Spirit All Around Me” from the album “She Changes” by Moving Breath)

Medallion of Stars:
The Air, The Water, The Fire, The Earth
May The Elements flow together in harmony
May The Elements flow into The Spirit
From which all harmony comes
The Cosmos, all things seen and unseen