Search This Blog

Monday, 17 August 2009

Festival Of The Lares Compitales

Festival Of The Lares Compitales Cover
Lares are the Roman guardian spirits of house and fields, ancient Roman deities protecting the house and the family - household gods. The Lares were worshipped in small sanctuaries or shrines, called Lararium, which could be found in every Roman house. They were placed in the "(the main room) or in the" (a small open court) of the house. Here people sacrificed food to the Lares on holidays.

Presumed to be sons of "and "Lares are beneficent and friendly spirits, and deeply venerated by ancient Romans. In every house there was at least one little statue, and through these small statues, the Lare was presumed to take part in all that happened inside the house. Often a statue was put on the table during the meals, and other small statues were often placed in the higher places of the house, far from the floor, or even on the roof.

There were many different types of guardians. The most important are the (guardians of the family) (guardians of the house) (guardians of the fathers) and (personal guardians). Other guardians were the (guardians of the sea) (guardians of the land) (guardians of crossroads) (guardians of travelers) and (guardians of the state).

The protected all household members, free or slave, and was associated with a particular place, thus did not accompany a family who moved. Tradition holds that a family's "would generously help those who honored him by devotionals and sacrifices. But the "would turn his back to those who would not offer him thanks or neglected him.

A household's "a shrine to the usually stood near the hearth or in a corner of the "A "often had the appearance of a cupboard or a niche containing a small statue, a niche painted on a wall, or a small freestanding shrine. Sometimes the Genius of the head of the household, pictured as a bearded or crested snake, or as a man with the fold of his toga covering his head, is depicted with the Lar.

The Lares themselves are usually depicted as dancing youths, with a horn cup in one hand and a bowl in the other. As progenitors of the family, they were accompanied by symbolic phallic serpents.

"- The Festival of the Lares celebrated the or local guardian spirits, of the crossroads. The crossroads were the traditional setting for the veneration of the Lares and shrines were set up where crossroads met. The date of this festival marked the end of the Roman agricultural year.

The worship of the Lares included setting little towers with an altar placed before them. Archaeologists Lesley and Roy Adkins note (in their book Dictionary of Roman Religion) that the Lare shrine at the crossroads was "open in all four directions to allow passage for the Lar".

The ancient writer Ovid, in his work titled Fasti, refers to the Lares as the "night watchmen". Here we can see the theme of four towers associated with the four directions, as well as four guardians of boundaries or demarcation. This general theme appears in modern Wicca as the Watchers and Watchtowers of the ritual circle. An older system seemingly related to the Lares appears in Italian witchcraft where we find beings known as the Grigori. In Kabbalah based systems of magic the theme of four guardians takes the form of the four archangels Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Ariel or Uriel. They are seen as guarding the four directions.

Collected from various sources including:

Encyclopedia Mythica, World Lingo, and Ask Jeeves.

Books in PDF format to read:

Anonymous - The Prayers Of The Elementals
Leo Ruickbie - Imbolc Festival Of The Goddess Brigid

Tags: pillar ritual  malleus maleficarum witch  primitive lore  solitary shadows  tradition wicca  salem witchcraft account  witchcraft medicine  open letter selena  spiritual practitioners  wiccan protection spells  library 2009