Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Conspiracy of Valentine's Day!

This tale starts with two twin boys born to a holy vestal virgin named Rhea and the God of War, Mars.

If that combination doesn't spell DISASTER I don't know what does. But you know back then, they didn't have Dr. Phil  to counsel them and tell them that they were "dead crazy" to be together. After all these boys were born in 771 BC[2]–c. 717 BC and c. 771 BC–c. 753 BC  respectively. These two "fortunate" babes were named Romulus and Remus. How were they to know what they were born into? Their grandfather a king (Rhea's father) had been sent packing by his own brother who declared himself the new king of the city "Alba."

You would think that Mars being the upstanding kind of guy he was would do the right thing by protecting  poor Rhea and his two strapping sons, right? Not a chance. The lesson to be learned ladies is, no matter how good looking a god is and even if he promises you immortality, don't fall for those old lines! A god is a god is a boy and  they don't show you any more love than a mortal man would.
The new king (the great-uncle of Romulus and Remus) decides he doesn't like the little tykes running around to possibly stir up trouble for him later as they get older and want to regain the crown. What is family after all, if not to make you feel unwanted and unloved! So he decides to give them a really nice baptism and  locks them in a trough and then tosses them into the river Tiber hoping they'll drown of course. Meanwhile poor Rhea and her destitute dad were left to wander the land and never  see the twins again. But, because the river was flooded the boys were washed to the shore, safe and sound (naturally!).
Crying and hungry, a mother she-wolf
just happened to find  them. One would think that being a hungry mother wolf  she would eat them up as they were after all,  nice,  juicy fat tidbits. That's what most people would assume about wolves calling them ferocious, bloodthirsty creatures who kill everything in sight. I get so angry how ignorant people can be!! Sorry, I'm digressing from the story. But, Noooooooo, out of the kindness of her heart she didn't eat them, instead she brought them back to her cave known as a "Lupercal" (meaning "cave of the wolf") and them suckled them with her milk as any human mother would; protecting them from all danger.
  Eventually the lads were discovered by a kindly shepherd (like all shepherds seem to be, right?) named Faustulus who brought them home to his wife, who just happened to be childless. As the years passed, there grew a dark jealousy and competition between Remus and Romulus. Faustulus  just laughed it off saying , "Ah, boys will be boys." Perhaps he was right, or maybe by sheer coincidence they inherited their father's love for violence and war or it could have been that the genes they inherited from their maternal grandfather ran cold, so that they too would turn upon each other as their great-uncle had betrayed his brother.

Remus and Romulus grew up as shepherds until one year, they decided to avenge their grandfather and they slew their great uncle and to give back the crown and the city that was rightfully their grandfather's.  Being sons of a power hungry god, they went off to conquer lands and decided they wanted to rule their own city.  They decided to build their city by the old cave where they were brought to safety by their mother wolf. One day, when they were erecting walls to protect their city, Remus stupidly made an off-hand remark about the lack of building skills Romulus displayed. Romulus, not having the strongest of ego's took out his hurt on Remus and murdered him then on the spot. Feeling such guilt, he decided to name the city after himself, calling the city "Rome" and declared it would be the greatest city ever to be seen! In honor of Romulus finding Rome, a strange event started to take place on the fifteenth of "Februa", or as we know it, February. A group of priests called the "Luperci"who wore goat-hides (and probably smelled a bit raunchy) brought two adolescent boys of royal birth into the very cave where the she-wolf brought Romulus and Remus. It was whispered that sacrifices of goats and a dog took place, in order to cleanse the city of evil, bringing about a new "Spring." They also knew the god Lupercus, patron of shepherds watched over them. 
A knife was dipped in the blood of the slain animals and wiped on the brow of the boys with sheep's wool. After the ritual was finished, the skin of the goats that were sacrificed were cut into pieces. Some of the pieces were worn by the new initiates while the other pieces of hide were made into thongs for flogging, (What a pretty picture that must have made!). The lucky villagers did get to participate in the ritual being chased by the laughing boys and the Luperci who ran after them flogging them. The villagers gladly took their beatings, especially the young ladies of the village took to these boys like groupies to rock stars. The girls were told that the floggings would ensure great fertility and help with the birthing of babies (Huh?!!!)
 As Christianity started to become a greater force, these pagan rites diminished in popularity. Although Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) the great-nephew of Cleo's old man, Gaius Julius Caesar, (and what a hottie Old Caesar was, eh?) decided to revive the old flogging festival every year on the fifteenth (ides) of February, (hmmmm, wonder what he was into...). This rite was to be called "Lupercalia", a.k.a., "the wolf festival."
In the first century, Cleo's boy-toy, Marc Antony
decided to be a party pooper and ix-nay'd the whole par-tay (I know moans, moans, moans) deciding it was improper and all, even though he decided it wasn't improper to be unfaithful to his devoted wife and do the nasty with Cleo, oh the hypocrisy! Oddly enough, a trace of this idolatry carried on with floggings for Easter Monday nights.

Eventually , with only the "lower" class having  the fun, I mean partaking in such abominable displays of lust and deprivation. They had to  keeping everything hush-hush so the Christian authorities wouldn't find out and arrest them all.
connect with Valentine's day? you may ask. Well, see the big dogs of  Christianity  popes were smart and they knew that regular folks weren't about to give up the wickedness so easily and so one Christian holy roller said to the others, "well, remember that St. Valentine guy is really into the righteous sanctity of  love and marriage and propagation?" And his bro's said, "Oh right! He was the dude who backed up Emperor Claudius to abolish those lewd and crude pagan orgies.  

So how does Lupercalia

   We'll tell everyone that those rites never happened and instead our goodly St. Valentine will be  the patron saint of love and all things sanctified by the church. Oh and get this, we'll encourage the fools, umm (clearing throat) I mean good people to buy Hallmark cards with sappy sayings and fattening chocolates and flowers that will wilt away just like their love and THAT will become their new celebration! They'll never suspect they're being duped. My, aren't we the clever ones!" And so my friends, this is why Valentine's Day is really just a big conspiracy plot .
Harm to none, no offense was meant to people who have fun on Valentine's day, who are Christian, pagan or a heathen. 
No wolves, goats and dogs were harmed in this telling of Lupercalia.


Mother's Moon's Message said...

I always find it so humorous that all holidays somehow eventually coincide with a pagan rite that was trying to be hidden... interesting...

Dessa said...

Yep, pretty much any Christian holiday can be backed up with a Pagan Par-Tay of some sort.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Phew! This makes the JFK assassination and 9/11 conspiracy theories seem like a piece of cake, LOL!

luna said...

That is a riot! Yup, we pagans have always had the original & the best holidays & we know how to make 'em fun, not dreary fasting and horrible hair shirts!
As a sidebar; is that Brad Pitt? My sister went to university with him. She remembers when he was pledge chairman. Cheryl Crow went to Missou, too. I went to nursing school. No Brad Pitt...

luna said...

Oh wait! That ISN'T Brad Pitt is it? Holy crow! I am such a bone head. Never mind...luna's ears droop & she hangs her head in embarrassment.

Bridgett said...

LOL...I love the subtle sarcasm I'm sensing here. ;)

It never fails though...any holiday now celebrated by the masses has Pagan roots.


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