So, Friday again, and that means Pagan Blog Project time again. Last week I did the one under C that really interested me, Craft Names, but we got two weeks so I needed something else that started with a C.
And I couldn’t think of a Norse thing to say. So we’re gonna go with my second favorite culture, the Romans! Thus do I speak of Ceres, the Roman Goddess of fertility, agriculture, and motherhood.
Okay, I’m freely going to state this up front. I don’t really know jack about the Romans. I’ve just seen a few movies with them (Centurion is awesome), read the Codex Alera (magic Romans controlling elemental furies living on a world filled with amazing creatures trying to kill them), and seen about half of Rome (working on the second half). So if there are any Romanics or the proper term for the Roman Recons, sorry if I get any of this wrong. Feel free to write me, I’d be interested in what you know. Most of this comes from Wikipedia.
Anyways, back to the subject at hand, Ceres. As mentioned, she is the Goddess of agriculture, fertility, and motherly relationships. She’s also one of the Dii Consentes, which is the Roman equivalent of the Greek’s 12 Olympians. Ceres is most closely linked in nature to Demeter, and on the Norse end I think she’s probably closest to Frigga.
Ceres has a seven day festival in April called Cerealia. In which case she may be like the Norse Goddess Ostara. Then again, most of the Goddesses of fertility have their festivals then. Cerealia was famous for it’s games, probably chariot races were the most popular (interestingly enough, chariot races, not gladiators, were the favorite entertainment of Romans. They even had team colors, chants, songs, and hair styles. Think NASCAR, but with more beer, bread, and violence, if possible).
She is said to have a number of assistants, who I have listed below
- Vervactor, “He who ploughs”
- Reparator, “He who prepares the earth”
- Imporcitor, “He who ploughs with a wide furrow”
- Insitor, “He who plants seeds”
- Obarator, “He who traces the first plowing”
- Occator, “He who harrows”
- Serritor, “He who digs”
- Subruncinator, “He who weeds”
- Messor, “He who reaps”
- Conuector (Convector), “He who carries the grain”
- Conditor, “He who stores the grain”
- Promitor, “He who distributes the grain”
The large number of assistance certainly indicates the level of power Ceres possessed. Only the highest of Gods and Goddess had so many to aid them in their most important of tasks.
She was a Goddess of human fertility, and during the bridal procession a torch in her honor was lit and led the procession. Upon reaching her husbands house, the bride would be declared Matron, and sacrifices such as sows were made.
Ceres was especially important to the Aventine (one of the Seven Hills of Rome) and her temple upon that hill was a center of her cult and the culture of the Aventine. There is also served as library, and possible law court, for she saw to the laws and rights of the Plebeians, and was the protector of said laws.
So give thanks and praise to Ceres, and perhaps do something special during her festival in April. Hail Ceres of the Romans!