Reality Adjustments

Happy Lupercalia: the Erotic Festival Destroyed by Valentine's Day - Feb. 15th

Feb 15, 2019

In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius created St. Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14th) to overtake the Lupercalia festival (Feb. 15th).

Lupercus was a name for the Greek god Pan, a satyr. His festival, celebrated annually on the anniversary of the founding of his temple, was called the Lupercalia.  Lupercus watched over the shepherds' flocks from the hungry wolves that roamed outside Rome.

During Lupercalia, the Romans sacrificed goats and dogs due to their strong sexual instinct. Young men ran around with goat-skin thongs (called februa) and playfully lashed women in the streets. A februa lashing (a februatio) ensured fertility and easy child delivery.

The Lupercalia offended the new Christian religion (then just some other cult). But the steady decline of the Roman empire and the legalization of the Church by Emperor Constantine I in the year 313 changed things.

Pope Gelasius was the man to make it happen. A strategy of the early Catholics was to replace pagan festivals with a Christian version (Spring Equinox to Easter, Winter Solstice to Christmas, Halloween/Samhain to all Saint’s Day, etc). Gelasius authored an important doctrine on the importance of integration (not separation) of church and state.  And in 496, Pope Gelasius admonished Lupercalia  and created St. Valentine from a composite of men who were martyred due to *chaste* love. 

Soon the half-man/half-beast satyr changed from a creature of honor to one of fear.  Men worried that primary satyrs and Beowulf-like beasts could come from the forest to sleep with their wives and daughters.  As the witch hunts grew, Satan became depicted as a powerful satyr with horns, a tail, and hooves. Deep within the scary forest was the cradle of evil pageantry.

The word February comes from the Latin februarius (meaning: month of purification), which comes from februa (the thongs from the festival, meaning: undoing the fever), which was derived from the Latin febris (meaning: fever).

Happy Lupercalia today, Februrary 15th.  And a Happy February.

The Tilted Glass