Thursday, August 11, 2016


Fecundity, by Desiree Isphording

The Festival of Vinalia Rustica, August 19th (also my late father's birthday). Originally, the festival was dedicated to Venus Obsequens, (Gracious Venus), a VERY old face of the beloved Green Goddess of the Gardens.  As Latin culture gave way to Roman, it was given to Jupiter.  Similarly, our understanding of Venus has also been given over to the Patriarch.

Venus, as we know her today, is much reduced.  Almost everyone sees her as the goddess of love and sex, and while she is, certainly, the Queen of those things, that is not her only, or even her primary, face.  So many of the goddesses, and so many of the gods, were made small, transformed into the playthings of the Father of Heaven.  

As I work with the oldest forms of my gods more and more, those first names of the Ancient and Nameless Powers, I am taught about how each gave a great gift to us.  Ereshkigal, The Great White Lady, is also She of the Flint.  Thoth-Hermes, my beloved Orange Lad, invented the alphabet.  And, Venus, She of the Green, taught us to garden.

Venus is the goddess of fecundity; the fertile vigor of the garden and the orchard, the field, the livestock, the mother, the community.  Venus is the overflowing Greenness of Life, the essential "life-ness" of the soul, viriditas.  Says Hildegard: “There is a power that has been since all eternity and that force and potentiality is green!”

The force, the Greening, has been much on my mind lately.  This is the music I most associate with it, but it's behind a paywall (I strongly recommend a subscription).  Here's a runner-up song.

An oration:

She of the Green, Vriditas Dea, Venus of the Garden and the Glen, Who gives Life, and Love, and Light, and Joy, Who Gives Grace and Goodness, and the Healing Green Light, que in excelso resplendetut statuta columna, you reflect heaven's exceeding radiance like a pillar, you are the Pillar which holds up the Temple, the Tree at the Center of the Grove.  You are the Fig and the Cedar, the Clover and the Rose.  Your skin smells of balsam and your hair of myrtle and roses.  All nourishment pours from your nipples, milk, honey, every fruit of the field, your lips are an orchard of pomegranates.  You are all-together beautiful; there is no flaw in you.  You bring life, health, joy, vigor.  You are the sweet rain that kisses the fields and the green fire that quickens life in the womb. Hear me and bless me, heal and deliver me, comfort and confront me.  Lie with me in the garden and in the grove, Great Green Goddess, All-Loving, All-Healing, All-Giving.

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