Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Feast of Mars – March 19th-23th

The Quinquatria Celebration

The ancient Romans held March 19th sacred to the War Gods, Minerva and Mars. They are identified in the Greek pantheon as Athena and Aries.  In the Etruscan pantheon they are identified as Menrva and Maso.  This particular celebration is said to have lasted for five days, from March 19th to the 23rd. On the first day, bloodshed and violence was forbidden and purification rites where performed in sacred temples and domestic homes.

As for the last four days of the Quinquatria celebration, gladiator combat was observed and enjoyed among the masses.  Sacred to Minerva, a Goddess and patron of women; divination and fortune telling was a common practice.  Poetic recitals and hunting were also traditional practices during the Quinquatria celebration.

The Combat of Mars and Minerva -Jacques Louis David, 1771
In our Witches' tradition, we call upon the forces of Minerva and Mars and spend this time casting and projecting spells.  We direct our magick and prayers towards purification and protection for our families and homes.  On the first day of the Quinquatria celebration, we adorn our altars with the sacred colors of Minerva, (red, blue and gold), we perform magickal rites, recite prayers and poems, divine for our future, and cast spells directed towards purification and cleansing. We blend flowers, herbs and roots sacred to Minerva, to empower our homes, lives and magick.  Some herbs sacred to the Goddess Minerva include: almond, heather, heliotrope, olive leaves, patchouli, and sunflower.

The last four days of the Quinquatria celebration, we celebrate and honor the God Mars, as the protector of our home and family. We incorporate the sacred colors of Mars, (red, black and gold) in spells directed towards sending away evil and bringing spiritual protection.  The Spring Equinox falls during the Quinquatria celebration, usually around the 21st of March. During our spring ritual festivities, Mars is called upon in ritual and magick in the aspect as of a youth warrior, fertilizing the earth and the newly planted spring seeds.  We prepare amulets for protection, using herbs and stones sacred to the God Mars, some include: garnet, hematite, iron, ruby, black pepper, chili pepper, clove buds, nettle, pine, and thistle

Protection Prayer to Mars and Minerva

Light a red candle and state the following incantation, nine times. You may also burn a Mars or Minerva Spell Candle. Later allowing the candle to burnout completely.

“Sword and spear, plume and shield.  Ancient power, protection wield.  To Minerva, bring to this place, peace and stability, hear this prayer of humility and purity. To Mars, bring to this place, protection and your warrior might, keep evil away and out of sight.  Sword and spear, plume and shield.  Ancient power, protection wield.  So mote it be.” 

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