Perhaps no other time of the year is the focus on romance greater than on Cupid’s own holiday: St. Valentine’s Day. With all the energies that focus on love and romance, this is truly a time to make magic happen for you and that special person. Before tapping into all that spiritual and emotional energy it is important to understand how this celebration of all things romantic came into existence.
The ancient Romans celebrated a fertility holiday known as Lupercalia on February 13. This festival was dedicated to Fanus, Roman God of Agriculture as well as the founders of Rome, the brothers Romulus and Remus. During the celebration, initiates of the Luperci (brothers of the wolf) would chase young women through the streets of Rome gently slapping them with strips of sacrificial goat skin. The women actually were pleased to be touched by the strips as they believe this would promote more fertility in the coming year.
Still later, single women would place their names in a huge urn to be selected by the city’s bachelors. These “couples” were then paired for a year. As might be expected, many of these matches ended in marriage.
This wild celebration continued until 496 A.D. when Pope Gelasius I banned the holiday and designated February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day. In spite of its origins as a fertility festival, Valentine’s Day began as a celebration of the Church to honor saints and martyrs of that name. Two of the most prominent were Valentinus of Rome and Valentine of Terni.
According to legend, the Emperor Claudius had outlawed marriage to men of military age as he believed single men made better soldiers. Valentine of Rome continued to perform marriages in violation of this edict and was executed in 296 A.D.
Valentine of Terni has a similar romantic connection. His legend holds that he helped Christians escape the prisons of Rome until he, himself, was imprisoned. During that time, it is said, he fell in love with the daughter of the Warden who would visit him. Before his execution, it is said that he wrote her a letter and signed it “from your Valentine”.
Although the origins of Valentine’s Day clearly are based on love, and fertility, it wasn’t until the 14th century when Geoffrey Chaucer clearly made the connection between February 14 and the idea of romance and mating. In his poem “Parliament of Fowls” Chaucer wrote: “For this was on Saint Valentine’s Day, Whan every brid cometh ther to chese his make”.
What many believe is the world’s oldest Valentine card was a poem written in 1415 by the Duke of Orleans from the Tower of London, where he was being held captive, to his wife. Translating from the original French the opening lines of the poem read: “I am already sick from love, my very gentle Valentine”. Regrettably, his wife died before his return to France twenty-five years later.
By the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, the custom of exchanging tokens of love and affection on Valentine’s Day had spread from France and the United Kingdom to the Americas and even as far as Australia. In 1847, nineteen year old Esther Howland received an English Valentine’s Day card from an associate of her father’s which sparked her interest in trying to make and sell her own. Surprised at how popular her idea was, she formed her own business, The New England Valentine Company. Being the first mass-produced cards, she has become known as The Mother of the American Valentine.
So from ancient fertility right to religious holiday to a celebration of romance in the sign of Aquarius, Valentine’s Day is a natural time to let the heart’s energies flow. Recharge your relationship!
About the author:
Lou Raedwulfe is a professional clairvoyant, astrologer, tarot and rune master. He has also authored many books, including Psychical Soul Maintenance and 2013 Stones and Stars all available at Amazon.