Vertumnalia, Agricultural Gods, and the Homestead

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So today is the Vertumnalia, the Roman festival of Vertumnus and Pomona. I have not done as much preparation as I would like. Too often I end up writing rituals the day of a festival, and then I have them ready for next year. Procrastination is a problem I need to deal with. Or I need a better office/writing area, since I don’t have much of one now. The heat right now is unbearable during the day, and our air conditioner is only in one room, so that is where I camp out all day, obviously.

Still, I’m planning on doing some prayers and offerings from my garden when I get home today. Our fruit trees were too young to produce this year, but our cucumbers went insane, so I am going to offer those. I am hoping to establish a more extensive cultus to Vertumnus and Pomona. We are planning on extensive perennial food-producers on our homestead, lots of berries and trees and things that we won’t have to re-plant every year. Several of our fruit trees that we planted in the spring are doing very, very well. Two of them (out of six) might not make it, so we had to heavily prune them back. Hopefully they will go dormant for the winter, grow an extensive root system, and come back in the spring, but there is no way to tell for now. In any case, I’m excited to set up an orchard and hopefully, at some point, outdoor shrines. A shrine to Pomona in the orchard, Demeter by the grain field, a shrine to Dionysos among grapevines, Aristaios in the beeyard, etc. The worship of agricultural Gods is becoming intensely personal and eminently practical to me now. Planting and harvesting isn’t symbolic anymore, it’s literal, physical, real. I’m living like my ancestors did, or closer to it. I get chills up and down my spine just thinking about it.

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