first off, hi. if you’re here, you are witnessing me process out loud my journey of learning, unlearning, relearning practically everything in my life. so welcome.
today, i’m here to ruin yet another holiday. it was ruined for me, so I thought it was fair to spread the demise. this is a holiday I have celebrated faithfully for 33 years. It’s been touted as a man-made “Hallmark” holiday – an easy way to label it silly in society, right? “I don’t need a love day on the calendar to show people I love them. I do that everyday.” And yet many women will raise up this day as proof of being loved or not being loved enough, many people liken it to Christ’s love for us, and of course, there’s a multitude of other meanings and rituals in between. But this is far from a Hallmark holiday. Hallmark is pale compared to the origins of Lupercalia.
Lupercalia. Ever heard of it? Me neither. Not until this year. yes. THIS year. Like 2021. Like January 2021.
quick tangent: I’m telling y’all – we will ALWAYS be in the middle of the biggest warfare that ever existed. The fight between good and evil, YAHWEH and Satan – it is a force and battle we will never fully understand. But it invades every little thing. All the things.
If something is not celebrated or observed in scripture, I’m questioning it. If I raise it up as important in my household, I better have 3 good reasons. And those reasons have to be rooted in scripture. I will no longer allow the world to tell me what to worship. I’M DONE. Drastic? sure. But I’m exhausted with living two lives. that’s my heart and I am thankful I have a space to freely express that. My journey is not your journey but I will share my journey when I feel called to do so.
alright, so let’s briefly dig in, shall we.
First, I highly recommend starting with the history channel when researching pagan origins. Why? Well, it will never allow Christianity to take the credit for holidays, which I appreciate so deeply. It presents the facts without trying to appease the Christian who is having a hard time letting go. I need that. I need truth despite how hard it is to swallow. It’s a resource that’s readily available and free, if you’re looking for one.
So the long and short of Lupercalia: “it’s an ancient pagan festival that was held each year in Rome on February 15. It was bloody, violent and sexually-charged celebration awash with animal sacrifice, random matchmaking and coupling in the hopes of warding off evil spirits and infertility.” Source: https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-rome/lupercalia
Today modern witches and pagans celebrate this day with a variety of rituals. Some do love spells and light red candles. Others focus on the pastoral side of Faunus and make sun and moon water for their gardens or drink those beverages themselves. Still others whip themselves with birch branches (actually a common practice in traditional saunas for increased circulation) to increase their fertility. Source: @followthenarrowway
Each month of the Roman year was dedicated to a god and February was the month of Faunus and Lupercus. The 15th day of most months were the ‘ides’ which were the day that was the most auspicious for the pagans, sorcerers, augurs and the priests and priestesses serving the god of the month. Since February has only 28 days, the 14th is the ‘ides’ of the month. Source: @followthenarrowway
So when did it shift from this pagan sex festival to what it is considered to be today? The Catholic Church fought to suppress this tradition for several generations of Popes, but finally the practice was put to rest in the same year that “Christmas” was officially added to the Catholic Calendar. During this time, the church worked hard to incorporate pagan customs into their calendar to keep the people interested in “Christianity.” A few years later, the Saint Valentine was canonized and assigned February 14th as his saints day. Source: @followthenarrowway
There is much more rhetoric and legend behind St. Valentine and honestly I really do not care. I don’t. I’m not interested. Even if none of this is true, which I can not say for sure, I can not find one scripture leading me to a conviction that celebrating this in its most “innocent” form is even appropriate. Young kids romanticizing way too early. Adults placing extreme expectations on partners to show their love for one another, only to fail them miserably. In my opinion, it’s got nothing to do with love, and everything to do with stirring the heart in a direction that goes the opposite of our hearts desire to follow Messiah. Sure, once we are married, maybe it can be considered a day to honor our spouse. But is this the day we really want to be doing that? The history alone is filled with immorality – but we can put that aside and pretend it’s just an innocent Hallmark holiday to get some economy boost in February? do we need the calendar to decide the day we go all out for our spouse? no we don’t. but society and social media sure do put the pressure on us, don’t they?
What is advertised as love is the complete and utter opposite. How was I fooled for so long? Of course, I put SO much worth on this day. I have journals and diaries dating back to the year 2000 where I would cry over a boy who did not get me anything on this day. The soul ties and the longing and the romance run deep. It’s false. It’s not worthy of any of our time and attention. This day does not honor YHWH. A huge reminder for me in scripture is Deuteronomy 12:30-31. I would type it out for you, but this is the kind scripture that means more if you go read it yourself.
As with all the pagan days, they cannot be redeemed for believers. We cannot “Christ wash” a pagan holiday.
When we do not participate, instead of feeling left out or sad, we can pray. Pray for our own hearts and soul ties that are so deeply intertwined with the world and its ways. We can repent for the ways our hearts have drifted to things not holy. I mean, I’ve got a laundry list of repenting to do, and that’s quite beautiful the way YHWH brings this truth to my doorstep and allows me the grace to be forgiven. What does this day promote? Lust. Promiscuity. Romance. Pleasure. It’s all designed to pull us away from our savior. And I’m done. Even if I never celebrated it with those intentions, I will never be able to explain-away my intent vs the origins and original purpose. that’s always my big dealbreaker with most things these days. But I will always pray. pray pray pray.
it can be exhausting and overwhelming following along in someone else’s journey of discovery so I appreciate you reading along. please know, I do not judge anyone for anything they choose to do with their lives. it’s my hope and desire that Yeshua is the center of every word I type and that you can feel and know his true everlasting love. Never a knock-off wordly version of it. It’s hard to prune, and pruning happens different for everyone. Shalom!