The Power of Love
It's the Aquarian season of Festivals honoring the Great Mother and the Divine Lovers.
Saturday, February 11, 2023 is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. On this day in 1858, in a cave at Lourdes, France, the Virgin Mary appeared to a poor fourteen year old peasant girl named Bernadette Soubirous, and Our Lady visited Bernadette fifteen more times during the following week.
The Shrine at Lourdes is the most visited spiritual site in the world, renowned for the healing waters found in a spring in the cave, which was discovered by Bernadette according to instructions from Our Lady.
Mid February, Goddess worshipers celebrate the Roman Festival of Goddess Diana of the Wild, known as Artemis of the Meadow to the Greeks. Contemplate the web of life that connects humans to woodlands and to the wild creatures that inhabit the forests of the world.
Tuesday February 14, 2023 is St. Valentine’s Day, celebrated in the Western world as a day sacred to love, romance and lovers. This holiday has pagan and heretical Christian origins, and interesting analogies with certain medieval Hindu practices, all of which celebrate the Universal Life Force Energy in its manifestation as sexual energy.
The legend of St. Valentine of Terni was spread by the Benedictines through their monasteries in Italy, France and England.
"It is said that, hearing two lovers quarreling, Valentino offered them a rose and begged them to hold it between their hands together without getting pricked by its thorns, and after some time they returned and asked him to join them in marriage," according to the legend. "Another version of this story has it that the saint was able to inspire love in the young couple making several pairs of pigeons flying around them and exchanging sweet gestures of affection - from this episode the spread of the expression lovebirds is believed to have originated."
In ancient Rome, February 13 was the feast of the fertility god Faunus and February 15 was the Feast of Lupercalia, dedicated to another fertility god, Lupercus. The priests of Pan Lyceus would perform purification ceremonies designed to promote fertility among Roman women. Young priests would circle the city walls with strips of skin cut from sacrificial animals, scourging women they encountered along the way to purify them in preparation for pregnancy. The Latin februaue means "to purify" after this "Feast of Purification." Some sources say that the thongs from the skins of sacrificed animals—which the priests used on the evening of February 14 to whip women—were called februa.
At Lupercalia, young women wrote their names on slips of papyrus and put them in a box. Then young men would take turns withdrawing the slips of paper, and would pair off for the day with the women whose names they had picked.
In 12th century southern France, Valentine Clubs appeared, which constituted a more playful, chivalric, and Christianized version of the ancient Roman fertility festivals.
Every year on February 14th, the Valentines assembled in the local town square, according to John Rutheford’s invaluable guide to medieval gallantry, The Troubadors. Two couples, dressed as Cupid, Mercy, Loyalty and Chastity would lead a parade of couples around the town, accompanied by trumpeters and banner-bearers.
The procession would end at the local Hotel, where the celebrants performed a “mass” dedicated to the worship of Love. At the close of the ceremony, the couples dispersed, and a silver casket containing the names of all gentlemen present was presented to the ladies.
Each lady drew a slip, and Cupid then brought the ladies together with their chosen gentlemen. The newly formed couples were declared Valentines for the year.
Gentlemen were required to be faithful to their ladies for the next twelve months, to provide their ladies with abundant flowers throughout the period, to offer regular gifts to their ladies, to escort their ladies wherever they so desired, to make songs and poems or to engage in jousts in her honor, and to guard her honor jealously.
Marriage of any pair of Valentines was strictly forbidden.
God Speed!, Painting by Edmund Leighton
Edmund Leighton , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
As we celebrate today’s secular version of Valentine’s Day, let us all meditate upon the origins of the Feast, and celebrate the mysteries of Love and Life that are the traditional domain of the Goddess and the traditional rewards to those gallant gentle men whose spiritual veneration of the female principle provided entire medieval communities with the blessings of courtly love and chivalric romance, and served as a potent counterweight to the patriarchal, martial values of the feudal society, structured and stratified according to bloodline, personal battle skills and the ability to field a force of loyal soldiers in the quest for ever more lands to govern and control.
If you are interested in finding your soulmate, learning to live compatibly with your soulmate, or in learning to achieve loving Union with the Divine as an individual, you might enjoy learning more about the Spiritual Laws of Love on this St. Valentine’s Day.
Jane and I are writing a free online e-book, Back to the Garden: Cultivating Love in Our Lives, and the first several profusely illustrated chapters are online now.
In our book, you will read the deep meaning of the Garden of Eden story, which is rooted in humanity's collective consciousness, explore the true nature of the original sin of egoism, and discover how to surrender to the Higher Self.
Find out about the root cause of the war between the sexes and how it is fueled by karma, egotism, and the tragic nature of romantic love.
Discover strategies for building love partnerships that last, based upon equality and unconditional love.
Horned Lovers, Rainbow, Dolphin Magic Lantern Drawing by Jane Sherry
Learn about the pathway back to the Garden of Eden and uncover the hidden mythology of sexual balance and sexual partnership that provides the spiritual foundation for the dawning Age of Aquarius. It’s a Valentine’s Day treat for lovers everywhere.
Are you in a relationship? Are you attracted to someone this Valentine's Day? You might enjoy reading the chapter in our Book of Love entitled The New Age of the Divine Lovers, where we show you how to know when your seven bodies are in alignment.
Compatibility depends upon the subtle energy exchanges between you and your lover, and these exchanges reflect the alignment of all seven bodies.
Love is a 7-dimensional puzzle, at least! In this article you'll see how you and your valentine, lover, or mate score on 7-dimensions of compatibility. Enjoy!
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Digital Artwork by Jane Sherry
Check out Priestess, a limited edition digital painting by Jane Sherry. This piece was originally a small talisman, a mixed media collage, scanned into the computer and turned into a digital painting. I literally painted every pixel in the computer, which gives it this dreamlike quality. Nothing in the image is hard focus, but rather a soft luminous surface of reflected light to enhance the inwardly reflecting image of the Queen who is depicted bare breasted, holding her scepter and wearing her crown. Her eyes are closed as she communes with the Divine.
This represents an image of the High Priestess or Empress as she sits in rulership over the Lower Self, bringing the everyday actions of ruling our own individual kingdom into alignment with the Divine aspects of the Higher Self.
In the mythologies of many ancient civilizations women were represented bare breasted as a sign of strength. The Amazons of ancient Greek mythology were often depicted bare breasted. This bare-breasted sovereign commands respect for the archetype of woman as priestess. The piece is an affirmation of the beauty and sacred geometry of the human body which provides us a beautiful focus for mindful meditation, and through its connection with Mother Nature's sacred secrets, a path to the inner temple of worship. For we are each created in a state of perfection. The psyche, the temple and the body are interchangeable sites of transformation.
Meditation Moment: Some Day on Earth
It happens all the time in heaven,
And some day
It will begin to happen
Again on earth
That men and women who are married,
And men and men who are
And women and women
Who give each other
Often will get down on their knees
And while so tenderly
Holding their lover’s hand,
With tears in their eyes,
Will sincerely speak, saying,
How can I be more loving to you?
How can I be more Kind?”
(By Hafiz, a Sufi Persian Mystic Poet)
(Photo Credits: Knights and Ladies Dancing the Carolle in the Garden of Love (from a manuscript illustration for "Roman de la Rose") (late 15th century), "Priestess" painting by Jane Sherry, Hindu Statue is Clip Art)