Spell a Day – Feb 23rd 2016

Terminalia, an old Roman festival, was traditionally performed on the last day of the Roman year (Guess what, it was February). This was done to honor Terminus, the God of boundaries. His name, in Latin, actually means Boundary Stone. This was the guy you went to when you were trying to divide your land from your sneaky neighbors. This practice is believed to date back beyond 700BC to the reign of Rome’s first kings. Someone was worried about claims on their land I think.

The festival of Terminalia had neighbors laying garlands upon the boundary stone between their lands. They would erect an altar and make offerings. I think a wall or fence would have been more effective honestly.

Picture this: A rampaging barbarian is pillaging his way through the countryside with his clan. They come upon this strange pillar of stone covered in garlands of flowers. I don’t see him turning to his fellows and saying, “Gee whiz guys, they put this pretty rock up here and covered it with flowers. Maybe we should turn around and just go home.” No, he’s going to bash the rock down and stomp the flowers on his way to the house where he can loot the family who put their trust in a rock. Now, if once said barbarian touches the stone he is struck dead, then it might work. I just don’t see something like that happening here folks. If I am not around after this, it means Terminus took offense to my flippant scenario and struck me down.

Diocletian in 303 AD tried to use the festival of Terminalia to begin his culling of Christianity. I think we all see how that worked out for him. It is interesting that back in 500-600BC, mystics of the time checked to see if all the Gods of the altars on Capitoline Hill were content to have them moved for the purpose of the building of a new temple. Terminus apparently refused permission so they built the temple around his original altar.

Anyway. Today’s spell involved spilling some wine or herbal concoction along the boundary of your property or space to infuse it with protection. Personally, I think a fence is better protection from neighbor’s dogs or rampaging barbarians. The festival and feasting sounded like a good time in Rome’s early years. Perhaps there would be something to preventing the invasion of negative energy by blessing your boundaries or maybe just your altar space, if you have a permanent location setup.

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