Webs of Woven Words, Threads, Stitches and Enchantments

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Women's Rites to Honor Bona Dea

One of the feast days I very much am dedicated to celebrating in December is that which is to honor Bona Dea, the Good Goddess of Ancient Rome. She is a goddess of women, healing, fertility, and freedom. There is some debate as to the actual date, December 3rd or 4th, but side our modern calendar was not used in ancient times, most women I know, who keep this date sacred, celebrate it on December 3rd.

No men, or even depictions of them or male animals, were permitted where the rites took place. Although the Vestal Virgins assisted with these rites, they were generally conducted in the home of a Roman magistrate of high standing by his wife.

Bona Dea's temple had a garden of medicinal herbs, and She was and is invoked by those who are in need of healing. In addition, She bestows fertility, not just in regard to having children, but fertility in all things. The cornucopia is one of Her symbols, a symbol of abundance and plenty.

Take time to honor Bona Dea tomorrow or Thursday, giving thanks for all She has bestowed upon you. If you have issues that need healing, ask for Her assistance. Although wine with blood is a traditional libation, use your intuition and make an appropriate libation and offering from your heart. As very little is known of these rites, use your intuition and do not worry if you are performing your rite "correctly." Come from your heart space, with love and honor, and you cannot but honor Her.

Invocation to Bona Dea

O Bona Dea,
Good Goddess of the Earth
Whose name is mystery,
Whose name is a hundred names,
Whose spirit lives in us all
And in every goddess who touches the soil,
And in every mortal who sprang from the clay,
Be with us on this day!
You have made the Earth spring forth
With many green goods for us,
Not merely those with which we feed our bellies,
But also those which heal our bodies.
Lady who heals us, godmother of Hygeia,
Daughter of Faunus who tracks in the wild,
We find your gifts both in our gardens
And on the wild paths where you have trodden.
We see the healing herbs springing up
In each of your passing footprints,
And we are grateful for our lives.
O Bona Dea,
Good Goddess of the Earth
Whose name is mystery
But whose gifts are so concrete,
We revere you and ask that you bless this day
Your plants which you have so generously given us,
That we may always be healed
And always help to heal others.

(from The Pagan Book of Prayers, by Ceisiwr Serith 

Blessings dam and deep!

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