Lupercalia: alias Valentine’s Day

The poet who planted his soul in death’s green childhood has spoken the rose of February. Winter whispers among the wolves, ‘You can only anticipate the past.’ Talon-footed April gouges the tombs of Autumn for a plunder of grubs. Wakes the gravelly coo of raven’s dangerous caress, ‘Forget, forget.’ Does your blood not jangle its black keys of love? Where are the radiant doors?
     There is a primordial darkness inwoven with the love theme in this February 14 date: not the dark of ‘evil’ but the power of Autumn’s death, providing life energy for Spring. We forget that heartsy Hallmark holidays of kitch and commercialism root down to ancient pagan feasts. Valentine’s Day, May Day, Halloween, Christmas, Groundhog’s Day, are the sentimental echos of primordial rites – Lupercal, Beltane, Samhain, Soltstice, Yule and Imbolc – rites not only imbibing the sunlight, but quaffing the nectars of earth. 
     With Victorian efficiency, our valentines suppress the Lupercal sacred to Pan, whom we have emasculated, and Wolf-Mother Goddess, whom we have spayed. Perhaps it is time to abandon the choir loft and remember, in each Spring flower, the dead poet Jesus, who turned wine into blood, not sugar.

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