(This is possibly part one of a two-part series 🙂 )
Valentines day is almost upon us, with its pink and red hearts, tacky “sexy” valentines day outfits, cheap chocolate, and teddy bears, and did I say cheap chocolate?
Many people who despise valentines day will cry out “Why not show your love for your partner everyday?” and I agree, I believe we should, but Valentines day is not just about showing your love, it is a celebration, it is a festival…of love, sex, wine and chocolate. It is a day which holds much more resonance for me than Beltane (Nov 1) or Lammas (Feb 2) ever did, and as one of “those hedonistic pagans”, I love Valentines day, and started to celebrate it as a “Sabbat” last year.
Many pagans still feel that the mundane and spiritual are completely separate spheres, this is likely coming from a place where “living your faith” was not previously experienced by those pagans. Often as we grow in our practice, we no longer need to keep mundane and spiritual separate as we realise that they are actually one and the same. Kitchen witchery and domestic witchery definitely help to teach that, so “mundane” needs like sex, food, money, love, etc are in fact “spiritual” pursuits, as long as they are not motivated by greed, hatred or the will to harm others.
I currently have a standing “tradition”, if you will, of baking pasta and some type of dessert food for Valentine’s day; cupcakes, cookies; heart-shaped cakes. Last year I also made Focaccia but I’m not sure if I’ll be making it this year.
Because of my relationship with Hathor, everything has taken on an even more sacred dimension, baking with love, selecting new lingerie, decorating the space with scented candles, everything becomes part of a ritual to honour Her, as well as my relationship with my boyfriend. Her spirit moves through every action and act of love, and because of this, Valentines day is not just some silly day to get drunk and have sex (which is great), but it is also a day of devotion to the very Spirit of love, beauty and intoxication.
Lammas is a day of sacrifice, self-sacrifice, it is often Dionysian with ecstatic ritual and wine. In fact last year in our old place, grapes were ripe for the picking during Lammas and valentines day. I’ve simply combined that notion of self-sacrifice and “Dionysian” ecstasy with a festival of love. In ancient Egypt, Hathor’s temples held ecstatic ritual, after all she was known as “Mistress of inebriety without end” and let us never forget that Love is sacrifice in its purest form.
So no, I do not need a commercialized day to remember to love and show my love for my boyfriend and Hathor. It is just wonderful to be able to have an actual festival of love, separated from Wicca, which relates better to my craft and resonates better with me than certain Wiccan sabbats.
I also don’t feel like it is just some day for lovers only, self-love, friendship and familial love are also wonderful themes to explore on Valentine’s day.
On a related note, here is the amazing Giant tea set my boyfriend got me for Valentine’s day which I am using as planters EEEP!