Image Artwork by Nicholas Poussin
Valentine’s Day falls on February 14th and was originally started to celebrate love, fertility and new beginnings.
In modern times however, it seems the true origins of Valentine’s Day have been lost and many people actually dread the day.
In fact, one study conducted by an online dating site found that up to 70% of singles felt depressed on Valentine’s Day and those who were in a relationship felt high amounts of “psychological distress”.
Valentine’s Day can create an expectations and can amplify feelings of worthiness and self-doubt, however if you look back to the origins, you can see that this holiday was so much more than just expressing your romantic love for someone.
The Origins of Valentine’s Day
During Pagan times, February 13th was celebrated as the Eve of Lupercalia, a festival of Spring and fertility that included rituals from having sex, bathing in blood, sacrificing animals and burning mealcakes prepared by virgins.
The festival was in honor of Lupa, who was a she-wolf that helped nurse orphaned infants who otherwise would have died from malnourishment. The day was meant to celebrate fertility and was said to clear the city of evil spirits.
After the cold and harsh winter, the festival was also said encourage an abundant Spring season where crops would grow and animals would mate. All rituals conducted around this time were designed to help increase fertility and abundance, and bring about the start of a new cycle.
It wasn’t until the Catholic Church came into power that the day became a celebration of Saint Valentine.
Valentine was a Catholic priest who was actually imprisoned for helping Christians and fell in love with the daughter of his jailer. He exchanged many secret love notes with her that were signed off with- “From Your Valentine”.
It wasn’t long before the celebration of the she-wolf Lupa, morphed into the tradition of Saint Valentine’s Day.
Today, Valentine’s Day marks the most popular day for sales of cards, roses and chocolates however, you don’t need to get caught up in all the hype.
Instead, use this day as a reminder to love yourself, regardless of your relationship status.
You can also go back to pagan times and celebrate the dawning of Spring, new beginnings and fertility instead.
A Valentine’s Day Ritual Anyone Can Do
Think of something that you want to “grow” it could be a business, a dream, a relationship, or even your health.
Write down your intention on a piece of paper using the following format:
“I plant this seed of _______________ which I intend to help nourish and grow into _______________. I ask the Divine to help guide me to making the necessary steps and to ensure that all is carried out with my highest good in mind.”
Light a candle and place it next to a small bowl of clean water. Fold the piece of paper and hold it close to your heart while you meditate or repeat your intention.
When you feel your intention has been infused in the paper, drop it into the water.
Go outside and plant the paper into the ground, cover with soil and pour the water over the top.
Let go of all your worries on how your seed will grow and give a moment of appreciation and thanks to the Universe.