One of the best things about being a witch is that I never stop learning. I love discovering and embracing connections to the aspects that make me who I am with the moon, the planets, and the Earth. Even before I was aware of my craft, I was in tune with the seasons. I loved to honor each one and each of their accompanying celebrations. So, you can imagine what it was like for me to find out that Valentine’s Day was another pagan tradition that was stolen, censored, and ultimately converted for capital gain by Christians. And not only that, the western version of Valentine’s Day wasn’t always about consumerism, unimaginative marriage proposals, and card exchanges; it stems from a sexually charged festival. Lupercalia was one giant sex magic ritual!
Now, we’re talking!
So what is Lupercalia?
Lupercalia wasn’t a ceremony to honor illumination or harvest but a festival to ward off evil spirits and infertility. The traditions areknown about Lupercalia is that goats and dogs were sacrificed; their blood was used to anoint foreheads, and straps from their skin were used to flog women who would then be considered fertile. The markings on the foreheads were wiped off with wool soaked in milk. Furthermore, Lupercalia is a festival that honors fertility and the she-wolf that raised Rome’s founders, twins Remus and Romulus. But, let me get to the good stuff. Lupercalia included feasting, drinking, and random matchmaking. Visualize this; instead of bouquets of murdered roses and restaurant reservations, imagine a large party at the foothills where you can indulge in your human carnal pleasures with one or more people, with consent, feast, drink and if you’re into it, bathe in blood. Throws her period panties at the screen!
The colors red and white are associated with Valentine’s Day. The meaning behind associating red signifies life’s blood, while white represents purity. Milk from a ewe (Sheep) was used to wash the blood from the foreheads of those anointed. I made fun of the creature formally known as my sister when she would use the “cover them under your blood, in jazus’ name.” Prayer to offer protection over people. At the same time, she was condemning witchcraft as evil—a Christian hypocrite. Until then, I hadn’t considered using blood in my rituals until I fell upon a spell that suggested using moon cycle blood, period blood, as ink when writing out spells in a witches’ grimoire. Juliet Diaz’s book Witchery: Embrace the Witch Within suggests using menstrual blood for deep reflection and manifestation spells.
I once told my husband that if he didn’t make my coffee every day, he risked me stirring my menses in his cup, thus keeping him always deeply bound to me. It worked without using my period blood, and I’m glad it did. He’s bound enough to me. I can’t imagine him becoming like Chris Hooker from The Craft. I don’t want that.
Now, I am not suggesting that period blood be used to attract someone to you. Do not use this blog to go and put your period blood in your crush’s drink. You see how that fared for Christian in Midsommar and as entertaining as she is, Celine, the protagonist in the movie The Love Witch, has it all but, takes her craft way further than I would care to. No, love spells to attract a specific person to you is not my jam. It shouldn’t be yours either. If you need to attract love to you or need a spell for self-love, look no further than to Tamla Michelle Holistic and the witch I mentioned above, Juliet Diaz.
I’ve always found Valentine’s Day to be so cheesy. Love is complicated and deceiving. So, when I see couples getting engaged on V-Day, I can’t roll my eyes enough. Like many Halloween and horror enthusiasts, I don’t want to see my social media feed or emails full of V-Day deals. Even the horror couple stuff is – meh. That is why I love Bram Stoker’s Dracula as my go-to Lupercalia movie to chill and watch. Or the other way around.
In Dracula, we see the tragic consequences of love. So, this year, I’m skipping over my adoration for Dracula and how I have always craved to be loved as he loved Mina in the film. Vampires lust for blood. Their uncontrollable craving doesn’t necessarily keep them alive, they can go into coma’s for centuries, so it’s not that they always need it. It’s the seductive way they want it. The sultry advances they make upon their prey. Mmmm, their victims. While I’m soaking wet between my thighs, the vampire’s desired climax is to break the skin, where the vein is throbbing on its victim’s neck. I wonder what ecstasy they feel when that blood squirts and hits the back of its throat. Well, I mean, I do know what it’s like to have warm bodily fluids squirt into the back of my throat but, we are talking vampires. Let’s get back to that.
In the film, there’s a scene where Dracula shape shifts into a wolf and lures his beloved’s best friend, Lucy, into the garden, where he sucks her blood while she appears to be having the best orgasm of her existence. And Dracula is still in wolf form. That scene has always turned me on and is always the first image that comes to my mind when I contemplate Lupercalia. As I mentioned before, the founders of Rome, twin brothers Romulus and Remus, were raised by a she-wolf. Dracula and Lucy are caught in the act by Mina, and Dracula is humiliated by the form he’s in and what he’s doing with Mina. This shame he feels, for betraying Mina, although she doesn’t know it yet, is sweet. But, can we talk about how hot it is that Dracula can’t help but be a sexy, hairy beast with a bloodlust? Lupercalia is a festival where people hooked up. While some matchmaking rituals were left up to fate, there was carnal pleasure without a commitment contract. We would be less stressed if we could only normalize celebrating the magic of various types of unforced pleasure, including sex magic.
Modern-day Lupercalia looks to me like normalizing sex magic and using it to fertilize seeds of ideas or plans we planted during winter. Sex magic is the most potent energy I have used to manifest things in my life that blew my mind. It gave me the power to put my plans to work, and before I knew it, my desired result was presented to me. That is, in part, why I exhibit my sexuality the way I do. It’s a display of my power. I take pleasure in feeling desired. I harness it. Then release it. Whether it’s from self-pleasure – which in my experience releases the headiest energy- or with my consensual partner, everything I feel good about, most of what I write and create, came from me utilizing my sexual prowess in one way or another.
On occasion, I do become heartened by colorful stories of love. The more unusual the connection between two humans, the more delighted I am to listen and embrace it. That’s why I fly rainbow flags and advocate for queer love. It’s why I admire consensual shared love between more than just one man and one woman. When I witness someone fall in love with themselves makes me grateful to exist in such a moment. It’s all such a turn-on!
So, when or if you consider how to give your Valentine’s Day a darker twist, think of celebrations of Lupercalia. Indulge in a feast and merry-make-over drinks. Have sex with intention in mind – for your pleasure is magic. As always, be safe! Consent is everything, and if your advances are rejected, accept it! There are so many ways to conjure fruitful wishes to fruition. You have to go beyond what’s trending, beyond expensive jewelry and empty proposals. Your darkest desires are your most wondrous magic.