One of the symbols characterizing a Cultor and a Cultrix is the baculum, a long wooden stick. It shows to be part of the community of Cultores of the Traditional Roman Religion. As vitis is a symbol of a pater/mater familias, lituus for the augur, the sceptre for the pontifex/pontifica, baculum is the first tool-symbol in the hierarchy of the ordo.
Being a long wooden stick, a man or a woman undertaking the Via without a baculum are essentially weak because their walking is lacking a support.
The term "imbecile" (imbecille in italian) indicates a person without a baculum, unable to stand up both in physical and metaphorical sense. He/she is with no support, an idiot, a weak man/woman.
Baculum is therefore a support to which one can rely on: it is the symbol of Fides the main support to safely undertake the Via towards the Virtus. Without Fides one cannot be defined a Cultor/Cultrix and consequently a good pater/mater familias, an augur, a pontifex... Fides, as well as the baculum is the foundation for our walking along our spiritual path.
It is important to highlight that Fides cannot be translated with the term "Faith" and there is no relation with this profane concept. Fides is something more complex and deeper. Faith in monoteism is a sentimental feeling and a passion expression where rational thought is denied in order to clutch at a revealed truth. Faith is often linked to body humiliations, an inner passivity, soul mortification, lack of rationale: this explains why, in the worst cases, faith in monoteism is a the base of fanaticism.
Fides, on the contrary, is closer to the idea of "Trust", "Reliability", "Confidence". Unfortunately, as in other occasions, we have no words in the modern languages to correctly describe so complex concepts.
Not accidentally, Fides, in its sacralization, is strctly linked to Mens (Rational Thought). This is to confirm its abyssal distance from the monoteistic and fanatical idea of faith (faith is "blind" like rage and anger).
Fides is the basic principle for the human relations, for the relations between mankind and Deities. It is at the base of the civil life, oaths, obligations and pledges (Fides preuspposes Dius Fidius) and the Pax Deorum. Fides is therefore a support to give shape to loyalty, fidelity, honor and respect as religious and ethical fondations.Without Fides, there are no reference points, human relations are untrustworthy, relations with Gods/Goddesses are empty. It means that one is relying on Fortune: he/she is living randomly, he/she is a weak and vulnerable person.
All this explains why in Ancient Rome Fides had one of the oldest and highly considered cult as precondition for civil life.
The idea of Fides can explain also why, as I have already written, a Cultor/Cultrix "doesn't pray" in monosteistic and profane sense. At the base of the relations with the Deities there is no faith, but Fides or reciprocal trust. A Cultor/Cultrix and Deities are linked by a relation inspired by Fides: it means that both parties are trustworthy and capable to give trust. One can give trust only to whom is capable to inspire confidence.
Fides is a pure and upright force. For this reason the Flamines in the rites dedicated to Fides, showed their right hand covered with a white cloth. The right hand is a seat sacred to Fides. One give the right hand to express his fidelity, to make an oath. The right hand is the incarnation of Fides.
The white light in the Full Moon night is dedicated to Fides.
Fot these reasons Fides is a support like a baculum helping us during our walking. along the path A Cultor/Cultrix consequently has no faith: he/she must have no faith, because if he/she loses the contact with Mens, he/she becomes blind losing the state of awareness and awakening.
It is rather necessary to have "Trust", to rely on Fides.