The month of October, dedicated to Pomona, is a period full of farming and harvesting activities. This is the reason why Pomona and Vertumnus are the reference of this sacred moment during which the gifts that nature offers us can be harvested. Life itself is a gift that given to us by Nature, destined to return to Nature.
Among the various agricultural harvesting activities in this period, it must highlighted the grapevine harvestof. I would like therefore to spend few considerations on grapevine and wine, not in botanical or technical terms, but in the symbolic and agricultural meaning (in the most sacred of this term).
The grapevine is a plant "full" of the Dionysius-Bacchos energy: a crown of intertwined vines is a symbol of Dionysus. Its sister plant is the 'ivy. The Grape symbolizes Abundance - in the broadest sense possible: immortality for the Gods and Goddesses, health for mortals.
The grapevine, however, is primarily the "plant of Rhea", the Great Mother, whose statues are made with grapevine wood. The presence of columns made of grapevine wood or spiral columns are symbols of the Great Mother Rhea, generating and feeding Goddess (Alma Mater). To the Great Mother Rhea are sacred those plants with leaves with five peaks, thus including the grapevine: these leaves symbolize the "green hand": on each toe, finger or the leaf, there is a letter, the initial the name of the five Deae Matronae, declinations of the attributes of Rhea.
The vine therefore symbolizes generation, nurturing, the immortality of the cycles of nature, the feminine energy and force of Nature. Anyone who knows this plant knows how much strength and energy may be contained in the vine. The vine ("Curved Queen") symbolizes the feminine serpentine force, unraveling like a snake around an axis. This relationship is described by the dependence of the vine from the elm (tutor).
Wine triggers the "orgiastic power," the release of the irrational and the unconscious, temporary madness, liberation from the bonds of "normality": these are elements connected to the Dionysian sphere. All the myths related to Dionysus see the symbolic presence of the vine, grapes and wine and the whole cycle of the vine and wine in turn represent the same myth of this God. The cultivation of grapes and wine production is a divine gift: the wine is not just a drink, but it is a "living creature", bubbling, fermenting, that "lives even in winter", symbolizing the blood of Dionysus, in a continuos transformation. Wine is also the blood, the lymph of the Earth's depths: this condition links wine to the underworld of the Dead.
Wine rouses the erotic sphere (Venus): in the botanical geography of the hand, the vine is located at the base of the thumb.
Wine can become a mean of communication with the Gods and Goddesses both in oracular - through the delirium caused by drunkenness - and in symbolic terms because it represents the blood, conveying the generating energy: a gift given to us we must that we must return. For this wine is a central element of libatio as fundamental form of sacrifice.
In the Hortus Arvalis, the vine, plant rich of energy, is located in the flowerbed of Mars.