Quando in un bosco ne percepisci la bellezza e diventi tutt'uno con il bosco, allora, intuitivamente, sei in armonia e in pace con le Dee e con gli Dei. Essi sono parte della nostra vera natura, la nostra Natura Profonda, e quando siamo separati dalla nostra vera natura, viviamo nella paura. Percepire questa normalità vuol dire dare un senso reale al vivere che è insito in tutte le cose.

Intraprendere la Via Romana al Divino significa iniziare un percorso di risveglio: praticando l'attenzione e la consapevolezza continua ci incamminiamo lungo una strada sapendo che ciò che conta è il cammino per sè più che la destinazione.

When you, entering a forest, perceive the beauty of the forest and you feel to be in a complete harmony with it, then, intuitively, you are in peace with the Deities. They are an essential part of our real nature, our Deep Nature, and when we are separated by our real nature we live in the fear. Perceiving such normality means giving a real sense to our lives.

Undertaking the Roman Via to the Deities implies a path to awakening: with the practice of continuing consciousness and awareness we undertake our walking knowing that taking the path is more important than the destination itself
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lunedì 28 novembre 2016

Bona Dea - Fauna

Fauna - Bona Dea is a very peculiar Goddess and, even if totally unconsciously, still very "felt" and alive. She is a typical Italic divine force: a potnia, a divine force that still runs in the woods and forests.

Fauna, female polarity of the Faunus, is named as the "Good Goddess" (Bona Dea): she has oracular powers and secret rites, reserved only to women, were conntected to her. Fauna-Bona Dea is one of the main deity of Rome (all tutelary forces of Rome are feminine forces; Angerona, Bona Dea, Venus, Ops, Flora,etc ...). Therefore her attributes, her real name, cult, ritual formulas, her deepest features had to be kept secret, known only to resctricted circles of the Vestal Virgins and Matres Familias.

The Bona Dea festival falls on December 3 and on this day only Cultrices can make  libations to this Goddess.

Even if in the past the cult of bona Dea tended to be covered by similar cults from Greek tradition, the worship of Bona Dea, in its the authentic meaning and role, remains one of the most important cult in the Traditional Roman Spirituality.

Bona Dea is a "snake lady": she is in fact depicted surrounded by snakes. Even in the representations of other Goddesses or Gods, the presence of Fauna - Bona Dea is symbolized by the presence of a snake. The symbolism of the snake in the Traditional Roman Spirituality is very complex and requires further explanations actually not possible here. Even today in many small villages of Central Italy there the are many festivals where there are snakes: they are certainly examples of popular folklore in which the deepest values of these symbols are totally forgotten. In these festivals, in one way or another, however some link of the Italic populations with Fauna - Bona Dea still survive.

In Central Italy, in many forests woods traces of sites were once a Faunae Nemus or large stones that symbolized Bona Dea still can be found.

Bona Dea has powers related to medicine: there were priestesses (Magistrae Bonae Deae) that not only were involved in the most secret cults of this Goddess, but they had a deep knowledge of the secret virtues and properties of herbs and plants growing in the woods. All the (female) healers and shamans are related to Bona Dea: they, today as in the past, have a herbarium of "simples", especially women and children, may find remedies to treat diseases. This is the reason why Fauna is called Bona Dea: oracular power (shaman) together with medical power (healing).

The witches of all time invoke Bona Dea because Fauna shows the path to discover the inner and secret power of the plants to make filters and remedies against poisons and diseases.


Bona Dea, however, is also a "Lady of the Animals", especially the wild ones. As in the case of Apollo Sorano with his Luperci-Hyrpi, Bona Dea had priestesses: women-wolf (Lupercae-Hyrpae).

Women dressed in wolf skins celebrated secret rites to Bona Dea in the most hidden places of the woods since ancient times.

Probably one of these priestesses took care of the twins Romulus and Remus. Not accidentally, the temple of Bona Dea in Rome on the Aventine was placed in a site dedicated to Remo (Remuria).

Women should therefore never forget the worship and the figure of Bona Dea.

4 commenti:

M. Sentia Figula ha detto...

I am very glad you wrote this because Bona Dea is a deity I have struggled to understand. Would you say there are many deities associated with wild places and she is amongst them or is she a manifestation of a greater form of female regenerative energy (for want of a better term)? Do you believe her to be associated inherently with Vesta, and if so in what way?

Carmelo Cannarella ha detto...

I would be pleased to reply to your interesting comment but I don't know how to do (too many complex considerations involved). The risk is to write a too long reply. I hope to be able to write an additional post about this issue with further brief details inspired by your questions.

M. Sentia Figula ha detto...

Great! I do apologise for posing such difficult questions - I know full well how difficult they are to answer. I have my own incoherent and embryonic thoughts about this topic (the natures of Bona Dea, Vesta and other Goddesses who seem to be interrelated), but my total lack of clarity prevents me from going further. All I can say with certainty is that Vesta is a complex and profound Goddess, while Bona Dea is enigmatic (to me).

Carmelo Cannarella ha detto...

The problem in dealing with Goddesses like Bona Dea, Diana, Vesta etc. is that they imply many "secret" and complex topics, symbols, imagines which cannot be easily discussed in particular by a simple Cultor like me. I'm also a male: the worst person to talk about Bona Dea...

Anyway, I'll try to do my best....

It is clear enough that we are not discussing here these issues as academic, historical, antropological or religious (in a profane sense) questions: they, in one way or another, involve our deeper, personal and inner spirituality and spiritual experience or the way we look at the world as a metaphysical and extra-phenomenical dimension.

There is nothing one can learn from the books... It is difficult for me also to find the right words (in italian!). Frequently I have no correct words to describe all this.

The real difficulty is thus here...

It is therefore very hard to think about our Deities (above all the Roman ones for their inner "magical" nature - be careful in understanding this word) in a "distant" way: one can smile at all this as well as become fool (Dionysus is always by our side) or be disturbed... We are not professors, students or academics: we are Cultores and Cultrices directly involved in these issues.

Of course this is my (maybe wrong) approach to this: I don't like reconstructionism or a too conformist and rigid adherence to formal rites and blablas. But, I repeat, I'm problably wrong, very wrong, and maybe out of the time...