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

martedì 20 dicembre 2016

Bona Dea - Fauna 2


On the base of a request of more information from a well prepared Cultrix, I have decided to write some additional  insights about Fauna-Bona Dea. It is not a simple task for me, for many reasons.

Firstly, Fauna is a very complex Goddess involving essentially the feminine polarity: not accidentally, like in the case of Vesta and Diana (deities strictly linked to Bona Dea), her cult was once exclusively reserved to women. Men were excluded. Being a Cultor, I'm not therefore the best and corrrect person to talk about these topics.

Bona Dea involves also many symbols, concepts, images, visions that were (and still are) secret: and they must remain as such. Both for the secrecy and for the complexity, any discussion becomes a difficult task also because in this blog I do not make academic reflections, I do not talk about history or anthropology, but rather about a living Traditional Spirituality, lived as a personal individual existential experience. Moreover, in modern languages, we do not have in many occasions the appropriate terms to describe these issues.

For this reason the present discussion will be unavoidably "limited": limited to a few additional thoughts, limited to superficial reflections which sometimes may appear perhaps irrational, fragmented and discontinuous sentences. I hope to be able to do something better in the future.

A further difficulty when trying to explain an ancient Italic potnia like Fauna-Bona Dea arises from the inner nature of the Traditional Roman Spirituality in its most authentic sense. In very superficial and simplistic terms, one could state that, unlike the Traditional Spirituality from the Greek Heritage (very philosophical, strongly "mythical" and in this aspect almost "scientific" - even if only appartently irrational - but also emotional and passionate), the Traditional Roman Spirituality is likely to be much more magical. With the word "magic" I do not refer to the "magic" in a modern and profane sense: it is a traditional dimension of "knwoledge" involving the invisible, the anima mundi in all its forms and symbols: this "knowledge" is by long prior to any form of philosophical speculation.
The difference between Bona Dea, in her traditional and authentic definition, and her historical evolution contaminated by the Greek culture is precisely biased on this aspect or in showing this magical feature that has nothing to share with sentimental or passionate feelings. In paritcular Fauna, and the other Goddesses like her, are a manifestation of the magical essence of the World, Nature, Earth, Universe.

Bona Dea is part of those invisible forces that, through their worship, can become visible thus appearing in the form of plants, animals or humans as the deepest sense of existence, of the immanent Being. The capability to recognize these "magic" forces of the Being is at the base of the respect any real Cultor or Cultrix has of Nature, World, Universe.
It is in this sense all this should be intended.

The following reflections therefore mustn't be read in a literal sense. They require the capability to read between the lines and between the words (qui habet aures audiendi audiat). Othewise it is better to renounce to continue reading.

Fauna-Bona Dea
In my previous post on Fauna-Bona Dea, I connected this Goddess with the healer-women (in the popular sense: the witches). Well, actually, it is not completely true because the healer-women and witches are traditionally more linked to divine forces like Minerua (the owl is her symbol).  

Even Fauna shows this link but with a particular aspect: Fauna-Bona Dea is a Goddess-Shaman. Her symbol is the drum (characteristic of all female forces linked to the Earth). The Fauna's drum is a circle made of wood with over a stretched animal skin. It primarily represents Bona Dea in the plant and animal kingdom. It is composed of parts of "killed" trees and animals but the Goddess  "pours" in it giving life to the drum.

This sacred drum describes some peculiar elements in the rituals of the worship of Fauna (again: exclusively reserved for women): invocation around and through the fire, magic function of the word (storytelling and divination), possession (dance) to access other worlds. In the rite of fire there is a contact with Vesta, in the magical function of the word all the Ancient Oracular Forces are involved (Picus, Faunus, ect ...), in the sacred dance, there is  the link with Diana (ridda).

The drum of Bona Dea implies further links with Vesta (in its traditional Roman declination). The drum has a circular shape: it means that it is not "oriented". The drum of Bona Dea thus corresponds to the fire of Vesta (see this dedicated post ) which is also circular. Both are symbols of the Earth and express the forces of cohesion. The fire of Vesta is alive, the Fauna drum is alive.

Bona Dea is a Shaman Goddess healing only women and children. She does not heal through medicines: she heals because she enables the shamanic vision of the World-inside-the World. She opens the viewing of what others can not see. This vision doesn't involve the physical and chemical properties of plants and herbs, but the ability to know herbs and plants as they really are, as Beings of another world, with the ability to see the invisibles as the inner souls of plants, herbs, animals, minerals, metals. Bona Dea enters the shaman and provides her the metamorphic knowledge (transforming the one who knows). The spectrum of this kind of knowledge thus appears much more extended, beyond the measurable.

The sacred space of Fauna-Bona-Dea is the forest (not only as a physical space, but also as inner personal space) and the forest is the sacred dimension of the ancient energies and primal forces. Fauna and shaman are hunters in the forest. They are always accompanied by a guide animal (eg. woodpeacker, She-Bear, She-Wolf, Eagle), where the Goddess "enters". This synbolism can be found also in the ancient banners (in particular the eagle) of the Roman legions, which are legions of hunters following an animal guide held up by a man dressed in a wolf skin: all this has great magical value.

The symbolism of the snake in the worship of Fauna, as beneficial influence of the Goddess, implies more specific values ​​and meanings.


Bona Dea, in her traditional roman expression, shows two main (apparently) opposite aspects: she is immobile without defined shapes or while running. These aspects describe two interrelated forces also characterizing nature: stability but in continuos, generating movement and transformation.

Camouflage is a fundamental element of the Goddess: in particular, the shamans and Hyrpae (like Luperci and Hyrpi) are covered with wolf skins. The metamorphic knowledge connected to this Goddess implies a form of empathy: in this case the prey is dressed up with the skin of the predator, the prey becomes the predator.


 Fauna-Bona Dea sings her oracles. Please note that the oracle in Delphi was not originally dedicated to Apollo (but rather to a Great Ancient Goddess) and the Pythia was a shaman (she had the power to see the "three Worlds") ...

The "myth" of Romulus and Remus is highly related to this symbolism: sacred trees, guide animals, the Hyrpa, the Vestal, the twins, the basket of wicker, the river (flowing waters), etc ... Those having a knowledge of this symbolism can easily understand its real meaning.

Now I stop my words here ...

3 commenti:

M. Sentia Figula ha detto...

Of all your posts I think this is my favourite – it is very beautiful and subtle. I especially like the way it dances around the primordial, which is when we are closest to that which matters most. Thank you so much for this. I have read it several times now. As it touches on complex things I won’t say too much more but I would like to mention that in November, when we had that amazing super moon, I went out to a local park on the top of a hill with a family member and we decided to howl at the moon like wolves (yes, this was my idea). I went first (it takes a little courage, or at least a willingness to be unconventional, as we live in a very urban area) and something unexpected happened when I did so. It is very hard to describe, but what was meant to be fun turned into something quite moving, I felt as if I was tapping into something somehow profound and ancient. Then two of us were doing it and we didn’t want to stop, finally we did and when we did we realised someone unseen was answering us, and howling in return. Modern life has too few of these moments. I think a lot of young people are drawn to drugs and dance parties because of a sort of instinctive attraction to something deeper and wilder (certainly it was like this for me when I was in my late teens and 20s), but drugs are not really necessary, what is necessary is a willingness to let go, to be free, even if only for a finite time, to open up (one’s mind above all things) and be willing to connect with and see the sacred dimension.

Carmelo Cannarella ha detto...

Thank you for your comment. As anticipated in my previous comments, it is not easy for me to talk about these topics. While writing I have decided to eliminate some considerations in order to avoid potential misunderstandings. When talking about tradiotional spirituality, in any expression and declination, there are many aspects difficult to be discussed in a blog. We will have a lot of things to think about when we will meet in the future (You can never say...)

M. Sentia Figula ha detto...