This period of the year was in the past biased around the Feriae Sementinae (in cities) or Feriae Paganicae (in the countryside). These festivities were primarily connected to important agricultural activities for the end of the sowing.
The Flamen Quirinalis invoked:
Veruactor, Reparator, Imporcitor, insitor, Obarator, Occator, Sarritor, Subruncinator, Mesor, Conuector, Conditor, Promitor
But the core of this festival was the simultaneous invocation to Ceres and Tellus.
This is the invocation addressed to these Goddesses:
"The greedy settlers be satiated with immense harvest because their labor has worthy prize. The tender seeds do not cease to grow and sprouts are not burned by the frost. When we sow, provide us with sunny skies; when the seed is underground, water it with rain. The birds do not kidnap it, the ants do not steal it. and the little plant grow healthy and weeds do not choke it to produce ears of corn aplenty "
The Feriae Sementinae had, and still have, however, a meaning that goes beyond the merely agricultural sphere. The importance of this festival is stricly linked to the complex symbolism, about which I can only provide some brief considerations, related to the "seed" and the "field."
The "field" is connected to the Earth-Tellus representing the Body, the Matter (Mater-Materia). The seed is an inert element (dead), but thrown in the ground, symbolic place of all the vital elements (Ceres), it reborns developing the full potential of the plant according to the cycles and colors of the seasons (in physical and metaphysical terms):
- Winter (black)
- Spring (white)
- Summer (red)
- Autumn (gold)
The seed then symbolizes the principle of generation, the "potential of the Being" which derives from the depths of the Earth (Ceres and Tellus). This is the base of the importance of the act of cultivating not only in a practical sense, but also, and above all, in symbolic and cult-ritual terms. Needless to say, the Gods and Goddesses must be coultivated (Colere Deos/Deas). Pietas is the correct approach to spirituality as a form of symbolic cultivation in which seeds are thrown, they must germinate, grow, flower and generate fruit.
"The grain of wheat will not give ears until it is thrown into the field-ground-Earth": the rebirth implies the "fall." It is interesting to read therefore the above-mentioned invocation to Ceres and Tellus with this deeper interpretative perspective.