There are some divine forces such as Robiga (The Red Goddess: the one who corrodes), Febris (the Fever together with Tertiana and Quartiana) or Mala Fortuna which are not simply some adverse manifestations of Nature (which in some way must be appeased). They have been accompanying the existence itself along its cycle of birth-life-death. Corrosion, fever or adverse luck, can be linked not only to material aspects or diseases of the body: there may show also deeper implications. There is also a "rust" of the soul, a "fever" of the soul ", a sense of adversity that is perceived in the deep of the soul: for this reason it is essential to have the ability to recognize these forces in order to mitigate their effects on the body and soul.
Among these forces, one of the most "sensitive" is certainly Murcia or Murkia (the lazy one), a Goddess with a very ancient worship, about whom our Ancestoers recommended a certain prudence even in pronouncing her name.
In a profane perspective Murcia is labelled as the Goddess of Laziness: this Goddess implies more complex and deeper considerations, well known to the Ancients., I will briefly try to resume below.
Murcia appears like a shadow, a ghost, a blurred female figure covered by a veil because she confuses the mind.
The laziness linked to Murcia is defined as "aegritudo" or a perturbation of the soul that gradually extinguishes the will because of the affliction of the soul. The Ancients believed that as there are diseases that affect the body, there are similar diseases affecting the soul. In both cases it is necessary to clearly identify the nature of the desease in order to define a cure, also consideringthat, being the body and the soul strictly linked, the illnesses of one may influence the other and viceversa.
The Goddess manifests her presence with a state of agitation and suffering caused by fear and affliction of the soul which, by their nature, do not obey reason. The reason (Mens) is obscured (the veil). The Goddess leads to a possession that causes amentia (absence of reason) or dementia (loss of reason). Murcia therefore causes a retreat of the soul in itself, a depression, and this contraction explains the feminine nature of this force and the links with Venus.
The resulting disturbance leads the person to be insane or "broken", not complete: he/she no longer has control on himself/herself.
The Ancients believed that Murcia hit the innate sensibility of the soul which makes it vulnerable to affliction and depression. Cicero reports a statement by the philosopher Krantor:
"I totally disagree with those who reserve great praise for this form, I do not know how to define it, of insensibility which I think absolutely should not exist, I hope I will not get sick, but if this happens to me, I would like to keep my sensibility (...) In fact, this insensibility to pain can not be obtained except at a very high price: inhumanity of the soul and torpor of the body".
The sensibility of the soul is therefore considered a quality that can however be affected by pathologies. Murcia stimulates fear and fears in a very sensible soul causing sadness, restlessness, loss of trust and strength, abatement, anguish, grief, depression: the soul becomes lazy, "slows down" tending to collapse. Murcia is therefore aegritudo containing the notion of grief and pain in the name.
According to the traditional perspective, the aegritudo of Murcia is a fear caused by "opinion" or the idea of a real or perceived threat of an impending danger or evil, the opinion that "it is right to suffer" such an evil and the consequent grief. Murcia drives those who suffer from depression to believe that they are suffering an "indispensable" and necessary pain. The result is what we call today "unhappiness": in the Tradition perspective, the correct word is not "unhappiness" (a term implying a completely different meaning not comparable to the modern one) but rather "misery" or "deprivation". The man or woman possessed by Murcia has the soul mutilated and destroyed, he/she is "insane" because missing something: the Goddess deprives of something.
Being a real disease of the soul, the Ancients believed that the aegritudo should be strongly fought with all the means "if we want to spend in peace and tranquility the rest of the life has been granted to us" (Cicero). In the past, some "comforters" were identified (as the person often afflicted alone was not able to provide for themselves). These were men and women who had the task of appeasing the Goddess Murcia or eliminating depression, reducing it as much as possible, prevent it from getting worse or longer, or turning the person's attention to other thoughts.
Appeasing Murcia involved the recourse to spiritual exercises based on philosophy or sapientia. In particular, it was taught to the afflicted person to endure the human condition, to bear the pain and grief, not to fight against the Gods or Goddesses, citing good examples, removing the negative opinions and ideas that lead to believe that suffering is right and dutiful, with the practice of otium and meditation. "All means must be used to support those who collapse and can not remain firm due to the gravity of affliction" (Cicero). The Ancients also believed that the comforter must know many remedies given that "there are those who are sensitive in one way, some in another": for this they must know how to choose not only the most appropriate remedies but also the most opportune moment in order to not aggravate the situation.
"But what are the roots of affliction, how many, and how much bitter! Once the trunk has been torn down, it is necessary to tear them all, even with single dissertations, if necessary. (...) But the nature of affliction is unique even if the names are many. (...) These are those filaments of the roots that must be searched and eradicated all because no one can ever live again. This is a hard and difficult task: who denies it? But what an illustrious enterprise is not even difficult? Philosophy is committed to get this result and we only have to accept her method of care "(Cicero)