by: N. Moravius Vado
Known also asSementiva, "the Time of Sowing", this is a moveablefeast celebrated (weather permitting) either on or a little afterJanuary 24th.
The ground,prepared to receive the seed corn, is consecrated with scatteredmola salsa, spring water, and incense. As each is done, thecelebrant says:
"Ab illosbenedicaris, in cuius honore friaris/spargaris/cremaberis"
"Be thoublessed by them in whose honour thou shalt be scattered/sprinkled/burned".
Spelt cakes(farrei) are brought to the altar. The celebrant says:
"Pagusagat festum: pagum lustrate, et date paganis annua liba focis."
"Let thepagus keep the feast: let the pagus be purified, and the yearlycakes be offered on the hearths of the pagus."
As the cakesare offered on the altar, the celebrant says:
"Placenturfrugum Matres farre suo. Officium triplex et commune Matrestuentur: haec praebet causam frugibus, haec alimonium, illa locum."
"Let the Mothers of fruits bepropitiated with their own cakes of spelt. The Mothers have onethreefold office: they give to the seed life to grow, food togrow, a place to grow."
"Consortesoperis, per quas correcta vetustas quernaque glans victa estutiliore cibo, frugibus immensis avidos satiate colonos, utcapiant cultus praemia digna sui. Vos date perpetuosteneris sementibus auctus, nec niva per gelidas herba sit ustanives. Cum serimus, caelum ventis aperite serenis..."
"Partners in labour,who changed the ancient ways and showed us better food thanacorns, satisfy the farmers with boundless crops, that they mayreap the rewards their work deserves. Grant to the tender seedsincrease unbroken; let no freezing snows bite the sproutingshoots. When we sow, let the sky be cloudless and the winds blowsweetly."
Eachparticipant sows grain and makes a personal prayer. The celebrantsays:
"... cumlatet, aetheria spargit semen aqua. "
"But whenthe seed is buried, then may it be sprinkled with water from thesky..."
Eachparticipant covers the seed, sprinkles it with water, and adds apersonal prayer if desired. The celebrant says:
"Nevegraves cultus Cerialia rura, cavete, agmine laesuro depopulenturaves. Vos quoque, formicae, subiectis parcite granis: post messempraedae copia maior erit. Interea crescat scabrae robiginisexpers, nec vitio caeli palleat aegra seges, et neque deficiatmacie neque pinguior aequo divitiis pereat luxoriosa suis. Etcareant loliis oculos vitiantibus agri, nec sterilis culto surgatavena solo. Triticeos fetus passuraque farra bis ignem hordeaqueingenti fenore reddat ager!"
"Forbidthe birds that feed on the furrows to take the sown grain. Andyou too, ants, spare this seed: let it lie now, and when it isharvested, you will have a richer reward. Until then, let no rustor mildew darken the crop, nor foul weather turn it sickly pale.May it neither shrivel nor bloat. May the fields be free of [eye-weakeningdarnel] weeds and wild oats. May the land yield with interestcrops of wheat and of barley and of spelt which twice shall passthe fire."
"Efficiantqueratas divae Matrones preces."
"And maythe Mother-goddesses grant our prayers".
All presentsay:"Fiat! Fiat Fiat!" "So moteit be!"