The Lemuria: Now at PaganSquare

I have my monthly article up a bit earlier than usual over at my PaganSquare blog.  You can read about my take on the Lemuria at The Lemuria – PaganSquare – PaganSquare – Join the conversation!.

2 thoughts on “The Lemuria: Now at PaganSquare

  1. What a great post; thank you for this edifying read! As a philosophy minor in college–and as a vegetarian for 24 years and counting–I’ve often wondered about Pythagoras’ stipulation that his vegetarian pupils abstain from eating beans. My professor at the time joked about Pythagoras wanting to keep his pupils flatulence-free. But I knew something chthonically taboo was at work, but have never been able to find additional research on the subject. Curiously, in Japanese harvest festival lore (according to a friend of mine who has spent considerable time teaching English in grammar schools throughout the island of Hokkaido), people dressed up as “oni” (demons) are paraded through schools at harvest time, and the young children (after they’re done screaming their lungs out) assembled are encouraged to throw fist-fulls of soybeans at the oni to drive them out of the community. One wonders if there might be some sort of cultural parallels with the Roman practices you describe.

    At any rate, as a person whose entire urban housing subdivision in Chicago sits atop a mass paupers’ grave of 39,000 mostly nameless dead (John and Jane Doe victims of the 1871 Chicago Fire, widows, orphans, Union Civil War dead, the unfortunates housed in the notorious Chicago State Hospital for the criminally insane, and others), I find this material highly relevant to my situation and local cultic practices. I’ll have to adapt the latter to include some of what you detail here; trust me when I say that my modest condominium has magical wards up the wazoo!


    1. I’ve been digging in bean theories in the last 24 hours; I just haven’t decided definitively what I think it represents. Some scholars think it has to do with human sacrifice, because the bean looks like female genitals. Which combined with the mano fico is possible, I guess. Except I’m not sure who is looking at beans and seeing genitals. Apparently sucking and spitting of the beans, which some scholars add in to the reconstruction is “scenting” them as human. Romans did a lot to hide their human sacrifice roots, so I guess it’s believable.

      Another is that the beans split open showed the propensity for life and that it would encourage the Dead to be reborn. It’s giving them a new opportunity. I kind of like this idea, but it’s not really about what I like, I guess. LoL

      My other theory is that they somehow are spiritually binding. I have nothing to really back that, though, beyond the Roman priests not being allowed to touch them in the same manner he wasn’t allowed to bind his clothes or wear rings that were unbroken by stone.

      I’d love to hear how you’ve adapted this and how it worked for you. 🙂


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