Today is the first day of Saturnalia in the Roman traditions. This is a seven-day festival dedicated to the god of Destiny. What’s odd about Saturnalia is the extravagant decadence with which it is celebrated. It’s not just that the seasonal activities include sex and substance abuse – if you’re Pagan, you’re certainly used to all that by now. No, it’s the particularly twisted and bizarre spin the Romans put on these otherwise benign habits during Saturnalia that really deserves comment. This is also a time of year when slaves and masters meet one another as equals and social distinctions are put on hold. It’s a time of generosity and goodwill . . . perhaps in the hope that if we go easy on one another, Saturn will go easy on us! Saturnalia continues through December 23rd.
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