Valentine’s Day – The Men, The Myths, The Wolves.

origins of Valentine's Day - ancient Saint Valentine picture on stained glass

The origins of Valentine’s Day are shrouded by flowery sentiment because it was in fact super bloody and more like a bad day in Westeros.

Of all the Hallmark Holidays, Valentine’s Day is the worst. Single people are never so screwed (not literally) as they are on V-Day. On regular festive occasions like Thanksgiving, your Aunt Tina is there to remind you to sit at the “single, unmarried table.” But on Valentine’s Day, the entire universe conspires to remind you of that. And it would be of some consolation if there actually were a single, unmarried table to sit at, but there isn’t. There is nowhere to sit and nowhere to go. You are a window shopper in a world full of no loitering zones. Like a Facebook friend’s first-born baby, there is no escaping Valentine’s Day.

The commercialization and single-shaming aspects of Valentine’s Day aren’t even my least favorite things about it. No friends. The worst part of Valentine’s Day is its origin story. (Spoiler alert.)

You’d think the story behind the “most romantic day of the year” would live in Romeo and Juliet/Samson and Delilah/Bey and Jay territory. But the history of Valentine’s Day is more like a choose your own adventure for sad endings to Saintly lives.

Valentine’s Day Is More Like A ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ For Sad Saintly Lives.

First of all, when you partake in Valentine’s Day, know that you are celebrating a Saint Day. Nearly every day of the year has a Saint attached to it. Most of them performed miracles and died in terrible ways. Most of us don’t pay attention to Saint days, but in Italy, if your name is Valentino, February 14th would be your second birthday of sorts. You would celebrate with cake, gifts, hugs and a call from grandma. This makes me sad that I don’t have a Saint name because I am a birthday whore.

Saint Valentine is said to be a hybrid of two, and maybe more, pious, ancient gentlemen named Valentine. Catholics needed a Saint for February 14, and he, as an ambiguous, two for one deal, seemed like a good option. More than facts, the stories behind St. Valentine are known as “legends.” He was a Roman priest practicing in la Citta eternal, and he was also a Bishop in Umbria. Roman Valentine got into trouble for performing Christian marriages in a Pagan world, while Umbrian V healed people while serving Jesus.

One of the Valentines ended up in a Roman prison circa 270 AD, which wasn’t the best place for a Christian to be at that time. Emperor Claudius II took a liking to V, because he was charming, of course. But Claudius’ affection waned when the smooth-talking priest tried to push his Jesus agenda on the Pagan Emperor. Love did not conquer all for Valentine, and he was soon bludgeoned and beheaded. And now, we eat red candy hearts on Feb 14th to honor his spilled blood (just kidding, but sort of?).

Some say the Catholic Church chose Mr. Valentine for his nebulous past and picked Feb 14th for Saint Valentine’s day because it conveniently fell right in the middle of a much more exciting Pagan holiday they wanted to overshadow: Lupercalia.

The real origins Valentine’s Day Is That It’s About Wolves

Lupercalia was celebrated from February 13th to the 15th each year as a way to ward off evil spirits and purify Ancient Rome. It honored the mighty she-wolf, who, according to the myth, suckled Romulus and Remus when they were wee abandoned babies. Romulus would go on to kill his brother and found Rome. The she-wolf was, and still is, a big deal in the Eternal City. She is a symbol of motherhood, protection, goodness, resilience, and ferocity, but foremost, she is a symbol of Rome.

I’d like to propose a trade back: Valentine’s Day for Lupercalia. A citywide, celebratory spring cleaning with party people dressed up as she-wolves sound a lot more fun than eating a strained, expensive meal in a crowded restaurant with dozens of other couples.

On February 14th, if you respond to, “Happy Valentine’s Day” with, “HAPPY WOLF DAY AAAWOOOOOOO!” you are the hero we all need.

Wolves > cherubs.

In San Valentino, February 14 Is Their Festival of Cuckolds

Have you heard of the Italian town called San Valentino? My Valentine’s Day conditioned brain thinks of it and sees old, cobblestoned streets dotted with pink paper hearts. They’re flanked by ancient stone buildings with red Cupid banners hung from the windows. The smell of chocolate perfumes the air and couples young and old are gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes. If San Valentino were actually like this, I would celebrate Valentine’s Day forever.

Yes, it’s a charming Italian town, beautiful and quaint, but residents there don’t celebrate love. In fact, every year, San Valentino hosts an ancient festival called Festa del Cornuti (Festival of the Cuckolds) and parades men with adulterous wives through the streets to be taunted. The next time someone says the phrase, “romance, Italian-style,” please think of this.

Catholics might have picked the date for St. Valentine, but it was 14th century English poet Geoffrey Chaucer who first associated it with romantic love. In his poem, “Parlement of Foules,” written during the courtly love era, Chaucer writes about birds choosing their mates on Valentine’s Day. If you don’t already loathe Valentine’s Day, and you’re a masochist, attempt to read the poem in its original Old English, won’t you?

Most people know nothing about Valentine’s Day except that it’s a day for romance and love, and despite my gripes about its history, I’m fine with those aspects of it. Consumerism aside, a day dedicated to love is never a bad thing. I just wish there were more of them.

carlaciccone.com
@cciccone

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MoonLilithMM Member
MoonLilith

I can read Chaucer in the original Middle English and I can’t stand Valentine’s Day which is why although married for 17 years I don’t celebrate it.

Redlipstick Virgo
Redlipstick Virgo

St Valentine’s skull – dressed in red velvet gold braid and fur is viewable in Rome in an ancient church whose portico also houses the “mouth of truth” think Audrey Hepburn/Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday. It a weird dichotomy – Valentine and a place you’ll supposedly lose your hand if you tell a lie.
P.S. I am all for Baci and yes that bitter chocolate outside and hazelnut inside with a little message is perfection x

Leogroover
Leogroover

So i re read the post MM put up for me on V day 2 years ago about being a V day gimp. I have come so far since then and have embarked on my own solo ..not single.. journey of 1200kms to take a job in Tasmania. It has been fantastic doing it all on my own, me and my campervan angelina, and despite a breakdown of epic proportions me and the car (no other type for me the lioness) i am nearly there. So many advantages to going on my own but knowing the universe is supporting me… Read more »

flowerchild
flowerchild

I like the idea of Lupercalia. I’ve been doing a lot of spring cleaning at my house right now and it feels productive. The weather has been warm and sunny and feels like things are awakening to Spring.. I’ve been really lonely lately, though. And it has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day. The feeling started way before that. It’s mostly that I don’t have enough friends and the friends I do have I don’t see very often. I just feel mostly forgotten and I’ve also been isolating myself, feeling better being by myself, but then spending too much time… Read more »

annica
annica

and wow just in time for Valentine’s Day:

http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/02/happy-couples-are-probably-deluding-themselves.html

This article has Neptune written all over it. Basically the longest lasting couples are mutually deluded. Saturn ain’t the only baller.

Jokerman
Jokerman

“We are just all prisoners here of our own device”

skarabMM Member
skarab

I used to get secretly disappointed if a guy gave me something on St V’s day. What’s romantic about following the dictates of the herd?

Rosa
Rosa

Exactly. Independence of heart and thought is admirable, not the ‘i’m doing it cos everyone else is’

Jokerman
Jokerman

Brian: “You are all individuals!”
Crowd (500 in unison): “We are all individuals”
Lone Dissenter: “Well, l’m not”

RuthMM Member
Ruth

Year 12, English Literature, Geoffrey Chaucer, Catholic Girls School, TEE Exams, passionate, weird teacher…….Nailed it.

skarabMM Member
skarab

gawd yes – bloody tercels, morcels and foules.

Jokerman
Jokerman

Well, why did Toyota name a car a Tercel; idiots.
A ‘shopping trolley’ named after a hawk???

PorkchopMM Member
Porkchop

I need to remember to buy my cats a piece of eye fillet for Valentine’s Day..

I love being single 🙂

davidlMM Member
davidl

I’ve always despised V day. Seriously, if you really love someone then everyday is the day to take a minute and appreciate them. One day of the year ? That’s going to cover it ? I purposely forget V day and if in the past there had been complaints then they were the last complaints because If that’s the type of crap you need it’s over.

Charles
Charles

I remember the last time I ever made a romantic gesture for valentines. At the time, I was broke and living with Miss Pisces in our decrepit artist’s loft. In January, one of the guys in the office where I worked organized a group purchase of roses, I think it was like $30 for a dozen boxed long stem red roses that would cost $75 or more on the 14th. I told him no, you know how broke I am, I can’t afford something like that. Oh well. On the end of the work day of the 14th, my friend… Read more »

Charles
Charles

Oops I wish I could edit that, I misspoke, that story was about Miss Kataka, not Miss Pisces. I have been thinking about Miss Pisces lately.

Miu
Miu

Hello Charles, what a story! I hope you find your Camilla and can eventually forgive Diana.

😉

Best,
M.

Jokerman
Jokerman

“I offered up my innocence,
I got repaid with scorn”
“Shelter from the Storm”. Dylan

I had an experience like that; from afar
One bloke at work brought them for his wife and was in the doghohse for that.
One blokeat the same place / same day didnt and he was in the doghouse for that.
I didnt but my then wife understood bcos of my low wage at the time.
Manufactured days are a crapshoot.

Charles
Charles

I am probably the only person on Earth who ever got in trouble for both at the same time.

Scorpio_RisingMM Member
Scorpio_Rising

damned if you damned if you don’t!

emgMM Member
emg

Charles seems you like these watery creatures? She was obviously highly reactive and leapt in without a censor or understanding. What a shame. Anything given on any day should be accepted with thanks. Maybe it sparks a discussion but that’s how you learn about yourself and each other. Don’t let it put you off for life. Lots of us watery types would simply melt. I’m speaking for myself especially here.

8th house
8th house

Yeah, watery Scorp with Venus in Libra here. I would have been thrilled to receive anything. How rude to be so ungrateful!!

Jokerman
Jokerman

Maybe she had Venus in Gem or Leo

8th house
8th house

if she was a Leo she would have loved the grand gesture and expensive roses.
Capricorn maybe. LOL

Jokerman
Jokerman

She can only be 5. Others are Taurus, Kataka or Virgo. Each one could have their reason.

8thhouse
8thhouse

Virgo then. LOL They’re so critical and hard to please

Jokerman
Jokerman

My former was Venus in Virgo same as me. We always did practical. Ergo, we did not do valentines, ever. For bdays, etc, l always listenend for clues, which l bounced back suggestions. No difficulties that way.

You cant go wrong with Virgo energy if talk practicalities.

Charles
Charles

I tried to do better the next V Day. She didn’t like the opal earrings I bought. She said, “You know my style, do these look like my style? You should have bought me something simple and classic, like gold hoops or maybe diamonds.” Sheesh. Well at least the jeweler gave me a refund.

ElectroMM Member
Electro

I celebrate Valentines Day by making homemade beeswax candles for my coworkers. This year I made the ladies bath salts based on their moon signs. One coworker is totally into moon signs now that I piqued her interest. Gemini moon. It’s good to bring fun to work, otherwise? Meh.

emgMM Member
emg

What a super idea.

Jokerman
Jokerman

Celebration days are stupid 1. Valentine was prob a real life serial murderer who cut hearts out for macabre collection. 2. Australia day should be on Australia’s birthday: Jan 1. The term “Australia” was not even coined till 14 years AFTER the landing on Jan 26 1788. 3. Queen’s real bday is Taurus but we celebrate on 2nd Monday of June 3. Easter is Lunar and therefore the date of Christ’s death is moveable according to the convention of using Solar references: huh? Basing a celebration on a placental mammal laying chocolate eggs that spawn chocolate chickens that evolutionised into… Read more »

annica
annica

1.) Well Lupercalia used to be celebrated by killing some goats and a dog. If we wanted to go back to old times we would have to do that which I don’t think would appeal to people today esp not ethical type vegetarians.

2.) So wow…Australia is Aquarian?? wow.

3.) Christ’s death was supposedly during Passover which is a Jewish celebration determined by moon.

Jokerman
Jokerman

Our bday is really Jan 1 so l’d say Capricorn. I think it is the only country where ppl dont know when their country started it’s national journey.

And why a dog? Dogs are cultivars of wolves.

AsAbove_SoBelow
AsAbove_SoBelow

Haha this was great! For my partener and I Valentine’s Day means only one thing…our dog Rudolf Valentine’s birthday. No silly dinners in a fancy restaurant, just a small mince meat cake with sweet potato mash icing. 😉
Oh, and totally agree with Baci obsession. Those huge long tubs of Baci are everything! .

Rosa
Rosa

That’s cute! Doggy birthday sounds far better.

Rosa
Rosa

Hmm I reckon romance should occur all year round and be less underpinned by consumerist ideals e.g. ‘Show her how much you love her by buying her this ring/bracelet/insert expensive item labelled as ‘romantic’ by this warped society’. I loathe the fact that people use Valentines as that ‘1 day in the year’ where you do something romantic and sentimental. What about (god forbid) this becomes a regular thing in one’s life thst occurs on a weekly, or dare I say it, daily basis?! Minds blown. And what I find as equally annoying and pathetic, is that people get all… Read more »

rubinfarrMM Member
rubinfarr

My worst Valentine’s Day ever was many years ago: I had an appointment to get my wisdom teeth pulled and required a ride to/from as they were putting me under for the procedure. It was ON Valentine’s Day and had been scheduled months prior. The only person available to take me to the appointment was the ex-boyfriend who had dumped me just 2 weeks prior. I made a tshirt with glittery puffy paint writing that read “love sucks” to the appointment. The ex thought it was hilarious. Of course, he’s right. It was. But the fact that he laughed so… Read more »

annica
annica

Your story strikes me as so Saturn-Venus with the teeth and ex-bf and all…..

PorkchopMM Member
Porkchop

This is similar to the episode of 30 Rock where she had a root canal on Valentine’s Day. She needed to have someone pick her up afterwards but everyone she knew was busy. Started quite a chain of events for her 🙂

saggenieMM Member
saggenie

YES!!! WOLF DAY

Scorpio_RisingMM Member
Scorpio_Rising

All in favor of Wolves Day instead! Howling at the moon.
Far more primitive and romantic than the chintzy Hallmark Holiday!

FireTryin'MM Member
FireTryin'

Hand raised! Lupercalia all the way!

emgMM Member
emg

Told my Aqua about it being wolfs day. He then went out to find me a valentine card with a wolf on it !! Couldn’t find one anywhere. I think there’s a market out there for pagan celebration day cards ?!

Scorpio_RisingMM Member
Scorpio_Rising

that’s cool.
Design one!

Jokerman
Jokerman

I’ve owned 5 dogs (2G Sheps. 2 Labs & a Dal). I tried to get all of em to howl at the moon. Best results were with the Sheps. One really got into it. We’d go for ages. At the end of it he’d hop on the back of my Yam 1100 and expect a ride. He was a great pillion. He died from cotton swabs left in his throat after an operation.

Crystallised futureMM Member
Crystallised future

Mystic, have you had wine as a relief from the past few weeks? And what about the nagging? WHERE is the scheduler????? WHERE is the forum???? WHY can’t I log in???? Lol!!!! It’s like having toddlers to deal with at 6 o’clock peak hour whilst trying to deal with the teenager fucking around with the password on your computer isn’t it???

JanMM Member
Jan

lol calm ya nips love!!
I hope mystics enjoyed a few wines (or suitable substitute) lately. Especially after zombie site fuqery.
scheduler gone (and has been for some time)/ replacement type thing in works, if I recall correctly.
forum on its way. same with app and one card tarot reading.
clear your cookies, try logging in again.
email support@mystic if you have q’s or problems, you’ll be far more likely to get help/answers that way.

sphinx
sphinx

I believe Moved On is jokingly commiserating Jan, rather than seeking info!

JanMM Member
Jan

hahaha if so, my bad! Not the first thing to whoosh over my head lately.

dizzarinaMM Member
dizzarina

I almost commented something snarky to that person (FORUM GODAMMIT WHERE IS IT OMG), then practiced my new (to Aries) concept of taking a deep breath and sending their clueless selves love.

FireTryin'MM Member
FireTryin'

Over 20 years ago when I was living in a community house with my ex-lovers, while falling in love with my husband-to-be, I made us all a card celebrating Lupercalia. I had vaguely remembered in the past week that there was a different, better holiday than Valentine’s to celebrate around this time, but I’m not really registering Valentine’s except that I decided not to ask another single girlfriend (I am now divorced from the husband-to-be of the first paragraph) to to go an event on Sunday for fear of having to navigate Disney-love world. But Lupercalia…um, I dreamed of a… Read more »

dizzarinaMM Member
dizzarina

Thank you for that link, that is just beautiful. I am subscribing

LiberatingVenus
LiberatingVenus

I’ve never been a huge fan of the day despite my Venusian ways. There has always been an energetic dissonance underpinning things for me with it falling at the height of Aquarius season, despite the 3rd decan of this sign indeed being Venus-ruled. To me, love is something to be expressed express year-round…. if you need a special day set aside to just tell someone you love them or as en excuse to do something to make them feel special, well, you *may* have issues, LOL! Plus, I always feel kind of bad for the gents…it’s a lot of pressure,… Read more »

LiberatingVenus
LiberatingVenus

**as AN excuse, ugh!

LiberatingVenus
LiberatingVenus

Wow, **the only THING! I would give my right arm some days to be able to edit my comments! It’s hard to read the entirety of your own comment from within the confines of a little tiny text box and catch all the typos, gah!

sphinx
sphinx

So true! Love is in a gesture, in restraint under pressure, in a look in so many things other than a huge bunch of flowers on a specific day in front the office or whatevs.

Annica
Annica

I have always hated how commercial roses near me have no smell. They are bred for beauty alone with no scent. 🙁

emgMM Member
emg

Can’t agree more.
I love roses, receiving and giving but I do wish they’d breed the scent back in. It’s a double gift then. Currently we have hyacinths in the house. They blow you away with the headiest scent. Those blooms simply can’t hide !!

aquaplumeMM Member
aquaplume

No V-day for me. Aqua Sun/Merc, and Uranus squaring natal Venus now, but I can’t do the consumerist holiday on a specific day thing. I’m all for more days of love, though, and celebrating (or for us Aquas, acknowledging and showing) love and affection and care, just not on Feb 14. Then again, I’m a person who sends my friends birthday gifts at random times of year, so they know they’re loved four months off their birthday.

AsAbove_SoBelow
AsAbove_SoBelow

That’s brilliant!

Virgo EllieMM Member
Virgo Ellie

Valentines Day is another overrated day!! Mystic Thanks for the summary of Valentines Day. I like to hear if from someone I know and respect.

Happy VD! ;(

Joan
Joan

WHERE IS THE FORUM by the way????????

Jokerman
Jokerman

FebRUary 14 is when real sultana grapes ripen. Accept no imitations….in anything.

LexieMM Member
Lexie

Yep, Baci rock! And this Valentine’s Day, I am happily single for the first time in many many years and fuqing loving it! I love myself! That… is…. all. That is enough. Can’t tell you how happy I am. It will be one helluva guy who coaxes me away from THIS! Oh and by the way, I love you Mystic! 😀 XXX

Leogroover
Leogroover

???????????????????????? to MM and all her devotees

Leogroover
Leogroover

Sorry that was heartssumboks but came out ????

emgMM Member
emg

If my Aqua and myself had had a son (we are way too old and knowing for that now) but if we had, he would have been called Valentine. I can’t help thinking it would have been an aid in life. This tall dark handsome creature looking directly at whom ever he meets. “Hi I’m Valentine “. Well it would work on me that’s for sure ! As for the day… It’s just a day. Sure I’ll give my big lump of Aqua oddness a card and a kiss and tell him he’s loved but every day he gets kisses… Read more »

Veronica
Veronica

*like*

Unicorn SparklesMM Member
Unicorn Sparkles

I resent the pressure on the newly coupled. The exclusion for the uncoupled. The mundane obligation of it for coupledom lifers. But I like the idea that it’s a day where we should remember the ones we love and treasure them a little bit more. This year though I might try the wolf day!!! While also giving my better half a card thanking him for putting up with my crazy. And order a takeaway chocolate dessert pizza. (First time parent who is yet to post a single photo of my beautiful child on Facebook. It’s not easy but I’m determined… Read more »

Libra9MM Member
Libra9

Just think of the child. Do they have the power to say yes or no to you posting their image? I have two teenagers and try to not post anything anywhere online that identifies them. I have a friend who has written a blog about her marriage break-up which often mentions the children. I asked her what they or the parents of their friends (or the ex) would think. She hadn’t really thought about it. But as teenager #1 says, if it is on the Internet, it is there forever.

Scorpio_RisingMM Member
Scorpio_Rising

with stalkers out there you have to think of the children.
Trust me there’s nuts out there!

Annica
Annica

Also think about those weird people who steal pictures of your kid to put on the internet as your child. Sometimes those people are just cray but other times they are identity thieves,

Unicorn SparklesMM Member
Unicorn Sparkles

Yes to all of the above.
????

Unicorn SparklesMM Member
Unicorn Sparkles

The ??? Should have been a smiley face emoji

The Venus FlyMM Member
The Venus Fly

I used to say that Valentine’s was my fav day of the year. But I’ve changed. Now that I am older and wiser and aware of bulk buying I cannot fathom spending too much for so little. So, props to all the profiteers and the willing punters but it’s just not sexy enough to eat at the same place as everyone else, receiving the same flowers as everyone else, and um, yeah. No. Everyday is a day for romance in my Universe. I’m a lover, dammit, and that’s that. So, for me every day is a special day with a… Read more »

Rosa
Rosa

Love your view. Agreed – every day is a day for romance. It is not reserved for 1 day in the year (how meagre and unfortunate).

embarkons7MM Member
embarkons7

I loved the riff on history and Italy, but I’ve gotta dissent from the Valentine’s Day bashing — I agree we need more days dedicated to romance, so why not choose to observe the holiday that way? — and I should add that as an unconventional triple Aqua with Venus-Uranus in Sagg, I actually feel like the more subversive thing is to oppose the current of deriding of the holiday and feeling oppressed by it. Yes hallmark consumerism weird martyrology blahblur — but I also think that it’s lovely to carve out some time in the deadest period of midwinter… Read more »

seawitchmermaidMM Member
seawitchmermaid

I’m with you.

(Have strong Uranus/Sag in my chart, as well 🙂 )

Salvatore8MM Member
Salvatore8

Did you read the whole article? Last paragraph: : “Consumerism aside, a day dedicated to love is never a bad thing. I just wish there were more of them.””

embarkons7MM Member
embarkons7

Sure — that’s what I meant by, “I agree we need more days dedicated to romance, so why not choose to observe the holiday that way?”

Annica
Annica

Beautifully written, thanks Carla!

Chocolate is also dirty in that many places utilize children slave labour to make it. Also many chocolates (yes including some organic brands!) are contaminated with lead and cadmium at dangerous levels.

Also i am allergic to hazelnuts. No Baci for me! 😀

Strangely i am not angry about valentines day this year. I am making it more about other kinds of love like friendship and family.

annica
annica

Also I am thinking who wants to go back to Lupercalia? Slaughtering goats and dogs for non-food reasons is sort of meh. I’m a meat-eater and even I think that is wasteful. Plus the celebration of fertility by being struck with goat whips? Women of non-child bearing age have to deal with enough crap besides ageism. No thank you. Let Lupercalia die with all the commercialized shitty candy conversation hearts and cheap plastic-y chocolate of modern Valentine’s day. Wolf Day you say? Nah. There already is WOLF AWARENESS WEEK every October. https://www.nhes.org/event/wolf-awarness-week/ That is an entire bloody week not just… Read more »

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