Flora: The Roman Goddess of Spring. "The Flourishing One," annually honored at the May Day festival called Floralia. Flora was "a Lady of Pleasure," but she was a prominent and important deity in Roman paganism. Some say her name was the secret soul-name of Rome itself.St. Augustine and other fathers of the church abominated Flora and her festival, which they said was a licentious orgy of nude dancing and promiscuous behavior.To the Celts, May Eve was known as Beltain or Beltane. The Teutons called this celebration Walpurgisnacht, and to the Romans it was Floralia. The Goddess Flora, Maj, May, Maia, or The Maiden was the reigning Queen. The festival celebrated her virgin or "flower" aspect, thus the promise of fruit to come. It was the time to wear green in honor of the Earth's beautiful, new, green mantle. A time for sexual license, symbolizing nature's fertilization. A time when marriage bonds were temporarily forgotten and sexual freedom prevailed in rural districts all the way up to the 16th Century.Because of the seemingly ineradicable sexual license of the May rituals, and their well-remembered pagan connotations, churchmen viewed May Eve as a major sabbat of witches.We say, erect that Maypole...
I'm not sure our
Supreme Court selected elected, BushCo-sanctioned moral warriors want you erecting anything to this woman:
I challenge Courtney Love to a cage match.
[Flora (1730s) by Rosalba Carriera]
No, I think these moral values are closer to what our War-on-Christmas crusaders have in mind:
The statues have been undraped since Ashcroft's departure. But will Gonzales insist they be tortured?
[Cartoon by R. J. Matson]
Yes, we'll tighten the screws on that mental chastity belt in that faith-based abstinence class, but nothing fertilizes fundie frenzy like a good round robin of torturing. Just swap your maypole for a cross, buy some custom-made nail bling, pass the popcorn, and...
The whips sound better in Surround Sound...
But despair not, retro Walpurgisnacht lovers. Sexual freedom still prevails in American rural districts. And you can always catch the new improved Flora slinking around web shrines and busting out on DVD in your local
sacristy of values Wal-Mart:
I'll erect your yee-haa!!