KYBELE The Megalesia April 4th - April 10th
The Feast of Kybele (Cybele) is a long celebrated holiday said to commemorate the arrival of the goddess' most important idol in Rome. Carved out of black meteoritic rock, the stone was said to have given Rome the power to defeat Hannibal after having been brought to the republic following a Sibylline prophecy. The goddess Cybele (or Kybele) might be one of the oldest goddesses in human history, with her most recognizable myths originating in Phrygia, Greece, and Rome.
Her celebrations were varied in scope from quiet veneration at home by any and all, to loud privileged affairs reserved for heads of state and temple. Often seen in effigy with large cats, Lions have become known as one of her primary and perhaps most sacred creatures. She is known as the patron goddess for those who love animals (cats esp), witchcraft, herbalism, and nature in all of it's raw forms, having grown up in the wilds. She is also known as The Great Mother, embodying earth and all it provides. Her mythology has her previously known Agdistis, a deity born both male and female, until they were tricked into castrating themselves and stepping fully into the role of Kybele. For this reason Kybele is often seen as one of the patron goddesses for those who are more at home outside of the sex/gender binary. Kybele is also unapologetically herself at all times, sometimes with unforeseen consequences, as demonstrated in her mythology re: Attis, who she fell in love with but then he wound up dying as an indirect result of her jealous actions. Interestingly, the recurring theme of castration (and the times of year when it occurs) where Kybele is concerned line up pretty neatly with the periods on the agrarian Roman/Phrygian calendars where one would be castrating their livestock. Kybele's cults and history are endlessly interesting given her evolution through time and region. It would be impossible to cover them all here, but I highly recommend If you wish to celebrate the Megalesia this week ideas include: Volunteering at a cat shelter Paying special attention to your cat(s) Cats Re-Watching Tiger King (kidding, only a little though) Holding a special feast or meal in Kybele's honor Learning about a new plant or herb Spending time in the woods Practicing Divination Exploring what the ideas of masculine and feminine mean to you Exploring what the idea of motherhood means to you Placing her image on your altar for 6 days, praying and leaving offerings Fertility rites or spells and more