In ancient Rome, 24 February was the festival of the Caristia (‘Pardoning’), a day to renew ties with friends and family and settle disputes. Families gathered to dine together, gave each other small tokens of appreciation, and offered food and incense to the household gods. The emphasis was on love and accord. Concordia, the goddess of harmony, was invoked, along with Janus, the god of new beginnings, Salus, the goddess of health, and Pax, the goddess of peace. I really like this idea, so I’ve incorporated its inspiration into my practice. On this day, offer incense to your household gods to show your appreciation. This is a day of forgiveness, so take the opportunity to mend quarrels: this is another act of purification, removing the toxicity of bad relationships from your life. If you wish, you could cook a meal for family and friends, including any you might have fallen out with, to show them how much you value them.
Put four candles on the table and light them with the invocations (you can do this silently if all the people present are not Pagan):
Goddess of Harmony, be with us and bless us (pink candle).
Goddess of Peace, be with us and bless us (white candle).
Goddess of Health, be with us and bless us (blue candle).
God of New Beginnings, be with us and bless us (green candle).
Then just share the meal together and have fun! If for any reason you can’t get family and friends together, you can still light the four candles.
© Anna Franklin, The Hearth Witch’s Year, Llewellyn, 2021