How to identify Genii Loci?

This message board is dedicated to the ancient Roman Religion, the Cultus Deorum Romanorum. Here both historical practices and the living modern tradition is to be celebrated and discussed. The members of the Collegium Pontiificum and Collegium Augurum host this board as moderators and are happy to answer questions.

How to identify Genii Loci?

Postby Gaius Curtius Philo » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:20 pm

I'd like to ask the more knowledgable cultores here how does one go about identifying local gods and spirits? In elden days it seems that genii loci, local gods, were common and much venerated. I wanted to know if anyone knows the appropriate way to identify local deities and to know by what name they prefer to be called upon.
"Ignis aurum probat" - Seneca
C. Curtius L. f. Vot. Philo Aurelianus
User avatar
Gaius Curtius Philo
Posts: 1591
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:56 pm
Location: Praia Grande, São Paulo, Brazil

Re: How to identify Genii Loci?

Postby Octavia Iunia Agrippina » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:36 pm

I'm very interested in this as well.
User avatar
Octavia Iunia Agrippina
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:06 am
Location: Seattle, Pacifica

Re: How to identify Genii Loci?

Postby Publius Iulius Albinus » Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:18 am

I would address them in general terms or titles, until one can ascertain their identity.
On how to do that, well...there's not really anything much talked about in Roman religion about doing that. By the time the Romans started writing things down, the gods and local spirits had already been named and complex ritual formulae were entrenched in the religious system. We don't know if there was a systematized way of identifying and name local spirits. Presumably, that kind of spiritual groundwork had already been done centuries in the past--either by the Romans, or by other local tribes and nations in places that Rome conquered. Tribal shamans and seers would have experienced the divine in a more personal manner, in ways that we might consider to be mysticism and spirituality rather than religion, and the sorts of things they might have experienced, perceived, or learned likely affected local religion over time.

You might just have to seek out that kind of personal experience yourself. I know a lot of Recons associate it with eclectic neopaganism, but quite honestly mysticism has a long history and it shouldn't be shamed or discarded as mere superstitio. It may prove to be a vital tool in re-connecting with the gods.
These being the words of Publius Iulius Albinus Alexander.
User avatar
Publius Iulius Albinus
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:33 am
Location: Ludovicopolis, Kentuckiana

Return to Cultus Deorum Romanorum