January 10, 2021 at 6:07 pm #40684
Publius Persius SiculusDenarii: 𐆖 2.30PlebeiusNova Svecia
I have a quick question regarding augury – first let me give a little background:
In addition to Res Publica Romana, I am also a member of the Roman Kin in ADF, a neo-pagan group. We conduct weekly rituals based on a template – this template is designed to be a common format usable for various Indo European “hearth cultures” – among them Greek and Roman. As part of this template, one of the steps is the taking of an “omen” – usually to see if the gods, ancestors, and any other spirits have accepted the offerings given in the rite. For members who are part of Norse and Celtic cultures, Runes and/or Ogham are often used for this purpose. Those from other cultures sometimes use tarot or other less common practices (numerology, bibliomancy) as well, and the Greek culture members have been known to use the Greek alphabet oracle.
I will be leading one of these rituals in a few months, and herein lies the dilemma. The problem is that in general, it seems from my study that augury in Rome worked fairly differently. When it was part of a ritual, it was often either in the form of the reading of sacrificial entrails (livers being most mentioned) or the movements of birds, other animals, or natural phenomena in a part of the sky for a given period of time. Given that the ritual I conduct will be both indoors and on zoom, that does not seem fairly practical. Wanting to be practical but still as authentic as feasible, I have looked at some of the other methods available, and have thought that runes and ogham seem way too foreign; due to the relationship and influence between the Greek and Roman cultures, I had thought about perhaps using the Greek alphabet oracle for this purpose, or possibly a tarot oracle deck that features Greek gods and other beings (I have yet to see one featuring Roman counterparts, would use that instead if I could find it). I would first though like to ask others about their thoughts on this matter – I am trying to walk a fine line here between fitting within a template and also trying not to offend through the syncretic nature of practice (part of my issue might be not knowing how much syncretism actually happened in ancient times). Note that either way I will be doing a piacular offering just in case. 🙂
Would love to hear your thoughts, thank you so much!
Publius Persius SiculusJanuary 10, 2021 at 6:44 pm #40687
Quintus Vergilius CrassusDenarii: 𐆖 255.80PatriciusSarmatia
My English is bad, so I’ll be brief:
1. Auspices are divided into unsolicited (oblativa) and requested (impetrativa).
2. If you are talking about ritual, you mean the requested auspices (impetrativa).
3. Requesting a sign requires a ritual. Auspices are a ritual in itself, it is not part of another ritual, it is an independent sacred action, with its own purpose. The purpose of the auspices is simple, to get an answer as to whether any action is beneficial to the divine will or not. The question of favors is asked about something specific. And there are only two answers.
4. The types of auspices in the Roman religion are strictly defined, even the ritual actions themselves are described. I believe that in general terms the rules for public auspices apply to private auspices. So, for example, extraneous noise, including during broadcasting, can nullify your auspices.
5. The tarot and oracles are not compatible with the classical auspices I am talking about, since the types of such are defined, and there are no such objects.
6. To perform auspices, you must have at least a basic understanding of the subject and minimal knowledge. What you are going to do is fortune telling, and it is not actually connected with the auspices of the Roman religion as a specific system of rituals.
7. Auspices are not show or entertainment; they are an act of piety.
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