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  • Ode to Ceres

Ceres, fruitful Goddess, in Your honor stands the tall, golden grain, shimmering as it moves with the breeze, like a lake of molten gold, rippling at the touch.

At Your command the wheat leaps up, its heads becoming full and firm under the warm, summer sun.

Lush grow the plants, round grow the tender fruits, swelling and ripening, firm to the touch, glorious in their sweet scents. Oh, that their sweet life might nourish us!

Bountiful Goddess, grant us full baskets of grain and lush fields full of vegetables and fruits! Oh, that we might feast upon Your earthly treasures!

Ceres, Your rustic temples heaped with ears of corn, sweet ripe fruits of all kinds cascading over Your altars, baskets filled to brimming with new turnips, beans and lentils, give eloquent testimony to the abundance of Your harvest and the gratitude of Your people for Your love.

Gracious Goddess, with each meal, we witness Your strength and kindness. We honor You for the gifts You have given us, that we may have plenty to eat.

By: Lucia Valeria Secunda Ianuaira

  • Prayer for the Seeds

O Ceres, grant unto the tender seedlings unbroken increase, Let not the sprouting shoot be nipped by chilly snows. When we sow, let the sky be cloudless and the winds blow fair; But when the seed is buried. then sprinkle it with water from the sky.

Forbid the birds -- pests of the tilled land-- to devastate the fields of grain with their destructive flocks. You too, ants, spare the sown grain; so shall you have a more abundant harvest.

Meantime, may no disease blight the growing crop nor foul weather turn it a sickly hue; May it neither shrivel up nor swell unduly and be choked. May the fields be free blight and no barren oats spring from the tilled soil. May the farm yield many times crops of wheat, barley and grain which can be baked. May the Two Goddesses grant our prayers.

Long time did wars engage mankind and the plow gave way to the sword. The plow ox gave way to the war horse. Hoes were idle, a helmet was made out of a heavy rake.

Thanks be to the Goddesses and to the ancestral spirits of my house. Let War be laid in chains. Yoke now the oxen and sow the seed in the ploughed earth. Peace is the nurse of Ceres and Ceres is the Child of Peace!

Ref: Ovid, Fasti 1.679-704 Loeb Classical Library

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