Father Time; The Sower
ALSO KNOWN AS:
It was said that Saturn, Roman spirit of agriculture, once reigned over a lost golden age, a time without sorrow. He is the lord of wealth and seed-sowing. He may have been the first to introduce people to the arts of agriculture and cultivation.
One version of Saturn’s origins suggests that he is Kronos. After Zeus expelled him from the celestial realm, he wandered Earth, an old man in a robe until Janus extended Rome’s hospitality to him, opening the doors of welcome. Together Janus and Saturn served as door guardians of Rome’s state treasury.
Saturn and his Roman consort, Ops, presided over Rome’s most beloved annual festival—December’s Saturnalia, a time for gift-giving, holiday cheer, and making merry. When Rome’s Pagan religions were abolished, aspects of the Saturnalia were merged into the new holiday of Christmas. Saturn may survive under the guise of Santa Claus, not so much the red-suited, reindeer-driving jolly fellow but in older, nineteenth-century depictions of Santa as an elderly white-bearded, robed wanderer bearing gifts.
It wasn’t all fun and games, though: Saturn may also be a prototype for the Grim Reaper. At least one man was sacrificed to him annually. After the Romans annexed northwestern Africa, Saturn was popularly worshipped there. Author Tertullian (circa160-circa 225 CE), an early Christian but raised in North Africa as a Pagan, writes that children were sacrificed to Saturn in Africa.
Capricorns and Aquarians, farmers, those who work with seeds
Sickle, indicating that he is ready to harvest; his sickle survives in the glyph representing his planet, Saturn:
Aconite, hellebore, hemlock, hemp, henbane, holly, juniper savin, mandrake, pine
Many of the plants associated with Saturn have strong psychoactive properties indicating his shamanic roots. Some of his plants are deadly poisons and must be handled with care, if at all.
The Saturnalia, originally celebrated from 17 December through 19 December, was later extended to seven days beginning on 17 December. On the 19th, masters and slaves exchanged roles for the day.
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.