Vulcan

Vulcan is the devouring power of fire, which destroys all in its wake and puts enemies to flight. He’s also the power of fire that provides warmth and safety. Vulcan can extinguish fires as well as cause and control them. He also has dominion over earthquakes, lightning, volcanoes, cremation and spontaneous combustion.

Vulcan’s name is the source for the word volcano: a mountain spewing fire. Volcanoes are named after him; not the other way around.

Vulcan was the patron deity of Ostia, the ancient harbor city near Rome, where he protected stored grain from fire. He is a volatile spirit, if only because of his fiery nature. His temples were traditionally placed outside city bounds, possibly for safety’s sake. Vulcan is celebrated with rituals incorporating bonfires and fireworks.

Vulcan was identified with Greek Hephaestus and so became identified with smithcraft, too. (Sometimes when people say Vulcan, they really mean Hephaestus.) As Mulciber, Vulcan is the lord of the forge: the fire that softens metal.

ALSO KNOWN AS:

Volcan; Volcanus; Vulcanus; and sometimes Mulciber

ORIGIN:

Italy (possibly Sabine)

ATTRIBUTE:

Anvil

ICONOGRAPHY:

A fifty-six-foot cast-iron statue of Vulcan standing atop a 124-foot pedestal for a grand total of 180 feet overlooks the city of Birmingham, Alabama, and is the world’s largest cast-iron statue.

Date:

23 May and 23 August, the Volcanalia

Sacred site:

Vulcan had a Roman temple on the Fields of Mars. His country residence is in the Aeolian Islands, which include Stromboli, home of one of Italy’s three currently active volcanoes. Two of the other islands—Vulcano and Vulcanello—are named in his honour. Vulcan resides beneath the islands.

OFFERINGS:

Grilled fish, wine, incense

SEE ALSO:

SOURCE:

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.

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