Weekly Deity: Februus


Februus is mainly known as the Roman god of purification.  The month of February is named after him, and his festival is the Februalia.

Attributes

I could find no descriptions of what Februus was thought to look like.  He was a male deity, that much is clear, but whether he was considered young, old, paunchy, bearded, etc., I have no idea.

Mythology

In Roman myth, Februus is the god of purification.  He lives in the underworld and eventually became synonymous with Pluto until the deity of Februus became so intertwined that he essentially was another name for Pluto rather than a separate deity.  However, the name of the month and the festival was kept the same.

In Etruscan myth, Februus was the god of purification, money, and death, the last of which made Februus very similar to Roman Pluto and may explain how and why Februus was absorbed into Pluto.  Februus was not native to the Romans; like many other deities, he was absorbed into the mythology and religion when the Romans conquered the native people.

The Februalia is the spring purification festival, similar to what we would call “spring cleaning” today.  This festival occurred on the fifteenth of the second month, Februarius.

Dark and Light Sides

Not much is really known about Februus, but we can make some guesses.  As a purification deity, we can assume that he would be good for driving away negativity or negative influences, and possibly good for some minor protection after the purification has occurred.  Not only would he be good for purification of people, but of spaces as well.  As a god of money and death, I envision him as being very patient, laid-back, and calm.  He doesn’t strike me as an excitable deity, which means that if you work with him for money purposes, don’t expect fast results.

That’s my impression, however, if anyone else has another interpretation, please share!

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One response to “Weekly Deity: Februus

  1. Pingback: So where does the name “February” come from? « Under The LobsterScope

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