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Veneralia: Celebration of Venus

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Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)


Reviewed by: Tina Caro

Veneralia is an ancient Roman celebration of Venus that took place on the Kalends of Aprilis, that is, the first of April

Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome, considered Venus to be his ancestor and Mars to be his father, so the ancient calendar of Rome began with the month of Mars (March) followed by the month of Venus, beginning with the celebration of the Goddess to whom it was dedicated.


Veneralia, an ancient Roman festival, celebrated the goddess Venus, highlighting her significance in love, beauty, and fertility.

During Veneralia, people would adorn themselves with flower crowns and fragrant herbs, believing it would attract Venus’s favor and blessings.

A prominent ritual component of Veneralia involved the offering of roses to Venus, symbolizing love and desire, with couples exchanging love tokens as a form of devotion.

Veneralia was a time for romantic endeavors, and it was believed that any relationship initiated during the festival would be blessed by Venus herself.

Lore & Celebrating Veneralia

On this day, Venus was celebrated as Venus Verticordia (changer of hearts). According to Ovid (Fasti) this aspect of Venus rules over vows of chastity, morality, beauty and reputation.

Fasti (Oxford World’s Classics)
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Ovid (Author)

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Honoring her encouraged adherence to social norms about sexuality for both men and women.

During the festival, women carried the Venus’s statue to the men’s baths where it was ceremonially washed and dressed the statue of Venus at the temple near the Circus Maximus and then both the statue and its attendants were covered in myrtle.

In addition, the statue of the Goddess Fortuna Virilis (Manly, virile) was washed and dressed and offered incense and flowers.

Women wore crowns of myrtle and bathed, bathed in the public baths and poured out libations to Venus of pounded poppy with milk and honey and sought guidance from the Goddesses regarding their marriages, romances and sex lives.

The festival is said to have been founded on the advice of the Sibylline oracle in response to a rash of sexual offenses that had shocked Roman society (including vows of chastity broken by not one but three Vestal Virgins) and apparently offended the Gods, resulting in unusual natural phenomena.

A woman was chosen based on her purity or virtue to dedicate the statue of Venus Verticordia which may originally have been housed in the temple of Fortuna Verilis before being moved to her own temple sometime later.

Veneralia Ritual Components

Ritual ComponentDescription
DateApril 1st
PurposeHonoring and celebrating the goddess Venus
OfferingsFlowers, perfumes, incense, love tokens
Ritual ActivitiesPrayers, invocations, meditation, love spells
DecorationsAdorned altars, images of Venus, floral arrangements
FeastSharing a meal with loved ones, enjoying sensual delights
SymbolsDoves, roses, seashells, mirrors, love charms

Veneralia Traditions and Customs Table

Love SpellsCasting spells for attracting love and enhancing relationships
Beauty RitualsPampering oneself, indulging in self-care, enhancing personal beauty
Offering to VenusPresenting offerings of flowers, perfumes, and love tokens to Venus
AphrodisiacsConsuming or creating aphrodisiac foods and drinks to stimulate passion
Love CharmsCrafting or wearing love charms for attracting love and enhancing romance
Sacred BathsTaking ritual baths with love-enhancing herbs and oils to cleanse and attract love
About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

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