Cardea, Goddess of Hinges and OpportunitesCardea (K-DEI)• Roman Mother of the Winds • Facilitate

In ancient times, when people were in awe of the world, and nature remained a mystery, superstitious Roman farmers had a God for every occasion, and relied on wind direction to foretell the future. During the 7th century, rituals were conducted at home in simple round straw roof huts, while elaborate temples, designed exclusively for Gods, were erected throughout the land. [clickToTweet tweet=”Women called upon the goddess Cardea to bless their homes and families. #wisdom ” quote=”During this time, women called upon the goddess Cardea to bless their homes and families. “]

They hung wolf fat on metal hinges and wool wrapping on wooden doorposts as a means of protection from the menacing spirits of the night.

Originally, Cardea was a nymph who was committed to virginity and non-patriarchal marriage, until an enamored Janus, the ancient Italian God of doorways, tricked her. Cardea would flirt with suitors by enticing them into an empty cave, and ask them to wait for her. Once they entered she would flee. With keen eyes on both sides of his double-faced head, Janus did not succumb to her wiles, and seduced her. In exchange for her love, Janus elevated her to the status of The White Goddess, the overseer of hinges and the four directional winds. He also granted her dominion over the flowering Hawthorne, which was used to protect homes and children.

Cardea was a NymphDuring the 7th century doorways were guardians that bore witness to possibilities and dangers. Ritual practices organized around farming communities were rooted in obligation to the clan. Gates to the city remained open except during times of war. As the goddess of hinges, Cardea was the axis upon which seasonal winds revolved; she possessed the power to unlock mysteries and reveal possibilities.

Once a year, during the Feast of Cardea, the head of every household enacted the ritual of tossing beans into the dooryard as a plea for redemption. Beans were the symbol of prosperity, alive with the spirit of Carna, whom, according to legend, may or may not have been Cardea. The passing of gas was considered a good omen.

 

When Cardea arrives as a strong breeze crossing your doorway, divine protection is assured. According to the poet, Ovid, Cardea has come to “open what is shut, to shut what is open.”

East

Cardea swings the door of fate wide open when she arrives as an east wind. Be prepared to experience life anew, while undergoing abrupt changes in your daily routines, habits and rituals. As the goddess of hinges, Cardea stimulates and awakens the potential in your life by bringing unseen forces to the forefront and making them visible.

A door slamming shut is a powerful message telling you to seek opportunity elsewhere. Everything in nature has a time, a reason and a season. Don’t expect to harvest a bountiful crop from a fallow field.

South

When Cardea blows in from the south and greases the hinge of your gate, you have won the favors of the Gods. The White Goddess has brought your needs and desires to the front lines of experience. The doorway is open for closer connections, kinship, and affection. Cardea’s sweet breath brings change and opportunity into your life. When summoned, she is a fierce protector of children as well as your inner child. Acceptance her guidance and express your gratitude by placing flowers on the windowsill of your home.

simple round straw roof hutThe struggle for existence was always at the forefront of Roman society, and the needs of community were of primary importance. Cardea reminds you that you are never alone; your friends or lack of a blood family can fill an emotional gap. Remember to put the needs of others before your selfish desires.

West

Inus Geminus is a double-gated Roman temple, with one door facing the rising sun, while the other looks toward the setting sun. [2] As Cardea blows in, she closes both doors, vanquishing what no longer serves your best interests.

When you cling to old, lifeless forms, Cardea arrives as anger, disappointment and heartache. Resentment leads to physical deterioration and illness. Ask her to blow the past away. Be sure to close all doors that remain ajar.

Cardea descends from her star castleNorth

When Cardea descends from her castle in the stars and blows in from the north, pay close attention to her prescient messages. Inspiration is achieved through sacrifice, discipline and dedication to community. In order for your crops to germinate, grow and thrive, your cauldron of inspiration must feed the community. When faith is strong, and judgments are few, enlightenment can be found in ordinary experiences and is available to everyone. Cardea reminds you that there is no separation between work and worship. The manner in which you show up for anything is invariably the same way you show up for everything.

The central hearth of the Roman Empire was a system built around the clan, a key organizing principle of the farming community. Obligation to the Gods was expected from every member. The head of each family kept religious order, observed seasonal rites and performed sacrifices. Cardea can be a strong wind ricocheting inside your compass, creating havoc and confusion. You can appease this tumultuous wind with an offering of selfless service to your community.

 

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[1] Cardea: Blessing the Doorway, June 10, 2011 by M. Horatius Piscinus, accessed on the web Feb 2016 http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religioromana/2011/06/cardea-blessing-the-doorway/

[2] Janus the Roman Gods of Beginnings. Accessed on the web February 16, 2016 http://www.novareinna.com/festive/janus.html

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