Valentine’s Day is for the Wolves
Meaning of Valentine’s Day and its Connection with Wolves
Wolves and the Meaning of Valentine’s Day: There are many origin-theories about how Valentine’s day came to be a day of love in history. February 14th has been devoted to love and lovers since the Roman Empire in the 200’s AD on the human timeline. The thing is, not many people know that this day is connected to the power and symbolic meaning of wolves. Most historical accounts attribute the meaning of Valentine’s day to a saint or a priest by the name of Valentine. However, this amorous day of the year was first aligned with the Roman festival of Lupercalia.
Valentine’s Day, Wolves and the Origin of Lupercalia
Lupercalia was a designated day when young men drew names of young ladies that would determine marriage. It was a sort of lottery in which couples were bonded and marriages were arranged. Aside from tossing the dice for husbands and wives, Lupercalia was also a festival of fertility, purification and supplicating for successful harvests during the spring growing seasons.
But what is notable about this day, is that the future founders of Rome (Romulus and Remus) were purported to be born on February 15th. It was a big, fat, hairy event in Roman history (and myth). And because the Romans rarely did anything on the cheap or small…a three-day festival was established (Lupercalia) that allowed citizens of Rome to kick up their heels and celebrate from February 13-15. As time passed, this monumental time was devoted to one day, February 14th, which eventually got rolled into Valentine’s day.
When it comes to ‘old gods’ and ‘new god’ (Meaning: Old ways vs. new religion), legislatures attempted to combine country-folk beliefs with new spirituality to bring about harmony between factions. Surprisingly, Valentine’s day is one among many examples in which the people in power tried to appease peasants ‘old way’ of thinking with the new religious trends at the time.
To explain, Lupercalia morphed into Valentine’s day to commemorate the saint (Valentine) known for marrying young couples against the decree of Claudius II. Claudius ruled that no man should be married because he wanted to supplant the Roman army. He thought married men would be enticed to stay home rather than serve the Empire as solid soldiers. Valentine defied this decree and was imprisoned for it. To this day, he is known as a saint because he died for his belief in love and marriage (rebelling against Claudius’s laws) and he was executed on February 14th.
But this article is about Lupercalia and how it fits with the symbolic meaning of Valentine’s day. What I’m working on here is to connect the dots between the old ways and the modern understanding of Valentine’s day.
The best approach is to readdress the importance of the birth of Romulus and Remus. These boys are the future of Rome, and as the myth goes, they were raised by wolves.
What’s interesting here is that wolves are extremely loving. Wolves, hounds, dogs...these brands of creatures are pack animals. That means they require a bond – a fierce connection with each other – in order to sustain harmony in the hierarchy of family and pack.
Isn’t that a lot about what the meaning of Valentine’s day is about? At its foundation, this day is a reminder to connect, bond, and adore all that is precious to our hearts.
Wolves do that. If you’ve ever observed any type of canine pack, you will see an undeniable affinity among the members. There is play, there is affection, there is love involved within any canine society.
That is what Romulus and Remus represent on the day of their birth as that loving she-wolf encountered them. She saw these two infant boys…defenseless, helpless and in need…and loved them. The results built a titanic empire.
When it comes to the meaning of Valentine’s day, wolves might seem outside of the equation. However, in the ancient Roman mind…this day is about joining forces (even if it seems like odd bedfellows), to unite, love and nurture for a common bond and goal.
Tips to Wolves and the Meaning of Valentine’s Day
- The first commemoration of February 14th is pinned upon Lupercalia. The core of this word is Lupus, which is Latin for wolf – it marks the time in which Romulus and Remus were born and discovered by a she-wolf that loved these human infants as her own.
- Over time, ancient committees attempted to bridge the gap between old beliefs and new spirituality. Thus, Lupercalia was replaced with the loving martyr acts of Saint Valentine who married young lovers against the decree of Claudius the 2nd.
- Wolves love. They have been shown to love their own as well as those outside of their own kind. They require bonding, play, affection.
Is it true that wolves are at the source of the meaning of Valentine’s day? Well, history weaves a twisty web through legends and lore. However, I thought it was fascinating to explore the idea that this day devoted to love DOES have a connection with ancient canine culture.
What Wolves Teach About Love on Valentine’s Day
- Wolves know how to nurture. They will defend, protect and raise youth to the tooth.
- Wolves require structure. They need a clan and a community in order to establish harmony.
- Wolves celebrate. They vocalize, play and communicate in ways that reinforce the bonds in their clan.
So what does this have to do with the meaning of Valentine’s day? Plenty. Look to wolves for how a loving bond is structured. Play. Love. Enjoy. Celebrate. Nurture.
No matter what kind of relationship you are in, look into the wolf-culture to gain insight and guidance about how to get your partnerships to flourish. Whether it’s a connection with your mate, your kids or co-workers, wolves are superior mentors when it comes to how to accept and strengthen relationships in our lives. Isn’t that what Valentine’s day is all about?
Commitment, understanding and love…and our canine kin do that in spades. Connecting with wolves during Lupercalia reinforces the idea of loyalty, nurturing and adoration during this pivotal time in history.
With all that said, I’m wishing you all a happy Valentine’s day, and I hope you enjoyed this honest post about the meaning of Valentine’s day. As always, thanks so much for reading.
Other Articles of Interest on This Site
Symbolic Wolf Meaning and Wolf Totem Insights
If you want to know about the powerful meaning of the wolf, this is a good place to start. Get more about the symbolic meaning of the wolf here.
Animals as a Love Symbols
There are many animals that represent love in historical cultures around the world. The swan is one of them because it often mates for life. This article offers a whole list of animals and birds that are symbolic of love, including the swan. Check out more about animals as symbols of love here.
Origins and Meaning of Valentine’s Day
The origins of Valentine’s day meaning are sketchy at best. February 14th is commonly associated with a goodly saint or priest by the moniker of Valentine who rebels against tyranny for the sake of love. Get more about the origins and meaning of Valentine’s Day here.