Poem: Lares Viales

After our interesting discovery in Rochester on Tuesday about a possible Lar figure, I looked into the household gods. There was a type for the roads – Lares Viales. I’ve written this poem as a sort of prayer to them!

A couple of interesting and useful things. Roman prayers began by appealing to Janus: god of beginnings and transitions, and also doors – useful for any traveller! They end with an appeal to Vesta: goddess of the hearth – again very relevant for a travelling prayer! Prayers also take the form of an exchange – I do this, the gods do that. Enjoy!

Lares Viales

Janus, hear my prayer
as I once again open my front door
creating a portal
from the safety of my dwelling
to the cruelty of the world.

Gods of the roads protect me:
I turn my back on my comforts
my security and loves
watch over my body
as it makes this journey.

I take well-worn roads and familiar paths
out and away from my home
I will climb hills and cross rivers
traverse miles of this earth
journey into unknown places.

The way may be dangerous: save me from harm.
The way may be long: grant me strength to go on.
The way may be hard: toughen my feet.
The way may be unclear: give me clarity of sight.
The way may be lonely: provide me with purpose.

I offer you life-giving corn harvested by my hand
votives dedicated in your name
this wine poured on my home’s threshold
a vow to always honour you:
accept my prayer.

May I return unharmed and enriched
back to my home
to once more honour the gods
hear me! Lares Viales
honour me! Vesta.




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