The Goddess Ops has her roots in pre-Roman Italy. Her name is from Opis which is latin for plenty. She is often correlated with the earth and fertility, fruitfulness, riches and prosperity. She is often depicted with a crown on her head and called a Queen.
Wiki tells us:
“Opis was deemed a chthonic (underworld, inside the earth) goddess who made the vegetation grow. Since her abode was inside the earth, Ops was invoked by her worshipers while sitting, with their hands touching the ground, according to Macrobius” (Saturnalia, I:10). (Opiconsivia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/)
The Festival Ops or Opiconsivia is usually observed on August 25. It is often interpreted as a celebration of the harvest. There is a mirroring ritual on December 21 for her consort Consus, the protector or storer of the grain. These are ancient pre-roman entities. Consus is represented by a seed and associated with sowing.
I scheduled this celebration for August 2 since it seemed closely aligned with Celtic Lammas and so would fit into most modern pagan holy days.
What is this? Read about why I am creating an Abruzzo-Americana Wheel of the year here.
This ritual is about giving thanks for all the ways we experience abundance. Nothing more. Nothing less.
What are you graced with? In what ways are you lucky? Happy? Gifted? In what ways does abundance show up in your life?
It’s time to acknowledge those. We may still want more. There may be things missing that are profound and we may even be suffering from: the absence of money to pay our bills, security, a partner, a child, peace on earth, the end to war. But this is not the time for that.
In this ritual, we ask for nothing, only acknowledge all the ways the Goddess Ops has blessed us. In this ritual we only celebrate that which is abundant.
We do not engage with lack.
We offer humble thanks but more than that we acknowledge all that we have. Therefore this ritual is simple and clean.
Making tissue paper flowers to honor Ops
My Aunt Caroline was a member of the Catholic Daughters Association that was connected to the Catholic Church that my family belonged to in the town I grew up in. Every year, the Catholic Daughters would partake in festivals and parades in town. My Aunt Caroline was tasked with decorating the floats. Often she would use tissue paper flowers to do this. She would make hundreds and hundreds of them. I remember seeing her make these by the hour so carefully. Making something out of nothing. An abundance of beauty created by her hands with love and care. Sometimes, she even allowed us to help her. I knew my flowers were never up to her standards. I would see her fixing them when she thought I wasn’t looking. She was a master perfectionist. And it is true, when she did make things, they were perfect. I didn’t mind her fixing mine. I knew mine were far from perfect.
When I was tasked with making a shrine to her, tissue paper flowers is what I decorated it with. I allowed them to be less than perfect.
For this festival ritual, tissue paper flowers will be used to celebrate abundance in honor of my aunt. If you type tissue paper flowers with pipe cleaners into your search engine, you will find many easy tutorials for how to create the flowers of your choice.
Before the ritual:
Make, find or buy a form out of wire, netting, screen, something that you can attach the paper flowers to. (I was lucky enough to find a wire mannequin, female in form, to represent the goddess Ops who we will decorate—pictures later— making her a beautiful dress.)
Set this form on the altar. During the ritual, one by one, you will approach the altar slowly, bowing if you wish, in humble thanks and acknowledgment for all you have been gifted and then once you arrive to the altar, you will decorate and adorn the Ops form you have created.
You will offer her an abundance of flowers. You will thank her with beauty.
For this ritual you will need:
- An altar is created to the Goddess Ops and her consort Consus. He can be represented by a storage jar or seeds.
- She is represented however you want to articulate the Goddess of Abundance. Since I have found the wire mannequin we will be decorating, I will have that on the altar as Ops waiting to be adorned.
- Paper and pencils
- Tissue paper
- Pipe cleaners
- A candle for each participant
Gather: call in the 6 directions
Light candles, one for each person.
One at a time, each participant calls in the Goddess Ops and her consort Consus: Plenty and Storer.
Simultaneously, each participant takes time to reflect on all the ways abundance shows up in their lives.
Make a list. You might be surprised.
Understanding that this abundance is in your life thanks to the Goddess Ops, begin to craft flowers for her dress to thank her.
Each person crafts 10 flowers.
Once complete, one at a time, each participant walks toward the altar with their flowers, bowing three times on the way there, if it feels appropriate. We bow in humility because of how often we forget how much we have been given.
Once at the altar, repeating the mantra, “I offer humble thanks,”
the flowers are attached to the wire form.
After all have finished approaching and adorning the goddess, sit in silence for a few minutes admiring her and sending her love.
Celebration to follow!
(Featured Image: The Goddess Ops by Peter Paul Rubens)