Valentines Day | The Drive

The time is nigh for the Cupids of the world to indulge themselves in hallmark chocolate and prompted flower buying.

The modern market for Cupid.

The modern market for Cupid.

Why this one day to lay
our souls on the line to our sweeties? Why the mass love fest on febuary, the 14th? Well.. Let’s go for a drive.

The origins of the chocolate orgy we call, “Valentines Day”, came from the Romans, who celebrated a ritual called, Lupercalia. Lupercalia dates way back, even before the Romans decided to get arrogant and help invent Imperialism, the Romans celebrated Lupercalia. It was a ritual that was observed on February 13 through 15, to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility. How did they do this?

The Lupercalian Festival in Rome (ca. 1578–1610), drawing by the circle of Adam Elsheimer, showing the Luperci dressed as dogs and goats, with Cupid and personifications of fertility

The Lupercalian Festival in Rome (ca. 1578–1610), drawing by the circle of Adam Elsheimer, showing the Luperci dressed as dogs and goats, with Cupid and personifications of fertility


The festival began with the sacrifice by the Luperci (or the flamen dialis) of two male goats and a dog.[10] Next two young patrician Luperci were led to the altar, to be anointed on their foreheads with the sacrificial blood, which was wiped off the bloody knife with wool soaked in milk, after which they were expected to smile and laugh.

The sacrificial feast followed, after which the Luperci cut thongs from the skins of the animals, which were called februa, dressed themselves in the skins of the sacrificed goats, in imitation of Lupercus, and ran round the walls of the old Palatine city, the line of which was marked with stones, with the thongs in their hands in two bands, striking the people who crowded near. Girls and young women would line up on their route to receive lashes from these whips. This was supposed to ensure fertility, prevent sterility in women and ease the pains of childbirth.

Now, let’s go buy some chocolates.

Ghost in the Land of Skeletons | Christopher Kennedy

Ghost in the Land of Skeletons
For Russell Edson

'Ghost Train' | © 2015 H a v e n

‘Ghost Train’ | © 2015 H a v e n

If not for flesh’s pretty paint, we’re just a bunch of skeletons, working hard to deny the fact of bones. Teeth remind me that we die. That’s why I never smile, except when looking at a picture of a ghost, captured by a camera lens, in a book about the paranormal. When someone takes a picture of a spirit, it gives me hope. I admire the ones who refuse to go away. Lovers scorned and criminals burned. I love the dead little girl who plays in her yard, a spectral game of hide and seek. It’s the fact they don’t know they’re dead that appeals to me most. Like a man once said to me, Do you ever feel like you’re a ghost? Sure, I answered, every day. He laughed at that and disappeared. All I could think was he beat me to it.
- Christopher Kennedy