Well, technically the Neptunalia was yesterday, the 23rd of July – but by the time I’m posting this, WordPress says it’s already the 24th. Strange.
Anyway, as the name may imply, the Neptunalia is the festival day dedicated to Neptunus, the bearded, trident-wielding god of water and the sea (though the latter was, perhaps, a later addition). Way back in time it would have been celebrated with festival games (ludi) and a day of voting; it goes without saying that there would have been drinking and feasting as well.
I remember walking into my mom’s antique shop last year at this time and being met by beach stuff and seashells everywhere! (it’s a theme-based shop, each month has a different theme, and I had previously had no idea what that month’s theme was – obviously, it was “A Day at the Beach!”) I thought, Ok Neptune, hint taken! and had a good laugh.
So today I offered Him some seashells that I had collected way back when I lived by the beach, and poured Him a glass of wine that I had just picked up today. Afterwards I decided to see if my offerings were accepted, because if not I’d have to perform a piaculum – a uniquely Roman event that is essentially a sacrifice of atonement.
For this I pulled out my new tarot deck – a Steampunk themed deck from a local woman. The card that I pulled?
The Page of Cups.
Not my favorite card in the deck, but I about jumped for joy when it showed itself. Because in the background of this card is the seashore. That, coupled with the meaning of the card – in this case, I took it to mean pleasure/happiness – gives me the idea that this offering was very well-received indeed.