The law of the season becomes
the law of religion. According to that law,
the day born of this night is sacred.
for on this day offerings are made
that dedicate all ships to me.
As this day dawns, the storms of winter
lose their strength. The surging waves
grow calm. The sea is a highway once again.
Go through this day with a mind not clouded
by worry over the past or fear of futures
that have not yet come to be.
~The Goddess Isis, speaking in Apuleius’ The Golden Ass
Although Isis was originally an Egyptian Goddess, her worship spread to Rome during imperial times. There she was honored as the Goddess of the sea, Stella Maris, Each year at this time, all the boats that would ply the waters during the summer were blessed in lavish festivals. The Goddess was invoked to keep the sea-farers safe and to bring the goods they sought safely back to port.
We too are sailors, navigating the oceans of our lives, often buffeted by storms and gales. We leave the safe harbour of our homes each day to travel in search of the goods we need to survive. Yet we have no seasonal festivals that bless our voyages. Taking time to ask for the kindness and protection of the Goddess as we move through the day is a small ritual, but one that can sustain us as we travel.