Ops – Fertility Deity and Earth-Goddess…

Ops 1

In the ancient Roman religion, Ops or Opis, was a fertility deity and earth-goddess of Sabine origin, from where she passed to the Romans. According to Roman tradition, the cult of Opis was instituted by Titus Tatius, one of the Sabine kings of Rome.

Ops is the sister and wife of Saturn. One of her temples was located near Saturn’s temple, and on August 10 a festival took place there. Another festival was the Opalia, which was observed on December 9. "By her they designated the earth, because the earth distributes all goods to the human genus" – Festus 203:19

Opis soon became the patroness of riches, abundance, and prosperity. The Latin word ops means "riches, goods, abundance, gifts, munificence, plenty". The word is also related to opus, which means "work", particularly in the sense of "working the earth, ploughing, sowing". Newborn children were put in her care, so that she would care for them as tenderly as she cared for the shoots of springtime plants. She was also believed to give to human beings both their place of abode and their food. Ops was also invoked to extinguish harmful, dangerous fires.

As goddess of the harvest she is closely associated with the god Consus. On the Forum Romanum she shared a sanctuary with the goddess Ceres as the protectors of the harvest.

The major temple was of Ops Capitolina, on the Capitoline Hill, where Caesar had located the Treasury. Opiconsivia was another name used for Opis, indicating when the earth was sown. Another sanctuary was located in the Regia on the Forum Romanun, where also the Opiconsivia was observed on August 25. Only her official priests and the Vestal Virgins had access to this altar.

Challah%20Poppy%20Seed%20Bread Her symbols are bread, seeds and soil.  This Italic Goddess of fertile earth provides us with numerous ‘op-portunities’ to make every day more productive. In stories, Ops motivates fruit bearing, not just in plants but also in our spirits. She also controls the wealth of the gods, making her a Goddess of opulence! Works of art depict Ops with a loaf of bread in one hand and the other outstretched, offering aid.

Opis, when syncretized with Greek mythology, was not only the wife of Saturn, she was his sister and the daughter of Caelus. Her children were Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto, Juno, Ceres, and Vesta. Opis also acquired queenly status and was reputed to be an eminent goddess. By public decree temples, priests, and sacrifices were accorded her.

On August 25, Ops is evoked by sitting on the earth itself, where she lives in body and spirit. So, weather permitting, take yourself a picnic lunch or dinner today. Sit with Ops and enjoy any sesame or poppy breadstuffs (bagel, roll, etc) – both types of seeds are magically aligned with Ops’s money-bringing power. If possible, keep a few of the seeds from the bread in your pocket or shoe so that after lunch, Op’s opportunities for financial improvements or personal growth can be with you no matter where you go. And don’t forget to leave a few crumbs for the birds so they can take you magical wishes to the four corners of creation!

If the weather doesn’t cooperate, invoke Ops by getting as close to the earth as you can (sit on your floor, go into the cellar). Alternatively, eat earthy foods like potatoes, root crops, or any fruit that comes from Ops’s abundant storehouse.”

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