Fanara, Janara, Tanara

La Stregheria (neo-pagan tradition inspired by ancient Italian polytheistic religions (and influenced by various other ancient Mediterranean traditions)). revolves around three main and fundamental Mysteries: the mysteries of the earth, the Fanara, the lunar mysteries, the Janara, and the stellar mysteries, the Tanara.

These three mysteries are governed by three pairs of divinities: Fana and Faunus for the Fanara, Jana and Janus for the Janara, and Tana and Tanus for the Tanara, to whom we must address ourselves principally, but not exclusively.

Fanara Janara Tanara

Fanara, Janara, Tanara

Grimassi remains rather elusive as to what these three mysteries entail, what they Consist of. We guess however that because it is a question of mysteries, it is up to the devotee and the sorcerer to find the different paths himself. The author suggests, however, that there may have existed, in remote times, groups of sorcerers dedicated solely to the study and practice of one of these three mysteries, rarely all three at the same time, and that they were its guardians. 

The Fanara, or mysteries of the Earth, is for me the mystery of transformations and regeneration. It touches on the fertility of the earth, of women, of animals, on the abundance of the earth and of the goods, gifts and qualities that one possesses; it is the influence of the seasons which pass and transform everything. It is related to the temperature and the elements, often beneficial, sometimes raging and devastating. It is a mystery related to the powers of trees, flowers, spices, herbs of all kinds, used for spells of all kinds, such as for medicine.

It is also a mystery related to the spirits of the earth, the dead like fairies, related to places of power, like ley lines, mounds, temples, places where energies converge, ancient forests. The Janara, or lunar mysteries, is obviously the mystery of the Moon, of its influence on the menstrual cycle of women, on the tides, on the growth of plantations, on the fertility of animals and men. 

It is also the power of lunar magic, so dear to sorcerers and witches of all Faiths and paths, its beneficial influences when prayed to, the power it gives to spells and objects it charges with its light. . It is a mystery of purification, evolution and spiritual elevation.

The Tanara, or stellar mysteries, is the mystery of the stars, in this case the Sun, the one that is most important and necessary for us on Earth, but also the influence of other stars and constellations, and even, in a broader spectrum, planetary influences. Several important deities of the Roman pantheon were represented by planets. We also know that astrology was of capital importance. The art of herbalism, divination, magic and rituals are common to the three mysteries of the Streghe. 

According to myth, it was believed and still believed that the souls of the deceased go to the Moon, here symbol of the astral world, to rest there, to regenerate there. There they await the deity of the dead (for Grimassi, it is Dianus) who will then take them to bring them back to life again on Earth or in another place of rest.

Regeneration on the Moon lasts one lunar cycle. It is believed that the brighter (full) the Moon, the more souls awaiting rebirth. In waning Moon, it is believed that souls ready to emerge from this milky and luminous cocoon do so by following the divinity towards the Earth, until the Moon turns black again, emptied of these souls all regenerated and, for some, returned to the life. 

Because the Italic peoples attached great importance to their dead, so it is still today in the Stregheria Tradition and in general in the Mediterranean. The families all had a family altar, in the center of their house, often above the hearth of the fireplace.

This altar was dedicated to the Lares of the family, that is to say to the spirits of the family, that is to say the deceased and other protective spirits of the lineage. The setting up of such an altar, called Lararium, is an important step to take when you want to dedicate yourself to the Stregheria tradition. This altar allows us to honor our dead, to keep their memory alive, to call on them for help in case of need and to thank them for their protection and guidance.

At the time, it was indeed a kind of family duty, and certain holidays during the year served to honor the dead and to celebrate them: a banquet was held and food was brought to the tombs of our deceased family. There were other celebrations that served to drive away certain family spirits that we did not wish to honor, either because they had betrayed us, or because they had hurt or dishonored us: we called them Larvae. Once a year, we made sure that the Larvae did not come to disturb our daily lives, to haunt us.