“Lara’s themes are peace, death and protection. Her symbols are roses, violets, wine and crossroads. Lara, whose name means ‘mother of the dead’, was the guardian of ancestral spirits in whose care is the home, the family and by extensions, the community. According to tradition, crossroads are sacred spots for Lara, being the meeting of two roads, symbolic of an area where the temporal world and spirit world ‘cross’ over one another.
In Rome, Parentalia was part of a weeklong observance dedicated to one’s ancestors. So, pull out the scrapbooks, discuss your family tree and fondly remember those who have been a part of your family history. If possible, light a white candle in one of your windows to greet the ancestors and Lara. Or, leave an empty chair at your diner table tonight with some of the deceased’s favorite foods in the empty place at the table to welcome them and Lara into your home.
This is also a time to visit grave sites, leaving roses, violets, wine and other gifts for the deceased. These actions propitiate the spirits and ensure the family of ongoing harmony through the year.
Finally, Romans settled any arguments with family members or friends today, so follow their example. If you can, arrange to meet the person with whom you’ve argued at a crossroads, so that your two minds can ‘meet in the middle’. Scatter rose or violet petals when you meet to inspire Lara’s warmth.”
(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)
Lara, (also known as Larunda, Larunde and Mater Larum) was a naiad or a nymph and was the daughter of the river Almo. The only known mythography attached to Lara is little, late and poetic coming to us from Ovid’s Fasti. Lara was was famous for both beauty and loquacity (a trait Her parents attempted to curb).
She was incapable of keeping secrets, and so revealed to Jupiter‘s wife Juno his affair with Juturna (Lara’s fellow nymph, and the wife of Janus); hence Her name is connected with lalein. For betraying his trust, Jupiter cut out Lara’s tongue and ordered Mercury, the psychopomp, to take Her to Avernus, the gateway to the Underworld and realm of Pluto. Mercury, however, fell in love with Larunda and made love to Her on the way; this act has also been interpreted as a rape. Lara thereby became mother to two children, referred to as the Lares, invisible household gods, who were as silent and speechless as She was. However, She had to stay in a hidden cottage in the woods so that Jupiter would not find Her.
Took, Thalia. Thaliatook.com, “Acca Larentia“.
Wikipedia, “Mother of the Lares“.