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The Lares Alcobacenses

By Helio

Who’s the god of my homeland? There’s more than one god in one place. Who are the genii loci of my native land? The spirits of trees, rocks, hills and beaches, the nymphs of rivers, lakes and woods, those who dwell unseen yet not unfelt along the roads and in fields and orchards. The blood and bone of your ancestors, your blood and bones. What about the dead? The unclaimed wander, the claimed join their families. Many are forgotten, some remembered, but most cannot be severed from the place that embraced their bodies. Your body is a part of you, a trace of you. And when it melts away into the soil, it becomes one with the land, its trees, its rivers, its rocks. The genii loci know you, because a part of you is a part of them. This is a land of your forefathers: the soil has blood and bones of your ancestors, your blood and bone.

Let me be clear and state that the lines above are not from a conversation with a god. I have not been endowed with such an ability. They are simply the sum of my mental notes on the issue of the local gods of my homeland. And after experimenting and considering the matter for two years, I believe I have found the answer I was looking for.

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