The Penantes: Blessings of the Household Gods

Joseph Dispenza


There is a tremendously emotional scene in Virgil’s Aeneid when Aeneas, prince of Troy, is fleeing the burning ruins of his city. Making his way as quickly as possible to the harbor with his frail father on his back and his young son by the hand, Aeneas is suddenly stopped in his tracks by the appearance of a goddess in all her celestial radiance. She is Venus (Aphrodite to the Greeks), the goddess of Love and Beauty — and, unknown to Aeneas, she is his true mother.

“Who are you, and where are you going?” asks the heavenly personage.

“I am Pius Aeneas,” he says, “and I am taking my household gods to another land, where I am destined to found a new race.”

The household gods that Aeneas had wrapped up in his toga as he was escaping the fires of Troy were the Penantes, the ‘little gods’ of home and hearth. Their name comes from the Latin words for ‘cupboard’ and ‘food.’ For the ancients, the Penantes were important custodians of the health, order, and prosperity of one’s household: their small statues were honored on home altars, adorned with flowers and candles. At certain times of the year, the Paterfamilias or Materfamilias (Father or Mother of the family in charge of household rituals) called upon the Penantes for their protection.

Aeneas could refer to himself as ‘pius’ because he was living up to his spiritual responsibility by taking the Penantes of his household to his new place, wherever that would be. When he arrived in what would become Rome, the Penantes were with him, ready to order his new household.

The Clean Sweep — Physical Environment

We were thinking about the Penantes this month as we reflected on the section of The Clean Sweep Program that deals with one’s Physical Environment. With this issue of the Newsletter, we are beginning our four-part series based on the Clean Sweep. Created by the late Thomas Leonard, the Founder of Coach U, it comprises 100 items in four categories of living which, when completed, give you the vitality and strength you want and need to live fully, alive and awake. You have more natural energy when you are complete with your physical environment, well-being, money and relationships.

Dr. Leonard challenges you to complete all 100 items in one year. Check all that are true for you today.

My Physical Environment

True


____

1. My personal files, papers and receipts are neatly filed away.

____

2. My car is in excellent condition. (Doesn’t need mechanical work, repairs, cleaning or replacing.)

____

3. My home is neat and clean. (Vacuumed, closets clean, desks and tables clear, furniture in good repair; windows clean)

____

4. My appliances, machinery and equipment work well. (Refrigerator, toaster, snow- blower, water heater, toys)

____

5. My clothes are all pressed, clean and make me look great. (No wrinkles, baskets of laundry, torn, out-of-date or ill-fitting clothes)

____

6. My plants and animals are healthy. (Fed, watered, getting light and love)

____

7. My bed/bedroom lets me have the best sleep possible. (Firm bed, light, air)

____

8. I live in a home/apartment that I love.

____

9. I surround myself with beautiful things.

____

10. I live in the geographic area of my choice.

____

11. There is ample and healthy lighting around me.

____

12. I consistently have adequate time, space and freedom in my life.

____

13. I am not damaged by my environment.

____

14. I am not tolerating anything about my home or work environment.

____

15. My work environment is productive and inspiring. (Synergistic, ample tools and resources; no undue pressure)

____

16. I recycle.

____

17. I use non ozone-depleting products.

____

18. My hair is the way I want it.

____

19. I surround myself with music which makes my life more enjoyable.

____

20. My bed is made daily.

____

21. I don’t injure myself, fall or bump into things.

____

20. My bed is made daily.

____

21. People feel comfortable in my home.

____

22. I drink purified water.

____

23. I have nothing around the house or in storage that I do not need.

____

24. I am consistently early or easily on time.


Discussion/Journal Questions

  1. What has kept you from making a ‘clean sweep’ of your physical environment in the past? How has that affected your energy level?

  2. What was the most surprising item on the ‘clean sweep’ list? Why was it surprising?

  3. Name three things that you could do in the next month to clean up your physical environment. How might the cleaning up affect the people around you?

  4. Name three things that you continue to tolerate in your physical environment for the sake of ‘keeping the peace.’ How would your life be different if you addressed these in an appropriate way?

This entry was posted in Joseph Dispenza. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>