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Each of these individual deities stayed with a person for life and represented the creative force that determined gender and allowed individuals to grow, learn and behave morally within society.
The Dii Familiaris were so ingrained within the household that several spirits were assigned to specific responsibilities within a home. Tree goddesses and other nature spirits were local divinities associated with particular places in the landscape, where they were venerated.
All aspects of life within Rome were guided not only by the pantheon of familiar names we are accustomed to, but to the household cult of the Dii Familiaris as well.
Tribal territories were themselves held sacred and the ground and waters which received the dead were imbued with sanctity and revered by their living relatives.
Sanctuaries were sacred spaces separated from the ordinary world, often in natural locations such as springs, sacred groves or lakes.
All family functions included these spiritual guardians in some form or another.
Among these spirits that played a role in the spiritual life of Romans were Genii for men and junii for women.
"Faeries, come take me out of this dull world, For I would ride with you upon the wind, Run on the top of the dishevelled tide, And dance upon the mountains like a flame." - William Butler Yeats, The Land of Heart's Desire, 1894 "Soft moss a downy pillow makes, and green leaves spread a tent, Where Faerie fold may rest and sleep until their night is spent.