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Paranormal or spirit portals aren't the only doorways you should be concerned about.  Your home, with its windows and doors, are portals too.  There are many deities which oversee the comings and goings through doorways (usually the main doorway to your house) but it's the Roman goddess Cardea we'll be looking at today.

In Roman mythology there are two important deities which oversee the protection of doorways: Janus and his beloved Cardea who was bestowed by the god with the protection of door hinges, door handles and the ability to prevent evil spirits from entering houses.

Cardea was called upon to protect babies and young children as they slept in their cribs from screech owls.  These were evil witches who had shapeshifted into bird form so they could attack sleeping children and drink their blood.  Mothers would place a small branch of hawthorn over the baby's crib or window to prevent witches from harming their children.  Over time Cardea also became associated with the hawthorn bush.

There is a surviving legend of Cardea which tells of her stepping in to personally intervene when vampires (or screech owls) came into a young boy's room.  She banished the evil spirits and healed the child of his ailments caused by the blood suckers.  The doorposts and threshold of the house was purified with a sprig of arbutus then a white sow was sacrificed.  In the final part of the ritual a hawthorne branch was hung from the window  The child she saved was Procas, a young prince of Alba Longa (a place south east of Rome), who went on to become the grandfather of Romulus and Remus.


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