Ante Diem VI Kalendas September
Modern Date : August 27th
Ante Diem VI Kalendas September
This day (NP), is for special religious observance.
The Volturnalia is a festival dedicated to Volturnus, the river god (of the Tiber) and an alter-ego of Janus. Volturnus was the father of the goddess Juturna and they were both honored this day with feasting, wine-drinking and games.
August was originally called Sextilis, or the sixth month (after March). It was renamed in honor of Augustus Caesar, the most revered of the Roman emperors.
The Planet Mars
On this day Mars reaches his closest proximity to Earth in many thousands of years. This may be just as well, as Mars has traditionally been viewed as a baleful, "malefic" planet who has a nasty habit of being in stress with other planets when rage erupts and violent, cataclysmic events occur. There is something to all this, of course, as astrologers have known ever since the astronomer priests of Mesopotamia methodically correlated the moves and "aspects" of Mars (that is, his angular relationships with other planets) with news of wars and riots, naphtha fires and chariot wrecks from around and beyond the realm. Inevitably, there will be dire predictions this month of explosive, bloody events. There always are, especially now that people of power become ever more skillful in using myths, spin and now the "frame" of fear to control and exploit their people. Even if Mars were graciously hosting a vegan soiree and serving mango smoothies to all the other planets, doom pimps would still be peddling disaster to all who will listen.
The actuality is that while Mars' most dangerous qualities do come out while he's in friction with other planets -- this is why you don't want to take flying lessons when Mars is conjunct Uranus, or challenge a type A boss when Mars is square Jupiter -- Mars is in fact ethically and spiritually neutral. He represents the masculine energies of assertion, direct action and drive, and the competitive will to win. He can save you from a burning building or torch your town, depending on who's directing and paying him, as the only things he naturally seeks are great sex, trophies and beer, and the acclaim of other men he respects. He can be trained to matchless efficiency in the heroic arts of emergency service and fear management. Or he can fire on his own neighbors, and if he is questioned about how anyone could possibly do such a thing, he can claim he was only following orders. Once the basic contours of the Mars type were understood by ancient peoples, it was only a matter of time before someone would begin to forge the most clueless, malleable Mars personalities into armies -- just as it was also inevitable that someone would organize the more protective Mars personalities into fire departments.
Nativity of Isis
In Egypt, this day was known as the Nativity of Isis. Although originally a foreign deity, the worship of Isis became popular among many Romans. Isis was the daughter of the earth god Geb and the sky goddess Nut.
Isis, though worshipped all over Egypt, was specially venerated in certain cities, and the following are among the most common of her titles: --"The great lady, the God-mother, lady of Re-a-nefer; Isis-Nebuut, lady of Sekhet; lady of Besitet; Isis in Per Pakht, the queen of Mesen; Isis of Ta-at-nehepet; Isis, dweller in Netru; Isis, lady of Hebet; Isis in P-she-Hert; Isis, lady of Khebt; Usert-Isis, giver of life, lady of Abaton, lady of Philae, lady of the countries of the south," etc. From a list of title of the goddess collected by Dr. Brugsch, it is clear that Isis was called Usert, in Thebes, Aat, in Heliopolis, Menkhet, in Memphis, God-Mother, in Coptos, Hert, in Letopolis; and "Hent," i.e., "Queen," in every nome; and another important list tells us that Isis was called Ament, in Thebes, Menhet, in Heliopolis, renpet, In Memphis, Sept, in Abydos, Hetet, in Behutet, Hurt, in Nekhen, Thenenet, in Hermonthis, Ant, in Dendera, Sesheta, in Hermopolis, Heqet, in Hibiu, Uatchit, in Hipponus, Mersekhen, in Herakleopolis, Renpet, in Crocodilopolis, Neb-tept, in Arsinoe, That, or Tchetut, in Aphroditopolis, and Shetat, in Bubastis. Among her general titles may be mentioned those of "the divine one, the only one, the greatest of the gods and goddesses, the queen of all gods, the female Ra, the female Horus, the eye of Ra, the crown of Ra-Heru, Sept, opener of the year, lady of the New Year, maker of the sunrise, lady of heaven, the light-giver of heaven, lady of the North Wind, queen of the earth, most mighty one, queen of the South and North, lady of the solid earth, lady of warmth and fire, benefactress of the Tuat, she who is greatly feared in the Tuat, the God-mother, the God-mother of Heru-ka-nekht, the mother of the Horus of gold, the lady of life, lady of green crops, the green goddess (Uatchet), lady of bread, lady of beer, lady of abundance, lady of joy and gladness, lady of love, the maker of kings, lady of the Great House, lady of the House of fire, the beautiful goddess, the lady of words of power, lady of the shuttle, daughter of Seb, daughter of Neb-er-tcher, the child of Nut, wife of Ra, wife of the lord of the abyss, wife of the lord of the Inundation, the creatrix of the Nile flood."
From a number of passages in the texts of various periods we learn that Isis possessed great skill in the working of magic, and several examples of the manner in which she employed it are well known. Thus when she wished to make Ra reveal to her his greatest and most secret name, she made a venomous reptile out of dust mixed with the spittle of the god, and by uttering over it certain words of power she made it to bite Ra as he passed. When she had succeeded in obtaining from the god his most hidden name, which he only revealed because he was on the point of death, she uttered words which had the effect of driving the poison out of his limbs, and Ra recovered. Now Isis not only used the words of power, but she also had knowledge of the way in which to pronounce them so that the beings or things to which they were addressed would be compelled to listen to them and, having listened, would be obliged to fulfill her bequests. The Egyptians believed that if the best effect was to be produced by words of power they must be uttered in a certain tone of voice, and at a certain rate, and at a certain time of the day or night, with appropriate gestures or ceremonies. In the Hymn to Osiris it is said that Isis was well skilled in the use of words of power, and it was by means of these that she restored her husband to life, and obtained from him an heir. It is not known what the words were which she uttered on this occasion, but she appears to have obtained them from Thoth, the "lord of divine words," and it was to him that she appealed for help to restore Horus to life after he had been stung to death by a scorpion.
In the Theban Recension of the Book of the Dead is found a Chapter (No. clvi.) which was composed for the purpose of bestowing upon the deceased some of the magical power of the goddess. The Chapter was intended to be recited over an amulet called thet, made of carnelian, which had to be steeped in water of ankhami flowers, and set in a sycamore plinth, and if this were laid on the neck of a dead person it would place him under the protection of the words of power of Isis, and he would be able to go wheresoever he pleased in the Underworld. The words of the Chapter were: -- "Let the blood of isis, and the magical powers (or spirits) of Isis, and the words of power of Isis, be mighty to protect and keep safely this great god (i.e., the deceased), and to guard him from him that would do unto him anything which he abominateth."
The symbol of Isis in the heavens was the star Sept (Sirius), which was greatly beloved because its appearance marked not only the beginning of a new year, but also announced the advance of the Inundation of the Nile, which betokened renewed wealth and prosperity of the country. As such Isis was regarded as the companion of Osiris, whose soul dwelt in the star Sah, i.e., Orion, and she was held to have brought about the destruction of the fiend Apep, and of his hosts of darkness by means of the might of her words of power. As the light-giver at this season of the year she was called Khut, as the mighty earth-goddess her name was Usert, as the Great Goddess of the Underworld she was Thenenet, as the power which shot forth the Nile
flood she was Sati, and sept, as the embracer of the land and producer of fertility by her waters she was Anqet, as the producer and giver of life she was Ankhet, as the goddess of cultivated lands and fields she was Sekhet, as the goddess of the harvest she was Renenet, as the goddess of food which was offered to the gods she was Tcheft, and lived int he Temple of Tchefau, and as the great lady of the Underworld, who assisted in transforming the bodies of the blessed dead into those whrein they were to live in the realm of Osiris, her name was Ament, i.e., the "hidden" goddess. In this last capacity she shared with Osiris the attribute of "giver of life," and she provided food for the dead as well as for the living; as Ament also she was declared to be the mother of Ra. In fact, at a comparatively early period in Egyptian history Isis had absorbed the attributes of all the great primitive goddesses, and of all the local goddesses such as Nekhebet, Uatchet, Net, Bast, Hathor, etc., and she was even identified as the female counterpart of the primeval abyss of water from which sprang all life. From what has been said above it is manifestly impossible to limit the attributes of Isis, for we have seen that she possesses the powers of a water goddess, an earth goddess, a corn goddess, a star goddess, a queen of the Underworld, and a woman, and that she united in herself one or more of the attributes of all the goddesses of Egypt known to us.
The relationship between Isis and Horus influenced the early Christian conception of the relationship between Mary and the infant Jesus Christ. The depiction of the seated holding or suckling the child Horus is certainly reminiscent of the iconography of Mary and Jesus.
Devaki an East Indian Mother Goddess is also honored today. 'Devak' was the brother of the emperor 'Ugrasen'. Devaki was his daughter. The demon king 'Kansa' was Devaki's cousin and was elder to her. So Kansa had great affection towards her and loved her very much.
Devaki was married to Vasudev, the descendant of the Yadava clan.
After the marriage, when Devaki was being sent off to her in-laws house, Kansa drove the chariot carrying Vasudev and Devaki. While Kansa was riding the chariot, suddenly he heard a voice from the sky: " O fool Kansa, your sister's chariot which you are riding with so much love, her eighth child would kill you."
Hearing this, Kansa became sad. The love and affection, which he had towards his sister vanished immediately and his heart was filled with anger. He jumped down from the chariot and caught Devaki by her hair, took out his sword and thought that it would be better if he kills Devaki because then there will be no possibility of her, giving birth to any child.
Vasudev, with great patience, begged Kansa and promised that if Devaki's life was spared then each child born to them would be brought to him, so that he could kill them one by one.
Kansa believing Vasudev's words, spared Devaki's life but after thinking for a while, decided to put both of them in prison. Devaki gave birth to seven children in the prison and the cruel Kansa killed all one by one. Lord Vishnu manifested himself as the eighth child of Devaki, in his full glory and form. Devaki had a mixed feeling of joy and sorrow. She was filled with joy as Lord Vishnu himself had taken birth as the eighth child and she was sad as Kansa would kill him.
Lord Vishnu showed Devaki his divine appearance. Devaki being fearful of Kansa, requested him to conceal his divine form. Lord Vishnu then asked Vasudev to carry him to Nand's house at Gokul and bring the girl child which was born from Lord Vishnu's own illusionary powers from there.
Vasudev followed the instructions by carrying Lord Krishna (Vishnu) to Nand's house and returned back with the girl with him.
When Kansa came to know about the birth, he came to the prison and as soon as he lifted the girl to kill her by dashing her against a rock, the girl slipped away from his hands, went up in the sky and warned Kansa of his imminent death by saying: " Kansa! Your assailant has already taken birth."
Lord Krishna grew up at Gokul. Devaki lived in separation with her heart always longing for Krishna's sight. Later, when Krishna grew up, he killed Kansa and freed his real parents. He asked his parents to forgive him for causing them pain and anguish due to the separation and for non-fulfillment of his duties towards them. In this way, Lord Krishna had shown his devotion and respect for his parents.
Later on when Lord Krishna had left Mathura and started living at Dwarka, Devaki lived with him. Though Krishna had grown up as a young man by that time, but for Devaki he was still a small child. She still treated him like a small child by feeding him with her own hands. Lord Krishna also acted like a small child. Devaki had forgotten about the divine appearance of Lord Vishnu that he had shown to her at the time of his manifestation.
But Lord Krishna wanted to help Devaki in attaining real knowledge. When Devaki heard that Krishna had brought the dead son of his 'Guru' (teacher) back to life to pay his ' Gurudakshina', she insisted him to bring all his previous seven dead children back alive. Krishna along with Baldev went to the Paatal Loka (nether world) and brought back all the seven dead children. All of them were alive and in the same state of infancy.
Devaki was filled up with emotions of motherhood, fed all the seven children with her milk. After being fed, all of them went to the world of the deities.
Now, Devaki had realized that her son was not any ordinary soul but the Lord of the whole universe. She became free from all kinds of attachments and illusions and with this blissful knowledge, her mind was absorbed in meditation of the Lord. In the end, Devaki and Vasudev came to know about the death of Lord Krishna from 'Daruk', while fighting among themselves in the region of Prabhas (presently in Saurashtra) and Lord Krishna annihilated the Yadavas and he too departed to his 'Vaikuntha' (abode of Lord Vishnu),
Both of them reached 'Prabhas' and not finding Krishna there, left their bodies made up of five elements and went to the abode of their dear son Krishna.
Also in the East Indian calendar, this is one of the year's most joyous feasts: Sri Krishna Jayanti, also Krsna Janmastami, the birthday of Lord Krishna, the most celebrated and beloved of all the avatars of Vishnu. His feast is observed with fasting until midnight, followed an all-day festival of chanting and music, culminating in a midnight punja.