Friday, October 21, 2005

Ante Diem XI Kalendas November

Modern Date : October 22nd

Ante Diem XI Kalendas November
Eleventh Day to the Kalends of November

This is one of the dies comitiales (C), when committees of citizens could vote on political or criminal matters.

Prudentius writes of this day in regard to Commodus, "He was officially presented by the army and the senate to be maintained in perpetuity in the Palatine mansion, henceforth called Commodiana, on the eleventh day before the kalends of Romanus in the year that Praesens was consul for the second time."

October was the eighth month of the old Roman calendar and was sacred to the goddess Astraea, daughter of Zeus and Themis. The name October comes from Octo, meaning eight (March used to be the first month).

Sun enters Scorpio
Sun enters Scorpio, symbolized in zodiac maps by the easily recognizable Scorpion, but also symbolized in the hermetic tradition by the Eagle, as in the quartet of Bull, Lion, Eagle and Angel (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius) that represent the four beasts of Ezekiel, the Christian evangelists, and many others who represent the fixed and secure orientation of human beings in mythic space. As the Scorpion and its next neighbor on the wheel, the Chiron-like archer Sagittarius, are both designed by nature to deliver their most accurate sting while retreating, the energy of the time favors the protection of the harvest and other efforts that are now nearing completion. The teams normally begin to gather now and bring in the corn, rice and wheat.

Tending the Crossroads
In ancient Greece this day was known as Tending the Crossroads. Hecate is celebrated this day as she was the guardian of crossroads.

Hecate was said to be the daughter of Asteria and Perses. She was the mother of Circe, Scylla, Medea, and Apsyrtus by different fathers. She was primarily the goddess of magic, sorcery, the cross-roads. As the goddess of sorcery, she was adopted as Queen of the Witches and became a goddess of the dark hours and necromancy. As a moon goddess, she was often confused with Artemis and Selene and the three goddesses' identities often merged. She was alone the goddess of the waning moon, and she is said to appear when the ebony moon shines. She was also a Goddess of the Underworld, where she resided. She was a companion of Persephone, although she was sometimes confused with the goddess. In the Underworld, she was attended by the Furies and ghost hounds. Hecate was supreme in both Heaven, the Underworld, on Earth, and in the Seas. And for this reason, she took up three identities: Artemis on Earth, Selene in Heaven, and Hecate/Persephone in the Underworld. During war, she grants glory to whomever she pleases. Hecate bestows wealth on those whose prayers she answers favorably. As the crossroads goddess, Hecate is said to haunt a three-way crossroad, each of her heads facing in a certain direction. She was also said to represent the three phases of womanhood with her three heads: maiden, mother, and crone. Or the three heads were said to be of a dog, a snake, and a horse. As a ghost goddess, she haunted the scenes of crimes and murders and was seen lurking in graveyards. Despite all of her negative attributes, she was not an `evil' goddess. She did quite a few good deeds. In fact, she helped save Persephone and bring her back to her mother. And Hecate was a nurse of the Young. She is usually seen with two ghost hounds that were said to serve her. Hecate's cult outlived those of any other god.

Hi Matsuri
Japan's Hi Matsuri, "fire festival," is celebrated at night in the village of Kurama near Kyoto. People carry flaming torches in a procession to purify their homes. The parade ends at a shrine at midnight where the gods are said to descend to earth.

Hermes the Martyr
Hermes was a cleric at Heraclea near Constantinople. Arrested and abused by the authorities with Saint Philip, Saint Severus, and Saint Eusebius; their captors demanded the location of their sacred texts so they could be burned. The group refused to say where they had hidden their copies of the Scriptures, and were martyred. A copy of the court proceedings against them has survived to today. In ancient Greece this day was known as Tending the Crossroads.


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