Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Ante Diem VI Idus November

Modern Date : November 8th

Ante Diem VI Idus November
Sixth Day to the Ides of November

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

The Mania
On this day, sometimes referred to as the Mania, the rite of mundus was performed for the final time of the year. In this ceremony an effigy representing the sky was placed upside down in a pit and and covered with a large stone called the lapis manalis. Three times a year, including today, the stone was removed to alow the spirits of the underworld access to the upper regions of the earth.

This day is sacred to Ops, or Cybele or Rhea to the Greeks. Ops was the mother of Ceres and Zeus by Cronus (Saturn). Ops was considered a successor to Gaea (Gaia) as the mother earth goddess. She was deeply revered at Rome as the unceasing producer of all plant life and fertility. She had an affair with a youth named Attis who proved unfaithful and provoked her violent anger. His subsequent suicide left her in mourning. In commemoration of this event her priests and priestesses, called the Corybantes, held an annual orgy involving violent (i.e. S&M) activities.

The emperor Nerva was born Marcus Cocceius Nerva this day at Narnia in 35 AD.

On this day in 392 AD, the emperor Theodosius banned all pagan worship in the empire and put an end to the Olympic games. This state-sponsored intolerance of the Religion of Nature gave the Christians tacit approval to confiscate properties, destroy relics, and publicly attack and murder believers. It still took many centuries of Christian persecution before exctinction was achieved. They turned on the Jews also, but with imperfect success, and then they turned on each other, being heretics all. The surviving heresy in the West became known as Roman Catholicism.

November is the ninth month (after March) and is a lucky month which is almost free of religious obligation.

Opening of the Tor
Gwynn ap Nudd, lord of the faerie kingdom and the underworld, allowed access to his kingdom today through his holy mountain, Glastonbury Tor. This tradition is closely related to the Roman Mania festival.

Gwynn ap Nudd is the mythical king of Annfwn. Gwynn was the son of Nudd; therefore he was called Gwynn ap Nudd. His father was sometimes called Nudd Llaw Ereint or Nudd the Silver Hand, and identified with the Danann king Nuada Airgetlam. Gwynn's brother was named Edern.

Gwynn was best known in the tale of Culhwch and Olwen, where he was a rival of Gwythyr fab Greidawl, for the love of Creiddylad. Apparently, Creiddylad was married (or betrothed) to Gwythyr, but Gwynn abducted Creiddylad. Gwythyr pursued, and the two armies fought. Apparently, Gwynn was gaining the upper hand in the war, killing several of Gwythyr's kinsmen and allies.King Arthur needed Gwynn to aid him in the hunt of wild boar, Twrch Trwyth, so he forced a truce between Gwynn and Gwythyr that they would not fight one another in a duel on May Day, each year, until the end of time (or till Judgment Day), while Creiddylad returned to her father to await for the outcome of the duel.

Gwynn and Gwythyr not only took part in the hunt for Twrch Trwyth, they also advised Arthur to send someone else to fight against the Black Hag in the land of Valley of Distressed. The Black Hag easily defeated warriors that Arthur sent, so in the end the king fought and killed her.

In the Black Book of Carmarthen, there is a short dialogue between Gwynn and Gwydneu Garanhir. Gwynn has been to Caer Vandwy, a place mentioned in The Spoils of Annwfn. Either Gwynn or Gwydneu witnessed the death of Gwendoleu son of Ceidaw, Bran (son of Gweryd?), Llachau son of Arthur, and Meurig son of Carreian, Gwallawg, and the soldiers of Prydain.

Fuigo Matsuri
The Japanese Fuigo Matsuri (the Feast of Bellows) is held in honor of the Goddess of the Kitchen stove, Hettsui no Kami. Fires are lit also in honor of Inari and other deities in the courts of Shinto temples.

St. Michael and All Angels
This Orthodox holiday honors Michael and Gabriel in particular, as angels of death. In Thrace, on the eve of the holiday, people hid their shoes in hopes that Michael would overlook their existence. According to an Albanian story, Michael once gave in to the pleas of a family and did not carry off the soul he had been sent to fetch. God deafened him with a thunderbolt so he would never be swayed by prayers again.

In Ethiopia, people travel to churches that bear St. Michael's name, where the Michael tabot (holy ark) is carried out of the church in a ceremony which includes chanting and dancing. People also bathe in hot springs and drink holy water that has been blessed in Michael's name. The Coptic church of Ethiopia maintains the the Michael tabot is the original Ark of the Covenant given to the Queen of Sheba by King Solomon.


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