Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Kalendas November

Modern Date : November 1st

Kalendas November
The Kalends of November

This is one of the dies fasti on which legal actions are permitted.

This day is the traditional beginning of Winter for the Romans.

On this day in 82 BCE the Romans, led by Sulla, successfully defended an attack by the Sabines under Pontius Telesinus at the Colline Gate.

In Egypt, and many parts of the Roman Empire, this day began the three day Festival of Isis, the Egyptian mother goddess. Although a foreign deity, Isis was honored with a temple at Rome. Professional singers, musicians, and dancers, mostly female, would perform at the temple during this festival. The performance involved actors playing the parts of Isis and Nephthys in the mystery plays celebrating the death and resurrection of Osiris. These were perhaps the oldest mystery plays on earth, predating even those of Mesopotamia. This festival was preceded by the three day Isia festival. The Feast of Isis, which commemorates the dismemberment of Osiris by his brother and murderer, Set, and the healing and love skills of Isis in collecting and reintegrating the King's body, bringing Osiris back to life a second time -- after having already revived him once after Set first killed Osiris by apparently suffocating him inside a wooden box. The love union of Isis and Osiris after this second resurrection produces the solar hero Horus, who will seek to kill his father's murderer -- the Hamlet plot first appears on Earth -- and to restore balance in the Realm between order and chaos, life and death.

November took its name as the ninth month of the Roman calendar. As the first month of the winter quarter, November was the first month of the new year according to Celtic traditions, Samhain (La Samhna - Irish) being the first day of the new year. Cailleach had guardianship of this month.

Called Blotmonath, the month of sacrifice, by the Anglo-Saxons, the Franks called this month Herbistmanoth, " harvest month," and Fogmoon is the Asatru name. It was called Samhain or an t-Samhainn, summer's end, by the Irish, the month of the festival of Samhain.

The full moon of November is called the Beaver Moon. It is the Mourning or Frosty Moon, and it may also be referred to as the Moon When Deer Shed Antlers, the Fog Moon, or the Moon of Storms, a name it shares with February and March. Some call it the Dark Moon or Mad Moon.

Scorpio gives way to Sagittarius around November 22nd. Scorpios and other folk born in this month have the Chrysanthemum for their birth flower. November children have topaz for their stone, though one list mentions pearl as a stone for November, while the birthstone of Sagittarius is turquoise or lapis lazuli. Other stones associated with Scorpio are albite, aquamarine, emerald, garnet, green tourmaline, malachite, moonstone, obsidian, and ruby. Amethyst, azurite, labradorite, pink tourmaline, ruby, sodalite, and topaz are also linked to Sagittarius.

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

Samhain Day
To the Celts, this is La Samhna, Samhain Day; Second of the Three Days of Samhain; Feile na Marbh, Samhain, All-Hallowtide, and the Feast of the Dead. Also called Mile na Marbh and Fide Moingfhinne (snow goddess). Unharvested fruit now belong to the puca and faerie who roam abroad. From the first to the third, the door is open our world and the other realms. In ancient Ireland, a new fire was kindled every year on Hallowe'en on the Eve of Samhain, and from this sacred flame all the fires in Ireland were kindled. The Assemblies at Tara took place on Samain. Tea and Tephi were Milesian princesses who founded Tara, the ancient religious and political centre of Ireland. Today is also the Day of the Banshees, a modern Celtic holiday. Apples, representing the otherworld, rebirth, eternal life, and the crone, may be placed on graves.

The time of increasing darkness from now until February is under the protection of Cailleach (the "veiled woman"). Note the resemblance to "Kali": the Witch at her most severe, the dark side of the Wise Woman aspect of the Triple Goddess.

One of the year's four great midseason festivals, this one at the midpoint between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice. These days have been a critical weather marker from ancient times, as this is the week, called Hallowmas in Christian Europe, when the birds fly south, the animals migrate and hibernate for the winter, and the crops flame out in glory, yielding new food and the seeds to grow anew in the spring just before they die and decay into winter. As this moment in nature marks the onset of mortality, it has always been, in the imagination of human beings everywhere, a time of meeting between the living and the dead.

These red days of autumn pass like maple leaves in the stream, and are among the most passionate times of the year for people whose emotional bodies are engaged.

All Saints Day(All Hallows Day)

If ducks do slide at Hollantide,
At Christmas they will swim;
If ducks do swim at Hollantide,
At Christmas they will slide.

On allhallow-day cut a chip from the beech tree;
If it be dry the winter will prove warm.

All the gods of the world were worshipped on this day from sunrise to sunset, goes an Irish saying. [Kightly, The Perpetual Almanack of Folklore] The Celtic Coligny calendar designates these three nights as the end of summer (which begins on Beltane, May 1st), the time when flocks are moved to the winter pastures, the beginning of the dark half of the year. The time of the last harvest, of apples and nuts, which are used for divination. The dead are honored with offerings of food: soul cakes in England, fava beans in Italy. In Mexico, offerings include bread, fruit, sweets, wax candles, flowers, liquors, cigarettes, mole, pulque, tamales. The candles burning in pumpkins, gourds or turnips light the way for the dead to return.

The Catholic feast day of All Saints was celebrated on the Sunday after Pentecost, until 609 or 610, when Pope Boniface dedicated the Pantheon to Saint Mary and martyrs on May 18th and that became the new date. This is interesting as there are other feasts of the dead in May, including the Roman Lemuria (May 9) and Memorial Day was long associated with the dead also. The date of November 1st was established in the eighth and ninth centuries.

M. Martin, writing in 1716, tells of a curious custom of the inhabitants of one of the islands off Lewis, which took place on this day. All of the inhabitants came together at the church, bringing with them a peck of malt, to brew ale. At night, one man then waded into the sea with a cup of this ale and offered it to a sea-god addressed as Shorrey, asking for his blessings upon their crops. Afterwards they went into the church and watched a single candle burning, until at a signal, the candle was put out and all adjourned to the fields where they drank the rest of the ale and sang and danced. It was many years, according to M. Martin, before the ministers in Lewis "could persuade the vulgar Natives to abandon this ridiculous piece of Superstition."

The feast day of a Roman goddess whose name means fruit. She is associated with all fruits, especially those that can be preserved, particularly apples, which are important symbols at this time of the year. Among the last fruits to be harvested, they are used in drinks (wassail, cider) and divination, and are emblems of both love and death.


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