Saturday, August 20, 2005

Ante Diem XII Kalendas September

Modern Date : August 21st

Ante Diem XII Kalendas September
The Consualia

This day (NP), is for special religious observance.

The Consualia is a festival which honors Consus, the god who protects the harvest which is now in storage at this time. The harvest grains were stored in underground vaults, and the temple of Consus was also underground. This shrine was covered with earth all year and was only uncovered for this one day. Mars, as a protector of the harvest, was also honored on this day, as were the lares, the household gods that individual families held sacred. Chariot races were held this day in the Circus Maximus, which included an odd race in which chariots were pulled by mules. As part of the ceremonies, the rex sacrorum would appear in full garb riding his horse-drawn chariot once around the Circus Maximus.

The altar of Consus was buried underground in Rome, since he ruled the subterranean world. The altar was uncovered twice a year, once in August for the harvest, and again on December 19th, and the high priest of the god Quirinus made a sacrifice.

This was also a holiday for horses and other beasts of burden who did not have to work today. Instead they were decorated with flowers and raced in the Circus Maximus.

On this day the Rape of the Sabine women took place under Romulus. Seeing a need to increase the population of Rome, Romulus authorized each Roman to forcibly take women from the visiting Sabines as their wives, but only as appropriate to their social status. A war to avenge this insult was avoided when the kidnapped Sabine women intervened and voluntarilly accepted their Roman husbands, who had been careful to treat them honorably.

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.

Zoroastrian New Year
In the Zoroastrian calendar of ancient Persia, the day before the Sun exits Leo and enters Virgo was considered the climactic moment of Solar radiance and power, and was celebrated as the first day of the New Year.

Odin's Ordeal Day Five
This is the fifth day commemorating Odin's Ordeal on the world tree Yggdrasil. Odin rode to Mimir. But the giant did not want to give his knowledge so easily. Therefore, Odin pledged his left eye to the mighty one. Then Mimir showed him the mysteries of this world. Still, the Allfather was not fully satisfied in his quest for wisdom. On the way back through the desolate heath, he came upon a leafless tree. It was the Fogmoon and the frosty twilight permeated the landscape. Suddenly, his coat was caught in the branches of the tree. Odin hung between heaven and earth. In vain, he tried to free himself. Herjafather's white horse "Sleipnir", also called "Glidehoof," circled around him, whinnying. His ravens "Hugin" and "Munin"-thought and memory- flew around him agitatedly and brought the world's thoughts to him. Odin struggled with himself for the ultimate wisdom. Nine nights he hung on the windswept tree. His inner being gradually grew clearer and more luminous. Now he finally found the symbols of life's noblest values. He bent down deeply from the tree. Groaning with extreme exertion, he took up the signs and cut them into the trunk with his sword. Runes he called these sacred glyphs, because they whisper wisdom to the initiated (the word "rune" is related to the German "raunen"= to whisper).

Ante Diem XIII Kalendas September

Modern Date : August 20th

Ante Diem XIII Kalendas September
Thirteenth Day to the Kalends of September

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

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.

Hera Thelkinia
On the 20th day of the lunar month of Metageitnion, the Greeks celebrated this festival in honor of Hera as Thelkinia, which some translate as the Charmer and others as the Enchanter.

Hera's Footrace
The full moon of Metageitnion was the occasion for a race honoring Hera. Women competed in this race which predated the Olympics. The prize was the office of chief priestess, who may have overseen the water rites performed at this time of the year.

In ancient Mesopotamia, this was Inanna's Day. Inanna was the mother goddess, the queen of heaven and earth. Inanna is the most important goddess of the Sumerian pantheon in ancient Mesopotamia. She is a goddess of love, fertility, and war. Inanna figures prominently in various myths, such as 'Inanna's descent to the underworld'. In this particular myth she travels to the realm of the dead and claims its ruling. However, her sister Ereshkigal, who rules the place, sentences her to death. With Inanna's death, however, nature died with her and nothing would grow anymore. Through the intervention of the god Enki she could be reborn if another person took her place. She choose her beloved consort Dumuzi, who would from then on rule the underworld every half year.

Inanna is regarded as a daughter of the sky-god An, but also of the moon-god Nanna. A variation of her name is Ninnanna, which means 'queen of the sky'. She is also called Ninsianna as the personification of the planet Venus. Inanna is portrayed as a fickle person who first attracts men and then rejects them. She is depicted as richly dressed goddess or as a naked woman. Her symbol is the eight-pointed star. Important sanctuaries of Inanna were in Uruk, Zabalam, and Babylon. The Akkadians called her Ishtar.

Odin's Ordeal Day Four (The Hanged Man)
This is the fourth day commemorating Odin's Ordeal on the world tree Yggdrasil. Odin's Ordeal is linked to that of The Hanged Man is the Tarot deck. The Hanged Man is one of the most mysterious cards in the tarot deck. It is simple, but complex. It attracts, but also disturbs. It contradicts itself in countless ways. The Hanged Man is unsettling because it symbolizes the action of paradox in our lives. A paradox is something that appears contradictory, and yet is true. The Hanged Man presents to us certain truths, but they are hidden in their opposites.

The main lesson of the Hanged Man is that we "control" by letting go - we "win" by surrendering. The figure on Card 12 has made the ultimate surrender - to die on the cross of his own travails - yet he shines with the glory of divine understanding. He has sacrificed himself, but he emerges the victor. The Hanged Man also tells us that we can "move forward" by standing still. By suspending time, we can have all the time in the world.

In readings, the Hanged Man reminds us that the best approach to a problem is not always the most obvious. When we most want to force our will on someone, that is when we should release. When we most want to have our own way, that is when we should sacrifice. When we most want to act, that is when we should wait. The irony is that by making these contradictory moves, we find what we are looking for.

HP Lovecraft
Birthday of HP Lovecraft, (one of my favorites) writer and creator of the Cthulu Mythos. Hailed as the 20th century Poe, H. P. Lovecraft wrote fantasy reminiscent of Dunsany and horror in the best tradition of Poe, Blackwood, and Machen. He singled out the best elements in the work of his literary masters and blended them into a unique style of his own -- a style that has, in turn, had many imitators and many more admirers. It was in a gray area between horror and science fiction that Lovecraft excelled and made his contribution, an area he called "cosmic horror." You can get all his writings here:

St. Bernard
In the Roman Catholic Calendar, the feast day of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, founder of the Cistercian order and one of the leading figures in the monastic movement. A fourth-dimensional thinker in the 12th century, Bernard had a profound understanding of cathedral architecture and sacred geometry. He wrote, "God is length, width, depth and volume." Bernard also put the Knights Templar on the map by extolling them in one crusade-igniting speech after another as the models of Christian manhood, as young men who combined the priestly vows of poverty, chastity and obedience with the warrior virtues of courage, discipline and self-sacrifice. So effective was Bernard's image-building that he turned the Templars almost overnight from an
obscure order of warrior monks quartered in the stable of Solomon's Temple into one of the heroic myths and grand creative forces of the age. The Templars soon burnished their legend with heroic deeds and brilliant skills in banking, scholarship, diplomacy and commerce -- but Bernard was the first one to envision the story.

St Philbert
This saint, a famous French abbot who died in 684, gave his name to the nut which ripens around the time of his feast day: the filbert. He was a Benedictine abbot and bishop. Born in Gascony, France, he was raised and educated in the court of King Dagobert I of the Franks where he fell under the influence of St. Quen and became a monk at Rebais Abbey. Subsequently elected abbot, he resigned the post after a disagreement with some of the monks, and he wandered to other monastic houses. He founded the monastery of Jumieges, in Neustria, near Fontenelle, France, in 654 and served as its abbot. After censuring Ebroin, mayor of the palace to the Frankish king, he was imprisoned and then exiled to Herio Island off the coast of Poitou. During this period, he founded the abbey of Noirmoutier, rebuilt Qincay Abbey, near Poitiers, and gave his wisdom to several other communities.

Celebrate by eating nuts today, or by going out to find what's ripening on the trees in your neighborhood.

White Buffalo
Birth of the White Buffalo (1994), heralding the return of the White Buffalo Woman, emanation of the star goddess Wohpe, who gave the Lakota people the arts of the sacred pipe and the sweat lodge, and the teaching of the vision quest.

Uinal of Love
For the Maya, this day begins the Uinal of Love, the fifth in the cycle of the 260-dayTzolkin calendar (3 Imix, Tzolkin 81). The principles of this Uinal are Anchoring and Sprouting. The symbol is the Hawk.