Friday, September 09, 2005

Ante Diem IV Idus September

Modern Date : September 10th

Ante Diem IV Idus September
The Ludi Romani

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

The Ludi Romani, the great games in honor of Jupiter (Jove) continued this day and were celebrated through to the 19th.

September is the 'magical' seventh month (after March).

Throughout ancient Europe, this is the day of the Horned One, of the Celtic god Kernunnos. Two weeks before the Autumn Equinox, shamanic dancers wore reindeer horns to honor and pray for an abundance of deer and other wild horned beasts whose meat, hides, horn and bones were vital to the tribe's survival during the coming winter.

In England the dance has continued to the modern day as part of the Wake's Monday festivities in Staffordshire, England. (See Monday Sept. 4th) Kernunnos along with the Greek god Pan became demonized by the Christian church and images of them became those of the devil. This is where modern Christians get their ideas that Pagans are devil worshipers. It's interresting to note that the word Lucifer means "light bearer" or "light bringer" in Latin. The Celtic God Kernunos is a Sun god like that of Amon Ra, Apollo, Lugh, and Balder, but so to is the Christian Christ. The Sun(son) God has had many names for as many cultures and is the highest god in Patriarchal religions. Sun worship replaced the feminine Moon religions when man moved from hunter gatherer to that of an agricultural society.

I am the radiant King of the Heavens, flooding the Earth with warmth and encouraging the hidden seed of creation to burst forth into manifestation. I lift my shining spear to light the lives of all beings and daily pour forth my gold upon the Earth, putting to flight the powers of darkness.

I am the master of the beasts wild and free. I run with the swift stag and soar as a sacred falcon against the shimmering sky. The ancient woods and wild places emanate my powers, and the birds of the air sing of my sanctity.

I am also the last harvest, offering upgrain and fruits beneath the sickle of time so that all may be nourished. For without planting there can be no harvest; without winter, no spring.

Worship me as the thousand-named Sun(Son) of Creation, the spirit of the horned stag in the wild, the endless harvest. See in the yearly cycle of festivals my birth, death and rebirth - and know that such is the destiny of all creation.

I am the spark of life, the radiant Sun, the giver of peace and rest, and I send my rays of blessings to warm the hearts and strengthen the minds of all.
-Scott Cunningham, (The Internet Book of Shadows)

Kernunnos, The Horned God, is the Celtic father of animals, Patron God of Druidism. Kernunnos is representative of the male aspect of union with the Earth. Shamanic priesthoods, those whom have a patriarchal base, hold Kernunnos in special reverence. His stag, a companion friend, is an archetype of mature, masculine energies, that lay in balance with the natural world around us. Often he is depicted in a meditative stance, in attunement with nature, Kernunnos guides us to seek rebalance from dominating conditions. Perfect stability leads to perfect stagnation. Most engravings of him depict a torc about his neck, showing his commitment to nature and the earth. With his right hand, Kernunnos gifts the followers with the Torc of initiation. His left hand controls a ram-headed serpent [snake]. The serpent is a representation of the male sexual power and vitality, reminding us to always maintain control of our desires. Kernunnos is known by many names and faces: Kern the Mighty, The Horned One, The Antlered One, Herne the Hunter, Lord of animals, The Stag King, and The Winter Lord. Kernunnos is very elusive, and if often known as "He who hides behind Tree's" or "He who is both hunter and hunted". The Favored tree of Kernunnos is Pine, and it is said that he resides within the depths of every forest.

I am a stag, of seven tines,
I am a flood, across a plain,
I am a wind, on a deep lake,
I am a tear, the Sun lets fall,
I am a hawk, above the cliff,
I am a thorn, beneath the nail,
I am a wonder, among flowers,
I am a wizard, who but I
Sets the cool head aflame with smoke.

I am a spear, that roars for blood,
I am a salmon, in a pool,
I am a lure, from paradise,
I am a hill, where poets walk,
I am a boar, ruthless and red,
I am a breaker, threatening doom,
I am a tide, that drags to death,
I am an infant, who but I
Peeps from the unhewn dolmen arch.

I am the womb, of every holt,
I am the blaze, on every hill,
I am the queen, of every hive,
I am the shield, for every head,
I am the tomb, of every hope.
-Robert Graves, (The White Goddess, 1948)

Ante Diem V Idus September

Modern Date : September 9th

Ante Diem V Idus September
The Ludi Romani

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

The Ludi Romani, the great games in honor of Jupiter (Jove) continued this day and were celebrated through to the 19th.

The emperor Aurelian was born in Moesia this day in 214 AD.
Constans, the son of Constantine, became emperor, at Constantinople, this day in 337 AD.

The emperor Honorius, who would rule the Eastern Roman empire, was born this day in 384 AD.

September is the 'magical' seventh month (after March).

The Asclepigenia
This day was celebrated as the Asclepigenia in Greece. Asclepius was a Greek hero who later become the Greek god of medicine and healing. The son of Apollo and Coronis, Asclepius had five daughters, Aceso, Iaso, Panacea, Aglaea and Hygieia. He was worshipped throughout the Greek world but his most famous sanctuary was located in Epidaurus which is situated in the northeastern Peloponnese. The main attribute of Asclepius is a physician's staff with an Asclepian snake wrapped around it; this is how he was distinguished in the art of healing, and his attribute still survives to this day as the symbol of the modern medical profession. The cock was also sacred to Asclepius and was the bird they sacrificed as his altar.

The mother of Asclepius, Coronis, was a mortal, the daughter of Phlegyas, a king of Thessaly. Coronis was unfaithful to Apollo, and Artemis, Apollo's twin sister, killed her for her unfaithfulness. Coronis was placed upon a funeral pyre. (One version says that Apollo cast her into the fires of his own anger.) As her body started to burn, Apollo felt sorrow for his unborn son and snatched the child Asclepius from his mother's corpse, saving him from death. Apollo then handed Asclepius to the Centaur Chiron who became his tutor and mentor.

Chiron taught Asclepius the art of healing. According to Pindar (Pythian Odes), Asclepius also acquired the knowledge of surgery, the use of drugs, love potions and incantations, and according to Apollodorus (the Library), Athena gave Asclepius a magic potion made from the blood of the Gorgon. Legend tells that the blood of the Gorgon has a different effect depending from which side the blood was taken. If taken from the right side of the Gorgon, it has a miraculous effect and is said to be able to bring the dead back to life, but taken from the left side it is a deadly poison.

With these gifts Asclepius exceeded the fringes of human knowledge. However, he offended the great god Zeus by accepting money in exchange for raising the dead. (In one version it was the goddess Artemis who implored Asclepius to resurrect Hippolytus, a favourite of hers.) In the eyes of Zeus, Asclepius' action upset the natural order of the universe - a mere mortal helping man evade death. With one swift action, the great Zeus sent down a thunderbolt killing both men. (In some versions Zeus only killed Asclepius.)

Realising the good Asclepius had brought to man, the great Zeus made him into a god, placing him among the stars, transforming Asclepius into the constellation Ophiuchus (the serpent-bearer). The snake was used in the healing ritual; non-poisonous snakes were left in the dormitory where the sick slept overnight on the bare ground.

The cult of Asclepius became very popular during the 300s BCE and the cult centres (known as an Asclepieion) were used by priests to cure the sick. Invalids also came to the shrines of Asclepius to find cures for their ailments (in the same fashion pilgrims visit Lourdes today.) The process of healing was known as incubation. The patient would spend the night in a dormitory. During the night they would supposedly be visited by the god in a dream. Priests would interpret the dreams and then recommend a remedy or give advice on how they could be cured with perhaps a recommended visit to the baths and gymnasiums. There were many centres and schools of medicine, from Trikkis in Thessaly to the island of Cos. It is believed that Hippocrates, a great doctor of antiquity, plied his trade on the island of Cos. It is also said that Hippocrates was a descendant of Asclepius.

The Romans adopted the cult of Asclepius, but changed his name to Latin; they called him Aesculapius.

Uinal of Death
In the Mayan calendar systems, this day begins the Uinal of Death, the sixth of the 20-day Uinals in the current cycle of the Tzolkin, or 260-day calendar (10 Imix, Tzolkin 101). This Uinal is ruled by Mictantecuhtli, the Lord of darkness from which new life must proliferate in the next uinal. The Owl is the symbolic bird. This period can be asumed as being ruled by the "Death" card of the Tarot. Death meaning the end of the old to make way for the new.