Saturday, September 17, 2005

Ante Diem XV Kalendas October

Modern Date : September 17th

Ante Diem XV Kalendas October
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.

This day was the birthday of Augustus, the most revered of all the Roman emperors. On this day in the year 14 AD the Senate decreed him the highest honor, deification, or elevation to the status of a god, and consecrated temples in his name. The early Christians ridiculed this custom, but promptly adopted it by elevating humans to sainthood by the ritual of beatification, sometimes en masse, and consecrating churches in their names. Funny how they have taken all Pagan rights and made them their own.

This day was also the emperor Trajan's birthday.

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

Full Moon in Pisces
Full Moon in Pisces, opposite Sun in Virgo. Earth and water in complementary balance. Nourishment. Time after the Dog Days for the flourishing of the Crops, ceremonies to renew the body of Mother Earth, and the mental and emotional Education of the Virgin. This Full Moon is uncommonly complex and powerful, with Mercury, Mars and Pluto all in major relationship to the Sun-Moon alignment, and other planets also in teamwork or tension.

A harvest moon!
And on the mats —
Shadows of pine boughs.

In the lunar calendars of the Celtic and Druidic traditions, and in the modern Wiccan calendar, this is the Harvest Moon, celebrating both the nurturance and the medicinal properties of the Earth's green abundance. Also called the Wine Moon and Sturgeon Moon, it is often closest to the Autumn Equinox. This full moon is called the Harvest Moon, since farmers could work far into the night harvesting their crops by the light of this moon, which would also shine on the dances, feasting and general carousing that took place after the harvest was gathered.

Does it seem like the Harvest Moon is bigger and brighter than other full moons? This isn't entirely an illusion. During September, the relationship between the ecliptic plane (on which the planets orbit) shifts in relationship to the earth and the moon rises more or less at the same time every night for the three nights of the Harvest full moon.

The Navajo people of the American Southwest celebrate this Full Moon in a Sing Festival in praise of Estsanatlehi, the "Changing Woman" who brings the cycle of harvest, decay and rebirth.

Festival of Hathor
In the Egyptian Calendar, the Main Festival of Hathor begins. Hethara, is the month named in her honor. During this month the Nile crests after its annual inundation, and begins to recede until it is dry enough for sowing in November. Hathor, the Neter who embodies the Goddess in her maternal, nurturing aspect, is naturally connected with the life-renewing cycle of the river, and with the climactic last days of the Virgo season.

Hathor is also known as the "Lady to the Limit" ("limit" meaning the edges of the known universe) and the "Lady of the West"; her image is sometimes seen on funerary depiction as she stands behind Osiris, welcoming the dead to their new home. Other titles of Hathor include the "Divine (or Celestial) Cow", "Mistress of Heaven", and "Lady of Gold", the last two of which were sometimes attributed to the queens of ancient Egypt. Hathor was also known as the "Lady of Greenstone and Malachite" due to her being regarded as a goddess of the desert fringes where such mines existed.

The Greeks called Hathor by the name of their goddess, Aphrodite. In the very late stages of Egyptian religion (over two millennia after Hathor had first appeared) she became almost totally absorbed into Isis (who acquired, aside from Hathor's headdress, the sistrum as well), resulting in frequent mistaken identity between the two.

Hathor's cult is unusual, as both men and women were her priests (most deities had clerics of the same gender as they). Many of them were artisans, musicians, and dancers who turned their talents into creating rituals that were nothing short of works of art. Music and dance were part of the worship of Hathor like no other deity in Egypt. Hathor herself was the incarnation of dance, and stories were told of how Hathor danced before Ra when he was in despair to cheer him up.

Festival of the Hungry Ghosts
In the Chinese calendar, the month-long Festival of the Hungry Ghosts begins now, at the Full Moon of the eighth lunar month. The first day is the Milky Way Festival, also called the Moon Festival. It reaffirms the sacred linkages between Heaven and Earth, and is one of the year's most auspicious family reunion holidays. For the ensuing month food offerings are left for the ghosts, and prayer ceremonies are held for protection against dark forces.