Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Ante Diem XII Kalendas October

Modern Date : September 20th

Ante Diem XII Kalendas October
Twelfth Day to the Kalends of October

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

The ancient Greeks remembered this day as Alexander the Great's birthday. Deified after his death, he was born in 356 BC.

The rites of the Eleusinian Mysteries, would continue with initiations taking place in an underground chamber full of passageways and sacred objects. These rites would continue till the end of the month.

Triptolemus, who had been cured of a childhood illness by Ceres, was taken around the world on a chariot and shown the wonders of nature. When he returned home to Eleusis he built a magnificent temple to Ceres and established the worship of the goddess. These rites, the Eleusinian Mysteries, surpassed all other Greek religious celebrations in their solemnity and splendor.

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

Mercury enters Libra
Mercury enters Libra, one of the "neutral" placements where he is neither powerful nor persecuted. His energies of communication and problem-solving can be applied fruitfully now to matters of partnership, including marriage, until Oct. 8.

This is the birthday of the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl. Quetzalcoatl translates as "Feathered Snake". One of the major deities of the Aztec, Toltecs, and other Middle American peoples. He is the creator sky-god and wise legislator. He organized the original cosmos and participated in the creation and destruction of various world periods. Quetzalcoatl ruled the fifth world cycle and created the humans of that cycle. The story goes that he descended to Mictlan, the underworld, and gathered the bones of the human beings of the previous epochs. Upon his return, he sprinkled his own blood upon these bones and fashioned thus the humans of the new era. He is also a god of the wind (the wind-god Ehecatl is one of his forms), as well as a water-god and fertility-god.

He is regarded as a son of the virgin goddess Coatlicue and as the twin brother of Xolotl. As the bringer of culture he introduced agriculture (maize) and the calendar and is the patron of the arts and the crafts.

In one myth the god allowed himself to be seduced by Tezcatlipoca, but threw himself on a funeral pyre out of remorse. After his death his heart became the morning-star, and is as such identified with the god Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli. In dualistic Toltec religion, the opposing deity, Tezcatlipoca ("Smoking Mirror"), a god of the night, had reputedly driven Quetzalcoatl into exile. According to yet another tradition he left on a raft of snakes over the sea. In any case, Quetzalcoatl, described as light-skinned and bearded, would return in a certain year. Thus, when the Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés appeared in 1519, the Aztec king, Montezuma II, was easily convinced that Cortés was in fact the returning god.

The Aztec later made him a symbol of death and resurrection and a patron of priests. The higher priests were called Quetzalcoatl too. The god has a great affinity with the priest-king Topiltzin Ce Acatl Quetzalcoatl, who ruled the Toltecs in Tula in the 10th century. The cult of Quetzalcoatl was widespread in Teotihuacan (ca. 50km northeast of Mexico City), Tula (or Tullán, capitol of the Toltecs in middle Mexico), Xochilco, Cholula, Tenochtitlan (the current Mexico City), and Chichen Itza.

When the Christian conquerors invaded Latin America they apropriated the god Quetzalcoatl and turned him into Jesus. For it was fortold that Quetzalcoatl was a white bearded man who would be reborn and usher in a new age. Cortés and his Conquistadores, and the Catholic church, used these legends to slaughter and enslave millions. Later, the Mormon church based their beliefs on a simular story. In their teachings, Jesus after dying on the cross, came to Mesoamerica and continued his mission.

Quetzalcoatl shares many traits with other "Dying Gods" throughout history. Buddha, Horus, Baal, Mythras, Jesus, Odin, Krishna, Indra, Prometheus, Apollo, Beddru, Heracles, Zeus, Xamolxis, Mikado, Tammuz, Deva Tat, Salivahana, and Zoroaster. Does this speak of a far older religion? The Wiccan faith believes so, we call him the Consort of the Goddess.

St Eustace
According to the Attwater (The Penguin Dictionary of Saints), "it is probably that Saint Eustace is an entirely fictitious character." His legend is similar to that of Saint Hubert, in that both of them were converted to Christianity while hunting by the sight of a stag with a luminous cross between its antlers. St. Hubert (whose feast day is May 30th) is a patron saint of hunters. Although the same claim is not made for Saint Eustace, it would make sense since this is the height of the hunting season.

Autumn Equinox of the Incas
The Incas marked the Autumn equinox with a ceremony held at dawn in their mountain-top temple. They would wait in the dark for the first rays of the sun, and then after rejoicing, they would feast, sacrifice animals, and perform divinations.