Saturday, September 24, 2005

Ante Diem VII Kalendas October

Modern Date : September 25th

Ante Diem VII Kalendas October
Seventh Day to the Kalends of October

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

On the third day of the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries offerings were made including barley from a field of Eleusis. These rites would continue till the end of the month. Many Romans sought admittance to these mysteries, incuding Marcus Aurelius, who succeeded, and Nero, who did not. Cicero, who succeeded, implied of the rites of Eleusis that "...they seem to be a recognition of the powers of Nature rather than the power of God."

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

Durga Puja
For about two weeks, Durga Puja is celebrated in India in honor of the ten armed goddess Durga, Divine Mother of the Universe. She conquered the many headed king of demons, Mahisasura. During the festival, children express their respect for their parents, and adults settle quarrels with friends and neighbors. Many family reunions are held during this festival.

According to the prevalent version of the myth, the form of Durga was created as an warrior goddess to fight the demon Mahisashur who could not be defeated by any of god or man due to a boon he received after intense prayers to Brahma. By virtue of this power, he invaded the gods, who went for help to the supreme trinity - Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, but Mahishashur defeated all of them and unleashed a reign of terror on earth, heaven and the nether worlds. Eventually, since only a woman could kill him the gods got together with the trinity and created a dazzling beam of energy out of which Durga was born. Her form was blindingly beautiful, with a face sculpted by Shiva, torso by Indra, breasts by Chandra (the moon), teeth by Brahma, bottom by the Earth, thighs and knees by Varuna (wind), and her three eyes by Agni (fire). Each god also gave her their own most powerful weapons - Shiva's trident, Vishnu's discus, Indra's thunderbolt, etc.

The worship of Durga in the autumn month of Sharat is the major festival in Bengal. Puja means worship, and Durga's Puja is celebrated from the sixth to tenth day of the waxing moon in the month of Ashvin, which is the sixth month in the Hindu Calendar. Occasionally however, due to a misalignment between the lunar cycle and the solar months, it may also be held in the following month, Kartik. In the Gregorian calendar, this corresponds to the months of September/October.

In Bengal the Puja's are held over a five-day period, which is traditionally viewed as the coming of the married daughter, Durga, to her father, Himalayas' home. In the tradition of the woman visiting her parent's house, she is accompanied by her four children: Ganesh, Kartik, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. It is the most important festival in Bengal, and Bengalis celebrate with new clothes and other gifts, which are worn on the evenings when the family goes out to see the pandals. Although it is a Hindu festival, many religious groups participate in the ritual.

Feast of the Seraphim
In the Roman Catholic and some other Christian calendars, this day is the feast of the Seraphim, said to be the most exalted of the nine choirs of angels, and the agents for the imparting of Divine wisdom.

The Seraphim are divine creatures from the Old Testament, associated with the Cherubim, and later taken to be angels. The root of Seraphim comes either from the Hebrew verb saraph ('to burn') or the Hebrew noun saraph (a fiery, flying serpent). Because the term appears several times with reference to the serpents encountered in the wilderness (Num. 21.8, Deut. 8.15; Isa. 14.29; 30.6), it has often been understood to refer to "fiery serpents." From this it has also often been proposed that the seraphim were serpentine in form and in some sense "fiery" creatures or associated with fire.

It is said that whoever lays eyes on a Seraph, he would instantly be incinerated due to the immense brightness of the Seraph. They are described as very tall, with six wings and four heads, one for of the cardinal directions. One pair of wings are for flying, one for covering their eyes (for even they may not look directly at God), and one for covering their feet (which is almost certainly a euphemism for genitalia). They are in the direct presence of God.

In Isaiah's call-vision in the Temple, he sees Seraphim surrounding the throne of God, singing praise to God; the "Thrice Holy" hymn. In this instance they are angelic beings but in the Book of Numbers, seraph-snakes are sent to punish the Israelites.

Some of the Seraphim are Metatron, Kemuel, Nathanael, Gabriel, and Lucifer.