Friday, October 14, 2005

Pridie Idus October

Modern Date : October 14th

Pridie Idus October
The Fontinalia

This is one of the endotercisus, a half day of celebration and in this case it was the Fontinalia in the morning (only), with celebrations continuing from yesterday. Today was a prelude to the Ides of October which are celebrated tomorrow.

October was the eighth month of the old Roman calendar and was sacred to the goddess Astraea, daughter of Zeus and Themis. The name October comes from Octo, meaning eight (March used to be the first month).

Interplanetary Confederation Day
Today is Interplanetary Confederation Day, sponsored by the Unarius Foundation (a UFO organization) in order to recognize other planets in the Milky Way Galaxy.

Winter Night
In Norway, this was considered the first day of winter, and the weather on this day foreshadowed the season ahead. In some areas, new servants were hired on this day.

The Pig
According to Buffie Johnson (Lady of the Beasts), the pig was worshipped everywhere that women were in charge of agriculture. It is an animal associated with great fecundity. In northern India, the Rajput clan worships the Corn Mother (Gauri) in the form of the wild pig. It is also associated with death, perhaps because of the image of the sow eating her piglets. During the Thesmophoria (10/9-11), the pig represented both abundance and life, the seed that is buried in the earth to sprout again, like the corn puppet representing Kore which was thrown into the earth during the winter rituals to be brought back up again in spring when it was sprouting.

The Hindu Goddess Gauri is an epithet of Devi in her mild form as the yellow or brilliant one. She is the good-hearted mother goddess. Gauri ("fair", "white") is also known as Parvati and Uma the consort of Lord Shiva. She is depicted with a bowl of rice and a spoon.

What is interresting about Gauri is the possible etymological connection between the English word garish and the Hindu goddess. First, the English word: garish, from previous forms gaurish, gawrish, or gaerishe, the earliest occurrence of which in English is circa 1545, according to Oxford English Dictionary, which defines it as "excessively bright in color, gaudy." Is the word actually gauri-ish, i.e., "Gauri-like"? The Sanskrit side of the equation: gaura/gaurii, which means the following: "white, yellowish, reddish, pale red; gold; white mustard; red chalk; yellow dye; orpiment (yellow or gold mineral substance); saffron (which is used as a coloring agent.); shining, brilliant". It is also associated with the Sanskrit word kadaaradi, "tawny-colored"; and it also refers to the goddess, Gauri.

Color is definitely part of ceremonies involving Gauri. Frazer writes:

"In some parts of India the harvest-goddess represented by an unmarried girl, a gilded pig or by a bundle of the wild flowering balsam plant touch-me-not...which is tied up in a mummy-like figure with a woman's mask, dress and ornaments. Before being removed from the soil to represent the goddess the plants are worshipped. The girl is also worshipped. Then the bundle of plants is carried and the girl who impersonates the goddess walks through the rooms of the house, while the supposed footprints of Gauri herself are imprinted on the floor with red paste. On entering each room the human representative of Gauri is asked, 'Gauri, Gauri, whither have you come and what do you see?' and the girl makes appropriate replies. Then she is given a mouthful of sweets and the mistress of the house says, 'Come with golden feet and stay forever'".
(Frazer, The Golden Bough, p. 77, vol. 2)