Sunday, November 06, 2005

Ante Diem VII Idus November

Modern Date : November 7th

Ante Diem VII Idus November
Seventh Day to the Ides of November

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

November is the ninth month (after March) and is a lucky month which is almost free of religious obligation.

Re-Imagining Conference
An important day in modern spiritual history, as it was on this day in 1993 that the Re-Imagining Conference emphasized the importance of the feminine principles of Holy Wisdom (Sophia) and the sacredness of female spirituality within the mainstream Christian tradition.

St. John Duns Scotus
(c.1270-1308) Founder and leader of the Scotist School of philosophy, died Cologne, Germany. It is not known whether he was of Irish or Scottish origin or whether Duns was a family or a place name. He became a Franciscan, c.1290, taught at Oxford, and distinguished himself for his learning at the universities of Paris and Cologne. Of his numerous works the principal is his commentary on the "Sentences" of Peter Lombard, from which nearly his whole system of philosophy, in which the genuine spirit of scholasticism is pronounced, can be derived. His chief followers were among the Franciscans. He was called "Doctor subtilis."

John pointed out the richness of the Augustinian-Franciscan tradition, appreciated the wisdom of Aquinas, Aristotle and the Muslim philosophers, and still managed to be an independent thinker. His ideas led to the founding of a school of Scholastic thought called Scotism. In 1303 when King Philip the Fair tried to enlist the University of Paris on his side in a dispute with Pope Boniface VIII over the taxation of Church property, but John dissented and was given three days to leave France.

He returned to Paris in 1305, and received his doctorate. He then taught there, and in 1307 so ably defended the Immaculate Conception of Mary that the university officially adopted his position. Drawing on this work, Pope Pius IX solemnly defined the Immaculate Conception of Mary in 1854.

Ante Diem VIII Idus November

Modern Date : November 6th

Ante Diem VIII Idus November
Eighth Day to the Ides of November

This is one of the dies fasti on which legal actions are permitted.

November is the ninth month (after March) and is a lucky month which is almost free of religious obligation.

Birthday of Tiamat
In Babylon, this was the birthday of Tiamat. In Babylonian myths, Tiamat is a huge, bloated female dragon that personifies the saltwater ocean, the water of Chaos. She is also the primordial mother of all that exists, including the gods themselves. Her consort is Apsu, the personification of the freshwater abyss that lies beneath the Earth. From their union, saltwater with freshwater, the first pair of gods were born. They are Lachmu and Lachamu, parents of Ansar and Kisar, grandparents of Anu and Ea.

In the creation epic Enuma elish, written around 2000 BCE, their descendants started to irritate Tiamat and Apsu so they decided to kill their offspring. Ea discovered their plans and he managed to kill Apsu while the latter was asleep. Tiamat flew into a rage when she learned about Apsu's death and wanted to avenge her husband. She created an army of monstrous creatures, which was to be led by her new consort Kingu, who is also her son. Eventually, Tiamat was defeated by the young god Marduk, who was born in the deep freshwater sea.

Marduk cleaved her body in half, and from the upper half he created the sky and from the lower half he made the earth. From her water came forth the clouds and her tears became the source of the Tigris and the Euphratus. Kingu also perished, and from his blood Marduk created the first humans.

"The Deep" (Hebrew tehom) at the beginning of Genesis derives from Tiamat.

Raising the Djed Pillar
The Raising the Djed Pillar is remembered on the 21st day of Koiak. The Tet or Djed Pillar was one of the most significant symbols of the Egyptian religion, symbolizing the idea of stability and duration. It was regarded as the backbone of Osiris, and later as a representation of Osiris himself. The Djed pillar was also used as an amulet and hieroglyphic representing resurrection.

Jnana Panchami
In the Jain calendar, this 5th day after Diwali is Jnana (or Gyan) Panchami, also called Laabh Paacham. This festival honors learning, especially the spiritual knowledge contained in sacred books. The emphasis here is on the Jnana, transcendent wisdom, that is the fruit of pure spiritual study.

St Leonard's Ride
In Bavaria, people dress up in native costume and decorate their horses in preparation for a festive procession in honor of St Leonard, the patron of cattle. They march with their cattle in the procession, led by white horses, while singing and cracking whips. It is possible this date was once associated with a cattle sacrifice.

St Leonard is also the patron of women in childbirth, because it was said that when the wife of the King went into labor suddenly while hunting in the woods, St Leonard came out of his hermit's cell to pray for her and she was safely delivered. He is also the patron of prisoners, and when invoked by those who have been unjustly imprisoned, he brings about their freedom.