Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Kalends of December

Modern Date : December 1st

Kalendas December
The Kalends of December

This is one of the dies nefasti a day on which no legal action or public voting could take place.

The first day of December is the Festival of Neptune, the god of the sea and water. It was also the Festival of Poseidon in Greece. Neptune was known to the Greeks as Poseidon. Poseidon was the brother of Zeus and the son of Cronus (Saturn) and Rhea (Ops). He ruled the seas and was known as the earth-shaker because of his power to raise storms. His wife was the Nereid Amphitrite but he had three sons by Libya, the daughter of Epaphus. His sons were Agenor, Belus, and Lelex. Agenor's doughter was Europa, after whom the continent was named. Among the descendants of Poseidon were Cadmus, Pygmalion, Oedipus, and Antigone.

This day is also sacred to Pietas, who represents the personification of piety or holiness, as well as such virtues as duty, humanism, and devotion or patriotism.

Called Aerra Geola, "the month before Yule," or Wintermonat, "winter month," by the Anglo-Saxons, the Franks called it Heilagmanoth, " holy month," and Wolfmoon is the Asatru name. Míí na Nollag or an Dubhlachd is December in Ireland, the dark season.

The first Full Moon is the Moon before Yule or the Long Nights Moon. It is the Oak Moon, Big Winter Moon, or the Moon of Popping Trees. The name, Wolf Moon, is shared with January and February, and the Cold Moon may also be found in January.

Sagittarius passes into Capricorn around December 22nd. The paper white is the birth flower for those born in December, and the birthstone is ruby, turquoise, chrysoprase, bloodstone, or lapis lazuli. Ruby or garnet is also the birthstone for Capricorns, while Sagittarius claims lapis lazuli. Amethyst, azurite, labradorite, pink tourmaline, ruby, sodalite, and topaz are also linked to Sagittarius, and other stones associated with Capricorn are amber, amethyst, carnelian, fire agate, green tourmaline, labradorite, peridot, and sapphire.

Decima, the middle Fate in charge of the present, presides over December, but the month may have received its name as the tenth month of the Roman calendar. Vesta, patroness of fire also laid claim to the month of December.

New Moon conjunct Sun in Sagittarius
New Moon conjunct Sun in Sagittarius, traditionally considered one of the happiest and most harmonious New Moons of the year. As Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, bringer of wealth and hearty pleasures, the early weeks of December have been throughout the Northern hemisphere the time for enterprises of all kinds to celebrate the profits and achievements of the year, and gather the clans for feasts of love and friendship.

The Sagittarius New Moon has been interpreted as the annual waning of female energy as the male energy waxes now toward the birth of the solar hero child in late December. One mythic expression of this theme is the Greek tale of the annual descent of Persephone into the underworld until spring. In fact, however, at this point the female does not actually weaken or decay. If anything, she reaches fruition with the gathering in of the harvest, creating the moment at which her cycle is productive and complete.

The nature of the harvest becomes evident in the relation of other planetary energies to the conjunction of Sun and Moon. It is very powerful this year, as Sun and Moon anchor a grand trine in fire, with Saturn in Leo and the Moon's North Node in Aries, and is also square (90° from) Uranus in Pisces. The emphasis here is clearly on the harvest of creative efforts, likely to be most abundant and tasty for those who can work with deliberate speed.

Shalako Festival
The Hopi and Zuni peoples of the American Southwest celebrate the Shalako Festival, one of the many December rites in which sacred images are removed from their shrines for the days of purification, then are reinstalled in a solemn procession with prayers reaffirming communal and cosmic order. This festival lasts two weeks.

St Eligius
Patron of jewelers, silversmiths and all workers in metal, because he made a fabulous throne for King Clotaire. He was then appointed the Master of the Mint at Marseille, which is apparently the reason he is patron of collectors of coins and medals. He is also the patron of horses and veterinarians (his emblem is a horseshoe), blacksmiths, auto mechanics and gas station attendants, although I can't find a legend which explains why.