Sunday, December 11, 2005

Pridie Idus December

Modern Date : December 12th

Pridie Idus December
Day Before the Ides of December

This is one of then endotercisus on which mornings could be for voting and afternoons not, or vice-versa.

On this day the celebrations from the Agonium and the Septimonium would continue, and lead into tomorrow's festivities on the Ides.

In Persia, this day was called Sada by the Zarathustrans.

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.

Mercury enters Sagittarius
On this day Mercury enters Sagittarius, perhaps his least happy advantageous placement, where he is said to be "in fall", dominated by the far more powerful energy of Jupiter, who rules this sign. A planet in fall is not merely blocked or temporarily inept, as he or she would be when "in detriment," but is effectively reversed and corrupted. When Mercury is in fall, and resentful of Jupiter's easy authority, he can be an appalingly a good example of the adage that dishonesty is invariably the product of fear. Mercifully, this ordeal does not run long; Mercury moves into Capricorn on Jan. 3.

In Persia, this day was called Sada by the Zarathustrans. The Iranian Sada is a Zoroastrian winter festival of lights. A huge bonfire is built near water as the sun sets, representing the victory of light over dark and good over evil.

Yuletide Lads
In Icelandic homes, thirteen impish creatures called the Yuletide Lads visit, one each day until Christmas Eve. They are descendants of Gryla the Ogre, an Icelandic mythological monster. Though once considered cannibals, the Yuletide Lads are now gift givers though they retain their mischievous natures. Some of their names are Sausage Sniffer, Pot Scraper, and Window Peeper.

Bellisama Dydd
Bellisama Dydd, the Day of Bellisama, begins at sundown. In Celtic mythology, Belisama (also Belesama, Belisma) was a goddess worshipped in Gaul and Britain. She was connected with lakes and rivers (the river Ribble in England was known by the name Belisama in Roman times), fire, crafts and light, and She was the consort of Belenus.

Hari No Kuyo
A Japanese festival when men and women reverse roles, reminiscent of the Roman Saturnalia when servants and masters change roles.

St Lucy's Eve
In Austria, witches were thought to be especially powerful on St Lucy's Eve as they were in England on Halloween and May Eve. Incense was often burnt in houses to defeat them. A mysterious light called the Lucy-shining was supposed to appear outdoors at midnight and those who had the courage to watch for it could foretell the future from its varying forms.

In Italy, St Lucy is the gift-giver who comes in the night, like St Nicholas or Santa Claus. Children leave bunches of carrots, hay and bowls of milk for the donkey on which she travels around the countryside. In Bergamo and the surrounding countryside, children leave their shoes on the kitchen window with hay and in the morning find inside tiny sweets the size of a coin tied to their shoelaces.

In Sweden, in the province of Hallan, according to old records, young women went from farm to farm all through the night, carrying torches to light their way and offering baked goods at each farm they visited, returning home at dawn. In the Scandinavian countries, threshing was supposed to be finished by Lucia's Day so sometimes people worked all night and were rewarded for their efforts with food and drink.

In Denmark, St Lucy brings prophetic dreams to women who recite this prayer before retiring on the eve of her holy day:

Sweet St Lucy, let me know
Whose cloth I shall lay
Whose bed I shall make
Whose child I shall bear
Whose darling I shall be
Whose arms I shall lie in.

Virgin of Guadalupe
Today is the official feast day of The Virgin of Guadalupe, and is a National holiday in Mexico. In 1531, on December 9th (See:, an Indian farmer named Juan Diego was passing by the hill called Tepeyac outside of Mexico City on his way to an early morning Mass when he heard birds singing overhead, whistles, flutes and beating wings. Then he saw a maiden dressed in the robes of an Aztec princess. She spoke Nahuatl, the Aztec language, Juan's language, and had skin as brown as cinnamon. She told Juan that she was Maria, the Mother of God, and that he should tell the Bishop of Mexico City to build her a chapel on the site. The Bishop was not impressed by this message and demanded some proof. The Virgin told Juan to climb the hill and gather an armful of roses, Castilian roses, which should not have been blooming then. But when Juan opened his cloak to show the Bishop the miraculous roses, he was surprised to see the Bishop fall on his knees. On the cloak was an image of the virgin as she appeared to him, surrounded by an oval frame of stars. Of course, the chapel was built.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is affectionately known as La Morenita, the little dark one. The place on which she first appeared used to be a shrine to the ancient Aztec goddess, Tonantzin. According to Monaghan, Tonantzin was a mother-goddess honored on the winter solstice. She was portrayed by a woman dressed entirely in white and covered with shells and eagle feathers, who danced through the crowd, weeping and singing, until she was ritually killed.

"A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars"
Revelation 12:1 (Entrance Antiphon for Our Lady of Guadalupe)

There are many scholars who Identify the Virgin of Guadalupe with the Roman Goddess Bona Dea, the "Good Goddess". Much of the symbology between the two are simular as well as the Empress card in the Tarot. (See: