Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Ante Diem VI Kalendas January

Modern Date : December 27th

Ante Diem VI Kalendas January
Sixth Day to the Kalends of January

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

This day continues the Halcyon days, or the period of celebration and goodwill associated with the beginning of winter and the new solar year.

This day was Tubi 1 (Macedonian Dystrus 1), the first day of the month Tubi, in the Egyptian calendar.

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.

The birth of Freya, Norse goddess of love, was celebrated today. She is usually depicted astride a large cat and presides over the warriors slain in battle.

In Norse mythology, Freya is a goddess of love and fertility, and the most beautiful and propitious of the goddesses. She is the patron goddess of crops and birth, the symbol of sensuality and was called upon in matters of love. She loves music, spring and flowers, and is particularly fond of the elves (fairies). Freya is one of the foremost goddesses of the Vanir.

She is the daughter of the god Njord, and the sister of Freyr. Later she married the mysterious god Od (probably another form of Odin), who disappeared. When she mourned for her lost husband, her tears changed into gold.

Her attributes are the precious necklace of the Brisings, which she obtained by sleeping with four dwarfs, a cloak (or skin) of bird feathers, which allows its wearer to change into a falcon, and a chariot pulled by two cats. She owns Hildesvini ("battle boar") which is actually her human lover Ottar in disguise. Her chambermaid is Fulla. Freya lives in the beautiful palace Folkvang ("field of folk"), a place where love songs are always played, and her hall is Sessrumnir. She divides the slain warriors with Odin: one half goes to her palace, while the other half goes to Valhalla. Women also go to her hall.

St. John
In the Roman Catholic calendar, feast day of St. John, the Beloved Disciple, said to be also the author of the Gospel of John, the Book of Revelations, and the apocryphal Secret Book of John, in which Jesus is quoted as having said, "If you get out what is within you, it will save you; if you do not get out what is within you, it will destroy you." John was apparently the only one of the apostles who did not seek martyrdom, but lived and wrote on the Greek isle of Patmos until he was a hundred years old.

St John acquired the honor of representing writers, publishers and theologians because of the beauty of the Gospel written in his name. A legend says that Aristodemus, the high priest of Artemis at Ephesus, challenged John (who lived in Ephesus with Mary, the Mother of Jesus). Aristodemus promised to become a Christian if John survived a drink from a poisoned chalice. He did, of course. Germans drink a loving-cup in his honor.

On the 26th day of the month of Poseidon, Greek women gathered for the Merry Womens Mysteries of Demeter and Kore, which later also honored Dionysos.

Women carried first fruits and the new wine of Dionysos from Athens in procession to the open threshing floors. Lucius says it ends with a great feast. "Much wine was set out and the tables were full of all the fields that are yielded by land and sea, save only those prohibited in the mysteries, I mean pomegranate and apple and domestic fowls and eggs and red sea mullet and black tailed brayfish and shark." Men prepared the feast and then withdrew leaving the women to alone enjoy themselves, consuming cakes in the shape of genitals and trading obscenities, scurrilous jests and mutual abuse.