Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Ante Diem VII Idus Februarias

Modern Date : February 7th

Ante Diem VII Idus Februarias
Seventh Day to the Ides of February

This is one of the dies nefasti a day on which no legal action or public voting could take place. The dies nefasti of February were days of religious ceremony honoring the dead and heralding the rebirth of the Spring and its associated fertility.

On this day in 457 AD the Eastern Roman emperor Marcian died and was replaced by a Thracian officer named Leo.

Thomas Aquinas died today in 1274.

February is a month sacred to the gods Mars (as Quirinus, or Romulus) and Juno, the wife of Jupiter. It is also a month in which particular reverence was shown to the spirits of deceased ancestors.

Day of Selene/Lenaea
In Greece, this day was celebrated as the Day of Selene (or day of Semele) and in Athens was called the Lenaea. The name Semele is a version of Selene, Helen, meaning 'moon' and Semele was the daughter of Cadmus. The Lenaea was celebrated at Athens as the Festival of Wild Women. In this festival a yearling bull, representing Dionysius, was sacrificed to Semele and cut into nine pieces. One piece was burned and the rest was feasted on. The nine pieces represented the original number of orgiastic moon-priestesses who presided over the ceremonies. The rites involved the nine priestesses dancing around a statue in the temple, probably followed by an orgy.

Li Chum
Li Chum in China is an annual celebration of Spring. During a parade, some people carry small clay water buffalo (a symbol of new life), while others carry much large representations made of bamboo and colored paper. When they reach the temple, the clay figures are smashed and the paper animals burned so that the effigies carry their pleas for a prosperous season flow up to heaven.

Mayan New Year
In Mayan calendar systems, 2/7 begins the next Tzolkin, or 260-day calendar (1 Imix, Tzolkin 1). The Uinal of Fire, the first of the 20-day uinals in the cycle, vivifies the world with divine fire and purifies all of life so that growing may begin again with the coming Uinal of Earth. The symbolic bird for this uinal is the Blue Hummingbird, the energetic principles those of Initiation and Sowing.


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