Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Ante Diem VIII Kalendas Februarias

Modern Date : January 25th

Ante Diem VIII Kalendas Februarias
Eighth Day to the Kalends of February

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

On this day in 41 BCE Claudius was named emperor. Although despised by many as an idiot, he had a distinguished, even scholarly, reign.

The emperor Nerva fell ill this day in 98 AD after a fit of anger, and died a day later.

This month is sacred to Janus, the god of Beginnings. Janus is the porter of heaven and considered the guardian deity of gates and doors. He is often shown as two-headed since doors face both ways.

Old Disting Day
Old Disting is the feast of the Disir, the Norse guardian goddesses. A major festival was held to honor all the Aesir at the temple in Uppsala, Sweden. The Dísir are a collective of divine female beings of whom little is known with certainty except that they are mentioned in concurrence with death and demise. Dís is believed to correspond to the idisi mentioned in the Old High German Merseburg Incantations as well as to ides, a poetic Anglo-Saxon synonym for "woman." Possibly, it is also etymologically related to the dhísanas, a group of female deities in the Yajur Veda.

Dís could be used in a way suggestive of a title (lady or goddess). Freyja is called Vanadís (dís of the vanir) and Álfhildr is refered to as a sun-dís.

Some Scandinavian place names tell of the influence of dísir, such as Diseberg and Disevi in Sweden or Disen in Norway.

St. Paul's Day
In Christian calendars, this is St. Paul's Day, commemorating the dramatic Conversion of St. Paul, who gave up being Saul, scourge of Christians, when he was knocked off his horse by a bolt of light that hit him right in the third eye -- this may help explain the frontal baldness with which he is almost always depicted. Jan. 25 is not the saint's actual feast day, which is celebrated on June 30, in honor of Paul as the prolific writer and marketing genius of early Christianity. In Britain this day is a notable weather marker, as it is said that rain on St. Paul's Day is a sign of a poor harvest to come in the autumn.

If the day of St Paul prove clear
Thus shall betide a happy year
If it chance to snow or rain
Then shall be dear all kinds of grain
But if high winds shall be aloft
Wars shall vex this realm full oft
And if thick mists make dark the sky
Both beasts and fowls this year shall die.
Erra Pater 1694

According to folk tradition, a nice day today meant nice weather all year. Snow or rain brought a bad year for crops. Clouds or mists meant a bad year for animals, and thunder was a forerunner of windy days.

Burns Night
On the day when Robert Burns was born, Scots celebrate the poet's birthday with feasts featuring haggis (Yuck!). If you don't fancy haggis, you can still celebrate Scotland by dining on other Scotch delicacies, like Scotch and shortbread.

St Dwynen
The Welsh St Valentine, she prayed to be free of the importuning of a suitor, but when she dreamed he was turned to ice, she changed her plea to ask that all lovers should either succeed or be cured. She never married but became a nun. Her church of Llanddwyn was one of the most popular in medieval Wales. Pilgrims learned their fortune by watching the movements of the fish at her well and people brought sick animals to be cured. But she was always most popular with lovers.

Ante Diem IX Kalendas Februarias

Modern Date : January 24th Market Day

Ante Diem IX Kalendas Februarias
Ninth Day to the Kalends of February

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

Caligula was assassinated on the Palatine, during the last day of the Palatine Games, in Rome in 41 AD. His wife and daughter were also murdered. Claudius was proclaimed emperor the same day. Caligula was murdered by Cassius Charea, captain of the guards, apparently because of one too many frivolous slights, rather than any politics. Cassius Charea was one of the most reknowned Roman officers, have led the eighty surviving soldiers back from the massacre of the three legions in the Teutorberger forest in Germany. He was executed under Roman military law.

The emperor Hadrian was born Publius Aelius Hadrianus at Rome this day in 76 AD.

Columella says of this day, "There are forebodings of a storm from the setting of the constellation of the Whale: sometimes the storm actually occurs."

This month is sacred to Janus, the god of Beginnings.

Festival of Sementivae
The Romans celebrate on this day the festival of Sementivae, so called because it honors the feminine nurturing power that receives the seed and protects it until its latent life force is ready to sprout. This is one of the mid-winter festivals that begin early now, culminating in the Imbolc, Candlemas, Setsubun, St. Brigid's day and other festivals of early February.

In the Egyptian calendar, this day is sacred to the primordial creator Amun, called "the Hidden One" because his power is in operation even before it manifests in the Sun and the visible world. Facing him at the right of the image shown here is the figure representing Aquarius in the Egyptian zodiac, pouring a double stream of sacred water to bless the realm. Amun's power to bring latent forces into manifestation survives in Christian traditions as the word Amen ("Let it be") that ends the prayer, and activates it.

Also in the ancient Egyptian solar calendar, this is a major four-day festival honoring Thoth, the lunar Neter of wisdom and learning. The rites begin with a celebration of Thoth's arrival in the physical realm; honor his gifts of mathematics, geometry, literature and magic; and culminate in the ceremony of gratitude for the most profound of all Thoth's secrets: the khu, or light body, which the adept generates through continued spiritual practice. (Month of Pamenot, days 10 - 13).

Cornish Tinner's and Seafarer's Day
The Cornish Tinner's and Seafarer's Day is an old Labor Day celebrating a new season of sailing and mining.

Ante Diem X Kalendas Februarias

Modern Date : January 23rd

Ante Diem X Kalendas Februarias
Tenth Day to the Kalends of February

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

This month is sacred to Janus, the god of Beginnings. The Romans had numerous temples to Janus. Whenever war was declared, the chief magistrate would lead a ceremony in which the doors of the main temple of Janus were opened. In time of peace they were normally shut.

Braciaca Dydd
Braciaca Dydd, the Day of Braciaca, begins at sundown and continues until January 24th. This is the first day of the Goddess month of Bridhe, sacred to the Celtic and Britannic Goddess variously called Brigit, Bridhe, Brigantia and later, St. Bridget. She is also called the Triple Brighids, and is one of the most widely-revered manifestations of the Triple Goddess. She is the protector of the eternal creative flame that maintains the vitality of the natural world, and is the patron of warriors and of all practitioners of feminine arts and crafts, most notably the occult disciplines of divination, witchcraft, herb and star lore, and prophecy. She is also represented by the spirals that appear constantly in Celtic art. Her totemic animals are the ram and the ox, her sacred plant the blackberry.

One Tooth Rhee Day
One Tooth Rhee Day is a Korean feast day honoring the mythical inventor of the odd custom of having bureaucrats wear four hats to give contradictory orders to workers.