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The Days of September

September, 2009

September 1

On this date in the sixth century B.C., the Persian prophet and mystic known as Zoroaster was born. He founded the religion of Zoroastrinism, which teaches that all of mankind is trapped in a perpetual battle between good spirits and bad spirits.




September 2

On this date in ancient Athens, an annual Grape Vine Festival was held in honor of the Greek deities Ariadne and Dionysus. In Crete, Ariadne was worshipped as a goddess of the Moon, and Dionysus as the son of Semele (who was also a goddess of the Moon).




September 3

On this day, the annual Path Clearing Festival (Akwambo) is held by the Akan people of Ghana to honor and receive blessings from the ancient god of the sacred well.

The Maidens of the Four Directions are honored on this day each year by a Hopi Indian women’s healing ceremony called Lakon.




September 4

At sunrise on this day, the Changing Woman Ceremony is held annually by the Native American tribe of the Apache in Arizona. The rite, which lasts for four consecutive days, marks the coming of age of a pubescent girl, who ritually transforms into the spirit-goddess known as Changing Woman and blesses all who are in attendance.




September 5

In ancient Rome, the Roman Games, in honor of the god Jupiter, began annually on this date and lasted until the thirteenth day of September.

Ganesh, the elephant-headed Hindu god of good luck and prosperity, is honored on this day throughout India with a parade and a festival of rejoicing.




September 6

An ancient Inca blood festival called the Situa was held annually on this date to ward off the evil spirits of illness and disease. As part of the ceremony, parents would eat a special cake consecrated with the blood of their offspring.




September 7

Healer’s Day. This is a special day dedicated to all women and men who possess the Goddess-given gift of healing and who use it unselfishly to help others.

Daena, the Maiden Goddess of the Parsees, is honored on this date each year with a religious festival in India.




September 8

On this date in the year 1875, the Theosophical Society (an organization dedicated to spreading occult lore and ancient wisdom) was founded by Madame Helena Petrova Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcott, William Judge, and other occultists.




September 9

In China, chrysanthemum wine is traditionally drunk on this day each year to ensure long life and to honor Tao Yuan-Ming, a Chinese poet who was deified as the god of the chrysanthemum.




September 10

The Ceremony of the Deermen is held every year at dawn on the first Monday after Wakes Sunday (which normally falls on or near this date). As part of the ceremony, held at Abbots Bromley in Staffordshire, England, the Deerman, wearing antlers and carrying clubs surmounted with deers’ heads, escort two young men dressed as Robin Hood and Maid Marian across the village.

On this date in the year 1930, Carl Llewellyn Weschcke (former Wiccan high priest and owner of Llewellyn Publications) was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota. In 1972 he was initiated by Lady Sheba into the American Celtic tradition of Witchcraft, and in 1973 he helped to organize the Council of American Witches.




September 11

In Egypt, a centuries old festival called the Day of Queens is celebrated annually on this date in honor of Hatshepsut, Nefertiti, and Cleopatra, who were also regarded as goddesses.




September 12

On this date in the year 1902, actress Margaret Hamilton was born in Cleveland, Ohio. She is best known for her memorable role as the Wicked Witch of the West in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. She died on May 16, 1985, in Salisbury, Connecticut.




September 13

Egyptian All Souls’ Day. Every year on this date, the ancient Egyptians celebrated a religious festival known as The Ceremony of Lighting the Fire. Sacred fires were lit in temples in honor of the spirits of the dead and the goddess Nephthys, protectress of the dead and Queen of the Underworld.




September 14

In ancient Rome, the Feast of the Holy Cross was celebrated on this date in commemoration of a supernatural vision of a cross in the sky, as well as a battle victory of Roman Emperor Constantine I.

On this date in the year 1692, the Witch trial of two Pilgrim women opened in Stamford, Connecticut. One was found not guilty; the other was convicted and sentenced to die, but was later reprieved by an investigating committee.

On this date in the year 1486, ceremonial magician Agrippa von Nettesheim was born in Cologne, France. He was skilled in the arts of divination, numerology, and astrology, and wrote several books that had a great influence over Western occultism. He died in Grenoble, France in the year 1535.




September 15

The full moon of September, known as the Harvest Moon, normally begins on or around this date. Many believe it to possess great magickal powers, and numerous superstitions are connected with it. Harvest Moon rituals are performed throughout the world on the first night of the full moon by many Witches and Pagans, especially those who dwell in the country.




September 16

Feast of Saint Cornely. On this day, villagers and farmers who live in Brittany honor Saint Cornely, the patron of horned animals who is believed to have created the Carnac megaliths by magickally transforming enemy soldiers into stone. At midnight, oxen are blessed in a shrine dedicated to him.




September 17

On this date in the year 1964, Bewitched (the first television sitcom about a Witch) made its debut on ABC-TV. It became an instant hit and received twenty-two Emmy nominations.

In ancient Greece, the goddess Demeter was honored annually on this date with a festival of secret rites.




September 18

In the town of Berkshire, England, a centuries-old celebration known as Scouring the White Horse begins on this date. The festival of games and athletic competition takes place on a hillside carved with the huge figure of a galloping steed, and lasts for two consecutive days.




September 19

On this day in ancient Babylonia, an annual festival of prayers and feasts took place in honor of Gula, the goddess of birth.

On this date in the year 1692, Giles Corey (a Massachusetts man charged with the crime of Witchcraft) was pressed to death by two large stones in Salem for refusing to acknowledge the Court’s right to try him.




September 20

The Spring Equinox (South of the Equator) was celebrated approximately on this date by the ancient Incas. It was a time for honoring the Sun God, feasting, rejoicing, animal sacrifices, and divinations. Festivals were also held on this date throughout South America to celebrate the birthday of the god Quetzalcoatl.




September 21

Saint Matthew’s Day. In many parts of the world, this is a traditional day for performing divinations of all kinds. In Germany, fortune-telling wreaths of straw and evergreen, made on this day by young girls, were used for love divination.

In ancient Greece, the birth of the goddess Athena was celebrated annually on this day.




September 22

On the first day of Autumn (which normally occurs on or near this date), the Autumn Equinox Sabbat is celebrated by Wiccans and Witches throughout the world. Autumn Equinox (which is also known as the Fall Sabbat, Alban Elfed, and the Second Festival of Harvest) is a time for thanksgiving, meditation, and introspection. On this sacred day, Witches rededicated themselves to the Craft, and Wiccan initiation ceremonies are performed by the High Priestess and Priests of covens. Many Wiccan traditions also perform a special rite for the goddess Persephone’s descent into the Underworld as part of their Autumn Equinox celebration.




September 23

On this date (approximately), the Sun enters the astrological sign of Libra. Persons born under the sign of the Scales (the Balance) are said to be artistic, resourceful, extroverted, balanced, and often indecisive. Libra is an air sign and is ruled by the planet Venus.




September 24

In ancient Egypt, the annual death and rebirth of the god Osiris was celebrated once a year on this date. A festival held in his honor consisted of song, dance, and ceremonial plantings.

In West Africa, this day is sacred to Obatala, a hermaphrodite deity who was believed to have given birth to all Yoruban gods and goddesses.




September 25

On this date in ancient Greece, a feast of beans known as the Pyanopsia was celebrated annually in honor of the great Olympian god Apollo and the three beautiful goddesses of the four seasons known as the Horae.

The birthday of Sedna, the Eskimo goddess of both the sea and the Underworld, is celebrated annually on this date in Greenland, northeastern Siberia, and the Arctic coastal regions of North America.




September 26

Theseus, the great hero of Athens who slew the Minotaur and conquered the Amazons, was honored on this date in ancient Greece with an annual festival called the Theseia. The celebration lasted until the twenty-ninth day of September.

In ancient times, a goat sacrifice was performed annually on this day to appease Azazel, a Hebrew fallen angel who seduced mankind. He was associated with the planet Mars.




September 27

Moon Festival. On this date, an annual ceremony takes place in China to honor the Moon Hare and to give thanks to the gods for a harvest of abundance. The rites associated with the Moon Festival are always performed by women as the Moon represents yin, the female cosmic element.




September 28

On this date in ancient Athens, an annual Thesmophoria festival was celebrated in honor of the Greek goddess Demeter. The festival lasted until the third day of October.




September 29

Michaelmas. According to English folklore, it was on this day that the Devil fell from Heaven, landed on a blackberry bush, and cursed the berries. Therefore, it is unlucky to pick blackberries after Michaelmas. In parts of Scotland, special Michaelmas cakes are eaten by the superstitious on this day to ward off all evil and misfortune in the coming year.




September 30

On this date, the annual Meditrinalia festival was celebrated in the city of Rome in honor of the goddess Meditrina, a deity who presided over medicines

and the arts of healing.

In ancient Greece, the Epitaphia was held once a year on this date to honor the souls of the warriors slain to battle.

The Days of August

August, 2009

August 1
On this day, the Lammas Sabbat is celebrated by Wiccans and Witches throughout the world. Lammas (which is also known as Lughnasadh, August Eve, and the First Festival of Harvest) marks the start of the harvest season and is a time when the fertility aspect of the sacred union of the Goddess and Horned God is honored. The making of corn dollies (small figures fashioned from braided straw) is a centuries-old Pagan custom which is carried on by many modern Witches as part of the Lammas Sabbat rite. The corn dollies are placed on the Sabbat altar to represent the Mother Goddess who presides over the harvest. It is customary on each Lammas to make or buy a new corn dolly and then burn the old one from the past year for good luck.
On this day in the country of Macedonia, Neo-Pagans celebrate the Day of the Dryads, an annual nature festival dedicated to the maiden spirits who inhabit and rule over forests and trees.

August 2
On this day, the Feast of Anahita is celebrated in honor of the ancient Persian goddess Anahita, a deity associated with love and lunar powers.
Lady Godiva Day is celebrated annually on this date in the village of Coventry, England, with a medieval-style parade led by a nude woman on horseback.

August 3
The harvest season begins on this date in Japan with an annual festival called the Aomori Nebuta. Bamboo effigies with grotesquely painted faces are paraded through the streets in order to drive away the spirits of sleep.

August 4
Each year on this date, it was believed that the waters of Scotland’s Loch-mo-Naire became charged with miraculous magickal powers to heal all who drank it or bathed in it. For many years it was a custom for those who visited Loch-mo-Naire to toss in a coin of silver as an offering to the benevolent spirits that dwelled within the lake.

August 5
Many folks still believe in this ancient superstition: if you make a secret wish wile looking up at the new moon (which normally begins on or near this date in August), your wish will be granted before the year is through.

August 6
On this date in the year 1817, a huge creature described as a sea-serpent was spotted in the ocean near Gloucester harbor in Massachusetts. Coincidentally, on this same date in the year 1948, a similar creature was seen by the crew of the British naval frigate Daedalus.
This day is sacred to the Cherokee Earth-Goddess Elihino and her sister Igaehindvo, the sacred goddess of the Sun.

August 7
In ancient Egypt, the cow-headed goddess Hathor was honored on this day by an annual festival known as Breaking the Nile. The festival, which was also dedicated to all water and river goddesses, celebrated the rising of the fertile waters of the mystical River Nile.
In ancient Greece, the annual mourning ceremony called the Adonia was held on this date in honor of the dying hero-god Adonis.

August 8
According to the Christian Church calendar, the Virgin Mary was born on this day.
The Eve of the Festival of Venus was celebrated annually on this date by the ancient Romans. On this night, the goddess of love and beauty was honored and invoked with prayers, love songs, libations, and passionate lovemaking. It was also a time when sorceresses performed all forms of love magick and marriage-mate divinations.

August 9
On this date, many Wiccans from around the world celebrate the annual Feast of the Fire Spirits. Dried mandrake root or yarrow herb is cast into fires as offerings to the Salamanders.

August 10
A centuries-old festival called Ghanta Karna Day is celebrated annually around this time of August in the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal. The event celebrates the death of Ghanta Karna, a blood thirsty Hindu demon who haunts crossroads and is the sworn enemy of the god Vishnu.

August 11
On this day, an Irish fertility festival known as the Puck Fair begins. The medieval-style festival, which pays homage to the mischievous sprite Robin Goodfellow, continues for three consecutive days.
Oddudua, the “Mother of all Gods”, is honored on this day by followers of the Santeria religion in Africa and South America.

August 12
The goddess Isis and her search for Osiris (her brother and consort) is commemorated on this day by the Lychnapsia (Festival of the Lights of Isis). Dried rose petals and vervain are burned in small cauldron pots or incense burners as offerings to Isis, and green candles are lit in her honor.

August 13
On this date, the major Pagan festival of Hecate is traditionally held at moonrise. Hecate, the mysterious goddess of darkness and protectress of all Witches, is a personification of the Moon and the dark side of the female principle.

August 14
Every year on this date, a “burryman” (a man wearing a costume of thistle burrs, and representing an ancient fertility god) walks through the streets in many of the fishing villages along the coast of Scotland, collecting donations from the villagers. The origin of the burryman remains a mystery.

August 15
Festival of Vesta. The ancient Roman goddess of the hearth was honored annually on this date in ancient times. Many modern Witches light six red candles and cast herbs into hearth fires on this day to honor Vesta and to receive her blessings for family and home.

August 16
Salem Heritage Day in Massachusetts
On this date in the year 1987, the first Harmonic Convergence as observed worldwide during the Grand Trine (the alignment of all nine planets in our solar system). The event, which lasted for two consecutive days, was believed to be the beginning of five years of peace and spiritual purification. Thousands of New Age enthusiasts gathered at various sacred sites to dance, chant, meditate, and tune into the positive energies of the Earth and the universe.

August 17
Festival of Diana. Every year on this date, the goddess of chastity, hunting, and the moon was honored by the ancient Romans.
This is a special day of feasting, mirth, and magick-making for many Dianic Wiccans, since Diana is the most sacred goddess of their tradition.
On this date in the year 1950, Oglala Sioux mystic and medicine man Nicholas Black Elk died in Manderson, South Dakota. He was known for his great powers of prophecy and healing, and was an adherent of the Ghost Dance, a short-lived Native American religious movement which ended in a tragic massacre at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in 1890.

August 18
On this date, the annual Festival of Hungry Ghosts is celebrated throughout China with burnt offerings to the spirits of the dead.
On this date in the year 1634, a parish priest named Father Urbain Grandier was found guilty of bewitching a group of nuns at a convent in Loudun, France, and causing them to be possessed by demons. He was condemned to be tortured and then burned alive in the public square of Saint Croix.

August 19
In ancient Rome, a wine-harvest celebration known as the Vinalia Rustica was held each year on this date. It was dedicated to the goddess Venus of the Grape Vine and also to Minerva.
On this date in the year 1692, the Reverend George Burroughs and John Willard were put to death on Salem’s infamous Gallows Hill as punishment for the crime of Witchcraft.

August 20
On this date in the year 1612, ten women and men known as the Lancashire Witches were executed on the gallows in one of England’s most famous Witch trials of the seventeenth century. Ironically, the nine-year-old girl who had supplied the court with incriminating evidence against the Witches was herself found guilty of Witchcraft twenty-two years later and executed in the second great Witch trial of Lancashire.

August 21
The Consualia, a harvest festival celebrating the storing of the new crop, was held annually on this date by the ancient Romans. Also celebrated on this date was the muscular deity Hercules, who was honored with a sacrifice at one of his shrines in the city of Rome. His annual festival was called the Heraclia.

August 22
On this date in the year 1623, the Order of the Rosy Cross (a secret sect associated with alchemy and reincarnation) was established in Paris, France. The mysterious Rosicrucian brotherhood was condemned by officials of the Church as worshipers of Satan.
This day is sacred to Nu Kwa, an ancient Chinese goddess identified with the healing goddess Kuan Yin.

August 23
The Volcanalia festival was celebrated annually on this date in ancient Rome. It was dedicated to Vulcan, the god of volcanic eruptions, and celebrated by frying fish alive to ward off accidental fires.
Each year on this date in Athens, the ancient Greeks celebrated a festival dedicated to Nemesis, the goddess who presided over the fate of all men and women.

August 24
On this date (approximately), the Sun enters the astrological sign of Virgo. Persons born under the sign of the Virgin are said to be analytical, organized, meticulous, and often prone to being perfectionists. Virgo is an earth sign and is ruled by the planet Mercury.

August 25
An annual harvest festival called the Opiconsiva was celebrated on this date in ancient Rome in honor of the fertility and success goddess Ops (Rhea). Later in the year, she was honored again at the Opalia festival on December 19 (the third day of the Saturnalia).

August 26
The periodic rebirth of the Hindu god Krishna (eighth and principal avatar of Vishnu) is celebrated by his faithful worshipers at midnight services on this date.
In the country of Finland, this is the annual Feast Day of Ilmatar (or Luonnotar), known as the Water Mother. According to mythology, she created the Earth out of chaos.

August 27
Consus, the god of the grain-store, was celebrated annually on this date by the ancient Romans. Sacrifices were made in his honor, and all beasts of burden were embellished with wreaths of flowers and given a day of rest.
The Festival of Krishna is celebrated annually on this day in the country of India. It is also a sacred day dedicated to Devaki, the Mother-Goddess.

August 28
In the country of Norway, a Pagan festival celebrating the harvest is held on this date each year. Ancient Norse gods and goddesses are invoked to protect the spirit of the harvest throughout the dark half of the year.

August 29
Ancient Egyptian New Year
On this date in Nigeria, the Yoruba people celebrate the Gelede, an annual ritual of dancing and wearing of masks to drive away evil sorceresses.
In pre-Christian times, a festival called the Pardon of the Sea was celebrated annually in Britanny. It was originally dedicated to Athes, a Pagan goddess of the sea, and was later Christianized into the Feast of Saint Anne.

August 30
In Bengal, India, gruesome human sacrifices to the Indian earth-goddess Tari Pennu were made annually on this date as late as the mid-nineteenth century. After the sacrifice, a shaman would eat a bit of the victim’s flesh, and then the rest of the remains would be dismembered, burned, and scattered over a plowed field to ensure the fertility of future crops.

August 31
To purify the family spirits, Eyos (masqueraders wearing demon costumes concealed by white robes) walk through the streets of Lagos every year on this date. The Ritual Walk of the Eyos is a religious custom that dates back to ancient times.
On this date in the year 1934, Wiccan author Raymond Buckland was born in London, England. He founded the Seax-Wica tradition of Witchcraft, helped to introduce modern Wicca into the United States, and opened the first American Museum of Witchcraft and Magic.
In India, a women’s festival of purification is held each year on this day. It is called the Anant Chaturdasi, and is dedicated to the ancient serpent-goddess Ananta, who symbolizes the female life force.

Forest Moon

May, 2009

Change

So, I pick up my pen once again to write my thoughts as they flow. But do they flow? Not always, but sometimes one must ponder. I look out my window, and it’s raining outside and cold. Not the normal weather for Washington in June, it actually snowed in the mountains. You watch the news and see nothing but the murder and mayhem of today’s society and you have to wonder where it’s all leading. You know. I eat breakfast every morning in the Madigan Hospital cafeteria where I work in the Safety office and that’s the only time I’m forced to watch the news. I was thoroughly appalled the other morning to watch an old man crossing the street and get struck by a car in a hit and run and not a damn person out of twenty mind you even so much as moved to help him for one full minute. I say again, I’m appalled. What if that was your dad. What if that was your grandfather. Has our society become so numb, so ignorant, and so apathetic as to simply leave our wounded where they lie? In combat you would never see that. Our motto in the military is “Leave no man behind”. The military isn’t that great mind you, but some of the values they instill in their Soldiers shames the civilian sector. We lead the way in technology, we pave the way in the medical field, and we put our civilian counterparts to shame when it comes to values that all as a society should live by. Now don’t get me wrong the military can learn a lot of valuable lessons about some values as well. We are told to be honest and have courage, yet the militaries own policy on homosexuality is don’t ask don’t tell so ultimately your told to lie about your sexual preference. Let’s talk about the rank structure. If you are a Private and you don’t want to go to war you will be court martialed and do some prison time potentially for disobeying a direct order; however, if you’re an officer you will be moved to a cushy office where you can finish off your time even though you have abandoned your Soldiers since you didn’t go to war with them. What is this telling our younger generation of Soldiers, and worse yet what is this showing our civilian counterparts as a whole. You are probably asking, “Eric, where are you going with this?” and I’ll tell you. Look out your window, look at the news if you dare. Everything is evolving, and everything must change. The keyword here is change. It is time for Mother Earth to move forward and She is changing with or without our approval. We will change with Her or we will die as a species that is the blunt truth. We, as a species have not taken care of our home, and we’re getting to the point of not taking care of each other. I remember the days of not locking your doors, of being able to get gas without paying first and oh, wait, gas was only $1.50 a gallon and we thought that was high. Politicians are crooked as ever and you can’t trust your neighbor anymore. This isn’t a negative article, just a truthful one. Now, how do we fix the problem? We change. As Pagans it is our duty to take care of our Mother. You can also make a start by taking care of your fellow Pagans. Who cares what degree you are, who cares how many credentials you have. You’re a Pagan and that should be all that matters, now own up to the name. Pagans take care of each other. I saw a lot of good when I started the Troop support system called Desert Moon Network, and I saw a lot of good Soldiers and Airmen come and go when we were deployed together both times in Iraq. Total I saw over one hundred Pagan Military come and go throughout Iraq between 2004 and 2006 when I was in Iraq. We had our good and we had our bad but at least we came home alive and we all grew spiritually. Our Pagan civilian counterparts ensured we had all supplies we needed and then some and it was a great support system that still goes on today. Combat makes one change, just as our Mother, will make us as Pagans change. Take a walk in the woods, enjoy the trees talking to you, the wildlife watching you and you will be reminded again and again of why you would want to change and stay with your Mother. Take the family and go out on a camping trip, which we as a family will be doing in July. Lastly go to your nearest Pagan Pride Day in your community and reflect with your fellow Pagans, attend a Pagan meet-up, or go to a Pagan coffee that is held in some communities. Put your differences aside, and talk the Path, talk about your commonalities be it Druid, Asatru, Wiccan, or just a good ole Witch. It doesn’t matter; we all worship the same energy. Universal Energy everything is, was and will be. Some may be offended by these words, and so be it, if the shoe fits. Sometimes a shake-up is needed and Mother is shaking us all up so let’s wake-up. I’ll close with this. If we all got along as a Pagan community we would be stronger then most main-stream religions, Sabbats would be one helluva celebration, and imagine the energy we would raise to heal our Mother. Until next time. Blessings.

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