A picture is worth 1000 words, maybe more

evans-sacred-grove-fresco-complete

The ancient Minoans were a literate society but we can’t read what they wrote. Their script, Linear A, has yet to be deciphered. So how on earth can we tell how they practiced their religion? We may not have words, but we sure have a lot of pictures.

The Minoans were consummate artists. Their art style was more naturalistic and softer than the art of their contemporaries in Egypt and Mesopotamia. One of their favorite painting methods was the fresco: The artist paints the picture directly onto wet plaster on a wall or other surface, so when the plaster dries, the paint is locked into it. Frescoes are incredibly durable, which is a good thing, because most of the Minoan ones are nearly 4000 years old!

The image at the top of this post is the Sacred Grove fresco. It’s a small piece (usually labeled as a miniature) that was found in the temple complex at Knossos. And it depicts, of all things, a ritual being performed before a large audience on the west plaza at Knossos. Those stone sidewalks you can see angling behind the priestesses? They’re still there – you can walk on them today. It’s from artwork like this that we know the Minoans put on large public rituals, possibly mystery plays, for the public in addition to the private ceremonies they conducted within the walls of the temple complex. Unfortunately, we don’t know for certain what the ritual in the Sacred Grove fresco involved beyond what we can see in the picture. But we have other sources for even more detail, like this one:

This is the Hagia Triada sarcophagus, a rectangular box that was used for burial in late Minoan times. What’s so amazing about it is that Minoan funeral activities were painted on the sides. So we know all kinds of things about this aspect of Minoan spirituality: what kinds of offerings and sacrifices were made, what the priesthood wore, how the musicians accompanied the activities. That’s a lot of information from a painted box.

From Akrotiri, a Minoan city on the island of Thera (modern name = Santorini) we have a bunch of frescoes that show the puberty coming-of-age rites for both girls and boys. Here are some of the more famous ones:

We can see the kinds of symbols and objects that were important in these rites: saffron (picking it and offering it to the goddess), the goddess with her attendant monkey and griffin. Other frescoes from this same building show that blood was an important aspect of the girls’ rites (obviously) and some kind of ritual bathing was apparently important for the boys’ rites.

So even though we can’t read what the Minoans wrote (yet – I refuse to give up hope), we still know an awful lot about how they practiced their religion. When I look at these beautiful frescoes, I feel like I could reach through and touch the living, breathing people. Maybe that’s what the Minoan artists intended, to keep their culture alive forever.

In the name of the bee,

And of the butterfly,

And of the breeze, amen.

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: January 28, 29, 30, 31

 

 

January 28—Thursday:

I am gaining new respect from the Norse and today is only once more shining example as to why. They are celebrating something called Upelly-Ah.  Scottish folk adapted this from the Norse, which means it will be going on in both cultures.

So what is it? Well it marks the end of Yule and what better way to do that with a huge slam dunk of a celebration? But you must do it right! And in order to send Yule off good and proper, a rowdy march must be sported through the town while carrying torches and a Viking Longboat through it’s streets. Afterwards, we will thrust the boat into the sea and burn it. (We have all seen that one in movies one form or another). Now the huge fire from that represents the old, dead year which has come to pass.

Less not forget that today is also the Runic Half Month of Elhaz—or rather its beginning.

January 29—Friday:

*sighs* what the Romans are doing today maybe something we need in our own day and age. the 29th marks their grand Festival of Peace. Dedicated to the Goddess Pax AND the Greek Goddess Eirene—both being deities of the same desire—PEACE. Pagans, I say light your candles this day and pray to either of these lovely ladies if Peace is in deed your wish for our crumbling world. Stir up some energy and manipulate something.

January 30—Saturday:

Well, now that the ‘whole’ peace issue is dwelt with, how about some fresh partying? Today happens to be the Festival of Sementivae Feriae in ROME. The whole shebang is to honor Ceres, their goddess of agriculture. Also Demeter in Greek minds, having been adapted into Rome during 496 BCE after suffering a brutal stretch of famine there.  During that bought of starvation, the Sibylline Oracles prophesied to Rome that the Goddess was urgently needed. Listening, she was embraced by the Roman people, but particularly worshipped by women in the way most Goddesses are—her rituals and rites kept secret to women so that Historians were unable to record them.

While Rome is insuring bountiful harvest, Egypt is celebrating the Day of Opening the Doors at Karnak. Karnak being something like the suburbs of Thebes and capital of Egypt itself. Many, many Pharaohs added their own touch to the temple at Karnak.

January 31—Sunday

Wishing January goodbye on this day….universally and by path of ancient, while the Eve of February or Eve of Imbolc, is among us and so is the Imbolc Festivals (ancient and new). Imbolc also known as Brigantia, spawns from the Irish definition ‘in the belly’ pertaining to the pregnancy of ewes.

This celebration will take place tomorrow between the Observances of Yule and the blessed vernal equinox. Our focus, as our ancestors focus, will be on the COMING OF LIGHT and the longing of days which comes about during spring. I say bring it on, bring it on….I am so over Winter.

Now interestingly enough, the Norse is stirring things up again, making today sacred to the Valkyries and Urd, Verdandi, and Skuld, who are said to sit by Urd’s Well under a Yggdrasil tree while determining the fates of men and gods.

But in Greece, we have a feast for Hecate—the Goddess of Night, the underworld,  of love and passion.  I adore Hecate.

~~~~~

Interested in the days of the week?

Thursday belongs to the deity Thunor, also known as Thor, who is the God of Agriculture and Thunder.

~

Thursday are Great for Dealing with Matters or Magical Spells & Rituals Concerning:

Passions & Desires—what do you want in your life?

Political Power—you can influence this for yourself or for what you desire on this day.

Speculating & Gambling—someone have a problem? Do you need help or luck?

Legal Matters, Treaties, Oaths—today is a great day to deal with these.

Harvests—perhaps you buy your food and this doesn’t;t matter to you but today you could make sure someone else has a good harvest. Maybe you could see to it that they have a meal for Thanksgiving?

~

Thursday represents The Planet Jupiter and The Element of Fire

________________________________________

Friday belongs to Frigga or Venus—Goddess of Love and Transformation.

~

Fridays are excellent days to deal with matters or magical spells & rituals concerning…

Family life, friendship, growth, harmony, love, romance, passion.

~

Planets & Elements

Venus and the element of Earth

_________________________________________

Saturday is the day of Seatere, Seater, Saturn, and Loki—trickster of the Norse Culture.

~

Saturday is a good day to deal with matters and or invoke magical spells concerning:

A Gift of some sort, and or maybe something to do with your property?

Are you moving your home? Is someone else moving their home? Do you have matters concerning the elderly and or maybe you need to work on self discipline?

~

Remember that Saturday belongs to Saturn and the Element of Earth.

~

__________________________________________________

Sunday is all about the Sun God Hellios, Apollo, Ogmios and, Mithras or Phoebe: The Sun Goddess

~

Sunday is a good day to deal with matters or magic concerning:

Your creativity—or be creative. Maybe someone else? How about matters of hope or personal money issues? What of victory, anything agriculture, perhaps healing, or a career? Do you have or need ambition and or most importantly, self confidence?

~

Sunday represents the Sun and the element Fire.

~

 

Wishing everyone a GREAT WEEKEND!!!

C.H. Scarlett

Save

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: January 25, 26, 27

January 25—Monday

 

Hold tight because tonight Old Disting or the feast of Disir according to the Norse old Runic Calendars. Now, the Disir are guardian Goddesses, dressed in black and sporting swords. They bring with them great fortune, fertility, protection, and more. In order to gain such blessings, you must invite them into your home. And don’t dare be shy or humble when it comes to accepting their gifts—not unless you want to tick them off.

How many of you knew that tonight is known as Burns night in honor of the Scots poet Robert Burns?

 

 

January 26—Tuesday

 

There is a God who is patron of the forests. Once was his name Cernunnos but the rest of you might recognize him as Herne the Hunter. In Pagan history, he wears the great stag’s antlers. He is one of the oldest deities.

 

In various Pagan stories, Cernunnos is born during the solstice of Winter. In others, he is web to the Goddess at Beltane and then dies again on the day of the summer solstice. (Only to be reborn again come Winter *winks*)

 

January 27—Wednesday

 

Ok Pagans, take note because if you were in Rome on this day in Ancient History, you would be celebrating the wondrous festival of Paganalia! This celebration was to honor the Earth Mother, Tellus Mater, who happened to look after things like fertility, birth, and the sacred act of marriage.

Paganalia comes from the Latin term ‘pagus’ meaning’ village’. So these celebrations often took place in rural areas. Paganalia is also where the term PAGAN derives from—a name given to rural people who followed the old gods.

 

Now if Rome isn’t your thing, then perhaps you might like to pop on over to Babylon where they are having their own festival and celebrations for the Goddess Ishtar. She also happens to be a Goddess of love and fertility. Now even though we have a difference of cultures, its times like these that I see the link connecting each one no matter the name of the Goddess, God, or Festival.

 

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: January 22, 23, 24

 

 

WRITERS AND ARTISTS TAKE NOTE OF TODAYS HOLIDAY!!!!!!

Today is Friday January 22nd and it’s a busy one for the Goddesses of Inspiration—also known as the Muses. Most do not know this but the Muses were actually a collection of nine daughters born of Zeus and Mnemosyne.

Calliope—in charge of song

Thalia—in charge of comedy

Melpomene—in charge of tragedy

Terpsichore— in charge of dancing

Erato—in charge of erotic poetry

Polymnia—in charge of songs of serious issues.

Urania—in charge of astronomy.

~~~

Also on this day, in Ancient wondrous Egypt, we will make the way for Khum—the god of creation. (a lot of CREATING going on today isn’t it?)

~~~

And for all those who mark your Calendars for the Goddess Months–grab the sharpie, because today the Goddess Month of Hesta Ends.

________________________________________________

 

January 23

 

We are going to kick things off in Egypt because today is a HUGE festival for Hathor—their Goddess of Love and Happiness. Hathor is also famous for being the keeper of the Eye of Ra and more importantly, the Goddess of the sky.

At one time in Egypt’s ancient bliss, the Priests of Hathor would begins things by pouring cow’s milk into the natural flowing Nile.

Many people don’t know this but the name Hathor actually means ‘The House of Horus.’ There were actually seven Hathors, but the main one we are honoring today is Isis who represents this Goddess and the mother of Horus.

~~~

Now while the Egyptians are doing their thing…at SUNDOWN over in Welsh territory, they will be doing theirs. When the sun leaves the sky, that will mark the beginning of Braciaca Dydd, also known as the Day of Braciaca who happens to be the sacred Goddess of Agriculture and more importantly…brewing.

~~~

 

Go pick the sharpie back up and run to the calendar—

The Goddess Month of Bridge Begins on this day!

 

________________________________________________________

 

January 24

 

Well if we have learned anything by doing and reading these Pagan Holidays, its that the Romans and the Greeks love a damn good time. They will make a celebration and holiday for anything! Any excuse for fabulous dancing, partying and drinking of the wine.

Today is going to be no different. In Rome, there is a NINE day celebration which starts TODAY. That’s right, nine days of nothing other than damn good times! It’s called Sementivae and it honors the Goddess named Terra, whom happens to be the patron of soil. But don’t think its all about her, no….let’s add Ceres to the mix who happens to be the grain Goddess and then lest not forget Proserpine, Goddess of seeds. So if you haven’t guessed it….these nine days will be all about spring, crops, and honoring the Goddesses that have the power to bring the Romans good harvest.

~~~

Now, if you are not interested in what’s going down in Rome then today, I have another one for you. There are some Occult traditions which recognize something called Bevil Blizard, Who is he and why does he get an observance?

Well according to some, he was the last necromancer of Winchcombe and it was on this day of 94 years in 1838 that he passed away. What most forget however, on this day, its also celebrating a brand spanking new season of Cornish Tinner‘s & Seafarer Day’s—sailing and mining in that captivating place called Cornwall. That’s right, Bevil passed on an Ancient Labor Day.

~~~

Now if you aren’t all that into what the Welsh are doing, then you can always pop back over to Egypt…golden glitz and sandy sunsets. Today is extra special becomes it marks the Coming of Thoth.

Thoth is famous for the Emerald Tablets, for being the God of writing, astronomy, music, art, time & magic, and for assisting Isis a great deal during the whole Osiris ordeal. Thoth is said to protect Osiris and he also assists the dead.

 

Save

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: January 19, 20, 21

_______________

January 19

We have an observance for Thor today in Norse culture also known as Thorrablót. On this occasion, Thor represents the spirit of winter.  Interestingly enough, Thorrablót was actually outlawed in Iceland in 1000CE or so. Two hundred years later, it resurfaced. Some common things you might see during this observance is lunch served in a wooden box. Aged shark, testicles of sheep, ewe’s face might be some of the things in it. Yum!

*

Today is Husband’s Day in many parts of the world.

*

And in Egypt, we will have the Festival of Lights which concerns and celebrates the Goddess Neith.

_________________

 

January 20th

Busy day in the Ancient World today!

*

In Wales the dogs of the underworld will be let loose tonight! Known as Cwn Annwn—if you hear their howling beware for its an omen of destruction!!!!

*

Today is Agnes Eve and its a time for divination by way of Fire.

*

Egypt will be holding a festival for Osiris so get whatever ready all you Egyptian fans and have at it!

*

Mark off the Celtic Calendar because the Tree Month of Beth Ends today!

 

_____________________

January 21

 

Light those candles and prepare thy flame because today is Agnes’ Day whereas last night was it’s Eve. Remember, this day celebrates Divination by Fire. I for one will be lighting up because I so luuuuuuuuuuuuuurve FIRE!

*

Celtic Tree Month of Luis officially begins today!!!!!!!!

 

____________________

Save

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: January 16, 17, 18

 

 

January 16th- Roman Festival of Concordia

January 17th– Today is sacred to Felicitas (Roman Goddess of Good Fortune)

Celts will be carrying out the tradition of Wassailing (apple trees). The drink is made from mulled ale, spiced apples, curdled cream, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and sugar.

January 18th—Ancient Greece—Theogamia of Hera….a festival for women when Hera is honored.

Save

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: January 15

Today is the 2nd festival of Carmentalia which is Italy’s ancient Goddess of Prophecy. Also today is Egypt’s Feats of Entering Heaven and the Two lands.

 

~~~~~

 

Eclectic Articles, Columns & More! Check out our COLUMNS below! Want More? Hit Categories. Articles Posted Regularly!

%d bloggers like this: