Tag Archives: 2009

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays : November 27th : Sacred Fleece & a Farewell to Cailleach, for now…

In Ancient History….

Today, the Greeks are having a Pompaia of the Sacred Fleece!

In classical Greece, a Pompaia was a formal celebration of rituals that took place in many cities and towns by tons of people—people being the key. In this particular one, many  would carry the skin of a sheep that had been sacrificed in honor of Zeus. As they walked together holding the fleece, a priest of Zeus would hold up a Caduceus (a staff of Hermes intertwined with snakes) and lead them onward.

Zeus was said to protect all those participating in a Pompaia.  This particular one was meant to drive away storms so that the newly planted crops would not be harmed or destroyed. However, there are other purposes for this day as well. One of them being evil. If someone had been doing lots of evil deeds and wanted to be purged from the evil itself, they could place a left foot on the fleece, and the fleece’s power would drain all the evil out of them.

The Goddess Month of Cailleach Ends today.

 

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Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holiday: November 26th : A Silver Lining Born from Death and Curses

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!

On this day in History, guess what happened? Tut Ankh Amon was discovered!!!

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This huge discovery happened in the year of 1922. The reason this was such a big thing is one…the findings were astronomical and, well, the curse.

Without the doom and gloom of a nasty curse, let me just say, good comes from something bad. Why do I say this?

 Some would say that before this discovery, not many people were all that concerned or interested in Ancient Egypt. You didn’t have tons of people knowing the in’s and out’s of Isis nor did anyone  really care about the Book of the Dead , or the customs of an Ancient Culture long dead.

In fact, what was done to Mummies before and even after this time and the sacred various tombs of this civilization would bring a tear to your eye.

Did you know that during the 20’s and 30’s  thousands and thousands of mummies were used to feed the fires of trains as fuel?

This little tidbit is highly debatable as many Documentaries have made this claim but many others, especially on the net, argue it.  However, the Documentary I seen showed the trains and the thousands of Mummies piled on it. But you should go find footage and see for yourself.

I also found this…

  • Ground up mummies were used as fertilizer, and chopped wooden mummy cases served as firewood.
  • In the late 1800’s, paper manufacturers used mummy wrappings for wrapping paper.
  • Mummies have been used instead of thatch to repair roofs on houses, and used as a cheap source of fuel in trains.
  • In some areas, people would pay great amounts of money to see a mummy being unwrapped. SOURCE

So, while respect for the Dead and the history of Egypt wasn’t a popular trend at one point, the discovery of King Tut’s tomb might have helped change things and if it were not for the wealth of that discovery or the “curse”, , perhaps people would have continued to be ignorant of a civilization long lost. While the riches unveiled in this discovery caught the attention of media and viewers worldwide, it also helped other explorers to find the funding needed for future expeditions.

In all actuality, Tut’s tomb was rather small compared to the rest. This is probably because he died so soon in life. Usually a tomb took the lifetime of a Pharaoh to build, and since Tut was a boy, well the time was just not on his side.

But Tut’s tomb, small or not, stood out because it was the first ever tomb discovered that was completely in tact. Usually Tombs are poached and picked apart by grave robbers, even horrendously destroyed, but not Tut…and perhaps the Curse might tell us why.

 With the discovery Howard Carter made in 1922, came the first horror of interest story, which happened to be instigated by newspapers and reporters from all over the world. Suddenly, the ‘Curse’ was born and this very so-called nightmare would encourage Fiction for years and years to come. Here is one such movie made not long ago….

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And of course, what was written on the entrance of the tomb (as said during that time) helped to kick the whole thing off:

“Death’s wings will touch who ever touches the pharaoh.”

Note: I have never been to Egypt so can’t support an ongoing argument by two sides. One side claiming the inscription is there and others who claim that it isn’t.

So, is there any truth to the Curse?

On the day and within the hour that King Tut was discovered, the Earl of Caernarvon, who funded the Expedition, actually died.

Scientifically, people will later argue that the curse is a lie and that all  the deaths were a coincidence, while others, even to this day, swear it is true.

All I can tell you is, 18 living people became 18 dead ones AFTER the tomb was found. All persons, with the exception of Earl Caernarvon, died in one form or another AFTER entering the tomb. Even Carter, who led this adventure, died a year after.

Caernarvon died after traveling to Egypt, where he was bitten by a mosquito.  Lying in the hospital, Carter finally made the  big discovery that the Earl had  longed for, and within that hour Caernarvon closed his eyes for the very last time on this earth.

Two more incidents happened in Egypt when the tomb was discovered. All the lights in Cairo went out quite suddenly and Caernarvon’s dog began to howl madly—no one could stop him.  In fact, the dog kept wailing until it too met its end.

Coincidence? You decide.

Truth or not, the tally was adding up and the Egyptian workers were already spooked from the get go. The dog and lights didn’t help but as they pushed on, even more occurrences fueled their fear. For instance, the canary that Carter placed in the tomb was eaten by a cobra.

Remember, the Cobra is a royal symbol of the Pharaohs. In fact, it is the symbol located at their heads on their kingly crowns. It is in their paintings, on statues, and inspires their funeral masks.

Was there a more realistic cause to all these Deaths?

Medically and scientifically, there is a possible reason for all of it, aside from the dog and canary, that is. The dog could be explained as the bonds and link between man and best friend. The Canary could have been some freak accident.

However, as far as all the rest, it’s believed that there was a fungus or bacteria on the Mummies themselves, in the tomb, and when this sealed sanctuary of 3000 years was popped open,  those that  hopped on in, breathed in and became sick with it.

Another interesting fact, no bats were ever found living in the tomb even after it was opened—dead or alive. Could this be even more evidence that something was wrong with it, bacteria wise? Because we all know animals have a special two cents concerning these things. And then again, maybe they were just smart and knew to muck with the place—fearing the wrath of the dead? Hmmm

 Some say whether that’s a Scientific Fact, Theory, or not, it was still the defense of the spirits protecting that tomb and that the discoverers of that day and time should have respected and listened.

The tomb, the king, should not have been touched.

Regardless, Carter and many of his members died from lung and Respiratory problems after their famous discovery. This seemed to be enough to prove that there WAS something wrong with King Tut’s tomb whether Science could explain it or the fact that the warnings of the Dead were nothing to muck around with.

And the moral of the story, or the silver lining as mentioned above, if it had not been for this Discovery or the publicity and internet and lore surrounding it, who knows if there would have been an interest for all thing Ancient Egypt or if anything, respect for it’s customs and dead. We went from a world of ignorance concerning Ancient Egypts’ myths, customs and lore to one that values every find, every archeological discovery, every little piece discovered beneath her golden sands.

I for one think that, that’s a beautiful thing even if it had to come from so much death and mayhem.

Thank you, King Tut. Thank you.

 

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Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: November 25th: New Celtic tree Month, Women’s Day, Knocking the Knickers off of Persephone

 

The Celtic Tree Month of Ruis Begins

For more about this Tree Month check out this AWESOME site I found that has the most information I have ever seen concerning these Celtic Tree Months.

A pat on the back to them and that information.

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Women’s Merry Making Day

This took place in most parts of Europe long ago. Some suspect that it was once an Observance & celebration for Women’s Mysteries especially concerning Persephone.

(Since some Greek Deities and their secrets, rituals, and knowledge could only be preformed by women, known by women, and so forth.)

However, what I have noticed moving forward from Ancient Civilizations into the Middle Ages or Medieval times, the same sacred days that were once honored ,take on new form as something else. Now there was good reason for this. Sometimes and in most part it was done to protect the Pagan Traditions long celebrated.

This is one of them, sort of, and the day itself was really nothing to brag about . The only thing women got on this day…was the right to do less labor. And I say less because even though the point was to give them the entire day off…*gee thanks*lol…in most cases, less is what they got if that.

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Speaking of….

and further back in time…today is the Greek Festival of…(can you guess)

Persephone!!!!!!

Now you know the Greeks were romping it up and throwing down on this day! But the Greeks were not the only ones, no. Rome also adapted Persephone and made this day all about her as well. Only instead of calling her by her Greek name, they called her Proserpina.

By Natalie Harter

 Persephone was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter.

If you read the holidays yesterday when I spoke of Isis and Osiris’ love story, well here is another classic tale that is often forgotten. And as a young girl, I’ll admit, I used to get all hazy-eyed over this one. Why?

Because ….

Persephone happens to be the P.H.A.T (pretty hot and tempting) Goddess on the block that every guy-god wants. Only she can’t get no lovin’ from any of the guy-gods who sends her gifts because her too-damn-strict-momma keeps tellin’ them boys no and sendin’ them presents back!

So it’s startin’ to look like poor Persephone will be a lonely little maid forever..

UNTIL….

Hades—*knock our knickers off* bad boy– does what bad boys do best—break all the damn rules!

Now Hades happens to be the dark, forbidden, and ever-so-sexy-your-momma-warned-you-about-hottie in this story. And this bad boy falls in love with Persephone, decides he wants her *oh yeah* and then kidnaps the little miss because of it.

In short, her mother, Demeter is  flippin’ completely out because her daughter is missing, and after raising so much noise, the God of the Sun Helios finally gives up what Hades did.

So the pissed off momma sends a guy-god named Hermes to snatch her baby girl back.  With fingers crossed, Demeter waits…in fact she waits for so long and grieves so bad that the brakes are thrown on the seasons.

(Now you know that is making this rough and crazy for the world of humans and I can’t imagine Zeus being happy either)

Anyway, if you’re thinking Hermes is going to swoop in, rescue Persephone like the knight in shining armor, kick yourself now because that doesn’t happen. For once, the dark, forbidden, and ever-so-sexy-your-momma-warned-you-about-hottie Hades wins (to my delight) and plans ahead for all the family drama to come.

You see, while his beloved Persephone is with him in the ever-so-fab-Underworld, he gets her to eat an enchanted pomegranate. And the seeds of this fabulous fruit is what kicks it all into motion and forces the Fates to back Hades and give him what he wants so that the other Gods can’t to a damn thing about it….well sort of. 

When it all comes down to it, Hades does have to give up his Persephone but not forever. You see, Persephone may have to go back to her mother but only for a few months out of the year and because of those fabulous seeds, he has the rights to do it.

*snap*

So when Persephone returns to the Land of the Living…so comes Spring. And when she goes back to the Underworld to have her socks rocked off by Hades, so comes winter for us.

Now do you see why this would make a girl swoon?

If not and you want to read more, then check out…

This link here

Wikipedia

 

 

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Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays : November 24th: Reuniting Isis and Osiris, Offerings to Sekhmet, A Celtic Tree Month Ends

Egypt

The Feast of Burning Lamps will be held in Ancient Egypt today. This is an observance of Isis and Osiris.  Today, they are reunited again after Osiris’s death and Isis’s long journey in search of his body and securing Egypt an heir.

 

Also in Egypt today, if you have offerings for Sekhmet, then this is the day to drop it off. Remember, she feeds the dead in the Underworld, so making an offering of wine and cake to her today is more than respectful.

 

The Celtic Tree Month of Ngetal Ends today

Recapping, and throwing another well maintained and informative site into the spotlight:

Ngetal – Reed
Month: October
Color: Grass Green
Class: Shrub
Letter: NG
Meaning: Upsets or surprises

Source

 

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Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays : November 23rd: A Norse & Saxon Observance

On this day, November 23rd, our Norse and Saxon ancestors celebrated an Observance for Völund

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1st Day of Winter

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Völund, also known as Wayland  or Weyland the Smith, was quite an interesting legend of the Norse and Saxons. He was a mystical blacksmith & armor-maker. Perhaps you have heard of him since he appeared in the original writings of Beowulf , as well as many other written material. In fact, Völund was the one who created the sword called Balmung—the very weapon used by Beowulf to destroy Grendel.

 Völund had two brothers named Egil & Slagfidur. With his brothers, he lived with 3 Valkyries named Olrun, Alvit, and Svanhvit.

Legend says that after living together for nine years, one day the Valkyries just vanished—basically up and took off without a word or a good-bye—except for a ring left by Olrun for Völund.

Völund and his brothers went on with their lives until years later, King Nidud captured and imprisoned Völund on his island named Saeverstod. The ring that Olrun gave to Völund was stolen away, along with his sword, by Nidud. The ring was given to Nidud’s daughter, Bodvild, while the King kept the sword for himself.

After being held a prisoner for far too long and having two things Völund cherished ripped from him, eventually he did have his revenge. Völund escaped from his prison and killed Nidud’s sons. Not only did he kill them, he made goblets out of their skulls, and jewelry from their teeth and eyes!

Now some warriors would have been done after that, but not Völund. No, he was determined to make Nidud regret for all eternity for making him a prisoner and for taking his things.

So that’s why he went on to send the goblets to King Nidud and the jewelry to his Queen. (Can you imagine unwrapping a present made from the corpses of your sons?) And then he made sure to seduce their daughter Bodvild just for spite. (Bet you he got his ring back.)

Once Völund had his fill, being the creative soul that he was, he built wings for himself and escaped the island and King that would never forget his name.

And neither would England where a number of places sport his name as Wayland. One example: Wayland’s Smithy in Oxfordshire.

 

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Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays : November 22nd : The Greeks & the Norse

Today is the Ancient Greek Festival for Artemis Calliste & The Norse Day of Ydalir

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Ancient Greek Festival for Artemis Calliste

Artemis is known for many things. Just to name a few…

One, for being the Patroness of music. Two, for being the virgin daughter of Latona and Zeus, and twin to Apollo. Three, for being a Goddess of the Night carrying with her a bow and arrows. With these, she hunts the monsters of Darkness and brings about the sudden death of all those who are wicked. Four, for having a Temple in Ephesus and that temple being one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World. Pretty impressive isn’t she?

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The Norse Day of Ydalir, which is all about the Hall & God of Ull.

Ull is the son of Sif. He is the God of the bow & hunting. he also protects and strengthens the shield of the Warrior. When Odin is absent, Ull has been known to rule in his place.

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Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holiday : November 21 : Where did all the Different Races of People Come From?

On November 21st, we are honoring…

Cailleach Bheara & Hathor

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In Celtic Tradition, they would have been celebrating an Observance for Cailleach Bheara. She is one of the three aspects of the Goddess, Today, she is  the Crone, of the triple Goddess Cailleach. It is said, she carries a huge hammer—the very tool she used to pound, shape, and mold the world with when it was nothing more than primordial chaos.

 In her youth, she had fifty children and seven husbands.

Ever wonder where all the different races of people came from? Well it just so happens they came from the children Cailleach.

It is also said that she outlives her husbands, all seven, even the God Lugh.

The Scots have their own version of Cailleach. They say she is a hag with blue skin, who only appears during the winter months. At the time of Imbolc, she is driven off by the Goddess Brigit.

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In Ancient Egypt today, a Feast for Hathor is held. She is the Goddess of Love & Happiness. Above is a painting of her and the God Seth. She is also the keeper of the Eye of Ra and the Goddess of the Sky.

 

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