Goddesses of the Calendar
Terra, the earth
Eostree, Goddess of Light and Spring
The Feminine Principle
CERES. (Brewer, Dict.)
“April Fool Perhaps
it may be a relic of the Roman ‘Cerealia’,
held at the beginning of April”. See also under April 12th.
Roman: CONCORDIA, VENUS and FORTUNA; The Veneralia.
(Seyffert, Dict.) “Concordia ... The goddess Concordia was also invoked
with Venus and Fortuna, by married women on the 1st of April”.
IV. 133) “April 1st Duly do ye worship the
goddess (i.e. -Venus), ye Latin mothers and brides, and ye, too, who
not the fillets and long robe (Frazer: ‘courtesans’).
Take off the golden
necklaces from the marble neck of the
goddess; take off her gauds; the goddess must be washed from top to toe.
Then dry her
neck and restore to it her golden necklaces;
now give her other flowers, now give her the fresh-blown rose. Ye, too,
bids bathe under the green myrtle ... Learn
now why ye give incense to Fortuna Virilis in the place which reeks of
All women strip when they enter that place …
Propitiate her with suplications; beauty and fortune and good fame are
in her keeping”. (Plutarch, Lives, Numa) on the month of April; “the women
bathe on the calends, or first day of it, with myrtle garlands on their heads.”
(Philocalus, Kal. Anno 345) “April 1. Veneralia Ludi …”
(Montfaucon, Antiq. Suppl.
p. 19) on the Calendar of Philocalus annexed to Valentine’s
illustrations of the months (see under
February): “in the Beginning of [April] there is read upon the Calends, Veneralia ludi, Senatus legitimus. Now, it’s possible these Veneralia,
were feasts in honour of Venus, which they celebrated with publick Sports; which perfectly
agrees ... with the Words of Ausonius. Before Venus
there stands a Candlestick, with
a Wax-taper lighted, in the Flame of which
they burnt Grains of Incense. The lines of Ausonius are to this purpose:
does Honour to Venus cover’d with Myrtle. With this Month is seen the Light
of Incense, with which the beneficent Ceres shines. Nor are those Perfumes wanting
which are always issue from the Paphian Goddess’.” See also under Ceres.
(Amhlaoibh O Súilleabháin (1835), cited by Danaher, The Year in
Ireland, p. 84) “April Fools’ Day. A
barbarous custom from pagan times is still established in Ireland,
namely, to make an April Fool of a person. At
the time when Venus was worshipped the first day of the month was a
in her honour, and it was customary to play
all sorts of low pranks to do her veneration.”
(Perp. Fest. Cal.) “April 1st: Aphrodite. Venus. Goddess of Beauty and Harmony”. (Fell. of Isis Dir.) “April 1st: Aphrodite. Venus. Laughter, Sport, Friendliness”.
All Fools’ Day. (Brewer, Dict.)
Fool ... In Hindustan similar tricks are
played at the Huli Festival (March 31st). As March 25th used to be New
Day, April 1st: was its octave, when its
festivities culminated and ended”.
(Whistler, English Festivals, p. 108) “All Fools’ Day.
Between midnight and noon on April 1st:
everyone is liable to be made a fool of; for it is the morning of the
But it is not enough to discomfort the
victim; he must be induced to take action himself, sent on a ‘fool’s
or anyway beguiled into some kind of
credulous response ... Then, on the stroke of noon, it is finished”. (Druids Cal.) “April 1. All Fools’ Day. Ancient prankish
end to the celebrations of the vernal equinox”.
Phrygian: CYBELE, MAGNA MATER, The Great Mother, The Megalesia, First Day. (White, Dict.)
“Megalensia or Megalesia; a festival in
honour of the Magna Mater, celebrated annually on the 4th of April with
and games: (Cicero, Fam. 2. 11. 2).”
(Cumont, Orient. Rel. p. 47) on the arrival of the holy stone image of Cybele at Rome:
[Sibylline] oracle the stone was received at
Ostia by the first citizen of the land, an honour accorded to Scipio
and carried by the most esteemed matrons to
the Palatine, where, hailed by the cheers of the multitude and
surrounded by fumes
of incense, it was solemnly installed (Nones
of April, 204 before this era) ... A temple was erected to her on the
of the Palatine, and every year a celebration
enhanced by scenic plays, the Ludi Megalenses,
commemorated the date of dedication of the
sanctuary and the arrival of the goddess (April 4th -10th)”. (id. p. 52) “The holidays celebrated in her honour by the entire nation, the Megalensia were organized in conformity with Roman traditions”.
(Seyffert, Dict. Ceres) “The Patricians entertained each other with mutual hospitalities at the Megalesian games
(April 4 - 10)”.
(Varro, Ling. Lat. VI. 15) “The Megalesia
‘Festival of the Great Mother’ is so called from the Greek (i.e. Megalé
by direction of the Sibylline Books the Great
Mother was brought from King Attalus, from
Pergama; there near the city-wall was the Megalesion, that is, the
temple of -this
goddess, whence she was brought to Rome”.
“April, 4th ... Straightway the Berecynthian
flute will blow a blast on its bent horn, and the festival of the Idaean
Mother will have come ... the goddess herself
will be borne with howls through the streets in the city’s midst. The
stage is clattering, the games are calling.
To your places, Quirites! and in the empty law-courts let the war of
I would put many questions, but I am daunted
by the shrill cymbal’s clash and the bent flute’s thrilling drone.
‘Grant me, goddess, someone whom I may
question’. The Cybelean goddess spied her learned granddaughters
‘the Muses’) and bade them attend to my
inquiry”. (id. 357) “I
was about to ask why the Magelesia are the
first games in the year in our city, when the goddess (i.e. the Muse
my meaning and said, ‘She gave birth to the
gods. They gave place to the parent, and the Mother has the honour of
(Philocalus, Kal. anno 354) “April 4. Ludi Megalesiaci”.
XXIII. 2) “On
the Roman Festivals (2nd half of 4th cent)
... Now will I tell of the Mysteries of the Megalesian mother.”
CLAUDIA QUINTA, Priestess of Cybele. (Ovid, Fasti,
IV. 291) The Muse Erato tells of the coming
of Cybele’s image: “April 4th …‘She had arrived at Ostia,
where the river Tiber divides to join the sea
and flows with ampler sweep. All the knights and the grave senators,
the common folk, came to meet her at the
mouth of the Tuscan river. With them walked mothers and daughters and
the virgins who tended the holy hearths. The
men wearied their arms by tugging lustily at the rope ... Yet the ship
fast, like an island firmly fixed in the
middle of the sea. Astonished at the portent, the men did stand and
Quinta ... whose beauty matched her nobility
... when she had stepped forth from the procession of chaste matrons ...
lifted her palms to heaven (all who looked on
her thought she was out of her mind), and bending the knee she fixed
on the image of the goddess, and with
dishevelled hair uttered these words: ‘Thou fruitful Mother of the Gods,
accept thy suppliant’s prayers …’ She spoke,
and drew the rope with a slight effort. My story is a strange
one, but it is attested by the stage (Frazer:
‘It was probably acted at the Megalensia’). The goddess was moved,
and followed her leader. Attended by a crowd,
Claudia walked in front with joyful face ... The goddess herself,
a wagon, drove in through the Capene Gate;
fresh flowers were scattered on the yoked oxen. Nasica received her”.
IV. 11. 52) “Claudia, the peerless priestess
of the tower-crowned goddess”.
(Julian, Hymn to the Mother of the Gods,
159, D) on the same episode: “Claudia took off her girdle (note by
‘A matron in other versions’) and fastened it
about the prow of the ship, and, like one divinely inspired, bade
all stand aside; and then she besought the
goddess ... And lo, she not only made the ship move, but even towed her
distance up stream. Two things, I think, the
goddess showed the Romans on that day; first that the freight they were
from Phrygia was ... truly divine, not
lifeless clay but a thing of life and divine powers … And the other was
no one of the citizens could be good or bad
and she not know thereof.” (id. 161 C) “I am told that on the same
subject of which I am impelled to speak at
the very season of these holy rites Porphyry too has written a
Note by Wright: “A relief in the Capitoline
Museum shows Claudia in the act of dragging the ship”.
Phrygian: CYBELE; The Megalesia, Second Day.
Roman: FORTUNA. (Ovid, Fasti,
IV. 373) “April 5th. When the next Dawn shall
have shone in the sky, and the stars have vanished, and the Moon shall
have unyoked her snow-white steeds, he who
shall say, ‘On this day of old the temple of Public Fortune was
on the hill of Quirinus’s will tell the
Chinese: KWAN-YIN. (Perp. Fest. Cal.) “April 5th. Kwan-Shi-Yin,
Goddess of Mercy”. (Fell. of Isis Dir.) “April 5th: Kwan Yin (Chinese),
Kwannon (Japanese). Mercy. Toleration, Understanding”.
Phrygian: CYBELE; The Megalesia, Third Day. (Ovid, Fasti,
377) “April 6th. It was, I remember, the
third day of the games, when a certain elderly man, who sat next to me
show, observed to me ‘...This seat I won in
war, and thou didst win in peace, by reason of thine office in the
of the Ten’. We were about to say more when a
sudden shower of rain parted us; Libra hung in heaven released the
Phrygian: CYBELE; The Megalesia, Fourth Day.
Phrygian: CYBELE; The Megalesia, Fifth Day.
Phrygian: CYBELE; The Megalesia, Sixth Day.
(Philocalus, Kal. anno 354) “April 9. Megalesiaci.”
Phrygian: CYBELE; The Megalesia, Last Day. (Ovid. Fasti, IV. 389) “April 10th.
When the next Dawn shall have looked on victorious Rome, and the stars
have been put to flight and given place to
the sun, the Circus will be thronged with a procession and an array of
and the horses, fleet as the wind, will
contend for the first palm.”
CERES; Ludi Cerealici. (Philocalus, Kal. anno
354) “April 11. Ludi Cerealici.” See also April 12th.
Roman: CERES; The Cerealia, First Day (See also April 11). (Seyffert, Dict.
Ceres) “The Cerealia, or games
introduced at the founding of the temple of Ceres. Those held in later
given by the aediles from the 12th - 19th
April, and another festival to Ceres, held in August, was established”.
“Just as the Patricians entertained each
other with mutual hospitalities at the Megalesian games, so did the
at the Cerealia”.
IV. 393) “April 12th. Next come the games of
Ceres. There is no need to declare the reason; the bounty and services
of the goddess are manifest. The bread of the
first mortals consisted of the green herbs which the earth yielded
and now they plucked the living grass from
the turf, and now the tender leaves of tree-tops furnished a feast.
the acorn was produced ... Ceres was the
first who invited man to better sustenance and exchanged acorns for more
She forced bulls to yield their necks to the
yoke; then for the first time the upturned soil beheld the sun ... Ceres
in peace; and you, ye husbandmen, pray for
perpetual peace and for a pacific prince. You may give the goddess
spelt, and the
compliment of spurting salt, and grains of
incense on old hearths; and if there is no incense, kindle resinous
Ceres is content with little, if that little
be but pure”. (id. 619) “White
is Ceres’ proper colour; put on white robes at Ceres’ festival”.
KAMO-TAMA-YORI-HIME; First Day of Festival. (Herbert, Shinto, p. 199) on the
festival of O-yamakui-no-kami and his wife Kamo-tama-yori-hime, held on
April 12 to
14th: “Each of them has two shrines, one for
his (or her) entirety, and for his (or her) ara-mitama (i.e. soul,
manifesting in the outside world), which
amounts to four shrines in all.
“On the first day of the matsuri
(i.e. religious festival) the two ara-mitama,
whose shrines are side by side, are brought down in two mikoshi (i.e.
shrines) and left in the haiden (i.e. hall
for worship, adytum) of the main shrines consecrated to the nigi-mitama
spirit, - consolidating the inner world) of
the God. Then, at 9 p.m. they are ‘married’, i.e. the two mikoshi
are joined, back to back, and they are left
there all night”.
Roman: CERES; The Cerealia, Second Day.
IV. 621) “April 13th.. On that day, too, if I mistake not, Liberty
began to own a hall well worthy of our
people”. (Frazer: “Atrium Libertatis, not far from the Forum”).
Japanese: KAMO-TAMA-YORI-HIME; Second Day
of Festival. (Herbert, Shinto,
p. 199) on this festival: “The next morning
(i.e. April 13th) the two nigi-mitama are
taken from the honden (i.e. adytum) of the two main shrines ... and
two other mikoshi. The four mikoshi are then
brought into the haiden of another shrine, the Obuyu-jinja, and they are
in separate compartments on a platform about
thirty inches above ground. They are decorated with flowers, fruit,
paint-brushes and ‘anything that may amuse a
child’. Children come to offer artificial flowers. And at 4 p.m.
they are served tea, ‘because tea used to be
considered a powerful tonic’. At 9 p.m. about a hundred men come
to shake the four mikoshi violently for one
and a half hours (i.e. the duration of the preliminaries of
a shishimai (i.e. ritual dance) is performed
for their benefit. They are thrown from the platform (that is the actual
and each mikoshi is taken back to its own
shrine. The child-kami that was born [is] Kamo-waka-ikozuchi-no-kami”.
Roman: CERES; The Cerealia, Third Day.
Third Day of the Festival.
Roman: CERES; The Cerealia, Fourth
TELLUS, The Earth. (Seyffert, Dict.)
“Tellus. The Italian deity of mother-earth,
often called tellus mater. [A feast] was held on the 15th of April to
plenty during the year, and was celebrated
under the management of the pontifices and the Vestal Virgins, partly on
in the thirty curiae, and partly outside the
(Fell. of Isis Dir.)
“April 15th: Tellus. The Earth Goddess.
Conservation. Respect for the environment. Veneration for the Earth
VENUS. (Ovid. Fasti,
IV. 629 and
6-73) “April 15th. When the third day shall
have dawned after the Ides of Venus ... This day once on a time Cytherea
commanded to go faster and hurried the
galloping horses down hill, that on the next day the youthful Augustus
the sooner the title of Emperor …” (Note by
Frazer) “Venus, as the ancestress of the Julian house, is made
to hasten the sun’s setting on April 15th.”
Roman: CERES; The Cerealia, Fifth Day.
Roman: CERES; The Cerealia, Sixth Day.
Roman: CERES; The Cerealia, Seventh Day.
Roman: CERES; The Cerealia, Last Day. (Lempriere, Dict.)
“Cerealia, festivals in honour of Ceres;
first instituted at Rome by Memmius the edile; and celebrated on the
April ... They are the same as the
Thesmophoria of the Greeks”. (Rose, O.C.D.)
“Ceres … The occurrence of the Cerealia [19th April] on the calendars and the existence of a flamen Cerialia testify to the antiquity of Ceres’ cult at Rome”.
(Philocalus, Kal. anno 353) “April 19. Cerealici.”
Sun enters Taurus (tropical).
Roman: PALES: The Palilia, The
Parilia. (Lempriere, Dict.)
“Palilia, a festival celebrated by the Romans,
in honour of the goddess Pales ... This
festival was observed on the 21st of April, and it was during the
Romulus first built his city. (Ovid. Met. and Fasti.,
Propert. Tibull.).” (Frazer, on Ovid, Fasti,
p. 411) “The festival of
the Parilia on the 21st of April is marked
PAR in the Caeretan, Maffeian, and Praenestine calendars. The name is
that of the divinity Pales, in whose honour
the festival was celebrated. Hence the more correct, though less usual,
the name of the festival was Palilia”.
(Varro, Ling. Lat.
“The Palilia ‘Festival of Pales’ was named
from Pales, because it is a holiday in her honour, like the Cerialia,
named from Ceres”.
IV, 721) “April 21st. Night
has gone, and Dawn rises. I am called upon to
sing of the Parilia and not in vain shall be the call if kindly Pales
me. O kindly Pales, favour me when I sing of
pastoral rites, if I pay my respects to thy festival ... Sure it is I
over the flames ranged three in a row, and
the moist laurel-bough has sprinkled water on me …
people, go fetch materials for fumigation
from the Virgins’ altar. Vesta will give them; by Vesta’s gift ye shall
be pure Shepherd, do thou purify the well-fed
sheep at fall of twilight; first sprinkle the ground with water. Deck
with leaves and branches fastened to it.
Adorn the door and cover it with a long festoon. Make blue smoke with
and let the sheep, touched with the smoking
sulphur, bleat. Burn ... olives and pine and savines, and let the singed
crackle in the midst of the hearth. And let a
basket of millet accompany cakes of millet; the rural goddess
in that food. Add viands, and a pail of milk,
such as she loves; and when the viands have been cut up, pray to Sylvan
offering warm milk to her. Say, ‘O, take
thought alike for the cattle and the cattle’s masters; ward off from
my stalls all harm. O let it flee away! If I
have fed my sheep in holy ground, or sat me down under a hallowed tree
the nymphs and the half-goat god have been
put to flight at sight of me; if my pruning-knife has robbed a holy
copse of a
shady bough ... pardon my fault ... forgive
it, nymphs, if the trampling of hoofs has made your waters turbid. Do
appease for us the springs and their
divinities; appease the deities dispersed through every grove ... Drive
far away all
diseases: may men and beasts be hale, and
hale too the sagacious pack of watch-dogs. May I drive home my flocks as
as they were at morn ... Avert dire hunger.
Let grass and leaves abound, and water both to wash and drink. Full
I milk; may my cheese bring me in money; may
the sieve of wicker-work give passage to the liquid whey ... And let the
grow so soft that it could not fret the skin
of girls nor chafe the tenderest hands. May my prayer be granted, and we
year by year make great cakes for Pales, the
shepherds’ mistress! With such things is the goddess to be propitiated;
these things pronounce four times, facing the
east, and wash thy hands in living dew. Then mayest thou get thee a
to serve as mixer, and mayest quaff the
snow-white milk, and purple must; anon leap with nimble foot arid
across the burning heaps of crackling straw”.
(Silvius, Kal. anno
448) “April 21 Parilia, dicta de partus Iliae”.
p. 411) “The Parilia ... The day was naturally a popular holiday,
especially for the young. Athenaeus describes
how a learned discussion was suddenly interrupted by a great uproar, in
the shrill music of fifes, the clash of
cymbals, and the rub-a-dub of drums were blent with singing into a
of sound; it was the people rejoicing at the
coming of the Parilia ...
“The festival was essentially a rustic
rite observed by shepherds and husbandmen for
the good of their flocks and herds. This is well brought out by Ovid”.
p. 412) “In Eastern Europe many analogous rites have been performed
down to recent times, and probably still are
performed for the same purpose, by shepherds and herdsmen on St.
Day, the 23rd of April, only two days after
the Parilia, with which they may well be connected by descent from a
observed by pastoral Aryan peoples in the
415) “On St. George’s Day, which is the
modern equivalent of the Parilia, Southern Slavonian peasants crown
cows with wreaths of flowers ... in the
evening the wreaths are taken from the cows and fastened to the door of
where they remain throughout the year till
the next St. George’s Day. With the offerings (Ovid, IV. 745) and the
that accompanied them at the Parilia we may
compare the ritual which herdsmen in the Highlands of Scotland used to
and the prayers which they used to utter at
Beltane, the festival which is the Celtic analogue of the Italian
In this (i.e. Pennant’s) account of the
Beltane festival the spilling of the caudle (composed partly of milk) on
ground answers to the offering of milk to
Pales, and the Highland herdsman’s prayer to the being who preserved his
and herds corresponds to the prayer which the
Italian shepherd addressed to Pales, as we learn from the following
Ovid. Tibullus tells us that it was his wont
to purify his shepherd every year and to sprinkle Pales with milk,
no doubt to the libation of milk to the
goddess at the Parilia. Perhaps Ovid’s expression, ‘when the viands have
been cut up’, is explained by the Beltane
custom, described by Pennant, of breaking a cake of oatmeal in pieces
throwing the bits over the shoulder as
offerings to the 88 preservers or destroyers of the flocks and herds.
Among the viands
so cut up at the Parilia were no doubt
included the millet cakes mentioned by Ovid in a previous line. These
the Italian shepherd,
like the Highland herdsman, may have broken
and thrown over his shoulder as an offering to Pales. Certainly the
an important part of the festival.”
(id. Golden Bough abgd. p. 360)
“A similar (i.e. as at Easter) displacement of two days in the adjustment of Christian to heathen
celebrations occurs, in the festivals of St. George and the Assumption of the Virgin”.
(Warde Fowler cited
by Stobart, The Grandeur that was Rome,
p. 37) On the prayer offered at the Parilia,
“The position (i.e. looking to the East), the
holy water, and the prayer in its substance, though now addressed to
Virgin, have all descended to the Catholic
Shepherds of the Campagna”.
DEA ROMA; Natalis Urbis Romae, The Foundation Day of Rome, The Romaea. (Ovid, Met.
XIV, 774) “the walls of Rome are built during the joyful festival of Pales.” (Cicero, De Div. II. xlvii) “our good
friend Lucius Tarutius of Firmum, who was steeped in Chaldaic lore, made
a calculation, based on the assumption that
our city’s birthday was on the Parilia ... and from that calculation
went so far as to assert that Rome was born
when the moon was in the sign of Libra and from that fact unhesitatingly
her destiny”. (Plutarch, Lives, Romulus) “As
for the day they began to build the city, it is universally agreed
to have been the twenty-first of April, and
that day the Romans annually keep holy, calling it their country’s
... Yet before ever the city was built, there
was a feast of herdsmen and shepherds kept on this day, which went by
(Seyffert, Dict. Pales)
on the Parilia: “After
the second century of our Era the festival
was combined with that of Dea Roma, and was celebrated as her birthday
processions and Circensian games, which
continued till the 5th century”.
(Philocalus, Kal. anno 354) “April 21 N. Urbis. )Silvius, Kal. anno 448) Natalis urbis Romae …” April 21. Natalis urbis
(Perp. Fest. Cal.) “April 21st. Foundation of the City of Rome”.
VENUS. (Seyffert, Dict.,
Roma) “Between the old Forum and the Colosseum
Hadrian erected a handsome double temple in
honour of Roma and Venus, as ancestress of the Roman people. This was
on April 21st, the day of the foundation of
Rome and the festival of the Parilia”.
Sicilian and Graeco-Roman: ASTARTE, TANITH, APHRODITE and VENUS ERYCINA.
See under Venus (Ovid).
See under Venus (Ovid).
VENUS: The Vinalia
Priora, in honour of Jupiter and Venus. (Seyffert, Dict.)
on the two Vinalia
festivals: “Vinalia . (1) on April 23rd
(Vinalia priora), when the wine of the previous year was broached, and a
from it poured on the sod; and (2) on August
19th (Vinalia rustica) ... With
festivals was associated the worship of
Venus, who, as goddess of gardens, had vineyards also under her
(Ovid, Fasti, iv. 863) “April 23rd. I have told of Pales, I will
now tell of the festival of the
but there is one day interposed between the two. Ye wenches of the
celebrate the divinity of Venus: Venus
favours the earnings of ladies of a liberal profession. Offer incense
and pray for
beauty and popular favour; pray to be
charming and witty; give to the Queen her own myrtle and the mint she
loves, and bands
of rushes hid in clustered roses. Now is the
time to throng her temple next the Colline gate; the temple takes its
the Sicilian hill ... Venus was transferred
(i.e. from Eryx) to Rome in obedience to an oracle of the long-lived
chose to be worshipped in the city of her own
offspring. You ask, why then do they call the Vinalia a festival of
why does that day belong to Jupiter?” Ovid
then recalls how a vow of wine made to Jupiter led to the marriage of
to Lavinia, Queen Amata’s daughter.
Roman: ROBIGO, The Robigalia.
(Lempriere, Dict.) “Robigo, or Rubigo, a goddess of Rome, particularly worshipped
by husbandmen, as she presided over corn. Her festivals called Robigalia,
on the 25th of April, and incense was offered
to her . . She was intreated to preserve the corn from blight”.
on Ovid, Fasti, p. 420) “The Festival of the
Robigalia ... is recorded under the twenty-fifth of April in the
Caeretan, Maffeian, and Praenestine
calendars; and the date of the festival is further confirmed by the
testimony of Festus,
Pliny and Servius”.
IV 901) “April 25th. When
April shall have six days left, the season of
spring will be in mid course ... On that day, as I was returning from
to Rome, a white- robed crowd blocked the
middle of the road. A flamen was on his way to the grove of ancient
Mildew (Robigo) … Straightway I
went up to him to inform myself of the rite. Thy flamen,
O Quirinus, pronounced these words: ‘Thou
scaly Mildew, spare the sprouting corn, and let the smooth top quiver on
surface of the ground. O let the crops,
nursed by the heaven’s propitious stars, grow till they are ripe for the
No feeble power is thine ... Grip not the
tender crops, but rather grip the hard iron. Forestall the destroyer.
thou shouldst gnaw at swords and baneful
weapons. There is no need of them: the world is at peace. Now let the
the rakes and the hard hoe, and the curved
share be burnished bright; but let rust tarnish the arms, and when one
draw the sword from the scabbard, let him
feel it stick from long disuse …’ On his right hand hung a napkin.
with a loose nap, and he had a bowl of wine
and a casket of incense”.
Roman: FLORA. (Silvius, Kal. anno- 448) “April 27.
Floria.” See also under April 28.
English: MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT, Pioneer of Women’s independence; author. Born April 27th 1759.
Roman: FLORA; The Floralia, First Day. (Seyffert, Dict.)
“Flora ... A goddess, originally Sabine, of
the spring and of flowers and blossoms in general, to whom prayers were
offered for the prospering of the ripe fruits
of the field and tree. She was also regarded as a goddess of the flower
and its pleasures. Her worship was said to
have been introduced into, Rome by the Sabine King Titus Tatius, and her
priest, the Flamen Floralia, to have been appointed by Numa ... a theatrical festival,
was instituted (i.e. in 238 before this era) at the behest of the
books. At this feast the men decked
themselves and their animals with flowers, especially roses; the women
put aside their
usual costume, and wore gay dresses. The
scene was one of unretrained merriment. From 173 (before this era) the
a standing one, and lasted six days, from
April 28, the anniversary of the foundation of the temple, to May 3. For
five days of the games, for the
superintendence of which the curule aediles were responsible, there were
largely consisting of very lewd farces called
mimes. The people were regaled during the games with porridge, peas and
“Flora was in later times identified with the Greek Chloris”.
(Ovid, Fasti, IV. 943) “April 28th.
When the spouse of Tithonus (i.e. Aurora) ... thrice has lifted up her
light in the vast firmament, there comes a
goddess decked with garlands of a thousand varied flowers, and the stage
a customary licence of mirth. The rites of
Flora also extend into the Calends of May. Then I will resume the
(Ausonius, Ecl. XXIII. 25) “On the
Roman Festivals (2nd half of 4th cent.) ... Shall I tell also of ... the merry rites of Flora held in the lascivious
theatre-rites which they long to see who declare they never longed to see them?”
(Augustine, De Civ. Dei, 11, 27) “Cicero
was a serious-minded man and by way of being a philosopher. When he was
entering on the aedileship he shouted out, in
the hearing of the whole citizen body, that among the other duties of
it fell to him to propitiate Mother Flora
(note by Knowles: ‘Cic., 2 Verr. 2, 5, 14’) by the holding of games.”
FLORA or ANDRONICA. (Spenser, The Shepheards
Calendar March, Glosse) “Flora, the
Goddess of flowers, but indede (as saith Tacitus) a famous harlot, which
... having gotten great riches, made the
people of Rome her heyre: who, in remembraunce of so great beneficence,
a yearly feste for the memoriall of her,
calling her, not as she was, nor as some doe think, Andronica,
but Flora; making her the Goddesse of floures.”
VESTA (Ovid, Fasti,
IV. 949) “April 28th … O Vesta, take thy day! Vesta has been received
in the home of her kinsman ... Phoebus owns
part of the house; another part has been given to Vesta; what remains is
by Caesar himself”. (Commentary by Frazer)
“When Augustus was made Pontifex Maximus ... he built a chapel to Vesta
in his own house on the Palatine, and
dedicated it on April 28th, which was made a public holiday”.
Roman: FLORA; The Floralia, Second Day.
Roman: ACCA LARENTIA, LAURENTIA; The Lares. The Laurentalia. (Lempriere,
Dict.) “Laurentalia, certain festivals celebrated at Rome in honour of Laurentia,
on the last day of April and the 23rd of December”.
(Plutarch, Lives, Romulus)
On Acca Larentia, foster-mother of Romulus
and Remus: “To her the Romans make offerings, and in the month of April
priest of Mars makes libations there (i.e.
the fig-tree); it is called the Larentian Feast”.
FLORA; The Floralia, Third Day. (Philocalus, Kal. anno, 354) “April
30. Ludi florales”.
Oidhche Bhealtaine, Bealtaine Eve, May Eve. For the Bealtaine Eve fires, see under
May 1st: Bealtaine (Joyce).
Vol. II. p. 694) On Spanish and Portuguese dolmens; “The
last day of April was also a time set apart
for the cultus of the dead. At a short distance to the eastward of the
into the passage of the dolmen of Equilaz [in
Alava], the ground shows signs of having been subjected to the action
This fact is accounted for, says Signor
Antonio Pirala, in the locality, by the bonfires which used to be
lighted on the last
day of April at the tombs in honour of the
“April 30th. May Day Eve. The day for children to gather spring
flowers and hang May baskets. This is the Eve
of Beltaine, the ancient Celtic May Day festival, when great bonfires
and the cattle were blessed”.
Celtic: Welsh. THE MARE OF GWENT IS-COED. (The Mabinogion,
p. 19) on Teyrnon Twryf Liant:
“throughout his kingdom there was neither
horse nor mare more handsome than she. And every May-eve she foaled.”
General: THE WITCHES; Great Sabbat. See
under February 1st, and below: Walpurgis Night.
English-German: ST. WALPURGIS; Walpurgis Night. (Brewer, Dict.)
Night. The eve of May Day, when the old pagan
witch-world was supposed to hold high revelry ... on certain high
Brocken of Germany was a favourite spot for
these revelries”. (Bayard Taylor on Goethe’s Faust, p. 226)
“Walpurgis-night ... The title and character of the Witches, ‘Sabbath on
of the Brocken, on the night between April
30th and May 1st, spring equally from the old and the new religion.
Walpurga, which is the most usual form of the
name) was the sister of Saints Willibald and Wunnibald, and emigrated
from England to Germany . . in the eight
century … as Abbess of a Convent at Heidenheim, in Franconia [she]
one of the most popular saints, not only in
Germany, but also in Holland and England. The 1st of May, which was
given to her
in the calendar, was the ancient festival-day
of the Druids”. (id. p. 227)
Lewes ... says: ‘The scene on the Blocksberg
is part of the old legend, and is to be found in many versions of the
play’ … The carnival of the witches on the
Blocksberg is a much older tradition than that of Faust”.
(Farrar, What Witches Do,
p. 96) “St. Walburga was a Sussex-born woman
saint who emigrated to Germany .
Interestingly ... Walburg is an old Teutonic name for the Earth Mother”.
(Doreen Valiente, ABC of Witchcraft,
p. 47) “The Brocken, also called the
Blocksberg, was the most famous meetingplace
of witches in Europe ... One wild story even claimed that here on
(30th April or May Eve), was held the Grand
Coven of all the witch-leaders of Europe.
“In the eighteenth
century German map-makers usually added to
any map of the Hartz Mountains, of which the Brocken is the highest
peak, a few
witches flying on broomstick towards its
summit. One of these old maps, drawn by L. S. Bestehorn and published in
in 1751, is particularly interesting. The map
also contains a short description of the Brocken, which states that at
of the Mountain is the famous ‘Witches’
Ground’, where the Sabbats take place, and close to it an altar,
which was formerly consecrated to a pagan
god. There was also a spring of water here, and both the spring and
altar were used
in the witches ceremonies ... It is evidently
an old sacred mountain, on the summit of which pre-Christian rites took
“In Pomerania, there were several high places known as the Blocksberg; and the Swedish witches called
this meeting-place Blocula”.
(The Cauldron, Lammas
1980, p. 8) on
the Bonn festival: “Every year a summer fete
is held at a park near the Chancellery organized by the ruling
and this year he decided on a witch theme.
Its title was the Bonn Walpurgis Night. It was supposed to be based on
of revelry held on the Brocken mountain top
in medieval times on St. Walpurgis Night ... At the fete in Bonn there
galore, fortune-tellers trying to predict the
outcome of the elections next October, and guests wearing masks gave it
a carnival atmosphere”.
CATHERINE of Siena, born 1347. (Irish Catholic Dir.) “April 30. St. Catherine
of Siena, Virgin”. (Perp. Fest. Cal.) “April 30th. Catherine of Siena,
Greek: BAUBO. Hebrew: LILITH. (Goethe, Faust, Part 1. Scene xxi, Walpurgis-Night):
Witches (in chorus)
“The witches ride to the Brocken’s top,
The stubble is yellow, And green the crop,
There gathers the crowd for carnival …
“Then honour to whom the honour is due!
Dame Baubo first, to lead the crew!
A tough old sow and the
Then follow the witches, every one …
“But who is that?
her especially ... ‘Tis Lilith
Adam’s first wife is she …”
Note: (Shuttle and Redgrove,
The Wise Wound,
p. 205) “ ‘Sowishness’ is a German slang term for
the period ... Erich Neumann in Origins says,
‘The image of Isis sitting with wide-open legs on a pig carries the
via Crete and Asia Minor, to Greece’. The
female genitals in Greek and Latin are called (‘pig’ ... Baubo,
whose ‘obscene dance’ cheered the mourning
Goddess and made her laugh, appearing even ‘in the supreme mystery
of Eleusis’ ”.
(Note by Bayard
Taylor) “Burton, in his ‘Anatomy of Melancholy’ says:
‘The Talmudists say that Adam had a wife
called Lilis before he married Eve’ ... Lilith devoted herself to
Lilatu or Lilit appears earlier as an
(Perp. Fest. Cal.) “April 30. Departed Kindred”.
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