Goddesses of the Calendar
DEMETER and PERSEPHONE; Roman: CERES and PROSERPINA; The Greater
Eleusinian Mysteries, Last Day. (Lempriere, Dict.) “Eleusinia ... The 9th and last day of the festival was called Plémo Choai, earthen vessels”.
“The last day of the Great Mysteries at
Eleusis was devoted to plenty in its liquid form. This was the day ...
Plemochoai, the ‘pourings of plenty’. So
called, also, were the two unstable circular vases that were set up for
this ceremony. The writer who is our source
on this point (Athenaios 496 B) cites a line from a tragedy according to
the Plemachoai were poured into a cleft in
the earth, a chthonion chasma …
One vessel was set up in the east, and the
other on the west side, and both were overturned. The liquid with which
been filled is not named”.
(Enc. Brit. 1810 ed. Mysteries)
“Numerous and important were the
advantages supposed to redound to the
initiated, from their being admitted to partake of the mysteries (i.e.
both in this life and that which is to come. First, They were
highly honoured, and even revered, by their
contemporaries. Indeed, they were looked upon as a kind of sacred
were, in reality, consecrated to Ceres and
Proserpine. Secondly, They were obliged by their oath to practice every
religious, moral, political, public, and
private. Thirdly, They imagined, that sound advice and happy measures of
were suggested to the initiated by the
Eleusinian goddesses ... Fourthly, The initiated were imagined to be the
of the Eleusinian goddesses. These deities
were supposed to watch over them, and often to avert impending danger,
and to rescue
them when beset with troubles ... Fifthly,
The happy influences of the teletae, were supposed to administer
the Epoptae, in the hour of dissolution; for
says Isocrates, ‘Ceres bestowed upon the Athenians two gifts of the
importance; the fruits
of the earth, which were the cause of
our no longer leading a savage course of
life; and the teletae, for they who partake of these entertain more
both at the end of life and eternity
afterwards’ ... Sixthly, After death, in the Elysian fields, they were
superior degrees of felicity …”
Ranae, Act I. sc. i, ancient paraphrase) “The Chorus of the Initiated:
“Let us to flowr’y meads repair,
With deathless roses blooming,
Whose balmy sweets impregn
the air, Both hills and dales perfuming.
Fate benign our choir has join’d We’ll trip in mystic measure;
In sweetest harmony combin’d We’ll quaff full draughts of pleasure.
For us alone the pow’r of day A
milder light dispenses;
And sheds benign a mellow’d
ray To cheer our ravish’d senses:
we beheld the mystic show, And brav’d Eleusis’ dangers.
We do and know the deeds we owe To neighbours, friends and strangers”.
Roman: FIDES. (Seyffert, Dict.) “Fides ... As Fides Pulbica, or Honour of the People, this goddess had a temple on the Capitol, founded
by King Numa, to which the flamines
of Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus rode in a covered
chariot on the 1st of October. At the
offering they had their right hands wrapped up to the fingers with white
meaning of the covered chariot was that
honour could not be too carefully protected; of the covered right hand,
that the right
hand, the seat of honour, should be kept pure
and holy. The goddess was represented with outstretched right hand and a
veil. Her attributes were ears of corn and
fruits, joined hands, and a turtle-dove”.
(Perp. Fest. Cal.) “October 1. Fides, Faithfulness”.
(Fell. of Isis Dir.) “October 1st: Fides. Loyalty”.
General: The Guardian Angels. (Irish Catholic Dir.) “October
2nd ... Angels Guardian”. (Perp. Fest. Cal.) “October 2nd. All Angels”.
See also under September 29th.
Roman: MEDITRINA, The
Meditrinalia. (Varro, Ling. Lat.
VI. 21) “In the month of October [is]
the Meditrinalia, ‘Festival of Meditrina’ ...
on this day it was the practice to pour an offering of old and new
wine … and to taste of the same, for the
purpose of being healed; which many are accustomed to do even now, when
‘Wine new and old I drink, of illness new and old I’m cured’.”
Note by Kent: “On. October 3: Meditrina, Goddess of Healing”. See also under September
30th and October 11th.
French: ST. THERESA OF
LISIEUX. (Irish Catholic Dir.) “October 3rd. S. Teresa …
and CERES; Jejunium Cereris. (Rose, O.C.D.)
“Fasting ... in the sense
of abstinence from all food for a stated
time, such as a day, is very rare in classical religions, both Greek and
the ieiunium Cereris
at Rome (Livy 36. 37.
4-5) was instituted by advice of the
Sibylline Books, and therefore belongs to the Greek, not the native cult
of that goddess”.
(Seyffert, Dict.) “Ceres ... After 191 (before this era) a fast, ieiunium Cereris, was introduced by command of the Sibylline books. This was originally observed every four
years, but in later times was kept annually on the 4th of October”.
II. liii) from a letter to his brother, Flavian, written at the end of
4th century of this era: “But when the
festivals (feriae) have ended, regard as part of your luxuries the
you are forced to have, as companions of your
fast”. Commentary by Callu: “D. N. Robinson (An Analysis of the Pagan Revival of the Late Fourth Century. TAPhA, 46, 1916 p. 87-101) interprets this fast
as that which was observed in honour of Ceres on the 4th October of each year: G. Wissowa, Religion
und Kultus der Romer, 2nd ed. Munich, 1912, p. 301)”.
Italian: ST. CLARE. (Fell.
of Isis Dir.) “October 4th: St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare. World Day for Animals. Care for all creatures”.
Roman: CERES; The Underworld Deities; MANIA and the Manes;
Second Day of the Opening of the Mundus Cereris. See under August 24th.
(Perp. Fest. Cal.) “October 5th. Departed ancestors”.
Graeco-Roman and Jewish:
AURA PLACIDA; THE HOLY SPIRIT; SOPHIA; SEPHIRA. (Helena Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Vol. 1. p. 160) “the female Aura or Anima Mundi ‘the holy Pneuma’ … is the Sephira of
the Kabalists and the Sophia of the refined Gnostics ... In the Dionysiacs of Nonnus, the god Bacchus, among other allegories, is represented as in love with the soft, genial
breeze (the Holy Pneuma) under the name of Aura Placida.
And now we will leave Godfrey
Higgins to speak: ‘When the [Christians] were
constructing their calendar, they made out of this gentle zephyr two
Catholic saints!!’ SS. Aura and Placida; -
nay, they even went so far as to transfer the jolly god into St. Bacchus
... The festival of the two ‘blessed saints’,
Aura and Placida, occurs on the 5th of October, close to the festival
of St. Bacchus. (Higgins: ‘Apocalypsis’; also
Aquitanian: ST. FAITH. (Church of England Cal.) “October 6th. Faith, (Aquitaine ... c.304) Virgin …”
OUR LADY OF VICTORIES. (Perp. Fest. Cal.) “October
7th. Our Lady of Victories”.
Roman: FELICITAS and VENUS VICTRIX. (Rose, O.C.D.) “Felicitas, a goddess
of good luck ... She is associated with ... the Genius Publicus and Venus Victrix on the Capitol (Fast. Amit., 9th October)”.
Roman: MEDITRINA; The Meditrinalia. (Rose, O.CD. Jupiter)
The festivals of Jupiter include the
“Meditrinalia on 11th October, where his connection with the goddess
is obscure (See Varro ... Festus ... Fasti Amiternini on 11th October)”. See
also under September 30th and October 3rd.
Jewish: THE VIRGIN MARY. (Irish Catholic Dir.) “October 11th. Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.. Preface of B.V.M. Et te in festivities”.
Our Lady's Dowry, p. 335) “In the list of relics in the Cathedral church
of the Holy Trinity (Christ Church), Dublin (Irish Arch. Soc. 1844) ... I find ‘Zona
B. Mariae Virginis; Item, de Lacte B. Marias Virginis …”
several places in England, as well as on the
Continent, relics of the Blessed Virgin’s milk were venerated ...
Apostolic Commissary ... tells us that not
far from the grotto of the Nativity and the church of the Blessed
Virgin, at Bethlehem,
there is another subterranean grotto, or
rather three together ... An old tradition says that here the Blessed
herself with the Infant Jesus, and that some
drops of milk falling from her breast gave miraculous virtue to the rock
they fell ...
exactly corresponds to
the description given by Erasmus in his
account of his pilgrimage to Walsingham. He says that the milk was kept
and placed on the high altar ... that it was
dried up, and looked like ground chalk mixed with white of egg ... the
that he offered is pious: ‘O, Virgin Parent,
who with thy maiden breast hast given milk to thy son Jesus ... we
thee that ... we may also attain to that
happy childhood of simplicity which, guileless of malice, fraud, and
desires the true milk until it grows into the
perfect man …’ ”
Roman: FORTUNA REDUX. (Leland, Etruscan
Roman Remains, p. 70) “Fortuna Redux
[is] ‘the goddess of happy journeys, and of prosperous returns, to
whom, after the long absence of the Emperor
Augustus, altars, temples ... were ordained’. When Augustus (19 before
era) returned, October 12th, from a long
absence in Asia, this day was appointed for an annual celebration of the
an altar raised, which was consecrated on the
15th of the following December”.
Portuguese: OUR LADY OF FATIMA; Last of the series of Apparations in 1917.
(Olivia Robertson, The Call of Isis,
p. 125) “The Greater Eleusinian Mystery
was, I believe, manifested at Fatima. Here we
have people seeing a Golden Disc bringing from the sky the apparition
of a woman
robed in white. The visions were shown to
three children, and occurred on each thirteenth of the month, from May
so including the ancient dates of the
Mysteries of the Goddesses. At the culmination in October, seventy
saw a sun disc revolve and show spectroscopic
change; they called it ‘the dancing sun’.”
(Lucy of Fatima, 1961, quoted by Steiger, Gods of Aquarius, p. 67) “It
is already time that each one of us accomplishes holy deeds of his own
and reforms his life according to Our Lady’s
appeal ... She told me that when the other means are exhausted and
by men, She is giving us the last anchor of
salvation, that is the Holy Virgin in person …”
Spanish: ST.THERESA OF AVILA. (Irish Catholic Dir.) “October 15th. St. Theresa, Virgin”. Born in 1515. (Church of England Cal.) “October 15. Teresa of Avila, Mystic, 1582”.
Irish: ST. CERA. (Smith, County and
City of Cork, Vol. 1. p.173) “Kilcrea signifies ‘the cell of St. Cera’, whose festivals are celebrated
on the 16th of October and 5th of January”. October 16th is the date of her birth.
English: ST. ETHELDREDE. (Church of
England Cal.) “October 17th. Etheldrede, Virgin (Ely, 679) Queen, Abbess”.
Japanese: The Shinto Deities.
(Chamberlain, Things Japanese, p. 157) Festivals. The holidays officially observed
are ... October 17th - offering of first fruits to the Shinto gods”.
Tibetan: (Perp. Fest. Cal.) “October 17th.
Tibetan Festival of Departed Worthies, lasting until the 23rd”.
PANDROSUS. (Perp. Fest. Cal.) “October
18. Pandrosos .. first priestess of Minerva”. (Fell. of Isis Dir.) “October
18th. Pandrosos … first priestess of Pallas Athena”.
Roman: SPES and JUVENTUS. (Mattingly, O.C.D.) “Spes ... (cf. supplicatio Spei et Juventuti, 18th October,
for the toga virilis of Augustus). She bears an opening flower, and catches up her
skirt as if in haste”.
Spanish: OUR LADY OF GARABANDAL. See under November 13th.
Sun enters Scorpio (tropical)
Japanese: KASHIKIYA-HIME, The Empress SUIKO. (Perp.
Fest. Cal. and Fell. of Isis Dir.) “October 27th. Empress Suiko”.
Succeeded in 593 of this era. (The Nihongi,
Book XXII. I) “The Empress Toyo-mike
Kashiki-ya-hime (Suiko Tenyo) ... Her
appearance was beautiful and her conduct was marked with propriety”.
Egyptian: HATHOR. (Perp.
Fest. Cal.) “October 28. Hathor, Aspect of the World Mother”. (Fell. of
Isis Dir.) “October 28th: Hathor. Love. Beauty, Joy. Motherly Warmth. Respect for cows and care of all beings.
Poetry, and all the arts.” See also under Goddesses of the month.
ISIS; The Isia, The Zetesis and Heuresis, First Day. (Witt, Isis
in Graeco-Roman World, p. 180) “We have only to glance at the Calendar of Philocalus to ascertain that besides
the Isidis Navigium in March the six-day ceremony of the Search and Discovery (Zetesis and Heuresis) took place in October, ending
with the Hilaria on 3rd November”.
(Plutarch, De Iside et Osiride,
366, D) “They say,
then, that the disappearance of Osiris
occurred in the month of Athyr ... As the nights grow longer, the
and the potency of the light is abated and
subdued. Then among the gloomy rites which the priests perform, they
gilded image of a cow with a black linen
vestment, and display her as a sign of mourning for the goddess,
inasmuch as they
regard both the cow and the earth as the
image (eikón) of Isis; and this is continued for four days
See also under November 13th.
(Witt, Isis in Graeco-Roman World, p.
162) “From the account given us by Plutarch, it is clear that the
and Finding’ of the body of Osiris ... was in
his day not so much a hidden mystery as a public performance ... We may
plausibly believe that the ritual of the
‘Seeking and Finding’ was elaborated in the Ptolemaic age in conformity
with the closer associations between Isis and
Demeter. We must remember, however, that it was not conducted in strict
for it was an undisguised pageant of the
resurrection of Osiris performed by Isis, a drama out of doors”.
(Philocalus, Kal. anno
354) “October 28th. Isia …”
Egyptian: ISIS; The Isia, The Zetesis and Heuresis, Second Day. (Philocalus, Kal.)
“October 29th ... Isia”.
Egyptian: ISIS; The Isia, The Zetesis and Heuresis, Third Day. (Philocalus, Kal.)
“October 30th ... Isia”.
Egyptian: ISIS and NEPHTHYS; The Isia, The Zetesis and Heuresis, Fourth Day. (Philocalus,
Kal.) “October 31 ... Isia”. (Fellowship
of Isis Dir.) “October 31st-November 3rd. Mystery of Isis and Osiris, 31st: The Search for Osiris by Isis”.
(Larson, Rel. of
Occident, p. 178) “We know that Isis,
like Demeter, had two great festivals, one in the spring and another in
the fall ... The autumnal celebration ...
consisted of a passion play which continued for four days; although the
in different places, it usually began on
October 31st, and ended on November 3rd. On the first day, actors
Nephythys, Anubis, Horus, etc., searched for
the body of Osiris”.
Celtic: Oidhche Shamhna, Samhain Eve, November Eve, First
of the Three Days of Samhain,
Oidhche Alamaise. (Dinneen, Dict. Samhain) “… Oichche Shamhna,
All-Hallow Eve, Oidhche Alamaise (i.e. festivity), id.” (Book of the Dun Cow, from the Yellow Book of Slane, cited by Joyce,
Soc. Hist. Ireland,
Vol. 11. p. 438) The text refers to “the period of time
which the Ultonians devoted to the holding of
the fair of Samain in the plain of Murthemne (i.e., the level part of
Louth) every year: and nothing whatever was
done by them during that time but games and races, pleasure and
and feasting: and it is from this
circumstance that the Trenae Samna (‘three
days of Samain’) are still observed throughout Erin”.
(The Druids Cal.) “October
31st. All Hallows’ Eve. All Celtic feasts begin on
their eve ... its activities still mark it as
one of the great ‘spirit nights’ of the Celtic peoples”. (Fell. of Isis Dir.) “October 31st Samhain Eve”.
Irish: ECHTGE and THE
FOUR TUATHA-DE-DANANN WOMEN. (Yeats, Mythologies, p. 220) on the journey of
Red Hanrahan on Samhain Night:
“And he could
walk no longer, but sat down on the heather where he was, in the heart of Slieve Echtge …
after a while he took notice that there was a door close to him,
and a light coming from it, and he wondered
that being so close to him he had not seen it before. And he rose up,
as he was he went in at the door, and
although it was. night-time outside, it was daylight he found within.
he met with an old man that had been
gathering summer thyme and yellow flag-flowers, and it seemed as if all
the sweet smells
of summer were with him …
“And with that he brought him into a very big shining house, and every
grand thing that
had ever heard of, and every
colour he had even seen, was in it. There was
a high place at the end of the house, and on it there was sitting in a
chair a woman, the most beautiful the world
ever saw, having a long pale face and flowers about it, but she had the
look of one that had been long waiting. And
there were sitting on the step below her chair four grey old women, and
of them was holding a great cauldron in her
lap; and another a great stone upon her knees, and heavy as it was it
to her; and another of them had a very long
spear that was made of pointed wood; and the last of them had a sword
without a scabbard.
the first of the
old women rose up, holding the cauldron
between her two hands, and she said, ‘Pleasure’ ... Then the second old
woman rose up with the stone in her hands,
and she said, ‘Power’; and the third old woman rose up with a spear
in her hand, and she said, ‘Courage’; and the
last of the old women rose up having the sword in her hands, and
she said, ‘Knowledge’ … And then the four old
women went out of the door, bringing their four treasures
with them …”
Note: (Moore, Hist. Ireland,
Vol. 1. p. 76) “the
Tuatha-De-Danaan ... became possessors ... of
certain marvellous treasures, among which were the Stone of Destiny,
spear and the magic cauldron”. A fourth
treasure is listed by Macalister (Tara, p. 135) as the “invincible
The Stone of Destiny or Lia Fail, originally
the inauguration stone of the Irish monarchs at Tara, was later moved to
It is now in Westminster Abbey (Wood, Prim. Inhabitants Ireland, p. 23).
ENGLIC; The Games of Englic
and Oengus. (Borlase, Dolmens,
Vol. 11. p. 371) “In ‘Folk Lore’,
Vol. iii. p. 506, Dr. Whitley Stokes
translates a passage from a copy of the Dindshenchas ... ‘Englic ...
mac ind Oc, and she had not seen him. They
had a meeting of games there between Cletech and Sid in Broga. The
and fairy hosts of Ireland used to visit that
game every Halloween’.”
TLACHTGA. (Keating, Gen.
Hist. Ireland, p. 233) on King Tuathal
Teachtmhar, in the year 79 of this era: “he built the royal seat of
where the fire Tlachtga was ordained to be
kindled. The use of this sacred fire was to summon the priests, augurs,
of Ireland, to repair thither, and assemble
upon the eve of All Saints ... no other fire should be kindled upon that
throughout the kingdom, so that the fire that
was to be used in the country was to be derived from this holy fire”.
Offerings were also made “to their pagan
gods”. (Joyce, Soc. Hist. Ireland,
Vol. II. p. 440) “The meetings at Tlachtga
and Ushnagh ... seem to have been mainly pagan religious celebrations”.
(Anne Ross, Pagan Celtic Britain,
p. 227) “Tlachtga also had a feast dedicated
to her ... The local mother goddesses of
Ireland were then the patrons of the great seasonal feasts and
The Sidhe, The Fairies.
(Evans Wentz, Fairy-Faith, p. 288) on ancient Irish texts: “The first text (i.e.
the Tain) describes how Ailell and Medb in their palace of Cruachan celebrated the
feast of Samain
(November Eve, a feast of the dead even in pre-Christian times) ...
there is the same belief expressed as now
about November Eve being the time of all times when ghosts, demons,
fairies are free, and when fairies take
mortals and marry them to fairy women; also the beliefs that fairies are
secret places in hills, in caverns, or
underground palaces full of treasure and open only on, November Eve. In
so far as the
real fairies, the Sidhe, are concerned, they appear as the rulers of the Feast of
the Dead or Samain, as the controllers of all spirits who are then at large”.
(Joyce, Soc. Hist. Ireland,
Vol. 1. p. 264) “Shees
(i.e. fairy mounds) open at Samain. - On
Samain Eve ... all the fairy hills were thrown wide open; for Fe-fiada (i.e. spell for producing invisibility) was taken off : - ‘The Shees
of Erin were always open at Samain’, says the
ancient tale of ‘The Boyish Exploits of Finn’; ‘for
on [the eve of] that day it was impossible to
keep them in concealment’; and we read in the story of ‘Echtra Nerai’
- ‘They [the fairy host] will come on Samain
next; for the shees of Erin
are always open at Samhain’. While the shees
remained open that night, any mortals
who were bold enough to venture near might
get a peep into them: - ‘On one Samain Night [i.e. Samain Eve] Finn was
two shees: and he saw both of them open,
after the Fe-fiada had been taken off them;
and he saw a great fire in each of the duns, and heard persons talking in them’.
“No sooner was the Fe-fiada taken off, and the
doors thrown open than the inmates issued forth, and roamed where they
all over the country ... The superstition
that the fairies are abroad on Samain Night exists at the present day,
both in Ireland
and in Scotland”.
See also under November 1st:
(Evans Wentz, Fairy-Faith,
p. 218) on Breton customs; “Exactly as fairies, the
hosts of the dead are in possession of the
earth on November Eve, and the living are expected to prepare a feast
for them of curded-milk, hot pancakes, and
cider, served on the family table covered with a fresh white
table-cloth, and to
supply music. The Breton dead come to enjoy
this hospitality with their friends; and as they take their places at
the stools are heard to move, and sometimes
the plates ... Concerning this same feast of the dead (La Toussaint)
in his Barzaz Breiz
(p. 507) records that in many parts of Brittany libations of milk
are poured over the ancestral tombs -just as
in Ireland and Scotland libations of milk are poured to fairies ... The
peasant thinks of the dead as frequently as
the Irishman thinks of fairies”.
General: All Hallows Eve,
British: (Whistler, English Fest.
p. 198) “All Hallows Eve ...
This is a notable occasion, the Eve of the
Celtic New Year, and a Festival of Fire. Pagan and Christian uses were
intertwined at this season as at any in the
year. Bonfires were lit ... church bells rang throughout the night, and
was canvassed to reveal itself in
divinations, when pebbles were placed in the fire, apple peel formed
initials on the floor”.
Scottish: (Brewer, Dict.) “All Hallows’ Eve. The Scotch tradition is, that those born on All Hallows’
Eve have the gift of double sight”. See also under the Witches.
General: THE WITCHES. (Frazer, Golden Bough abgd. p. 634) on
Hallowe’en: “But it is not only the souls of the departed who are
supposed to be hovering unseen on the day
‘when autumn to winter resigns the pale year’. Witches then speed an
their errands ... some sweeping through the
air on besoms, others galloping along the roads an tabby-cats, which for
evening are turned into coal-black steeds.
The fairies, too, are all let loose, and hobgoblins of every sort roam
“Hallowe’en (October 31st), according to Scotch superstition,
is the time when witches, devils, fairies,
and other imps of earth and air hold annual holiday”. See also under
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