Juno Covella - August
Goddesses of the Calendar Month:
Celtic: Lúghnasa. (Dinneen, Dict.) “Lughnas, Lughnasa, the Kalends of August; the August or Harvest Games, held in honour of Lugh in ancient times, even on the continent, esp. at Lyons (Lugudunum); Mí Lughnasa, August, Lá Lughnasa, Lammas Day, the first of August; Oidhche Lughnasa, August Eve …”
Lá Bron Troghain, The Day of the Parturition. (Dineen, Dict.) “Troghan, parturition, sunrise (or sunset), August (O’Reilly), Autumn; earth (Révue Celt. xi. 442) ... Lá Bron Troghan, 1st August; mís troghain, August an early and cryptic word”.
THE EARTH GODDESS, THE EARTH MOTHER. (McLean, Fire Fest. pp. 20 and 22) “Lammas, or Lughnasad, the Celtic festival of the beginning of Autumn ... is thus the festival marking the transformation of the goddess into her Earth Mother aspect, and it seems likely, as with the Tailltenn Fair, that the sites most sacred at this time of the cycle were the mounds ... of the Earth Goddess”. (id. p. 21) on Lughnasad: “the community reflected on the reality that the Mother aspect of the Goddess, having come to fruition, from Lammas on would enter the Earth and slowly become transformed into the Old Woman -- Hecate-Cailleach aspect which would emerge as Samhain”.
Irish: CARMAN. (Joyce, Soc. Hist. Ireland, Vol. II. p. 441) “The Fair of Carman.” The people of Leinster held a provincial aenach at Carman or Wexford, once every three years, which began on Lughnasad (Loonasa) i.e. the first of August, and ended on the sixth ... if the fair was duly held, they were promised various blessings - plenty and prosperity, corn, milk, fruit ... in abundance; and freedom from subjection to any other province … Women played a conspicuous part in this fair, and of course in all others ... The women had aireachts of their own to discuss those subjects specially pertaining to women”. Note: (Borlase, Dolmens, Vol. III. p. 829) Carman and her three sons, according to this account, “came from Athens to Wexford”.
(Anne Ross, Pagan Celtic Britain, p. 226) on Irish festivals: “Another goddess, Carman, in whose honour a seasonal festival was established, exhibits to a marked degree the concept of the magical powers of the female as opposed to the physical force employed by the male Here we have a local goddess retained ... by an incoming race, and finally honoured by means of a seasonal feast”.
(The Dindshenchas, cited by Macalister, Tara, p. 157) on the fair of Carman:
(2) “Carman site of generous fair ...
(53) “When the harvest month began
After lapse of three years’ span,
Daily seeking victors’ praise,
Riders raced through seven days ...
(59) “Here is music - trumpet, horn,
Drum and pipe the Fair adorn;
Here is poetry - the bard
Seeks and gains his due reward.
(60,61) “Here romance - exhaustless theme!
Legends, vague as in a dream:
Here is wisdom - proverbs sage,
Satires, lore of seer and mage.
(62) “Here is history - tales of old,
Ever new, though often told”.
(Durdin-Robertson, Goddesses, Chald. p. 142) on the Fair of Carman: “The present Wexford (Loch Garman) Festival may be inspired from this source”. (Nicola Gordon Bowe quoted by Durdin-Robertson, Cult of the Goddess, p. 28) From the epilogue to the author’s lecture at the Wexford Festival, October 26th, 1974: “By participating in this Wexford Festival, a time honoured tradition is being kept alive. Enchantment and inspiration are fostered and so - perhaps - the Goddess is still with us”.
MACHA, Queen of Ireland; THE MACHAS. (Joyce, Soc. Hist. of Ireland, Vol. 11. p. 435) “In the Dinnsenchus, as well as in other authorities, we are told that Oenach Macha, i.e. the annual fair meeting at Emain (Note: Emain Macha, near Ard Macha or Armagh) was established [to commemorate] Queen Macha of the Golden Hair, who had founded the palace there (Book of Lecan)”.
(Anne Ross, Pagan Celtic Britain, p. 226) on the Feast of August 1st or Lugnasad: “The Machas likewise were associated with this feast”. Note: (id. p. 220) “The three Machas are, according to Irish literary tradition, Macha, wife of Nemed, Macha, wife of Crunnchu and Macha the Red”. The third Macha, Mongruadh, “of the Red (or Golden) Hair”, reigned as Queen of Ireland. Her date, according to Joyce, was 377 before this era.
TAILTIU, TAILTE. (Keating, Gen. Hist. Ireland, pp. 93 and 235) on the princess Tailte, of the family of Magh Mor, King of Spain: “Luighaidh Lamhfhada or the long-handed ... This prince first ordained the assembly of Tailtean in honour to the memory of Tailte ... she took care of the education of this Luighaidh, in his minority, and had him instructed in the maxims of government ... and accomplished him in polite learning ... in gratitude for the favours he had received, from the care and tuition of this lady, he instituted the assembly of Tailtean, and appointed tilts and tournaments as a tribute to her memory. Those warlike exercises resembled the old Olympic games, and were observed upon the first of August every year; a day which is still distinguished by the name of Lughnasa …” (Dinneen, Dict.) “Tailte, name of a ... chieftainess of the Fir Bolg ... foster-mother of Lugh from whom Cnoc Tailtean and Aonach Tailtean (the annual August games held in her honour in Lag an Aonaigh) are called ... here hurling matches, etc., were held up to recent times; marriage contracts were signed at the ancient aonach”. (Ware, cited by O’Brien, Round Towers, p. 392) “The Tailtenean sports ... were held every year at Talten, a mountain in Meath, for fifteen days before, and fifteen days after, the first of August”.
(Joyce, Soc. Hist. Ireland, Vol. II. p. 438) “The Fair of TailItenn, now Teltown on the Blackwater, midway between Navan and Kells, was attended by people from the whole of Ireland, as well as from Scotland, and was the most celebrated of all for its athletic games and sports: corresponding closely with the Olympic, Isthmian, and other games of Greece. It was held yearly on the 1st August, and on the days preceding and following. What vast numbers were congregated during these games will be seen from the Four Masters’ record of the last official Aenach held there [in] 1169, by Roderick O’Conor, king of Ireland, when the horses and chariots alone, exclusive of people on foot, extended in a continuous line from Tailltenn to Mullach-Aiti ... a distance of more than six English miles. This aenach was originally instituted, according to the old legend, by the De Dannan King Lugad, or Lug of the Long Arms, to ... commemorate his foster-mother Tailltiu ... Marriages formed a special feature of this fair ... All this is remembered in the tradition to the present day: and the people of the place point out the spot where the marriages were performed, which they call ‘Marriage Hollow’.”
(McLean, Fire Fests. p. 20) “Lammas or Lughnasad, the Celtic festival of the beginning of the autumn is recorded as being established by the Celtic God of light, Lugh, in honour of his foster mother, the Earth Goddess Tailltiu ... Thus we have a ritual of the withdrawal of the Mother Goddess into the Earth, an enactment in mythological symbol of the process of the ripening of the corn and fruits and their entering into the earth in autumn”.
British-Irish: NÁS and BÓI. (The Dindshenchas of Nás, cited by Borlase, Dolmens, Vol. II p. 370) on the two sisters, Nás and Bói, of the family of the British prince Ruadri: “Nás and Bói ... were the two wives of Lugh ... Lugh gathered the hosts of the Gaels (Gaidel) from Tailtiu to Fiad in Broga, ‘the land of the Brugh’ [to commemorate] those women on the first day of August in each year; so thence was the nasad, “assembly”, of Lugh, whence Lugh-Nasad, ‘Lammas-day’, that is, Lugh’s commemoration, or remembering, or recollection … (‘Rév. CeIt.’ Vol. xv. p. 316)”. Note: According to the passage in the Dindshenchas cited above the king of Britain at that time was “Caite(?)”. The same passage also states that these sisters gave their names to Naas, in Co. Kildare, the former seat of the Kings of Leinster, and to Cnogba.
British: BLODEUWEDD. (Denning and Phillips, Mag. Phil. Vol.II. p. 42) “In some places at midsummer, but more properly elsewhere at Lughnasadh, it was the custom to make a great bonfire an some high hilltop and to heat in it a wheel, which was normally a heavy oaken waggon-wheel. When this was glowing red within its metal tyre, it was bowled down the hilltop eagerly watched by the community who drew from its course auguries for the coming season. The true significance of the fiery wheel was to symbolise the descent of the sun from its midsummer height. Besides this ritual, the festival of Lughnasadh was associated with the myth of the marriage of Lugh to Bloddeuedd ... who was one of the loveliest forms of the Earth-Goddess”.
(Perp. Fest. Cal.) “August 1 … Lunasdae, or Lugnassad, Celtic Autumn Festival”. (Fell. of Isis Dir.) “August 1st Lughnasa …”
English: Lammas. (Church of England Cal.) “August 1st. Lammas Day”.
(Dr. Johnson’s Dict.) “Lammas. [This word is said by Bailey, I know not on what authority, to be derived from a custom, by which the tenants of the Archbishop of York were obliged ... on the first of August, to bring a lamb to the altar. In Scotland they are said to wean lambs on this day. It may else be corrupted from lattermath. Dr. Johnson. - The following is the account which the learned Hammond gives of the word. ‘Lammas, in the Saxon hlafmaes, lafmess, i.e. loaf-mass or bread-mass, is so named as a feast of thanksgiving ... for the first fruits of the corn, and seems to have been observed with bread of new wheat …’ Works, Vol. I. p. 660. Somner and Blount record the same derivation. In later times it has been well observed, that lammas day, in the Salisbury Manuals, is called benedictio Novorum fructuum; in the Red Book of Derby, hlaf-maesse daeg; but in the Sax. Chron. hlam-maesse; that mass was a word for festival, whence our … Candlemas, etc.; and that therefore instead of lammas quasi lamb-mass ... we may rather suppose the ‘f’ to have been left out in course of time of general use, and thus la-mas or hla-maesse, appears. See Gent. Mag. Jan. 1799. p. 33 ...] The first of August”.
(Druids Cal.) “August 1. Lugnasad. Also called Lammas ... a day for baking bread in celebration of the first fruits of the wheat harvest”.
Graeco-Roman: DEMETER and CERES. (Perp. Fest. Cal.) “August 1st. Ceres, Demeter, Goddess of Fertility”. (Fell. of Isis Dir.) “August 1st: Demeter, Ceres, Harvest. Reaping of good from past achievements. Thanksgiving”.
General: THE GODDESS, Source, Creatrix and Sustainer; THE MOTHER of Rebirth; OUR LADY of the Dark Gates. Festival of Regeneration. (Lux Madriana Cal.) “Kerea 22 (August 1) Festival of Regeneration” … (The Coming Age, No. 11) “Regeneration. The festivals of late summer open the great Mysteries of Life cycle which spans a quarter of the year. They celebrate the Goddess as the Source of all life, the Creatrix and Sustainer of the cycles of existence through which the soul moves. The ultimate revolution in the life of every soul ... turning back to the Goddess is particularly a subject for meditation during the late summer and autumn.
“The symbol of the Festival of Regeneration is the ear of corn ... This festival is concerned with the movement between lives and the resurgence of new life, celebrating the Mother of our rebirth and the Daughter as Our Lady of the Dark Gates, She who guards and guides all souls in the transition from one life to the next. For each soul must pass through many existences, on this world or elsewhere ... Throughout this journey [back to the Goddess] our Lady is watching over us, giving us life and strength …
“Ears of corn and bread made from the new wheat may be offered at the Rite on this day”.
Jewish: THE VIRGIN MARY. (Irish Catholic Dir.) “August 5th. Dedication of S. Mary of the Snows ... Preface of B.V.M. Et te in Festivities …”
(Mrs. Jameson, Legends of the Madonna, p. lxvi) “Santa Maria ‘delle Neve’. Our Lady of the Snow. In Spain, St. Maria la Blanca. To this legend of the snow the magnificent church of S.M. Maggiore at Rome is said to owe its origin. A certain Roman patrician, whose name was John (Giovani Patricio), being childless, prayed of the Virgin to direct him how best to bestow his worldly wealth. She appeared to him in a dream on the night of the 5th of August 352, and commanded him to build a church in her honour, on a spot where snow would be found the next morning. The same vision having appeared to his wife and the reigning pope, Liberius, they repaired in procession the next morning to the summit of Mount Esquiline, where, notwithstanding the heat of the weather, a large patch of ground was miraculously covered with snow, and on it Liberius traced out with his crozier the place of the church”.
Indian: YASODHARA. (Perp. Fest. Cal.) “August 10th. Yashodhara, wife of Buddha ... suggested date 600 (before this era)”.
Persian: THE PAIRIKAS. (The Zend-Avesta, Tir Yast, V. 8) “the Pairikas, who, in the shape of worm-stars, fly between the earth and the heavens”. (Commentary by Darmesteter) on “worm-stars”: “Doubtful. Shooting stars are alluded to. Mr. Geiger remarks that there is a stream of shooting stars falling every year just at the time when Tistrya (i.e. Sirius), in the European climate, is supposed to be most active, on the 10th of August”. Note: (Darmesteter, Zend-Avesta, Vol. I. p. lxvi) “The Pairika corresponds in her origin (and perhaps as to her name) to the Indian Apsaras”. Worshipped in the pre-Zoroastrian religion, the Pairikas are the prototypes of the Peris, the nymphs or female angels of later Persian tradition, and also of the Parigs or Witches of Manichaeism.
French: REASON, THE GODDESS OF REASON. (Brewer, Dict. Liberty) “The Goddess of Reason (Aug. 10, 1793). The Goddess of Reason was enthroned by the French Convention at the suggestion of Chaumette; and the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris was [used] for the purpose … The procession was attended by the municipal officers and national guards, while troops of ballet girls carried torches of truth ... Gobet (the Archbishop of Paris), and nearly all the clergy stripped themselves of their canonicals, and wearing red nightcaps, joined in ... So did Julien of Toulouse, a Calvinistic minister”. (id. 12th ed.) “Reason. The Goddess of Reason. The wife of Momoro the printer was set up by the commune of Paris to represent this goddess in 1793. Dressed in a white veil, and wearing on her head the cap of liberty, she was carried in a chair by four men to Notre Dame de Paris, and placed on the altar. Hymns were sung to her and processions formed”.
(Carlyle, French Revolution, Vol. iii. book v. 4, cited by Brewer) “Mrs. Momoro, it is admitted, made one of the best goddesses of Reason”. See also under November 10th.
Italian: ST. CLARE. (Church of England Cal.) “August 11. Clare of Assisi, Virgin, 1253.”
Egyptian: ISIS; The Lychnapsia, The Festival of Lights, The Lights of Isis. (Witt, Isis in Graeco-Roman World, p. 92) “The ‘Lights of Isis’ were well-known. In the so-called Calendar of Philocalus, a Latin compilation of the fourth century (of this era), the Lychnapsia or Festival of Lights, is put on 12th August. On this and other festal days, which foreshadow the Candlemas Day of Catholicism, Isis was represented seeking her spouse in the darkness by torch light, and her processions resembled those of Neith at Sais and of Bast at Bubastis, as well as what Plato at the beginning of his Republic tells as took place in honour of the local Athena and of the Thracian Artemis Bendis. At certain times the temples of Isis must have seemed wholly ablaze with the flame of tapers and lamps, some of which have survived until today”. (id. p. 297) “for the Lychnapsia as the birthday of Isis M.S. Salem, Journal of Roman Studies 27 (1937) -7”. According to Plutarch (De Isid. et Osir. 12) Isis was born of the fourth intercalary day. See also under August 27th.
(Philocalus, Kal. anno 354) “August 12. Lignapsia.”
Roman: FELICITAS, HONOS, VENUS VICTRIX and VIRTUS. (Rose, O.C.D.) “Felicitas, a goddess of good luck. She is associated with Venus Victrix, Honos, and Virtus at Pompey’s theatre (Fast. Amit. on 12 August)”.
Italian: ST. CLARE. (Irish Catholic Dir.) “August 12. S. Clare, Virgin”. St. Clare, born at Assisi in 1193, was canonized by Pope Alexander IV in 1255.
Greek: HECATE. Roman: DIANA. (Seyffert, Dict.) “Diana … The most considerable temple of Diana at Rome was in the Aventine, founded by Servius Tullius ... On the day of its foundation (August 13) the slaves had a holiday.”
(Ausonius, Ecl. xxiii. 6) “On the Roman Festivals (2nd half of 4th cent.) … the mid-monthly Ides which come round with [August] … Diana claims as her own.” Note by White: “On August 13th women whose prayers had been answered made a torchlight procession to the grove of Diana at Aricia.”
(Montfaucon, Antiq. Suppl. p. 20) “The Month of August is by Ausonius thus described: ‘This Month, in which Hecate, the daughter of Latona was born.’ ... By Hecate the Daughter of Latona born in this month, is meant Diana, Daughter of Latona, and Apollo’s Sister. In short, in the Calendar [of Philocalus] join’d to these Images [by Valentine] the Birth of Diana is marked upon the Ides of August.”
(Philocalus, Kal. anno 354) “August 13. N. Dianes.”
(Esther Harding, Woman’s Myst. p. 109) “On the thirteenth of August there was a great festival of Hecate the moon goddess in Greece and of Diana her direct descendant in Rome, for the harvest ripens earlier in these southern countries than it does farther north. On this day the Goddess’s aid was invoked to avert storms which might injure the coming harvest. This festival was continued by the Catholic Church. The date of August fifteenth was chosen for celebrating the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. The connection between the pagan and the Christian ceremony is a very interesting one. The special feature of the Christian festival centers round prayers addressed to the Virgin Mary, as they formerly were to the moon goddesses who preceded her, to turn aside storms until the fields are reaped of their fruits. There is a passage in the Syriac text of The Departure of My Lady Mary from this World which runs thus: ‘And the apostles also ordered that there should be a commemoration of the Blessed one on the thirteenth of Ab (that is August), on account of the vines bearing bunches of grapes and on account of the trees bearing fruit, that clouds of hail, bearing stones of wrath, might not come, and the trees be broken, and the fruits, and the vines with their clusters’.”
(Maxine Sanders, Witch Queen, p. 89) on witchcraft: “What I would submit ... is that the Christians borrowed our Goddess, Diana, and transformed her into the Virgin Mary.”
Roman: THE CAMENAE. (Rose, O.C.D.) “Camenae, Roman Goddesses, identified since Livius Andronicus (Odissia, Fr. 1) with the Muses. They seem however, to be water deities; they had a grove and spring outside the Porta Capena ... whence the Vestals drew water daily, and also a little shrine (aedicula, Servius, on Aen. 1. 8., who says it was of bronze and dedicated by Numa; its dedication day was 13 August, Fast. Antiates). Libation was made to them with milk and water”.
Dog Days end. See July 3rd.
Roman: DIANA. (Esther Harding, Woman’s Myst. p. 130) “her (i.e. Diana’s) chief festival was called the Festival of Candles or Torches. It was celebrated on August the fifteenth when her groves shone with a multitude of torches. This day is still celebrated as a Festival of Candles, but the torches are ... for the Virgin Mary. It is the day of her Assumption. On this day of Diana’s old festival it is Mary who is carried to the heavens above, to reign there as Queen of Heaven”. See also under August 13th.
Jewish: THE VIRGIN MARY, The Feast of the Assumption. (Irish Catholic Dir.) “August 15th. Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary ... with Octave ... Preface of B. V. M. Et te in Assumptione said during Octave”.
(James, on Apocr. New Test. p. 20) on the Coptic texts of the Assumption: “All the narratives except the Discourse of Cyril tell of a corporal assumption, and all but one place it on the 16th Mesore (i.e. the last month).”
(The Narrative by Joseph of Arimathea, analysis in Apocr. New Test. p. 218 20) “Then Thomas told them … how he had been brought to the Mount of Olives and seen the ascension of Mary and she had given him her girdle: and he showed it.
21 They all rejoiced ...
24 I am that Joseph ... and I have made known to all the Jews and Gentiles what I saw with my eyes and heard with my ears, and as long as I live I shall not cease to proclaim them.
‘Whose assumption is this day reverenced and honoured throughout all the world: let us constantly pray her that she constantly remember us …’ ” Note by James: “a mediaeval Italian composition, not earlier, I imagine, then the thirteenth century.”
(Brewer, Dict.) “Assumption (Feast of the). The 15th of August, so called in honour of the Virgin Mary, who was taken to heaven that day (the year 45) in her corporeal form, being at the time seventy-five years of age”.
(Ashe, The Virgin, p. 200) on the Feast of the Assumption: “The Jerusalem date, 15th August, was made obligatory by the Emperor Maurice about 600, and it became general in the West towards 650”.
(Bridgett, Our Lady’s Dowry, p. 228) “The feast of the Assumption of our Lady was reckoned by Lanfranc ... among the five principal festivals of the year. It was our Lady’s greatest feast. Alban Butler proves the celebration of this feast in East and West in the sixth century. It was appointed to be kept as a strict holiday by the laws of Alfred”.
(Mrs. Jameson, Legends of the Madonna, p. 318) on the Assumption, as represented in art: “ ‘Assumpta est Maria Virgo in Coelum.’ The figure of the Virgin is seen within an almond-shaped aureole (the mandorla), not unfrequently crowned as well as veiled, her hands joined, her white robe falling round her feet (for in all the early pictures the dress of the Virgin is white, often spangled with stars), and thus she seems to cleave the air upwards, while adoring angels surround the glory of light within which she is enshrined. Such are the figures which are placed in sculpture over the portals of the churches dedicated to her, as at Florence. She is not always standing upright, but seated on a throne, placed within an aureole of light”.
(id. p. 325) “6. Raphael, 1516. The Virgin is seated with the horns of the crescent moon, her hands joined. On each side an angel stands bearing a flaming torch ... The two angels, or rather genii, bearing torches on each side, impart to the whole something of the air of a heathen apotheosis ...
“8. Gaudenzio Ferrari, 1525. Mary, in a white robe spangled with stars, rises upwards as if cleaving the air in an erect position, with her hands extended but not raised many angels, some of whom bear tapers, around her. One angel presents the end of her girdle to St. Thomas ...
“11. Palma Vecchio, 1535. The Virgin looks down, not upwards, as is usual, and is in the act of taking off her girdle to bestow it on St. Thomas, who, with ten other apostles, stands below ...
“In another Assumption by Rubens, one of the women exhibits the miraculous flowers in her apron, or in a cloth”.
(Ashe, The Virgin, p. 250) “Francis Thompson’s [poem] on the Assumption has an astonishing flash of insight; hailing the Virgin glorified, he expresses a doubt ‘if thou art assumed to heaven, or is heaven assumed to thee’. The same doubt arises in the history of her relationship with the Church”.
Hebrew-Greek: CHOKMAH, SOPHIA, HAGIA SOPHIA, SANCTA SOPHIA, The Holy Wisdom. (Ashe, The Virgin, p. 213) “Far back, I have suggested, Mary’s priestesses deified her as an avatar of Wisdom ... By way of doctrine, where her numinosity lingered and its effects on the Church’s mind were felt, Wisdom did actually re-enter the system and blend with her.”
... Under a compulsion that was never discussed, the two Marian Dogmas (i.e. the Immaculate Conception of 1854 and the Assumption of 1950) drew Wisdom into the Liturgy of their feast days. Proverbs 8: 22ff. became the Lesson for the Immaculate Conception. Parts of Ecclesiasticus 24 were read at the Assumption. Thus, almost casually, Mary was conceded the Jewish demigoddess’s attributes. Proverbs 8 was also read at the feast of her Nativity, and Ecclesiasticus 24 at her feast as Queen of Heaven, when she was once again the Lady hailed by the Collyridians …
The siting of several of her churches on ground sacred to Athene was a ... continuity. It evoked not only the pagan wisdom-goddess but others connected with her. The Greek Church dallied with the Mary-Wisdom equation ... Russian churches of the same name (i.e. Sancta Sophia), at Kiev and Novgorod for instance, applied it to Mary and expressed that. idea in their icons. They held their ‘feasts of title’ on Marian days. Orthodox Russia instituted a special Mass combining the Holy Wisdom with the Assumption.” (Note: (Maulvi Muhammad Ali, on The Koran, p. 285) on the worship of Mary: “Justinian ... inscribes the high altar in the new church of St. Sophia with her name, Ency. Br. 11th ed.).”
... the Protestant mystic Jacob Boehme ... also speculated about Mary and Wisdom”.
Egyptian: Queen AMENARTUS. (Perp. Fest. Cal.) “August 17th. Amenartus, Egyptian Queen-Initiate”.
Roman: VENUS, The Rustic Vinalia. (Seyffert, Dict.) “Vinalia. A wine festival kept by the Romans ... (1) on April 23 ... and (2) on August 19 ( Vinalia Rustica, the country festival of wine), when offering was made for the ripening grapes. With both festivals was associated the worship of Venus, who as goddess of gardens, had vineyards also under her protection”.
(Varro, Ling. Lat. VI. 20) “The nineteenth of August was called the Country Vinalia, because at that time a temple was dedicated to Venus and gardens were set apart for her, and then the kitchen-gardeners went on holiday”. (id. De Re Rust I. i. 6) “Since, as we are told, the deities help those who call upon them, I will first invoke them ... I beseech Minerva and Venus, of whom the one protects the olive-yard and the other, the garden; and in her honour the rustic Vinalia has been established”.
Jewish: THE VIRGIN MARY; Apparition of Our Lady of Knock. (von Daniken, Miracles of the Gods, p. 215) “21.8.1879 Cnoc Mhuire, Ireland. 15 visionaries of various ages saw Mary wearing a white dress and a crown”. (Pope John Paul II) at Cnoc Mhuire, the Hill of Mary, on October 1st 1979, Mary is addressed by the Pope as “Queen of Ireland.”
Sun enters Virgo (tropical).
AEDESIA. (Perp. Fest. Cal.) “Aedesia, 5th cent. (of this era)”. (Dict. Univ. Biog.) “Aedesia, a female philosopher of the Neoplatonic school; famous besides for her virtue and her beauty”.
Jewish: THE VIRGIN MARY. (Irish Catholic Dir.) “August 22. Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary … Preface of B.V.M. Et te in Festivitate ... Octave Day of Assumption”.
Greek: NEMESIS. (Perp. Fest. Cal.) “August 23. Nemesis”. Note: (Lempriere, Dict.) “Nemesis … The Greeks celebrated a festival called Nemesia in memory of deceased persons, as the goddess Nemesis was supposed to defend the relics and memory of the dead from all insult”.
Roman: JUTURNA, THE NYMPHS, OPS OPIFERA and STATA MATER; The
Volcanalia, in honour of Vulcan and other Deities. (Seyffert, Dict.) “Volcanus ... Juturna and Stata Mater, who causes fires to go out, were worshipped with him as goddesses who protect from fires, and a public offering was made to them and him at the festival of the Volcanalia”. (Rose, O.C.D., Volcanus) At the Volcanalia offerings were made also “to Juturna, the Nymphs, Ops Opifera, and Quirinus”.
(Philocalus, Kal. anno 354) “August 23. Volcanalici.”
Greek: MOIRA. (Lux Madriana Cal.) “Hesperis 16 (August 23). Day of Moira”. (The Coming Age, No. 11)” Moira’s Day. This day is dedicated to the Genia of personal fate. The threads of Moira draw all things in life together. Her particular symbols are the wheel and the scales. This day is especially one for examining the direction of one’s soul and making resolutions for the future”.
Roman: CERES; The Underworld Deities; MANIA and the Manes; First of the days for opening the Mundus Cereris. (Rose, O.C.D.) “Mundus ... a ritual pit ... (2) The mundus Cereris, a structure of unknown site, vaulted, divided into two parts, and with a cover which was removed on 24th August, 5th October and 8th November, which days were religiosi, when the way was supposed open to the lower world. (Festus, 144, 145 Lindsay, quoting Cato and Atreius Capito; Varro ap. Macrob. Sat. 1.16.18)”. (Seyffert, Dict. Manes) “On the Mons Palatinus at Rome, there was, as in other Italian towns, a deep pit with the shape of an inverted sky, known as mundus, the lowest part of which was consecrated to the infernal deities and also to the Manes, and closed with a stone, lapis manalis, thought to be the gate of the nether world. This stone was lifted up three times a year ... and the Manes were then believed to rise to the upper world”.
(Frazer, on Ovid, Fasti, p. 419) “the mundus was a circular aperture in the middle of the floor, which gave access to a lower vault or crypt and down which the offerings could be cast into the vault”. (id.) “according to Festus, or rather his authority, Atreius Capito ... the lower part of the structure (which I have called the vault or crypt) was sacred to the deified spirits of the dead (di manes) who would naturally be able to issue forth and roam about the city if the aperture were uncovered. Hence the three days on which the mundus stood open, and hell was let loose, were ‘religious’ days; no public business might be transacted on them.
“W. Warde Fowler ... may well have been right in his assumption (...destitute, however, of ancient authority) that the mundus was closed by the stone called lapis manalis, which may mean ‘the ghost stone’; for we are told by Festus that the stone ‘was esteemed the Gate of Hell (Ostium Orci) through which the souls of the underground folk, who are called ghosts (manes), pass to the folk above’.
“In 1914 Giacomo Boni discovered on the Palatine a subterranean structure which he identified with the mundus, and the identification appears to be generally regarded as at least probable. The structure is situated under the north-eastern portion of the peristyle of the Flavian palace”.
(Neumann, The Great Mother, p. 283) “the Mater Larum in her character of Mania is connected with mundus and wall, and with the centre of the city that lies deep in the earth”.
Roman: OPS; The Opeconsiva. (Seyffert, Dict.) “Ops (abundance, plenty). The old Italian goddess of fertility ... As goddess of sowing and reaping she had, under the name of Consivia, on August 25th a special festival, the Opeconsiva, at which however only the Vestals and one of the pontifices could be present. As her abode was in the earth, her worshippers invoked her while seated and touching the ground (Macrobius, Saturnalia, i, 10)”.
(Varro, Ling. Lat. VI, 21) “The day named Opeconsiva is so called from Ops Consiva ‘Lady Bountiful the Planter’, whose shrine is in the Regia; it is so restricted in size that no one may enter it except the Vestal Virgins and the state priest”.
Egyptian: ISIS. (Perp. Fest. Cal.) “August 25. Isis, Divine Life, the Great Mother”. (Fell. of Isis Dir.) “August 25th. Festival of Isis”.
Finnish: ILMATAR, LUONNOTAR, The Water Mother. (Catherine Koppana, Ms.) “Ilmatar, also known as Luonnotar or the Water Mother, was the Creatrix of the World. Upon her knees the duck laid the six golden eggs and the one iron egg from which the world was made (the seven planets?). As W. F. Kirby says in his notes to ‘Kalevala’ runo 1, ‘This is a combined version of the widespread cosmogonical myths of the Divine Spirit brooding over the waters of chaos, and the Mundane Egg’.
“Ilmatar’s feast day is August 26th”.
Egyptian: NUT and ISIS. The Fourth Intercalary Day, The Nativity of Isis. (Plutarch, De Iside et Osiride, 355 F) on the five intercalary days: “The Egyptians even now call these days intercalated and celebrate them as the birthdays of the deities ... On the fourth day Isis was born in the regions that are ever moist”.
(Maspero, Dawn of Civil. p. 208) an the year of the Egyptians: “They intercalated ... after the twelfth month of each year and before the first day of the ensuing year, five epagomenal days, which they termed the ‘five days over and above the year’ ... [inserted] to permit Nuit to give birth to all her children. These days constituted, at the end of the ‘great year’, a ‘little month’. This is the name still given by the Copts to the five epagomenal days”.
(Dufresnoy, Chron. Tables, Part 1, p. 282) “The Egyptian or Alexandrian months. The months ... consisting of 30 days each, making only 360 days, there were added, to make the year complete, 365 days; five days to every common year, and also six to every bissextile. The five days took place, every common year, on the 24th of August; but in the leap-years the 25th of the same month”.
Egyptian: NUT and NEPHTHYS. The Fifth Intercalary Day, The Nativity of Nephthys. (Plutarch, De Iside et Osiride, 355 F) on the five intercalary days: “and on the fifth [was born] Nephthys, to whom they gave the name of Finality (Teleuté) and of Aphrodite, and some also the name of Victory (Niké)”.
Tartar: THE HOLY MARES OF XANADU. (Marco Polo, Travels, p. 109) on the holy white mares of Shang-tu (X-anadu): “Theastrologers and idolaters have told the Great Khan (i.e. Kubilai Khan), that he must make a libation of the milk of these mares every year on the 28th of August, flinging it into the air and on the earth, so that the spirits may have their share to drink. They must have this, it is said, in order that they may guard all his possessions, also the men and women, beasts, birds, crops, and everything besides.”
Egyptian: The New Year of the fixed Alexandrian Calendar, Thoth 1. (Frazer, Golden Bough abgd., p. 373) “it is necessary to bear in mind that on account of the movable year of the old Egyptian calendar the true or astronomical dates of the official festivals must have varied from year to year, at least until the adoption of the fixed Alexandrian year in 30 (before this era). From that time onward, apparently, the dates of the festivals were by the new calendar, and so ceased to rotate throughout the length of the solar year. At all events Plutarch, writing about the end of the first century, implies that they were then fixed, not movable; for though he does not mention the Alexandrian calendar, he clearly dates his festivals by it. Moreover, the long festal calendar at Esne, an important document of the Imperial age, is obviously based on the fixed Alexandrian year; for it assigns the mark for New Year’s Day to the day which corresponds to the twenty-ninth of August, which was the first day of the Alexandrian year, and its references to the rising of the Nile, the position of the sun, and the operations of agriculture are all in harmony with this supposition. Thus we may take it as fairly certain that from 30 (before this era) onwards the Egyptian festivals were stationary in the solar year”.
(Montfaucon, Antiq. Suppl. p. 237) “The Months begin with Thoth, which answers to our September; this is the common Opinion of the Ancients, and the Chronologists. Yet Cosmos, an Egyptian Monk, who lived in the time of the Emperor Justinian, doth in two Places give us Pharmuthis, which answers to our April, for the first Month.”
(Perp. Fest. Cal.) “August 29th. Egyptian New Year’s Day”. (Fell. of Isis Dir.) “August 29th: Egyptian New Year. Abundance, fertility, success. Harvest of achievement. Week of joy and thanksgiving (Egyptian)”.
HATHOR, The Nativity of Hathor. (Veronica Ions, Egy. Myth., p. 79) on the worship of Hathor: “Great festivals were celebrated in the temple of Dendera, above all on New Year’s Day, which was the anniversary of her birth. Before dawn the ,Priestesses would bring Hathor’s image out on to the terrace to expose it to the rays of the rising sun. The rejoicing that followed was a pretext for a veritable carnival, and the day ended in song and intoxication”. (Maspero, Dawn of Civil. p. 322) on a festival at Dendera, from Dümichen, Dendera. “The gods of heaven exclaim ‘Ah! Ah!’ in satisfaction, the inhabitants of the earth are full of gladness, the Hathors beat their tabors, the great ladies wave their mystic whips, all those who are gathered together in the town are drunk with wine and crowned with flowers; the tradespeople of the place walk joyously about, their heads scented with perfumed oils, all the children rejoice in honour of the goddess, from the rising to the setting of the sun.”
(Dufresnoy, Chron. Tables, Part 1. p. 282) “The Egyptian, or Alexandrian months: 1. Thoth The beginning of those months, according to the Roman Calendar: The common year (1. Thoth) August 29th; Bissextile year, August 30th”.
Egyptian: For the New Year in bissextile or leap year see under August 29th (Dufresnoy).
Greek: Charisteria. (Perp. Fest. Cal.) “August 30th. Charisteria. Thanksgiving”.
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