Juno Covella - October
Goddesses of the Calendar Month:
Greek: 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”.
(Kerenyi, Eleusis, p. 141) “The last day of the Great Mysteries at Eleusis was devoted to plenty in its liquid form. This was the day ... of the 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 which 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 they had 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. the Eleusinian), 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 persons: they were, in reality, consecrated to Ceres and Proserpine. Secondly, They were obliged by their oath to practice every virtue, religious, moral, political, public, and private. Thirdly, They imagined, that sound advice and happy measures of conduct were suggested to the initiated by the Eleusinian goddesses ... Fourthly, The initiated were imagined to be the peculiar wards 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 consolation to the Epoptae, in the hour of dissolution; for says Isocrates, ‘Ceres bestowed upon the Athenians two gifts of the greatest 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 pleasant hopes both at the end of life and eternity afterwards’ ... Sixthly, After death, in the Elysian fields, they were to enjoy superior degrees of felicity …”
(Aristophanes, 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.
Since 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:
For 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 bands. The 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 white 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 they say:
“ ‘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 … Virgin”.
Graeco-Roman: DEMETER 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 Roman ... 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”.
(Symmachus, Letters, II. liii) from a letter to his brother, Flavian, written at the end of the 4th century of this era: “But when the festivals (feriae) have ended, regard as part of your luxuries the things which 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 Roman 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 ‘Dupruis’)”.
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 Meditrina 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”.
(Bridgett, 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 …”
“In several places in England, as well as on the Continent, relics of the Blessed Virgin’s milk were venerated ... Quaresimus, 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 Virgin concealed herself with the Infant Jesus, and that some drops of milk falling from her breast gave miraculous virtue to the rock on which they fell ...
“This exactly corresponds to the description given by Erasmus in his account of his pilgrimage to Walsingham. He says that the milk was kept in crystal and placed on the high altar ... that it was dried up, and looked like ground chalk mixed with white of egg ... the prayer that he offered is pious: ‘O, Virgin Parent, who with thy maiden breast hast given milk to thy son Jesus ... we beseech thee that ... we may also attain to that happy childhood of simplicity which, guileless of malice, fraud, and deceit, earnestly 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 this era) returned, October 12th, from a long absence in Asia, this day was appointed for an annual celebration of the event, and 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 to October; so including the ancient dates of the Mysteries of the Goddesses. At the culmination in October, seventy thousand onlookers 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 initiative and reforms his life according to Our Lady’s appeal ... She told me that when the other means are exhausted and despised 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”.
Greek: 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 darkness increases, and the potency of the light is abated and subdued. Then among the gloomy rites which the priests perform, they shroud the 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 consecutively”. 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 ‘Seeking 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 secrecy, 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 date varied in different places, it usually began on October 31st, and ended on November 3rd. On the first day, actors impersonating Isis, 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 the County Louth) every year: and nothing whatever was done by them during that time but games and races, pleasure and amusement, eating 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 …
“And 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, and tired as he was he went in at the door, and although it was. night-time outside, it was daylight he found within. And ,Presently 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
Hanrahan 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 high chair a woman, the most beautiful the world ever saw, having a long pale face and flowers about it, but she had the tired look of one that had been long waiting. And there were sitting on the step below her chair four grey old women, and the one of them was holding a great cauldron in her lap; and another a great stone upon her knees, and heavy as it was it seemed light 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 that was without a scabbard.
“Then 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, the sorcerer’s spear and the magic cauldron”. A fourth treasure is listed by Macalister (Tara, p. 135) as the “invincible sword”. The Stone of Destiny or Lia Fail, originally the inauguration stone of the Irish monarchs at Tara, was later moved to Scone. 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 ... loved Oengus mac ind Oc, and she had not seen him. They had a meeting of games there between Cletech and Sid in Broga. The Bright Folk 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 Tlachtga, where the fire Tlachtga was ordained to be kindled. The use of this sacred fire was to summon the priests, augurs, and druids of Ireland, to repair thither, and assemble upon the eve of All Saints ... no other fire should be kindled upon that night 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 assemblies”.
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, spirits, and fairies are free, and when fairies take mortals and marry them to fairy women; also the beliefs that fairies are living in 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 near 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 pleased 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: The Banshees.
Breton: (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 and entertainment 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 table the stools are heard to move, and sometimes the plates ... Concerning this same feast of the dead (La Toussaint) Villemarque 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 Breton peasant thinks of the dead as frequently as the Irishman thinks of fairies”.
General: All Hallows Eve, Hallow-e’en.
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 as thickly intertwined at this season as at any in the year. Bonfires were lit ... church bells rang throughout the night, and the future 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 that evening are turned into coal-black steeds. The fairies, too, are all let loose, and hobgoblins of every sort roam freely about”. (Brewer, Dict.) “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 November 1st.
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