October was the eighth month of the old Roman calendar and was sacred to the goddess Astraea, daughter of Zeus and Themis.
Deireadh Fommhair or an Damhair, the stag rut, was the Irish name for this month or Gealach a 'bhruic, moon of the badger. Winterfelleth, "winter is coming," was the Anglo-Saxon name. The Franks called October Windurmanoth, "vintage month." Hunting is the Asatru name.
The first Full Moon is called the Hunter's Moon. This moon is also known as Shedding Moon, Ten Colds Moon, Ancestor Moon or the Moon of the Dead, and the Moon of the Changing Season. It shares the name Blood Moon with July and Harvest Moon with September. The ancient Greek month of Pyanopsian began in October and ended in November.
The sun passes from Libra to Scorpio around October 23rd. Marigolds are for October children. Beryl, aquamarine, opal, or tourmaline are best for people born in October, and opal or tourmaline are also the birthstones of Libra, while topaz is the stone for Scorpio. Libra has connections to aquamarine, emerald, kunzite, moonstone, opal, peridot, and pink tourmaline, and other Scorpio stones include albite, aquamarine, emerald, garnet, green tourmaline, malachite, moonstone, obsidian, and ruby.
Winter Saturday and Winter Sunday is a two-day Asatru festival held at the end of the month to commemorate the end of winter.
Fides was the Roman goddess of faithfulness honored today. Fides Pulbica, or "Honor of the People," had a temple on the Capitol, founded by King Numa, to which the clerics of Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus rode in a covered chariot on this day. By covering the chariot, the meaning was that honor could not be too carefully protected. At the offering, they had their right hands wrapped up to the fingers with white bands. The meaning of this was that the right hand, the seat of honor, should be kept pure and holy. The goddess was represented with outstretched right hand and a white veil. Her symbols were ears of corn and fruits, joined hands, and a turtle-dove.
The last and ninth day of the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries was called Plemo Choai, "earthen vessels." This day was devoted to plenty in its liquid form. Two unstable circular vases were set up for the ceremony. These Plemachoai were poured into a cleft in the earth, the chthonion chasma. One vessel was set up in the east, and the other in the west, and both were overturned.
The Initiates of the Mysteries were highly honored, and even revered, by their peers. They were looked upon as almost sacred, consecrated to Ceres and Proserpine. By their oaths, they were required to practice every virtue, religious, moral, political, public, and private. The Initiates were thought to receive special advice from the gods and to be almost as adopted children of the Eleusinian goddesses. These deities watched over them, averting impending danger and rescuing them when troubles threatened. The initiates were offered comfort in their sorrow and hope for a better afterlife. After death, they would automatically retire to the Elysian Fields.
The fertility of Min was contemplated on the 15th day of Hethara.
The eight Great Netjers (Primordials) appeared on the 16th day of Hethara.
The Cherokee nation celebrated its Cementation and Propitiation Festival on this day. Men would exchange clothes to symbolize the human union with the Cherokee deities. Then they would take a dip in running water to wash away barriers to the gods.
This is the Moroccan New Year.
Dionysus (or Bacchus - Roman) was god of wine and revelry. Old and new wine were mixed together while the goddess Medetrina was invoked : Wine new and old I drink, to cure me of illness new and old. (See also September 30th and October 11th)
The Lamentations of Isis and Nephthys for Osiris occur on the 17th day of Hethara
This is the Native American Elk Festival.
On the advice of the Sibylline Books, a fast, ieiunium Cereris, was introduced in honor of Ceres. This was originally observed every four years, but in later times, it was an annual practice.
On the 18th day of Hethara is a Festival of Hathor.
The Nubaigai festival of Lithuania is celebrated by reaping the last sheaf of grain from the fields. On some farms, the last sheaf, called the Old Woman, is dressed and danced with. Food, drink, dancing, and games are also part of the festival.
This is the second occasion of the opening of the Mundis Cereris. Ceres, Mania and the Manes were honored. (see August 24th)
Hindu worshipers of Vishnu celebrate a nine day festival honoring their god. Haribodhini Ekadasi is included in this festival. This is the day that Vishnu wakes from a four month long slumber on a subterranean bed of snakes. The faithful bathe in sacred waters, chant his name 1008 times, and make secret offerings of alms by hiding them in unripe pumpkins. People who fail to honor the god Vishnu at this time risk being reborn as roosters or human mutes.
The second day of Mania was called the Mundus. The passage to the underworld would open to allow the spirits passage to the world of the living. The living could also travel to the land of the dead and back.
Bast appears to Ra on the 20th day of Hethara.
Pallas Athena was honored in Rome as the goddess Victoria, personification of success and triumph.
The 21st Hethara was a Feast day of Ma'at.
Chung Yeung, the Festival of High Places, is a Chinese holiday honoring the legendary scholar, Huan Ching. Living in the village of Joo-an more than 2000 years ago, he was warned by a sage to take his family into the high hills to save them from a disaster that awaited everyone in the village below. After warning everyone, he took his family away and later returned to find every living thing in the village dead. The day is celebrated by hiking and kite flying which is thought to carry away impending evils. Kites often are flown in the form of bats, fish, and butterflies, creatures of good omen. Picnics include chrysanthemum wine and special cakes said to bring good luck and career advancement when eaten in high places.
Felicitas, a goddess of good luck and joy, is associated with the Genius Publicus "spirit of the people" and Venus Victrix.
Ra judged the dispute between Set and Horus on the 23rd day of Hethara.
The 24th day of Hethara was the Day of Going Forth of Isis.
Vinalia, a Roman Bacchanalian festival was held to celebrate the tasting of the new wine. The festivals of Jupiter include the Meditrinalia today though his connection with the goddess Meditrina is obscure (See September 30th and October 3rd)
The alleged "wickedest man in the world," Aleister Crowley, was born on this day in 1875. He was a member of several sects and founded the order of the Silver Star (Argentinum Astrum). His form of magick (as he spelled it) was unfortunately based on sex and drugs, and he died alone, scandalized, and bankrupt in 1947.
Fortuna Redux is the Roman goddess of successful journeys and safe returns.
On the 26th day of Hethara, the Black Land was given to Horus, and the Red Land was given to Set.
Eliphas Levi died today in 1888.
Fontinalia was the Roman festival held in honor of holy wells, fountains, and springs.
The Floating of the Lamps is a Siamese holy day.
Today is Interplanetary Confederation Day, sponsored by the Unarius Foundation (a UFO organization) in order to recognize other planets in the Milky Way Galaxy.
The 28th day of Hethara is the Festival of establishing Horus as King and the appearance before Ptah.
According to the old northern European calendar, this was Winter's Day, the beginning of the winter season. Long-distance sailing and other summer activities ended, and preparations were made for the coming season.
Kanname-Sai, "God-Tasting Event," is a Japanese Shinto ceremony during which the first fruits of the year's rice crop are offered to the sun goddess and other imperial ancestors. The first fruits are offered to the Shinto gods in Japan. This is the date of the Festival of Departed Worthies, lasting for six days.
The Asatru festival of the Hengest commemorates the Anglo-Saxon settlement of eastern Britain during the 5th century by the generals Hengest and Horsa.
The Month of Koiak Begins with the feast of Sekhmet.
Thesmophoria was an ancient Greek festival. After retrieving pig carcasses from snake-filled chasms, women would mix the rotten flesh with seed and pray to Demeter for abundant crops.
In Greece, Pandrosus, the all-bedewing or all-refreshing one, was a deified priestess of Minerva honored today.
This is the birthday of Nicholas Culpepper, astrologer and herbalist.
Near the shrine of Ebisu, one of the seven Shinto gods of luck, an annual fair called Bettara-Ichi is held. People buy good luck charms and religious images as well as sticky pickled radishes called bettara on straw ropes at stalls, which line the streets. Traditionally, youngsters run through the streets swinging these radishes at friends, shouting bettara in warning.
The 4th day of Koiak is the Festivals of Sobek.
This is the Mesopotamian festival of Ishhara, sometimes equated with Ishtar.
Hathor Goes Forth to Her people on the 5th day of Koiak.
Japan's Hi Matsuri, "fire festival," is celebrated at night in the village of Kurama near Kyoto. People carry flaming torches in a procession to purify their homes. The parade ends at a shrine at midnight where the gods are said to descend to earth.
The Orionids meteor show peaks on or around this date. It began on the second of October and will end on the seventh of November. It is associated with Halley's Comet.
The 7th day of Koiak was a Ceremony in honor of Thoth, and also a Festival for Selket.
The feast day of the Saints Crispin and Crispinian, twin patrons of shoemakers, is a continuation of the Dioscuri, Castor and Pollux, sons of Zeus.
Aban Jashan is a Zoroastrian festival of water.
Sybil Leek died of cancer on this day in 1982.
In Cornwall, unmarried men and women would traditionally buy highly polished apples called Allan Apples on this day and sleep with them under their pillows. Before dawn, they had to wake up and eat the fruit without sound, then go outside and sit under a tree. The first person that passed was their future spouse.
Owagit is a Native American holy day.
The 11th day of Koiak is a Feast of Osiris in Abydos.
The Celtic festival of Fyribod or Forebode is a notable day for rain and bad weather.
This the 12th day of Koiak and the first day of the Isia - Zetesis and Heuresis, the six-day ceremony of the "Search and Discovery," ending with the Hilaria on the 3rd of November. As the nights grow longer, darkness increases. The gilded image of a cow is shrouded with a black linen vestment to display as a sign of the mourning of Isis. This continues for four days. On the first day, actors impersonating Isis, Nephythys, Anubis, Horus, etc., searched for the body of Osiris. (See also under November 13th). Hathor, in her aspect of the World Mother is honored. This is the Day of Transformation into the Bennu Bird.
The 13th day of Koiak is the second day of the Isia - Zetesis and Heuresis. This is the Day of Going Forth of Hathor and the Ennead
The House-Senate conferees dropped the Helms Amendment barring tax-exempt status to groups who embrace witchcraft.
This is the third day of the Isia - Zetesis and Heuresis. On the 14th day of Koiak, the Bennu comes forth transformed.
Among Celtic peoples, October 31st is Oidhche Shamhna, Samhain Eve, November Eve, the First of the Three Days of Samhain, Oidhche Alamaise, or All-Hallow Eve. Samhain, "summer's end" or "one together" is a great fire festival held in honor of the goddess Samhain and in remembrance of the dead. It was also the final harvest of the year when old and surplus livestock was slaughtered and preserved. Some of this meat was eaten at the feast along with the New Year's beer or wine.
People dressed in robes and masks to ward off evil spirits before leaving their homes. Irish "guisers" would go from farm to farm, guided by turnip Jack-o-lanterns, collecting tribute for Muck Olla, perhaps and an old god. Candles would be placed in windows to help guide lost spirits home.
On Samhain Eve, all the fairy hills open wide for the Fe-fiada (spell of invisibility) was removed. Bonfires were lit and church bells rang throughout the night. In Scotland and parts of Wales, families would build huge bonfires and each person would throw in a marked white stone. If any stone could not be found the next day, the thrower was doomed to die within the following year. Peeling an apple in a single strip and tossing it to the floor over your shoulder was said to reveal the initials of your future spouse. The tradition of bobbing for apples was originally divinatory. A young woman who capture one had to take it home and place it under her pillow in the hope that she would dream of her future husband. A Scottish tradition is that those born on All Hallows Eve would have the gift of second sight.
Marking the beginning of winter, this is also the Celtic New Year's Eve. The veil between worlds is very thin. Families left their doors unlocked and set out food and drink for ghostly family members who would visit that night. A Dumb Supper, a meal eaten in total silence, might be held to which the spirits of the dead were invited. In Breton, the dead roamed the Earth and the living should entertain them with music and prepare a feast of curds, hot pancakes, and cider set on the family table covered with a fresh white table-cloth. Libations of milk may be poured over the ancestral tombs just as in Ireland and Scotland, libations of milk are poured for the fairies. Soul Cakes may be given, treats to nourish wandering spirits which were handed out to English and Scottish children. This is the origin of our modern trick-or-treat custom.
This is the fourth day of the Isia - Zetesis and Heuresis. A feast in honor of Sekhmet, Bast and Ra occurs on the 15th day of Koiak.