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September


September acquired its name as the seventh month of the old Roman calendar. Pomona, patroness of fruit and fruit-trees, was tutelary goddess of this month in which autumn begins.

September was Mean Fomhair in Ireland or an t-Sultainn, the fat time. All these names refer to the ripening harvest. The September moon is gealach an abachaidh, moon of ripening. Haligmonath, "holy month," was the month of September among the Anglo-Saxons. The Franks called this month Witumanoth, "wood month," for this when the majority of wood was gathered for the coming cold months. September is Shedding among the Asatru.

The first Full Moon is called the Fruit or Grain Moon, a name it shares with August. It shares the name Harvest Moon with October and Sturgeon Moon with August. It has been called the Singing, Wine Moon, and the Moon When Deer Paw the Earth.

Libra takes over from Virgo around September 23rd. Those born this month have the aster for their birth flower. The stone for Virgo and those born in September is the sapphire. Chrysolite and sardonyx are also listed as stones for those born in Septmeber. Libra's birthstone is opal or tourmaline, and Libra is also linked to aquamarine, emerald, kunzite, moonstone, opal, peridot, and pink tourmaline. Amazonite, amber, carnelian, chrysocolla, citrine, and sapphire are other stones associated with Virgo


Lunar Holy Days

The Chinese Moon festival, Chung-Ch'iu, falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth moon of the Chinese lunar calendar. The climax of the growing season, it is a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. Rites are carried out by the women of each family in their courtyards. A picture or a figurine of the Moon Hare (who is supposed to inhabit the moon is placed on a special altar. When moonlight fills the courtyard, the ceremony begins. Offerings are set on the altar, five platters of different fruit and thirteen mooncakes, small spicy circular cakes. In northern China, mooncakes have two fillings-a sugar paste or a date paste. In southern China, the fillings are more varied-they include ham, preserved apricots, sweet bean puree, walnuts, and watermelon seeds. Yellow beans may also be offered. Incense is lit and women approach the altar one by one. The picture of the hare is then burned to release its soul.

During China's Choyo-no-Sekku or the Kiku no Sekku, Chrysanthemum Day, chrysanthemum wine is drunk on the ninth day of the ninth moon to ensure long life. At the Chrysanthemum Doll Fete, lifelike clay figures are dressed in robes made of fresh chrysanthemums and arranged as parts of legendary and historical scenes. The celebration is also held to honor the poet T'ao Yuan-Ming who flavored the flower which only blooms in the autumn. After his death, he became the god of the flower.


In Staffordshire England, the Horndance begins at dawn on the first Monday after Wake Sunday (the first Sunday after September 4th). At one time, it was held two weeks before the autumnal equinox. Costumed dancers gather and wander through the village and the country-side, performing their dance periodically. The final dance is held in the center of the village before the antlers are returned to the church for storage. The Dancers are all male. They include a fool, a Robin Hood on a hobbyhorse, a Maid Marion, a bowman, two musicians, and six deer wearing wooden replicas of reindeer antlers. It has been considered a tradition honoring the Horned God, commonly known as Cernunnos.


1ST

In India, Radha, an avatar of Lakshmi, and Krishna are honored.

2ND

A Feast of Osiris occurs on the 16th day of Paopi

3RD

Akwambo, the Path Clearing Festival of Ghana's Akan people symbolically clears a path to the village well where a priestess offers libations to the god of the well.

4TH

The Apache Sunrise ceremony marks a coming of age for pubescent girls. It is a four day long rite during which the girl becomes Changing Woman, a legendary Apache heroine who survived a great flood and magically gave birth to the Son or the Sun and Child of the Water. The ceremony ensures a long life for the girl and blesses observers.

5TH

The Hindu festival of Ganesha Chaturthi honors Ganesh, the god of luck and prosperity. Clay images of him are carried to rivers, lakes, and the sea and gently drowned. Soil from the water's edge is taken home for prosperity. In East India, this is the Day of Nanda Devi.

The 19th day of Paopi is the Ceremony of Raising the Djed Pillar.

6TH

Situa was an ancient Inca festival which warded off deadly illnesses at the start of the rainy season. After a day of fasting, small amounts of their children's blood was drawn and mixed with cornmeal. The paste was rubbed onto bodies and thresholds to repel disease spirits. At the end of the celebration, the emperor would send runners in the four directions to drive off sprits.

7TH

The Theosophical Society was founded by Madame Blavatsky with Henry Olcott and others in 1875.

Zarathustra, a Persian prophet and mystic, was born in the 6th century BC. He founded the Zoroastrian religion, a monotheistic, dualistic religion which has contributed greatly in the formation of Judaism and Christianity.

The nine day festival of Durga Puja begins in Bengal. Starting from the day of the Mahalaya, the days of Sashthi, Saptami, Ashtami, Navami and Dashami or Bijoya Dashami every day has its own unique rituals to follow. The making of Durga idols is governed by a series of rituals closely related with the holy river Ganga. The immersing of the idol in the Ganga at the end of the festival points to a theme of cyclical regeneration. The idol of Durga is flanked by the idols of Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh, all of whom are believed to be her children. The goddess sits atop a lion, her vahan. The favorite tableau is of her stabbing Asura, the demon, symbolic of the victory she achieved for the gods over the demons.

Neith Goes forth to Atum on the 21st day of Paopi.

8TH

Weather today or tomorrow would determine the type of weather for the next forty days.

This is the Native American Pinnhut festival.

9TH

Asclepigenia, priestess of the Greek Eleusinian Mysteries, was honored today.

11TH

The three day celebration of Nichiren is held by the Japanese Buddhist sect in honor of its founder of the same name. He was an outspoken 13th century priest who angered the government. Arrested, he was sentenced to death by decapitation, but lightning struck the execution site. His sentence was reduced to exile on a nearby island. Freed from exile September 12, 1271, he spent the rest of his life teaching his form of Buddhism. During his celebration, his followers shout prayers while beating fan-shaped drums.

The Enkutatash is held in Ethiopia. Enkutatash means the "gift of jewels." When the Queen of Sheba returned from visiting King Solomon in Jerusalem, her chiefs welcomed her by replenishing her treasury with inku or jewels. The spring festival has been celebrated since this early times and as the rains come to their abrupt end, dancing and singing can be heard at every village in the green countryside. Today's Enkutatash is also the season for exchanging formal new year greetings and cards among the urban sophisticated - in lieu or the traditional bouquet of flowers.

Birthday of Silver RavenWolf.

12TH

This day is dedicated to Astraea by the Greeks.

13TH

The Egyptian All-Soul's Day occurred on the 26th day of Paopi. This Festival of lighting the fires of Neith honored the goddess Nephthys or Nebthet, protectress of the dead, with fires. Fires were lit before the statues of the dead and the gods. The ceremony was accompanied by a general illumination which lasted all the night.

The Lectisternium was held in honor of the three Capitoline Deities. A festival of Greek origin, it was first ordered by the sibylline books. From it's beginning, a banquet was regularly offered to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, at which the Senate officiated, in conjunction with the plebeian games. The images of the three deities were dressed with curls, anointed, and garbed in colors. Jupiter was placed reclining on a cushion with a goddess seated on a chair on each side. Mars and Venus were always placed together.

14TH

The Feast of Lights was an ancient Egyptian festival in which light were left burning all night before images of the gods and the tombs of the dead.

15TH

According to the Chinese, this is the day the Moon was created.

This is the birthday of Henry Cornelius Agrippa in 1486.

16TH

A festival for Ra, Osiris and Horus occurs on the last day of Paopi.

17TH

The 1st day of Hethara is a Feast of Hathor.

19TH

A day long fast in honor of Thoth occurred today according to the Alexandrian calendar.

Congressman Robert S Walker introduced bill HR-3389 to amend IRS rules to deny tax-exempt status to witchcraft organizations.

20TH

This is the birthday of the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl. Incas marked the Spring equinox with a ceremony held at dawn in their mountain-top temple. They would wait in the dark for the first rays of the sun, and then after rejoicing, they would feast, sacrifice animals, and perform divinations.

Alexander the Great, deified after his death, was born in 356 BC.

21ST

The Egyptian feast of Divine Life was an Autumnal celebration dedicated to the three-fold goddess - mother (creatrix, daughter (renewer), and dark mother (absolute). Hathor was honored.

The Kappa-Aquarids meteor shower peaks at this time. It is active from the September eighth to the thirtieth.

In Norway, Raud the Strong was hideously tortured and martyred by the Christian king Olaf Tryggvason.

22ND

Mabon was to the ancient Celts a festival in honor of the Welsh god Mabon son of the goddess Modron though it has also been attributed to Queen Mab of the fairy people. It is called Alban Elfred by the Druids and Winter Finding by the Asatru who consider it sacred to Frey. The autumnal equinox is the date of the second harvest, this time of fruit. Blackberries, sacred to Brigit, must be harvested between now and Samhain or left for the pookas, fairies who receive all unharvested fruits after November 1.

In Japan, the autumn equinox is Higan, meaning "the other shore" or heaven. To honor the dead, on this day Buddhists visit cemeteries and pray for the souls of their departed ancestors.

The Eleusinian Mysteries, sacred to Demeter and Persephone, begin tonight.

Karpo, goddess of autumn, and Carman, goddess of poetry, were honored tonight and tomorrow.

23RD

This is the first day of the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries. They continued for nine days in honor of Ceres and Proserpine (Roman) or Demeter and Persephone (Greek). The first day of the celebration was called agormos, "assembly," as the worshippers first met together. A gathering was held of candidates for initiation. The guides gave precise instructions, knowledge of which was necessary in the course of the initiation. In the evening, matrons journeyed to the rites in oxen drawn carriages. A select company of Athenian matrons, referred to as the Camphorae, carried a small coffer or basket called the kalathion of Ceres. Within the basket were the comb of Ceres, her mirror, a serpentine figure, and some wheat and barley. The procession ended at the temple, where this sacred charge was left with the greatest solemnity.

Mielikki may be considered a Finnish Artemis. She is a protector of animals. She may also be called Mimerkki, Mieulutar, and Mielus. Mielus means "friendly" and Mieli means "mind" or even "intelligence."

On the 7th day of Hethara, Atum was honored.

24TH

Day of Going Forth of Isis is commemorated on the 8th day of Hethera. Ancient Egyptians marked the approach of the planting season by commemorating the death and rebirth of Osiris. There was music, dancing, and ceremonial planting.

In Santeria, this is the feast of Obatala. In the Yoruba language, Obatala means King of the white cloth. Mythology says that it was a male Obatala that was sent by Oludumare from heaven to Earth to create the human being and to rule as king, but he is blamed for creating defective humans after getting drunk. Humans were meant to be made according to a pattern given by Olodumare. Since that day, Obatala has been forbidden drink, and his children are also forbidden alcohol.

The second day of the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries was called the halade mystai from hals "to or into the sea." The initiates were commanded to purify themselves by bathing in the sea. After their self-baptism in this holy water, they put on new clothes of linen and were called hydrani.

25TH

For about two weeks, Durga Puja is celebrated in India in honor of the ten armed goddess Durga, Divine Mother of the Universe. She conquered the many headed king of demons, Mahisasura. During the festival, children express their respect for their parents, and adults settle quarrels with friends and neighbors. Many family reunions are held during this festival.

In 1985, the Senate passed an amendment denying tax-exempt status to Wiccan groups.

On the third day of the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries offerings were made including barley from a field of Eleusis.

26TH

A solemn procession transpired on the fourth day of the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries. The holy basket of Ceres was moved about in a consecrated cart. On every side, the people cheered Ceres. Following the cart came women called the kisophoroi, who carried baskets in which were sesame, carded wool, grains of salt, a serpent, pomegranates, reeds, ivy, and ceremonial cakes.
A libation was offered to Dionysus and to the other gods, but it was a feast of wine from which Demeter abstained during her period of mourning. Therefore those already within the cult imitated her and did not leave their homes. It was probably on this day that the contents of the kykeon (Barley, water and mint-pennyroyal) were made ready. (see September 28th).

27TH

In Mesopotamia, this is the Day of Willows.

The fifth day of the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries commemorated the Evening of the Holy Night. It was called the ton lampadon hemera, the torch day, because on the following night the people ran about with torches in their hands. The torches were typically dedicated to Ceres, and assertions were made over who should offer the biggest in remembrance of the travels of the goddess and of her lighting a torch in the flames of Mount Aetna. It was also called agyrmos (Hesychios), "gathering." In the morning the procession of mystai assembled, leaving the city by way of the potters' quarter and the Sacred Gate to march along the Sacred Road to Eleusius where it would arrive in the evening.

28TH

Confucius is believed to have been born on this day in 551 BC.

Uroica, Breton goddess of heather and heather wine, is honored with the making of alcohol for festivals and sacred purposes with the Feast of Brewing.

The sixth day of the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries was called Iacchos, from Iacchus who accompanied his mother in search of Proserpine with a torch in his hand. From that circumstance his statue had a torch in its hand, and was carried in solemn procession to Eleusis. They danced and sang as they passed through Hiera Hodos, the sacred way, the resting place hiera syke, named for the fig tree that grew in the area. It is not known what sacred objects were brought from Eleusis to Athens five days before but only that, after crossing the Athenian border, those in charge of them stopped by the hiera syke. The objects were kept for a time in the Eleusinion of Athens and then brought back to Eleusis in the procession. The priestesses carried them on their heads in baskets. There were myrtle boughs in the hair and in the hands of the mystai. The white garments of the mystai were held in high esteem. Dedicated to the goddesses or kept as swaddling clothes for a new generation, they were the simplest sort of dress such as might be worn by beggars or travelers.

They stopped on a bridge over the Cephisus, where a hetaira engaged in gephyrismoi, or "bridge jests" with those that passed. She was playing the role of Baubo, who with jokes and lewd gestures eased Demeter mourning with laughter. This was the moment for the women to drink of the kykeon that they had brought along on their heads.

The salty Rheitoi watercourse was also crossed by bridge. Here the mystai probably identified themselves with the words that have come down to us as their password and sign of recognition. They are a summary of everything the initiated had to do before being admitted to the epopteia. "I have fasted, drunk the kykeon, taken sacred things from the kiste (chest) and, after the rites, put them in the kalathos (small basket), whence I put them back in the kiste (cista mystica)." These sacred things include sesame cakes, "pyramid and spherical cakes, cakes with many navels," pomegranates, poppies, fig branches, fennel stalks, ivy leaves, salt, and a serpent figurine. There are other holy items as well. Ineffable symbols of the goddess, marjoram, a lamp, a sword, and Ceres Comb, a euphemism used in the mysteries for a woman's secret parts. After this they entered Eleusis by a place called mystike eisodos, the mystical entrance to the Telesterion, "the temple of initiation." The roof of the temple was peaked and could be opened to serve as a kind of chimney to the fires which were part of the Mysteries.

The entire procession did not enter the Telesterion. It consisted of the mystai of the Lesser Mysteries and possibly of epoptai, who had already 'seen' Eleusis. Until they reached the Anaktoron, "palace," they were not initiated. This was a small edifice with in the main campus of the temple.

On the 12th Hethara, Osiris went forth to Abydos. This was also a Festival of Hapi commemorating the Creation of the Nile.

29TH

Gwynn ap Nudd, lord of the underworld and the faerie kingdom is equivalent to St. Michael. Glastonbury Tor is his sacred mountain.

Heimdall, orderer of society and watcher for the Norse gods, is captain of 432,000 Einheriar, the chosen warriors who defend Valhalla.

On the seventh day of the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries, there were sports in which the victors were rewarded with a measure of barley, the first grain sown at Eleusis.

30TH

The eighth day of the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries was called Epidaurion Hemera. Once Aesculapius, at his return from Epidaurus to Athens, was initiated by the repetition of the lesser mysteries. It became customary to celebrate them a second time so that those who had not been initiated might be lawfully admitted.

The Meditrinalia honored Meditrina, the Roman goddess of medicines, whose festivals were celebrated at with the offering of the first fruits of the harvest season.

On Thursday, September 30, 1999, Marion Zimmer Bradley died at the age of 69.