Festivals from “365 Goddess”, October to December

The following is excerpted from Patricia Telesco’s “365 Goddess: a Daily Guide to the Magic and Inspiration of the Goddess”. Some of these days are ancient, but some are more moderation, such as Thanksgiving or the Rights of the Child Day from United Nations. But each day she assigned a Goddess Who she felt suited that day’s celebration, if it was a modern holiday. I wouldn’t exactly consider this book to be completely rock-solid for research purposes – in fact there might be a few things that were stated as fact that I think were a stretch or not 100% true. But I think the spirit and the heart of the book is in the right place, and since Telesco had to have a festival of some kind for every day of the year, there is indeed a lot of information in there and I learned about some new celebrations I was not aware of before.

I was intrigued to find out about the Saffron Rose Festival in Spain, which I’m going to do more research on. Ms Telesco related the Saffron Rose Festival to Eos, because she appears to Goddess-focused. But I’m considering working it into my festival schedule as a festival for Krokus and Hermes. After all, saffron comes from the stamen of the crocus flower, which in Greek myth was originally a lover of Hermes named Krokus. I’ve also considered working more with plant spirits and heroes, and something about it feels, I dunno, right.

Anyway, I picked out some of the festival days that honored Greek, Roman and Egyptian Goddesses to share. I’ll probably do a similar post in January, too, of other upcoming ones.

October 13

Fountanalia (Rome)

Fons

Themes: Water; Wishes; Thankfulness; Healing

Symbols: Fountains; Water sources

About Fons: This Roman Goddess of Fountains holds a special place in today’s festivities, when people gather around her in the spirit of community gratitude for the refreshment that Fons provides in all seasons.

Do To Today: This ancient Roman festival gives thanks for fresh drinking water, and many of its traditions are easily assimilated. For example, customarily, fresh flowers were tossed in flowing water sources to thank the spirit of Fons that abides therein. So, toss a flower into your hose water, a stream, or a fountain. Or, float a flower atop a beverage today to honor Fons as part of that drink.

Fon’s waters are also known for healing, cleansing, and wish granting. To generate well-being, include as many water-based foods and beverages in your diet today as possible. This allows you to partake of Fon’s healing powers. For wishes, give the goddess a token (like a coin or flower petals) and whisper your desire to her waters. For cleansing, take a hot bath or shower so her waters will carry away your tensions.

Finally, you might want to focus on improving your water supply today. Buy a water filter, get some bottled water, bless your water jugs, or do something else along those lines so that Fons can cleanse and purify everyone in your home.

October 25

Sweetest Day (United States)

Felicitas

Themes: Kindness; Charity; Love; Romance; Joy; Success; Luck

Symbols: Greetings (greeting cards)

About Felicitas: This Roman goddess brings happiness, success, and good fortune whenever someone salutes another with good deeds and kind words. She comes to us today to energize late fall and early winter with the transformational power of kindness.

Do To Today: While Sweetest Day seems to be focused on lovers these days, in earlier years it represented an opportunity to shower anyone and everyone with cheerful trinkets, kind acts, and gentle words to lift one’s spirits. By looking to Felicitas for help, we can return this holiday to its original form and bring joy to people who might otherwise be feeling a case of the autumn blues. Look for, or make, some humorous greeting cards to send to folks you know who would appreciate the thought. Lay your hands on them and invoke Felicitas’s blessing in any way that feels right.

To improve the effect further, anoint the cards with rejuvenating aromatic oils that match the recipient’s needs (such as pine for money, rose for love or peace, cinnamon for luck, sandalwood for health, and lavender to combat depression). This way, when they open that card, the magic and the aroma will be released together to bless, energize, and bear Felicitas’s greeting along with your heartfelt wishes!

October 28

Saffron Rose Festival (Spain)

Eos

Themes: Wealth; Love; Joy; Health; Fertility; Leadership; Passion; Beauty

Symbols: Saffron

About Eos: In Indo-European Tradition, Eos is a sky goddess who offers us dawn’s hopeful, renewing energy. Greek stories tell of Eos’s intense beauty, which inspires passion. As a faithful consort and fertile divinity, she also ensures us of productivity and devoted love.

Do To Today: Saffron is the world’s most expensive herb, and on the last Sunday in October, people in Consuegra, Spain, honor the crop with folk dances and pageantry. Magically speaking, saffron embodies Eos’ joyful, healthy and fertile power, which is why it was sacred to her. So, consider getting up at dawn adding a few strands of saffron to your morning tea to bring renewed hope.

Later in the day, consume saffron rice to internalize any of Eos’ attributes. Or, carry a container of saffron as a charm to manifest passion, inspire inner beauty, and motivate positive financial improvements.

The ancients also used saffron to dye the robes of kings, giving it associations with leadership. So, if you need to improve your sense of control or authority in any situation, integrate something with a saffron hue into your wardrobe today. The color’s vibrations strengthen self-confidence and generate the administrative skills you need.

November 2

All Soul’s Day (Various Locations)

Nephthys

Themes: Death; Ghosts; Rebirth; Devotion

Symbols: Sunset, Hawk (her sacred animal)

About Nephthys: Just as Isis embodies life’s energies in Egypt, her sister Nephthys is the force of death and reincarnation. Traditionally, Nephthys dwells in tombs, guiding and welcoming spirits into the afterlife. Her name means “death which is not eternal”, referencing the Egyptian belief in the soul’s rebirth to a new existence.

To Do Today: Following on the heels of Hallows and All Saint’ Day, this festival honors the faithful departed. In early times children would go “souling”, collecting small cakes believed to rescue souls from purgatory. In keeping with this idea, go out at sunset to honor Nephthys with a small cake or cracker. Leave this in a natural location and ask the goddess to bring peace to any restless souls in her care.

Oddly enough, Roman announced engagements today (likely as a way of stressing life’s continuance). So if you’ve been thinking of deepening a relationship, or making a commitment to a beloved project, this is one date that might suit the occasion. Again, go outside at sunset, and as the sun slips behind the horizon pray to the goddess. Tell her your goal or speak your pledges in her name. Ask her to rejuvenate your determination so that tomorrow you might be born anew to your task or relationship.

November 13

Ludi Plebeli (Rome)

Feronia

Themes: Fertility; Abundance; Earth; Freedom; Sports; Recreation

Symbols: Fire; Coals

About Feronia: This Roman fire goddess provides fertility and abundance during even the harsest of times. When boredom sets in, she arrives with arms bearing festive energies and earth’s riches as a “pick-me-up”.According to Roman tradition, she is also the patroness and liberator of slaves, or of anything that allegorically enslaves us.

To Do Today: Every November 13, the Plebian Games, opened in Rome with all manner of sports competitions. This festival also honored the goddess Feronia and her liberating nature. Mirroring this theme, get outside today and do something physical to release any anger or tension you bear. Give it into Feronia’s care so she can transform it into healthful energy.

Carry a piece of coal today to generate a little of Feronia’s abundance in all your efforts. Keeping this near your stove (or any fire source, like the heater) maintains this goddess’s energy in your home year-round. If a day comes when you have a really pressing need, burn the coal in Feronia’s liberating flames to release the magic for fast manifestation.

If you find your inner reserves waning with the winter’s darkness, light a candle sometime today to invoke Feronia;s vitality. Better still, light it for a few minutes each day until you feel your energy returning.

November 20

Rights of the Child Day (United Nations)

Strenia

Themes: Children; Protection

Symbols: Bay; Palm; Figs; Honey; Youthful Images

About Strenia: While this goddess’s traditional festival date in Italy was January 1, she joins in our hoilday observances today to extend her protective care to children. Among the Sabines and Romans, Strenia safeguarded the youth b providing health and strength. Traditional offerings for this goddess include burning bay leaves and leaving out sweet breads mixed with dates and figs.

To Do Today: On this day in 1959, Strenia was likely standing by and applauding as the United Nations adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child to encourage proper treatment of our youth and inspire their future. So, take time with the children in your life today. Teach them in the “way they should grow” and revel in their innocent trust and love. Invoke Strenia’s blessings and health for that young one by sharing fig cookies (heck, eat a few yourself for strength!). Or, make the child a small power pouch that includes a bay leaf and a dried crumb of sweet bread. This way they can carry the goddess with them even when you’re not around.

For those without children, try volunteering at a youth shelter or orphanage today. Take one of those kids out for lunch or to the zoo. Through your efforts, Strenia, can gather that child in arms of warmth and comfort.

November 22

Sagittarius Begins (Various Locations)

Leucothea

Themes: Creativity; Energy; Communication; Balance; Harmony; Change

Symbols: Bow and Arrow; White Items; Milk; Seawater

About Leucotheca: In Greek tradition, this woman gave birth to the centaurs and was a wet nurse to Dionysus. Her name translates as “milk-white goddess” alluding to a strong maternal nature. In later times she became a sea goddess, bearing the visage of mermaid. Through this transformation we see the mingling of the spiritual nature (water) with that of the earth (half-human appearance) to create Sagittarius’s customary energies.

To Do Today: In astrology, Sagittarius is the centurion archer who represents a harmonious mingling of physical and spiritual living. Those born under this sign tend toward idealism, upbeat outlooks, and confidence. Like Leucothea, Sagittarians seems to have a strong drive for justice, especially for those people under their care.

To consume a bit of Leucothea’s maternal nature or invoke her spiritual balance in your life, make sure to include milk or milk products in your diet today. Or, wear something white to figuratively don her power.

For help with personal transformations, especially those that encourage personal comfort and tranquility, soak in a nice, long saltwater or milk bath today. As you do, ask Leucothea to show you the right steps to take next.

November 23

Tellabration (Connecticut)

Calliope

Themes: Arts; Communication; History

Symbols: Stories; Books; Pens and Pencils; Quill;

About Calliope: A member of the Thracian muses, Calliope is the goddess of epic poetry and eloquence, whose symbol is that of a stylus and tablets. Greek stories claim that this goddess is the mother of all poets and musicians.

To Do Today: This national storytelling festival began in 1988 as a way of preserving and perpetuating oral traditions and the bardic art of telling “tall tales” and good stories which Calliope inspires. Today she joins our celebration to motivate creativity in all areas of our lives, especially written and spoken words.

In today’s hurry-up world we often forget how powerful a word or phrase can be. To honor this goddess, slow down a little all day long, and really consider how yo’re communicating your ideas. As the old saying goes, be sure your brain is in gear before shifting your tongue to high. During those moments of contemplation, Calliope will flow through you and give you the words you need.

During a break, take out a beloved book and start reading it again (Walden is my choice). Calliope will help you find something new and wonderful in those pages inspire you even further in any task you undertake today. And perhaps go out and buy yourself a special pen and pencil and bless the for use for important missives.

November 24

Thanksgiving (United States)

Spes

Themes: Thankfulness; Hope; Abundance; Harvest

Symbols: A Bouquet of Flowers

About Spes: In Roman tradition, this goddess’s name means “hope”. She joins us today to celebrate the successful harvest and keep our hearts hopefl as the earth’s plenty wanes/ In art, Spes often appears as a simple bundle of flowers whose beauty inspires the most distraught of spirits

To Do Today: Follow pilgrim tradition and set aside tine today to thank the goddess for her blessing ina any way that seems sutited to your path and vision. For example, give Spea an offering of the first slice of holiday bread, share food with those in need, or perhaps treat the birds and squirrels in your neighborhood to some bread and nuts.

Locally we invite any friends who have no family nearby to join with us in a delightful symbolic meal. I serve round rye bread and dill dip for unity and kinship, sweet potatoes for life’s sweetness and Spes’s harvest energies, cranberries mixed with oranges to keep our energy and health intact, vegetables for firm foundations, and pumpkin pie with magical sigils carved in the crust for the goddess’s protective spark. If you look at your own traditional menu, I’ll bet you will find many other foods and beverages that have similar symbolism to bring meaning and Spes’s magic to your table for this holiday. As you ear, remember to pass all the food and beverages clockwise to invoke Spes’s ongoing providence.

November 29

Stir-Up Sunday (England)

Hestia

Themes: Religious Devotion; Home; Wishes; Manifestation; Kinship; Unity; Beginnings

Symbols: Fire (ovens); Sparks

About Hestia: The Greek Goddess of household affairs, Hestia watches over our cookery today go help manifest family unity and ensure tasty outcomes. As a hearth goddess, she provides the spiritual energy necessary to keep our faith sure and the inner fires burning bright. Greek art did not try to portray this goddess, because she was considered the beginning- the source from which all else was ignited and set in motion.

To Do Today: Getting its name from the annual Yule-pudding making that takes place in many homes around this time of year, Stir-Up Sunday is also a time in the Christian Church to motivate determinatied faith. So why not blend the best of both worlds? Invoke Hestia’s blessing your kitchen and make some pudding for the whole family (or a gathering of friends). Have each person present stir the pudding clockwise for a few minturtes as they focus on a wish. By next year at this time, the wish should manifest.

Light a candle, this morning to welcome Hestia’s unity and energy into your home. Or, carry matches in your pocket so the spark of this goddess can ignite in any situation where its needed. Throughout the day, when you need more commitment to your beliefs, just light one match to invoke Hestia’s aid.

December 15

Faunalia (Rome)

Fauna

Themes: Fertility; Nature; Divination

Symbols: All Forrest Items

About Fauna: In Roman mythology, Fauna is the consort to Faunus, whom this date venerates. With Faunus, she protects the woodlands and plants that live there. While her role in stories seems minor, Fauna’s power lives on in botanical terminology, her name having been given to vegetation.

To Do Today: Faunus was a woodland god like Pan, who sends messages through the forests for those who know nature’s omens and signs. If at all possible, go to a natural location today (even a park or quiet tree in your neighborhood will do) with a small libation of wine or milk, both of which are customary. Pour this on the ground, focusing on your intention to learn more about nature’s messages to us. Then spend at least twenty minutes observing. Take notes as you do. Do the trees’ leaves seem to talk? Do they move in a specific way? Are the birds taking flight? Where do they go? Do any drop feather on the ground? Do any animals appear unexpectedly? If so, what does the creature do, and where does it go? All of these things, and other similar experiences, can carry a sign meant to help you today or in the days ahead. To interpret what you see, consult any good folklore or superstition collection, like my book Victorian Grimoire, or another of my books, Futuretelling, which discusses natural harbingers.

December 23

Larentalia (Rome)

Larunda

Themes: Earth; Home; Ghosts

Symbols: Stove or Oven; Soil or Clay

About Larunda: Lara is one of the Roman goddesses of the earth and the home. She is also the mother and guardian to ghosts, or lares, who reside in the hearth and protect the family. Traditionally, today is her festival day.

To Do Today: In Rome, this day was a time to say prayers for the dead and the nation, as well as to bring joy to one’s home. In keeping with this tradition, convey words like these to Larunda:

Larunda, hear my words. Bless the spirits of those

who have gone on before me, and grant them

serenity. Bless also my nation, that it may know

peace and prosperity this year and always. Finally,

bless my home with your happiness, prosperity,

and love. Let all who visit or dwell within feel

your presence and protection surrounding them.

Thank you for these blessings. Amen.

To invoke both Larunda’s and the lares’ blessing on your residence, leave a small jar of soil somewhere near your oven, microwave, roaster, or heater, and say,

Larunda, lares, this house bless, with your warmth and gentleness.

Whenever tensions in the house reach a boiling point, take a pinch of the soil outside and dispose of it. This releases the magic and symbolically gets rid of the problems. Don’t look back.

December 28

Feast of Fools (Europe)

Thalia

Themes: Humor; Festivity; Recreation

Symbols: Party Decorations

About Thalia: Among the Greek muses, Thalia is the goddess of festivity and humor. She inspires today’s celebration with unbridled revelry and joyfulness to round the year on an upbeat, playful tone.

To Do Today: During the Middle Ages, around this time of year, a mock religious ritual took place, much like the impious Saturnalia. Normal roles were often reversed, and reverence went by the wayside, replaced by fun and pleasure. I see no reason not to follow the example of or ancestors and give ourselves time to frolic a bit today. Do something that energizes you, inspires you, or make you laugh out loud. For example, throw yourself a party complete with silly decorations and hats. Watch your favorite comedy flicks with a friend. Or, go out dancing, play video games, socialize with folks who make you feel good, and generally let Thalia live through (and in) your pleasure.

To keep Thalia’s playful, enthusiastic energy with you, bless an amethyst (for joy and luck) saying,

Thalia, inspire my humor and muse;

throughout my life, joy diffuse.

Carry this with you anytime you feel your sense of humor waning.

December 30

Halcyon Days (Greece)

Iris

Themes: Winter; Peace; Protection; Air; Meditation; Promises; Beginnings

Symbols: Rainbow; Water

About Iris: This Greek messenger of the gods traverses between the earth and heavens, appearing as a winged maiden on a shining, hopeful rainbow. In this form she represents the calm after the storm — the end of the year’s activities and the advent of a new beginning. Traditional offerings to her include figs, cakes, wheat, and honey. In some stories it was Iris’s job to gather water from the underworld for use in taking sacred oaths.

To Do Today: The word halcyon comes from a legendary bird that builds its nest on the ocean in the winter, sedating the winds with its song to safeguard its young. Thus, the week before and after the winter solstice are said to bear both the halcyon’s and Iris’s calm ambiance and hopeful demeanor.

To inspire an improved outlook, find a rainbow sun catcher and put it in a window today so that Iris’s radiance can fill your home. Fer an extra one for your car (or maybe a rainbow-colored air freshener), so you can keep that energy with you throughout the day.

For another aromatic approach, open, a window briefly today and let Iris fly in on wings of change and refreshment. Burn some violet or lavender incense as you do. These two aromatics accentuate this goddess’s vibrations.

December 31

Hekate’s Day (Greece/Rome)

Hekate

Themes: Moon; Beginnings; Magic

Symbols: Serpent, Horse, or Dog (her sacred animals); Light (specifically a torch); Myrrh; Silver; Moonstone

About Hekate: This Greco-Roman goddess rules the moon and opportunities. Tonight she opens the path through which the old year departs and the new enters. People customarily worship Hekate at crossroads, where worlds meet, which may be why she became a witch’s goddess. On this, her festival day, she bears a torch, lighting the way to the future.

To Do Today: At the eve of the new year, take a moment and pat yourself on the back for a full year of goddess-centered thinking and action. Note your achievements, and thank Hekate for helping you find the way when your vision seemed clouded. An additional benefit here is that speaking this goddess’s name today banishes unwanted ghosts, including those figurative ghosts of past negative experiences. Let Hekate take those burdens so your new year will begin without holding you back.

To accent this goddess’s powers in your life throughout your celebrations today, wear white or silver items, and light a white candle in her honor. For a token that will emphasize Hekate’s magic and lunar energies whenever you need them, bless a moonstone, saying,

Hekate, fill this silver stone;

keep your magic with me where’ver I roam.

Carry this, keeping the goddess close to your heart and spirit. Happy new year!

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