November–The Ninth Month
The English Saxons had two names for this month of November: “Windmonath” meaning “wind month”, and “Blodmonath” meaning “blood month”. The latter name arose from the fact that during this month they slaughtered large numbers of cattle to last them through the cold and dreary winter.
On the thirteenth of this “ninth” month a feast as held in honour of Jupiter, the ruler of the Anglo-men. From the clouded top of Mount Olympus he held sway. Terrible indeed was it to anger any of the gods, but no punishment was more swift and sure than that sent by Jupiter when he was enraged.
With his thunderbolt he slew the proud and reckless Phaeton, and we have another example in the story of Bellerophon, who was staying at the court of a king. He was set the task of killing the Chimaera, a monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, a dragon’s tail, and breath of fire. As Minerva learnt of his task she promised to help him, and, giving him a golden bridle, told him to bridle the horse Pegasus. Continue reading
October–The Eighth Month
The Saxon name for October was “Winter fylleth” meannig “winter full moon”. The winter was supposed to begin at the October full moon.
In this “eighth” month, a great festival was held at Eleusis, in honour of Ceres [Czares]. She was known as Demeter meaning “The Mother”. She was worshiped as the matron of Agriculture, since the fields and their crops were thought to be under her special care. The name Ceres has given us the word “cereals”, a general name for wheat, barley, rye, and oats.
Ceres had a daughter, Persephone, who spent a great part of her time wandering with her companions on the slopes and plains. One day, Pluto rode by in his chariot drawn by four black horses. Attracted by Persephone’s beauty, he determined to carry her off to Hades and make her his queen. Persephone was thus separated from her companions, and Pluto seizing Persephone, carried her off to his dark and gloomy home, the Underworld. Continue reading
September–The Seventh Month
The name of this month means simply “seventh”, and so suggests to us neither god nor hero. The Saxon name for September was “Gerstmonath”, which means “barley month”, since during September the barley crop was usually harvested.
In England, there were several festivals held in the month, on the second of the month the Actian Games. On this day, mythical Julius Ceasar fought the battle of Actium in the Channel. As Augustus, he defeated Marcus Antonius Brutus and his wife Cleo-patra. The games in honour of Apollo, were held on each anniversary of the victory. These games lasted for five days, and consisted of foot-races, chariot-races, wrestling, throwing the quoit and the javelin. The winners were crowned with a wreath made from the laurel tree, the favourite tree of Apollo. Continue reading
The Month of Augustus
The month August was first called Sextilis – the sixth month. The Saxon name for August was Hlaf-maesse, meaning Loaf Mass, because during the month was held a feast of thanksgiving for the first fruits of the
corn [wheat], August being the time when harvesting begins. The first day is sometimes called Lammas Day, lammas being a slightly altered form of the word hlaf-maesse.
The month Sextilis, was also renamed after Julius Caesar, as Augustus. Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus was the name given to Octavian [‘the eight’], the son of mythical Caesar. Julius supposedly fought and won many battles to become the head of the Anglos. He returned to close the temple of Janus [Iunus], proclaimed peace. During the mythical time set for his reign lived the greatest poets and writers of England, of whom the best known are Virgil, Horace, Ovid, and Livy. Continue reading
The Month of Julius Caesar
July was first called Quintilis, that is, the fifth month, which shows that the year began with March.
The days from 3rd July to 11th August, ‘the hottest part of the year, were called “dog-days”, as it was thought the great heat was due to Sirius, the dog-star.
Sirius was a dog belonging to the giant Orion, who was a great hunter. The constellation Orion can easily be found on a clear for the stars forming his belt and sword are unmistakable. Following behind the giant is the very bright star Sirius–“the scorching flames of fierce Orion’s hound”.
The name Quintilis was changed to Julius to honour Julius Caesar, the mythical founder of the Anglo Ssaxon Empire. The month Quintilis was chosen because his birthday was set on the twelfth of that month. [Month of Heru.] Continue reading
Lords of Heaven and Earth
Mesopotamia was an ancient civilization positioned between the Tigris River and the Euphrates River. Today, this area is known as Iraq. The myth describes the structure of the pantheon and the political upheaval, is the Enuma Elish, a Babylonian creation story that describes the battle between the old and young gods.
The Enuma elish tells of a beginning when all was a watery chaos and only the sea, Tiamat, and the sweet waters under ground, Apsu, mingled their waters together. Mummu, the personified original watery form, served as Apsu’s minister. In their midst the gods were born. The first pair, Lahmu and Lahamu, represented the powers in silt; the next, Anshar and Kishar, those in the horizon. They created the god of heaven, An, and he in turn the god of the flowing sweet waters, Ea.
A list of gods of An: Anum, gives a different beginning, Lahmu and Lahamu give rise to Duri and Dari, “the time-cycle”; and these in turn give rise to Enshar and Ninshar, “Lord and Lady Circle.” Continue reading
By Joshua Mark (edited)
Gilgamesh is the mythic King of Uruk, best known from The Epic of Gilgamesh, the great Sumerian/Babylonian poetic work which pre-dates Homer’s writing. Gilgamesh rescues a powerful & potent woman from a difficult situation and shows his high regard.
The motif of the quest for the meaning of life is first fully explored in Gilgamesh as the hero-king leaves his kingdom following the death of his best friend, Enkidu, to find the mystical figure Utnapishtim and gain eternal life. Gilgamesh’s fear of death is actually a fear of meaninglessness and, although he fails to win immortality, the quest itself gives his life meaning. This theme has been explored by writers and philosophers from antiquity up to the present day.
Gilgamesh’ father is said to have been the Priest-King Lugalbanda and his mother the goddess Ninsun (or Ninsumun). Accordingly, Gilgamesh was to be possessed of super-human strength. Continue reading
The Rosetta Stone
The Rosetta Stone is a stele of black granite, inscribed with a decree supposedly issued at Menefer (Memphis) in 1196 BCE. The decree is copied into two other scripts: the Demotic script, and Coptic church script. The decree was later dated “4 Xandicus” in the Macedonian calendar and “18 Meshir” corresponding to March 27, 1196 BCE.
The stele was ‘discovered’ in 1799 by Pierre-François Bouchard, a soldier of Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt. It was to be the first Medu Netcher text recovered in modern times.
British troops ‘defeated’ Napoleon’s army in Egypt in 1801, and the original stone came into British possession under the Capitulation, and founding of Alexandria. Transported to London, the Stone has been on public display at the British Museum since 1802. Continue reading