September 10 2018 Pagan Style
Ancient Greeks and modern Hellenists celebrate the Agathos Daimon today. Agathos Daimon means “good spirit” and is a religious observance held on the second day of each lunar month, immediately following the Noumenia. It is the third celebration of a trio of household monthly observances. A good spirit usually refers to a type of divine being that is less powerful than a God, is personal to each family, and can bring the family good luck, protection, or some type of assistance. Household spirits are usually seen as either snakes or as a young man with a horn of plenty in hand. The name “daimon” does not mean the evil demon of modern Christianity, (although it did have a negative form, called the kakodaimon), but was thought to be an aspect of Zeus, as Zeus Ktesios, Charitodotes, and Epikarpios, titles as giver of increase and joy. Agathos Daimon is most often represented in the form of a snake, a symbol of healing. However the daimon is also a function of one’s being, a characteristic inherently neither good nor bad. Hence, one prays for a good daimon, an eudaimon, and goodness from the gods for the coming month and also for the favor of father Zeus as Agathos Daimon. Burkert (Greek Religion, p. 181) says that “One must be on good terms with it.” And Pindar sang that "The daimon active about me I will always consciously put to rights with me by cultivating him according to my means" (Pyth. 3.108f) and "The great mind of Zeus steers the daimon of the men whom he loves" (Pyth. 5.122f). The philosopher Sokratēs talks of his own daimon as a small voice which speaks to him and warns him to refrain from certain actions (Plato, Apology, 31d).
On this day in 1801, Marie Laveau was born in Louisiana. Marie Catherine Laveau (September 10, 1801– June 15, 1881) was a Louisiana Creole practitioner of Voodoo (known as New Orleans Voodoo today), who was renowned in New Orleans.
On this day in 1930, Carl Llewellyn Weschcke was born. He was a businessman and the president/owner of Llewellyn Worldwide (formerly Llewellyn Publications) from 1961 until his death. Llewellyn Worldwide is a prolific publisher of neopagan books. In 1970, Weschcke opened the Gnostica Bookstore in Minneapolis, as well as the "Gnostica School for Self-Development", based on Gnostic teachings. He also began the Gnostic Aquarian Festivals in Minneapolis, also known as Gnosticon during the 1970s, which helped fuel the rise in awareness of occult and metaphysical teachings.
Image: 1920 painting of Marie Laveau (1794–1881) by Frank Schneider, based on an 1835 painting (now lost?) by George Catlin. Public Domain.