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September 14 2018 Pagan Style

On this day, ancient Romans held the Equorum probatio ("Approval of the Horses"), a cavalry parade of the Imperial period, probably as part of the Ludi Romani.

Today is the Greek Basile. This observance was a sacrifice by the Attic demos Erchia to “Basile,” a deity associated with the legendary hero King Kodros (originally from Pylos) and his ancestor Neleus. Kodros lost his kingdom in Pylos to the Dorians and afterward came to Athens, killed King Xanthos and then became King of Athens. These events likely happen in the 11th century BCE. Whatever this particular observance commemorated, it is Mycenaean in origin. Sources: Adkins, Lesley and Roy A.Adkins, Handbook to Life in Ancient Greece, 1997, Oxford and the website for [hellenion.org]

In Hinduism, today is Skanda Sashti or Kanda Sashti Vratam. Skanda is a popular Hindu deity, especially among Tamil Hindus. Lord Skanda is the son of Shiva and Parvati. In south India, Skanda is considered the younger brother of Ganesha, while in north India, Skanda is considered the elder brother of Ganesha. Skanda is also known as Murugan, Kartikeyan and Subramanya. The day is dedicated to Lord Skanda. Devotees keep fast in His honour.

The Seiryu-e Festival in Kiyomizu Temple, Kyoto (September 15-17) is a spectacular Buddhist event in which a large number of participants in beautiful costumes parade around the grounds of Kiyomizu dera temple. A blue dragon, an incarnation of Kannon and a guardian deity of Kyoto, is paraded through the compound. It is accompanied by the four devas, sixteen other temple gods, and drums and loud shouting and roaring. There is also a dragon dance and the opportunity to receive a special blessing of Kiyomizu dera temple. This festival is held every spring and autumn.

In England, today is Devil’s Nutting Day. An English folk tradition dating back over 450 years connects Holy Cross Day on September 14th with another custom called ‘nutting’. Originally, the feast day took place to commemorate a piece of the True Cross that was recovered and stored safely in Constantinople, in 629 BC. But as is the nature of events, in 1560 some Eton schoolboys were granted a half-day holiday on Holy Cross Day and decided to amuse themselves by gathering nuts.

Today celebrates the Pilgrimage of the Black Madonna in Switzerland. The Black Madonna is often a Christianization of an Earth Mother/underworld Goddess celebrated around harvest. Honour the spirits of the plants and/or animals you eat.

On this day in 1486, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa was born. He was a German polymath, physician, legal scholar, soldier, theologian and an occult writer. He apparently took part in a secret society involved in the occult during his studies in Paris. At Dôle, Agrippa wrote De nobilitate et praecellentia foeminae sexus (On the Nobility and Excellence of the Feminine Sex), a work that tried to prove the superiority of women using cabalistic ideas. He later wrote several more books on occult philosophy. No evidence exists that Agrippa was seriously accused, much less persecuted, for his interest in or practice of magical or occult arts during his lifetime, although it was known he argued against the persecution of witches. Modern editions of his work are still available online. His book “The Philosophy of Natural Magic” can be read for free here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/pnm/index.htm

On this day in 1963, Ellen Dugan, the Garden Witch, was born. She is a Master Gardener who has written a number of books on magical gardening; co-High Priestess of Greenwood Coven, and a prolific contributor to Llewellyn Publications. Many Happy Returns of the Day, Ellen!

On this day in 1978, the Church of All Words (CAW) moved its headquarters from Missouri to California. CAW takes its spiritual direction from a book by Robert Heinlein, Strangers in a Strange Land. Its values include: a belief in immanent Divinity, a pluralistic perspective towards religion, living in harmony with nature, self-actualization, deep friendship and positive sexuality.

Image: Ellen Dugan found on [Llewellyn.com]
 
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