Acknowledging the Equinox

Yesterday was the Vernal Equinox, but my women friends and I celebrated it today, with our usual pot-luck gathering. where we sit around and complain about the aches and pains that plague our bodies and the aches and pains of the plague that is our country’s leadership. And then we share in some sort of creative ritual or ceremony. Today, it was a variation on this.
Of course, I can’t pass up the opportunity to pass along some Equinox lore, which just shows how contemporary religious Spring rituals and stories harken back to other, much, much older ones.
In ancient Rome, the 10-day rite in honor of Attis, son of the great goddess Cybele, began on March 15th. A pine tree, which represented Attis, was chopped down, wrapped in a linen shroud, decorated with violets and placed in a sepulchre in the temple. On the Day of Blood or Black Friday, the priests of the cult gashed themselves with knives as they danced ecstatically, sympathizing with Cybele in her grief and helping to restore Attis to life. Two days later, a priest opened the sepulchre at dawn, revealing that it was empty and announcing that the god was saved. This day was known as Hilaria or the Day of Joy, a time of feasting and merriment.
Sound familiar? Easter is the Christian version of the same myth. Even the name Easter is stolen. It comes from the Saxon dawn-goddess Eostre, whose festival was celebrated on spring equinox. The date of Easter is still determined by the old moon cycle. It is always the first Sunday on or after the first full moon after the spring equinox.

One can only hope that there will be some kind of rebirth for this country after its looming demise at the hands of the Almighty Burning Bush (see previous post), who needs some major help finding his way out of his own Fog of War. He would do well to internalize the “Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara.”
Like that’s ever going to happen. Unless course, god tells him to. Oh Yeah!

2 thoughts on “Acknowledging the Equinox

  1. Hmm… a rose by any name… I grew up to believe it was Estor, but there must be many variations on the name. None of these celebrations will (or should) be forgotten and, as of today aren’t. I’d like to believe they’ve never really been supressed. In the first millenium AD, most would have been well aware of St. Paul’s Project for the New Anglo Centuries (PNAC) and would have stressed the one celebration over the other. It’s the whole globalization or aculturation buzz… The trouble with many people today is their shallow fundamentalism… they’ve forgotten from where their beliefs spring. Most kids should be forced to read Arthurian legend… they’ve retained their peculiarly English character for centuries, but most never seem to realize their dependence on both pagan rites and that nebulous thing called judeo-christian culture. Have a good spring, Elaine; it’s getting chilly down here at the Southern Tip, temperatures dropping below 20 Celsius and rain starting to blow in off the sea. Winter’s around the corner.

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