Tag Archives: Calendar

September 23rd is the Autumnal Equinox

first-day-of-fall-2015-northern-hemisphere-6003706315145216-hp
The google doodle for Sep 23, 20015

Today is the day the Sun enters Libra and the beginning of Autumn. In the same way that the Solstice marks the days of longest and shortest “light,” the Equinoxes mark the day of equal light. Nox is the Roman goddess of night so equinox literally means “equal night.” The glyph for Libra represents the setting sun expressing the balance between night and day. In traditional Astrology, the Sun is “exalted” in Aries while halfway through its circuit along the ecliptic, it is in “fall” in Libra, Aries’ opposite sign.

The rising of the constellation Libra marked the beginning of the New Year in ancient Egypt. Equinoxes are the two points in the year (March 19-21 and September 21-23) when the Sun crosses the celestial equator. At these times, day and night in Northern and Southern hemispheres are of equal length. The Spring (vernal) Equinox occurs midway between the Winter and Summer solstices; the Autumnal Equinox occurs midway between the Summer and Winter solstices. The Autumn equinoctial festival of Mabon mirrors the spring equinoctial festival of Oestara with the Light and Dark forces of the Universe switching ascendancy.

In myth, the goddess Persephone departs the earth to join her husband in the underworld. It is time to give thanks for the summer and to welcome the impending dark. Traditionally, this was when some of the heaviest work of the agricultural year began. The harvest was stored away, the farm animals were measured against their feed and decisions were made about how many to keep and how many to slaughter and eat. This is why so much Thanksgiving feasting went on now. Fresh meat and fruit only last so long.

Symbols of Autumn:

Blackberries, cranberries, wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, nuts, corn, apples, pomegranates, ivy

Foods of Autumn:

Breads, nuts, apples, squash, pomegranates, and pumpkin pie.

Colors of Autumn:

The colors of the sunset: violet, orange, russet, maroon, brown, and gold.

Stones of Autumn:

Libra is pink tourmaline, opal and rhodochrosite. Scorpio is topaz, bloodstone, and yellow agate. Sagittarius is turquoise and jasper.

Activities of Autumn:

Making cider and wine, gathering seeds and seedpods, walking in the woods, Halloween, and Thanksgiving celebrations, Christmas shopping.


Welcome Spring!

The Equinox Tradition:

Spring is the dawn of the new zodiacal year in the Northern Hemisphere. Don’t you just love the word “equinox?” I have to decide each time whether to say it with a short or long “e”. The equinoxes are the two times during the year when the dark of night and the light of day are in balance or equal. Another name for the Vernal Equinox is Ostara, from the name of a German Goddess of fertility, Oestarae.

She is the deific equivalent of the Greco-Roman goddess, Aurora, the personification of the sunrise. Consider that the Sun rises in the East and her name is where East and Easter both come from. The Christian Easter date was decided by the Council of Nicaea to fall the first Sunday after the first full Moon occurring on or after the March Equinox. This effectively removed its observance from conflicts with either Ostara or Passover.  Continue reading Welcome Spring!

Welcome Spring!

The Equinox Tradition:

Spring is the dawn of the new zodiacal year in the Northern Hemisphere. Don’t you just love the word “equinox?” I have to decide each time whether to say it with a short or long “e”. The equinoxes are the two times during the year when the dark of night and the light of day are in balance or equal. Another name for the Vernal Equinox is Ostara, from the name of a German Goddess of fertility, Oestarae.

She is the deific equivalent of the Greco-Roman goddess, Aurora, the personification of the sunrise. Consider that the Sun rises in the East and her name is where East and Easter both come from. The Christian Easter date was decided by the Council of Nicaea to fall the first Sunday after the first full Moon occurring on or after the March Equinox. This effectively removed its observance from conflicts with either Ostara or Passover.  Continue reading Welcome Spring!

Happy Halloween!

The traditional European festivals of Hallowe’en, Samhain, the Feast of the Dead and All Soul’s Eve’ are celebrated on or around October 31st in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, this is the seasonal equivalent of our May Day. Samhain, the hallowed eve’ (or Halloween) marks the true end of Summer and the beginning of Winter’s quarter of the year, the portion of the year dedicated to the night forces. Persephone assumes her role as Queen in the underworld and according to tradition, this is when the dead walk among us and return to their homes.

Celebrations honoring the dead, both departed loved ones and scary ghosts, are found as far back as ancient Egypt and within as varied cultural groups as the Iroquois and Huron in the New World, and the Celts, Romans,  Britons in the Old.  I haven’t found any evidence that Central American countries celebrated this holiday until after the Spanish Conquest but they’ve made up for lost time with their three day El Dias de los Muertas. All of these festivals take place between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice, although the Huron festival was only celebrated every fifteenth year or when the tribe made a major geographical move, leaving behind the bones of the departed.

This year’s Day of the Dead festival will end with a total Solar Eclipse on November 3. It will be visible from the South Eastern part of the US. Check it out on Time and Date.com

Commemorate this time by listening to Mozart’s Requiem and lighting a candle to honor your ancestors, your teachers, those explorers who have gone before and who walk among us this night.  Watch some movies dealing with the supernatural: The Wizard of Oz, The Gift, Sixth Sense, Stir of Echoes, or Dead Again are some of my favorites.

Click here to read some great articles about Halloween, curses and zombies from Archeology Magazine.

Click here for local events from the Seattle PI.

So Mozart’s Requiem Mass is one of my favorite pieces of music in the whole world. Below is the complete Karl Bohm version from YouTube and it is beautiful, very lyrical and grand. We have several versions and the one of Peter Shreier conducting the Leipzig Radio Chorus from 1983 is actually the one I would recommend over this one so if you are looking to add it to your collection, get that one. I have listened to it hundreds of times and it still both gives me goosebumps and brings me to tears. I just looked it up on Amazon for you and … Interesting, I’m glad I’m not completely off base, it is considered good by much better informed listeners than I. Click here to read about the Schreier Requiem.

Welcome Autumn!

Have you noticed the change in the light? The sun is already much lower in the sky at noon. Even though it still feels like Summer, the Equinox is upon us so get ready for what is known in Seattle as the season of Rain, also known as the season of Dark. Years ago my friend Jules commented that she missed the “real” seasons of Montana. I countered that we have seasons here, but she replied, ‘Inga, mold is not a season.’ That still makes me chuckle whenever I think of it.

September 22nd is the Autumnal Equinox: The day the Sun enters Libra and the beginning of Autumn. In the same way that the Solstice marks the days of longest and shortest “light,” the Equinoxes mark the day of equal light. Nox is the Roman goddess of night so equinox literally means “equal night.” The glyph for Libra represents the setting sun expressing the balance between night and day. According to tradition, the Sun is “exalted” in Aries while halfway through its circuit along the ecliptic, it is in “fall” in Libra, Aries’ opposite sign.

Continue reading Welcome Autumn!

The Summer Solstice

English: Illumination of Earth by Sun on the d...
English: Illumination of Earth by Sun on the day of winter solstice on northern hemisphere. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And a Happy Solstice to All!

Summer begins in the Northern Hemisphere on June 20, 2013. The word Solstice is Latin in origin and translates as, Sol =the Sun, + stitere =standing still.

On that day, the North Pole tilts most directly Sunward. Those of us in the Northern Hemisphere experience this as the longest day and shortest night of the year. Around December 21, the Winter Solstice, the North Pole points away from the Sun giving us in the Northern Hemisphere, our shortest day, and longest night. This tilting of the Earth’s rotational axis gives us our seasons. During each Solstice, the Sun appears to both rise and set at the exactly opposite spot on the horizon. The Solar Calendars like Stonehenge and the Sun Dagger in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico operate by indicating this point.

Symbols of Summer:

The rose, the rampant vine and the bright sun. Modern symbols include flip-flops, Outdoor weddings, icy pitchers of lemonade, beach umbrellas and baseball games!  Continue reading The Summer Solstice

Welcome Spring!

The Equinox Tradition:

Spring is the dawn of the new zodiacal year in the Northern Hemisphere. Don’t you just love the word “equinox?” I have to decide each time whether to say it with a short or long “e”. The equinoxes are the two times during the year when the dark of night and the light of day are in balance or equal. Another name for the Vernal Equinox is Ostara, from the name of a German Goddess of fertility, Oestarae.

She is the deific equivalent of the Greco-Roman goddess, Aurora, the personification of the sunrise. Consider that the Sun rises in the East and her name is where East and Easter both come from. The Christian Easter date was decided by the Council of Nicaea to fall the first Sunday after the first full Moon occurring on or after the March Equinox. This effectively removed its observance from conflicts with either Ostara or Passover.  Continue reading Welcome Spring!