September 13 and 14
All Souls’ Day/Festival of Jupiter Optimus Maximus
All Souls’ Day in Egypt was a festive occasion. Held in honor of the Goddess Nephthys, Mistress of the Palace, it honored the spirits of the dead. There most certainly would have been a royal procession among the common people, followed by a public ritual and the Ceremony of Lighting the Fire. All the other activities would have taken place in the temple that was accessible only to the priesthood of Nephthys and the royal family.
Jupiter Optimus Maximus (“Jupiter Best and Greatest”) is the supreme Roman God. He was worshiped above all other Gods. The Ludi Romani games took place in September, with a special festival on September 13. The farmers’ harvested fields and orchards demanded little attention, the military campaigns paigns would be coming to a close with the soldiers coming home, and the populace was in a serious mood for “fun.” On the Ides of September 13, Jupiter received a sacrifice of a white ox in gratitude for an abundant harvest and successful battle. This would have been followed by notorious Coliseum games that somehow seem to eclipse the significant religious character of the Roman Empire.
Today’s ‘All Saint’s Day’ holiday recognizes the over ten thousand saints of the Christian Church. It’s interesting to note that originally both ‘All Saint’s Day’ and tomorrow’s ‘All Souls Day’ celebrations were in May. They were moved to November to downplay the pagan energies associated with Halloween, with the hope being that if moved these Christian holidays would slowly overtake the ‘pagan’ ones. No such luck. If you’re looking for luck, invoking the intercession of Saint Cayetano could be just the ticket. This patron saint of prosperity and gambling dedicated his life to helping others build their fortunes, so ask him to help you build yours too. Can’t hurt, right?
By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com
Calendar of the Sun
Rite of Hela: All Souls’ Day
Colors: Black and White
Elements: Earth and Air
Altar: Upon black cloth to the right place four black candles, a skull, bones, a pot of earth, a pile of withered leaves, and a gravestone. Upon white cloth to the left place four white candles, incense, an ivory chalice of mead, a crystal sphere, and a plate of food. Veil the windows.
Offerings: Food, drink, and music given to the Dead.
Daily Meal: Today’s ritual starts at the beginning of Mousika, and continues through until the end of Sponde. Elete and Akte are spent in silent meditation before the altar. No food will be eaten nor work nor washing done until the Dead have their entertainment. Fasting until Dysis.
Invocation to Hela
Hail to Hel
Queen of Helheim
Wisest of Wights
Keeper of Secrets
Keeper of the hopes for tomorrow
Guardian of Souls
Implacable one of the frozen realm
Half the face of beauty
Half the face of Death
You who feed the dead
At your meager table
Where everyone gets their fair share,
Lady who takes away
Yet holds always promise,
Teach us to praise loss and death
And the passing of all things,
For from this flux
We know your blessings flow.
Song/Chant: Rite to Open the Door of Helheim
(Singing then commences, throughout the next several hours. Group singing and soloing alternate. It is acceptable to bring in guest performers from outside, so long as they understand that they are performing for the Dead and not the living, and that they must join the fasting. There will be no applause. Water may be provided. At the end of Sponde, the Dead are thanked and their food put to the side; Hesperis continues as usual, although there will be no food until afterwards.)
[Pagan Book of Hours]