The 17th Day Before Yule – Saturnalia


Yule Comments & Graphics

Saturnalia Begins

Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival in honour of the deity Saturn, held on 17 December of the Julian calendar and later expanded with festivities through to 23 December. The holiday was celebrated with a sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn, in the Roman Forum, and a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms: gambling was permitted, and masters provided table service for their slaves. The poet Catullus called it “the best of days.”

In Roman mythology, Saturn was an agricultural deity who was said to have reigned over the world in the Golden Age, when humans enjoyed the spontaneous bounty of the earth without labor in a state of innocence. The revelries of Saturnalia were supposed to reflect the conditions of the lost mythical age, not all of them desirable. The Greek equivalent was the Kronia.

Although probably the best-known Roman holiday, Saturnalia as a whole is not described from beginning to end in any single ancient source. Modern understanding of the festival is pieced together from several accounts dealing with various aspects. The Saturnalia was the dramatic setting of the multivolume work of that name by Macrobius, a Latin writer from late antiquity who is the major source for information about the holiday. In one of the interpretations in Macrobius’s work, Saturnalia is a festival of light leading to the winter solstice, with the abundant presence of candles symbolizing the quest for knowledge and truth. The renewal of light and the coming of the new year was celebrated in the later Roman Empire at the Dies Natalis of Sol Invictus, the “Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun,” on December 25

The Wicca Book of Days for July 11 – The Kronia

The Wicca Book of Days for July 11

The Kronia

 

It is thought that the Kronia was once held in Athens and other ancient Greek city-states around now. Dedicated to the scythe-wielding Kronos-the Titan and one-time leader of the ancient Greek Gods-and his wife, the mother and Earth Goddess Rhea, the Kronia celebrated the completion of an intense period spent reaping the year’s harvest of grain. During this time of relieved rejoicing, when slaves sat down to feast with their masters, the mythical Golden Age, or era of Earthly perfection that humankind was said to have enjoyed under Kronos’s rulership, was recalled, too.

 

Concentrated Courage

 

Study the major-arcana Tarot care that bears the number eleven today. Its names may vary (it may be called Strength or the Enchantress, for instance), but it usually depicts a person overcoming a lion and represents courage, be it psychological or spiritual.