[6 September 2003, 8:26pm, EDT: this page has now been archived...click here for the Current Page. Any broken links on this archived page remain broken but have been updated on the newly revised page.]
An Annotated & Illustrated Collection of Worldwide Links to Mythologies,
Fairy Tales & Folklore, Sacred Arts & Sacred Traditions
by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.
Pacifica Graduate Institute
CUSTOMS & LORE
22/23 September 2002 -
21/22 December 2002
Hebe and the physician, Paian, during the Trojan War
© Sandra Stanton and used with her kind permission. She based the painting on my writings for "Peony" in my Green World Oracle (since many have asked, we plan to search for a publisher soon -- I'll post updates on my website). What follows below comes, in part, from that text. (To order large or small prints of the painting, please see Sandra's website at http://www.goddessmyths.com)
As another autumn nears, the President of the United States seems determined to invade Iraq despite criticisms from the rest of the world, from his own party, and even from his father's close friend and former foreign policy adviser, Brent Sowcroft. As the 18 August 2002 New York Times reports in Maureen Dowd's Junior Gets a Spanking:
-- Charles Asher, D. Min.
[We grieve over] ...the mining of September llth
for ways to add even more inhumanity to our world.
Wednesday, 21 August 2002, 1am (PDT) :
Author's Note:...issues between the two Bush presidents spilled into public view on Thursday when that most faithful family retainer, Brent Scowcroft, wrote a jaw-dropping op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal headlined "Don't Attack Saddam." .... In the Journal, Mr. Scowcroft, one of the team that drew that fateful line in the sand a decade ago, ticked off all the reasons why invading Iraq makes no sense: it would jeopardize, and maybe destroy, our global campaign against terrorism; it would unite the Arab world against us; it would require us to stay there forever; it would force Saddam to use the weapons against us or Israel .... Did 41 allow his old foreign policy valet to send a message to 43 that he could not bear to impart himself? ..... The father is hypersensitive about meddling and reluctant to give advice. He doesn't want his pride to get in the way of his son's making up his own mind on what's right ...."It's a very strange relationship," a former aide to the father says. "He's so careful about his son's prerogatives that I don't think he would tell him his own views." .... Who needs a war plan? We need family therapy.The petulant, vengeful Greek wargod Ares (Rome's Mars) has been much on my mind as I watch such news unfold and pray that, somehow, this looming tragedy can still be avoided. I am reminded of the Iliad, Book Five: at one point during the Trojan War, Ares, the bloodthirsty god of war, lunged at horse-tamer Diomedes, one of the bravest of the Greek leaders and a personal favorite of Ares' half-sister, Athena, goddess of wisdom. Ever watchful, Athena deflected Ares' blow and instead guided Diomedes' bronze spear deep into the belly of her half-brother, Ares. When she wrenched it out again, Ares bellowed in agony. Gods could not be killed, but they could nevertheless suffer great physical pain.
Ares fled to their father Zeus, bitterly complaining about Athena, even blaming Zeus for letting his "maniac daughter" get so out of hand. Zeus, the King of the gods, bluntly replies:'Do not sit beside me and whine, you double-faced liar.Zeus then calls the mortal Paian, official physician to the Olympian gods, to heal this "most hateful of all gods."
To me you are the most hateful of all gods who hold Olympos.
Forever quarrelling is dear to your heart, wars and battles....
And yet I will not long endure to see you in pain, since
you are my child, and it was to me that your mother bore you.
But were you born of some other god and proved so ruinous
long since you would have been dropped beneath the gods of the
bright sky.'So he spoke, and told Paieon to heal him; and scatteringDuring the same Trojan War, by the way, Paian also healed another Olympian god, Hades, the great Lord of Death himself. An arrow had pierced Hades' shoulder and he was in hideous pain, for even Death was subject to physical agony. Compassionately, Paian prepared a draught to numb the pain and then healed the wound. Hades later returned the favor by turning Paian into a beautiful -- and medicinally powerful -- peony when a jealous follower of Asclepius was about to take his life. Our word, paean, a song of praise and heartfelt thanksgiving, is derived from Paian's name.
medicines to still pain upon him Paieon rendered him
well again, since he was not made to be one of the mortals.
As when the juice of the fig in white milk rapidly fixes
that which was fluid before and curdles quickly for one who
stirs it; in such speed as this he healed violent Ares;
and Hebe washed him clean and put delicate clothing upon him. [Iliad, v, 899-905: tr. Lattimore]
But to return to the war god: what I find so interesting here is that, for a time, Paian and Ares' sister Hebe (the gods' ambrosia-cupbearer) "stopped the murderous work of manslaughtering Ares" [Iliad, v, 909: tr. Lattimore]. One of these two healers is a human herbalist who works with the "little things" of life. He makes no miracles and offers no charismatic performances. He works simply with the plants of earth, for they alone have the power to heal even the great god of war, who is too stubbornly addicted to a power and drama inimical to earth-life.
The other healer is a goddess who carries the sacred cup of ambrosia, which gifts the Olympians with immortality. Too many women are enablers of bullying men. But Hebe had a mind of her own. As ambrosial cup-bearer, she served life. When Ares' own father could not stand him, Hebe alone could invite her war-maddened brother into her world and give him a taste of other ways of relating to those around him. Like Paian, she uses simple, undramatic ways. She washes her brother's body and clothes him in flowing, pastel clothing -- no armor and no weapons -- just soft, finely woven fabrics, a craft born of peace, of women's hands, not war. Like a Grail-maiden or a Scheherazade of later times, she alone had the power to humanize him. And for a time at least, the slaughter stopped.
These "little things" will not hold Ares for long, of course. Even if they could, other warriors would spring up to wield the mighty weapons. As long as such weapons exist, waves of warriors will always come to use them. This is why artist Sandra Stanton went beyond the Iliad and portrayed Paian and Hebe actually directing their healing powers to melt the bronze armor and weapons. It's a fascinating touch to have Hebe and Paeon aim calming energies at weapons instead of at Ares -- as if to say that the bodies (and/or gods) using such weapons of mass destruction change and change and change but as long as patriarchal governments keep the war-energies juiced up, there's a neverending line of males willing, even eager, to use them.
In the painting, with the weapons melted and gone, Zeus' royal eagle can relax into a deeper balance and drink peacefully from Hebe's cup of ambrosia. To the ancient Greeks, as Sandra Stanton comments, "feeding the eagle symbolized overcoming death" -- and, by extension, Ares' brutalities of war.
At this season of the year when light is balanced and multiple harvests are gathered in, may the Hebe within each of us calm the stubborn, mindlessly cruel Ares who rages within each of us as well. May we refuse to plunder September 11th, as my Pacifica Graduate Institute colleague, Dr. Charles Asher, states so well, "for ways to add even more inhumanity to our world." May we turn to the simple things of life -- family, friends, the beauties of nature, music, clean water, wine and fruits, fresh air. May we have such a love and respect for all of life that war, simply, cannot happen, for we will have finally matured beyond it. Far from adding "more inhumanity to our world," may we will finally seek ways to create truly humane solutions.
As autumn returns to earth's northern hemisphere,
and day and night are briefly,
balanced at the equinox,
may we remember anew how fragile life is ----
human life, surely,
but also the lives of all other creatures,
trees and plants,
waters and winds.
May we make wise choices in how and what we harvest,
may earth's weather turn kinder,
may there be enough food for all creatures,
may the diminishing light in our daytime skies
be met by an increasing compassion and tolerance
in our hearts.
Autumn Equinox arrives
when the sun enters Libra:
early Monday, 23 September 2002, at 0456 GMT,
Sunday/Monday, 22/23 September 2002, at 12:56am EDT,
and Sunday night, 22 September 2002, at 9:56pm PDT.
Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Friday, 6 September 2002 (also the New Moon in Virgo);
Yom Kippur begins at sundown Sunday, 15 September 2002;
the Jewish harvest festivel of Sukkot begins at sundown Friday, 20 September 2002.
OLD WORLD TRADITIONS
The autumnal wedding of Ariadne and Dionysus, rich with ripe grapes & joy
Greek Vase Painting (Toledo Museum of Art)
[Added 8/26/02]: This is a very interesting page by John Opsopaus on three autumn festivals of ancient Greece -- these fall after the equinox but contain themes relevant to the entire season:http://www.cs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/OM/BA/HL/index.html...Because Ancient Greek festivals were held according to a lunar calendar, which was often out of step with the solar year, it is difficult to say what festivals would correspond to Samhain.Two of these festivals honor Apollo and Dionysus and are held on the same day.
In Homer's time the cosmical setting (first visible setting on western horizon at sunrise) of Orion, the Pleiades and the Hyades, which marked the beginning of the winter, herding season, occurred at the beginning of November (Nov. 5-10, by various computations). (Orion was the son of Poseidon and Euruale, daughter of Minos and sister of Ariadne, about whom more later.). Significantly, these constellations, which mark the seasons, are at the center of the Shield of Achilles (Iliad XVIII), that famous mandala of the Homeric Universe.
In classical Greek times there were several important festivals that nominally occur at the end of October and beginning of November. Two of these, which occur on the same day (7 Puanepsion), are especially interesting; they are followed on the next day by the Theseia (for Theseus), which is intimately connected with the first two.......The Oskhophoria, in honor of Dionysos, occurs on the same day as the Puanepsia. It may seem odd to honor Apollo and Dionysos, so often taken as polar opposites, on the same day, but we must remember that They share Delphi, and this is the time of year when the changing of the guard occurs. An ancient pot shows Them shaking hands over the Omphalos (World Naval) at Delphi....The third, Theseia, commemorates Theseus. The author retells the story: "Ariadne and Theseus' Descent into the Labyrinth and Return." The details are fascinating although it should be mentioned that the author has excluded other important ancient variants of the myth. Nevertheless, the story includes the mysterious desertion of Ariadne by Theseus, followed by her marriage to Dionysus himself -- whose festival was celebrated only the day before.
[Added 8/26/02]: This is an engrossing, contemporary re-visioning of what might have been the ancient "Greek Ritual of the Labyrinth" (Ta Hiera Laburinthou) by John Opsopaus:http://www.cs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/OM/BA/SF/FallEq.txt...This ritual is an initiation and celebration of new beginnings structured around the myth of Theseus, Ariadne and the Minotaur and associated Greek midautumn celebrations, which take place when Apollo yields Delphi to Dionysos for the winter months....I have not had time to read the entire ritual (it's lengthy) but what impresses me is its mythopoetic quality and the deep psychological nuances. Also, I appreciate the careful footnoting that links the Cretan labyrinth to displaced, but related themes, in Mesopotamian myths.
[Added 8/26/02]: This is a plain-text page on ancient Greek festivals from c. 13 September through 13 October.http://www.cs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/SF/MidAut.txt...Many of the Greek and Roman festivals of this season celebrate the end of the military campaigning season. At the end of September and beginning of October, however, the emphasis shifts to the Corn Mothers and other agricultural deities. In many Greek states the month beginning mid-September was called Demetrion after Demeter....The page beings with the "Great (Eleusinian) Mysteries" (c. Sept. 29-Oct. 5), since these are, of course, the highlight of the season. Then it backtracks to 13 September (for the Roman feast of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva) and continues forward to 13 October, the Roman Fontinalia, a festival for Fons, the god of springs.
[Added 8/26-27/02]: This is a continuation of the above plain-text data: ancient Greek festivals from 22 October to 15 December.http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa102400a.htm...In the Greek and Roman worlds, there are comparatively few festivals in October and November, which is the seed-time (Gr. sporetos), a season of ploughing and sowing. Women figure prominently in these festivals since in neolithic times they were responsible for crops raising (by the Bronze Age it became a male occupation)....The details are wonderful and more information is given on the above-mentioned feasts of Apollo, Dionysus, and Theseus. There is also fine data for the Thesmophoria (see below).
[Added 8/26-27/02]: From N.S. Gill, the ancient history guide at about.com, comes a fine page on the Greek harvest (or "Thanksgiving") festival, Thesmophoria, which falls during October-November (also see above link):http://www.schooloftheseasons.com/"It is called Thesmophoria, because Demeter is called Thesmophoros in respect of her establishing laws or thesmoiin accordance with which men must provide nourishment and work the land...."For more on this festival, as well as on Dionysiac celebrations, see an excellent essay at: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/classes/LAp.html
Since the fall harvest must usually take an agricultural society through winter, it is vitally important for survival. Whatever power provides that bounty deserves praise.... [This festival was]...in honor of the goddess who taught mankind to tend the soil, during a month known as Pyanopsion (Puanepsion), according to the lunisolar calendar of the Athenians. Since our calendar is solar, the month doesn't exactly match, but Pyanopsion would be, more or less, October into November....
[Annotation revised 8/16/01]: I first grokked Waverly Fitzgerald's School of the Seasons for my 1999 debut of the Autumn Equinox page. Since then, her jewel of a site has become a favorite of mine and appears on all my seasonal pages. The overall design is unusually tasteful and elegant. Even more important, Fitzgerald has well-researched content on monthly celebrations, feasts, and cross-cultural holy days (with hypertext links to further information on many of these). Her opening page also includes fascinating "Special Features" for each season. Fitzgerald's command of lore is exceptional.
For each current month, she begins with a large number of names from various cross-cultural traditions. Then a calendar follows. If you click on hyperlinks for a particular day, you'll be linked to more detail on another page. The September feasts, for example, include the Nativity of the Virgin on the 8th; Rosh Hashana; England's Day of the Holy Nut; the remembrance of the Virgin's Seven Sorrows; the God Pan; Yom Kippur; Autumn Equinox; the 9-day Eleusinian Mysteries; the Harvest Moon; Sukkoth; the Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival; and Michaelmas on the 29th.http://www.jun-gifts.com/others/culturalcalendar2/culturalcalendar2.htm
NOTE: a new month's calendar appears on the first of each month (sometimes a night or two beforehand). As of August 2001, the site is undergoing many changes. Thus, last year's archives, which once gave one a sneak preview of what lay ahead in a given month (since many celebrations don't change their dates from year to year), are currently unavailable -- but keep checking, since they will be restored eventually.
[Added 15 September 2000]: This charming site looks at autumn and the autumnal equinox in Japan. There are many (usually clickable) photos connected with the months of September, October, and November. Text is fairly minimal but very useful to those unacquainted with Japan's seasonal customs.http://members.aol.com/HPSofSNERT/holid.html#autumn
From "Slavic Pagan Holidays" comes fine data on harvest festivals from early August to early November. Autumn in Russia's cold Ukraine begins early -- it's celebrated on August 2nd, the feast known as St. Ilia's Day. The entire autumn season is a time of music, apples, honey, and grain sheaves:
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/7280/harvest.html...Sometimes the last sheaf ceremony was merged with the ritual surrounding a small patch of field that was left uncut. The spirit of the harvest was said to precede the reapers and hide in the uncut grain. This small patch was referred to as the "beard" of Volos, the God of animals and wealth. The uncut sheaves of wheat in "Volos' beard" were decorated with ribbons and the heads were bent toward the ground in a ritual called "The curling of the beard". This was believed to send the spirit of the harvest back to the Earth. Salt and bread, traditional symbols of hospitality were left as offerings to Volos' beard....
[Added 20 August 2000]:Mike Nichols' series of detailed, well written essays on earth-based pagan celebrations are always worth reading. This is his page on the history and lore of autumn equinox, or "harvest home" (he prefers not to use the Welsh term, Mabon):...Mythically, this is the day of the year when the god of light is defeated by his twin and alter-ego, the god of darkness. It is the time of the year when night conquers day....the only day of the whole year when Llew (light) is vulnerable and it is possible to defeat him. Llew now stands on the balance (Libra/autumnal equinox), with one foot on the cauldron (Cancer/summer solstice) and his other foot on the goat (Capricorn/winter solstice). Thus he is betrayed by Blodeuwedd, the Virgin (Virgo) and transformed into an Eagle (Scorpio)....Nichols touches on many themes. For example, Celtic Druids have long been accused of practicing human sacrifice at this time of the year. Nichols looks at the lack of solid evidence and argues convincingly that what these ancient celebrations had instead was the "mock sacrifice" of seasonal sacred theatre. It was a metaphoric sacrifice, in other words -- not a literal one. He writes:...Jesse Weston, in her brilliant study of the Four Hallows of British myth, 'From Ritual to Romance', points out that British folk tradition is...full of mock sacrifices. In the case of the wicker-man, such figures were referred to in very personified terms, dressed in clothes, addressed by name, etc. In such a religious ritual drama, everybody played along....
[Added 20 August 2000]:Again from Mike Nichols comes this carefully researched essay examining the Celtic deities of light and dark and their role in both equinoxes. If you're looking for fine mythology, don't miss this one. For example:http://www.wicca.com/celtic/akasha/mabon.htm[After Llew is slain]...The Welsh myth concludes with Gwydion pursuing the faithless Blodeuwedd through the night sky, and a path of white flowers springs up in the wake of her passing, which we today know as the Milky Way. When Gwydion catches her, he transforms her into an owl, a fitting symbol of autumn, just as her earlier association with flowers (she was made from them) equates her with spring. Thus, while Llew and Goronwy represent summer and winter, Blodeuwedd herself represents both spring and fall, as patron goddess of flowers and owls, respectively....
For the Celtic Connection comes Akasha's lively page on Mabon, the Celtic celebration of September's autumnal equinox:http://www.wicca.com/celtic/akasha/mabonrit.htm...The Druids call this celebration, Mea'n Fo'mhair, and honor the Green Man, the God of the Forest, by offering libations to trees. Offerings of ciders, wines, herbs and fertilizer are appropriate at this time....Mabon is considered a time of the Mysteries. It is a time to honor Aging Deities and the Spirit World....Akasha looks at Mabon's themes, symbols, herbs, foods, incense, colors, gems, spells, and deities. If you click on the Holiday Index at the bottom of the page, you'll be given access to recipes, activities (for children and teens), and ritual (see below for a direct link to the autumn ritual...).
This is a powerful, eloquent, lyrical harvest ritual from Akasha (see above). I love her sense of sacred theatre.http://www.celtic-connection.com/myth/a-equinox.html
Also from the Celtic Connection comes this lovely and evocative little essay by C. Austin on the "in between" nature of the Celts' autumn:http://www.islandnet.com/~see/weather/arts/autwords.htm. . . . We have bid farewell to summer, but the sun's light has not yet faded. Such is the style of in between. . . . Night is falling on the year. The equinox grants us a moment of reverie, before we rush on to year's end at Samhain.[FYI: the above excerpt was written in the late 1990's and has since been replaced by new material for 2000; I assume the page will now be updated annually -- if not, just ignore the date and times of the autumnal equinox here.]
Rainbow, Crone-Corn, and Harvest Moon
(detail from Sandra Stanton's "Sacred Corn")
This is "The Elders Speak: About Autumn," a page of wonderfully chosen, evocative, cross-cultural quotes about the fall season. The page comes from the "Weather Doctor," Dr. Keith Heidorn, whose entire website on all aspects of weather (from science to philosophy to art) is a richly mulled pleasure where I love to browse. Here is one selection from this page:http://www.paganet.org/pnn/1998/mabon/Sabbat.htmlThe wind that makes music in November corn is in a hurry. The stalks hum, the loose husks whisk skyward in half-playing swirls, and the wind hurries on.... A tree tries to argue, bare limbs waving, but there is no detaining the wind. [Aldo Leopold]Note: from this page, you can get to his home page and from there to his no-frames site map, or click here for a direct link: http://www.islandnet.com/~see/weather/general/site_map.htm
[Added 15 September 2000]: This is a fine little essay on Mabon by "Lance" -- he looks at the season's Wine Moon, Harvest Moon, Corn Man, Wicker Man, and also offers some wonderful suggestions for celebrating the season - for example:http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/4565/open.htm...go through your garden, tending it, thanking the plants and flowers for their abundance, harvesting whatever is ready, collecting seeds; make a mandala of seeds and grains on the ground, an offering of the Mother's gifts to the animals and birds; infuse it with specific magick that will be released as the seeds are consumed or scattered; honor the elders in your circle or your life in some special way....
[Added 16 August 2001; expanded 20 August 2002]: From the Worldwide Wheat Weavers comes an attractively illustrated and informative little site on wheat-weaving and corn dollies:http://www.marykellystudio.homestead.com/painting.html...Objects made from dried straw are known to have been made in the earliest civilizations, practiced throughout Europe, Asia and South America. Harvest rituals occurred in every country where grain is grown in order to please the spirits of the crop. Abstract shapes or religious symbols made from straw were believed to insure prosperity and good luck in the next growing season. Objects made with the heads of grain still on the stem were hung on inside walls where they safely made it through the winter. These sacred grains were then planted the next season to assure the fertility of the entire crop....
[Annotation revised 18 August 2001]: This is the portfolio page of artist/professor Mary B. Kelly, whose vibrant painting of Hungary's "Black Goddess," the Harvest Goddess, Dordona, is not to be missed:http://www.widdershins.org/vol1iss4/m04.htm...Like her counterpart in Russia, her arms are raised. She is crowned by both the sun and the moon.(Note: the larger version of Dordona, with text, is no longer available on this site, but you might e-mail Dr. Kelly if you wish to see it. If you click on the menu buttons on her Portfolio page, you'll also find information on her groundbreaking books on goddess embroideries, etc. On her Home Page, there's a large version of Dordona, by the way, but no text.)
The page offers links to paintings of many other goddesses, some of whom (e.g., Persephone & Demeter -- don't miss that one!) are also connected to autumnal harvest festivals.
[Added 8/25/02]: This is an engaging essay, "Lore and Magick of the Harvest," by Asherah, who belongs to Widdershins, a wiccan group in the Pacific Northwest. She begins with her childhood Thanksgiving celebrations:As a child, I found the only harvest celebration I knew about, Thanksgiving, pretty pallid. It didn't involve the provocative personae of Halloween; you could dress up, but you had to be an Indian or a Pilgrim, and you only dressed up at school, and that only if there were a pageant. There, it was more socially acceptable to be a Pilgrim than an Indian; the Indians provided the food, but the Pilgrims ran things. But the Pilgrims wore boring outfits. I had no use for the affair....Then she broadens her framework to include a wide cross-cultural range of more interesting, vibrant harvest festivities found from the New World to Europe. Here are some samples:...Often pagan harvest celebrations involved a whole series of festivities, of which I still generally approve, starting with a rite offering up the first fruits and culminating with a ritual centering around the final harvest. The Iroquois of the northeastern United States have a typical succession, beginning in June and lasting through early November, including feasts for the spirits of the strawberry, raspberry, bean, green corn and ripe corn and a final thanksgiving for all types of food.The author doesn't provide a bibliography, but I was nonetheless struck by her passage on Slavic grain-dolls as Babas, or "Grandmothers":
The pinnacle of the harvest celebration depends on the nature of the local produce. The South American Mataco and Choroti Indians' rituals center around the algarroba harvest; Native Americans from the Andes to the northeastern United States build rituals around corn; Mediterranean peoples celebrate the vintage; Lithuanians celebrate the rye harvest. The timing of harvest celebrations also depends on geographical location. Corn ripens for the Native Americans of Mexico in June, for the Iroquois around September, and the corn harvest celebration follows accordingly.......People in early European societies saw the Harvest Queen or harvest doll as the embodiment of the spirit of the crop. Keeping her safe over the winter ensured fertility for the following harvest, provided that some part of her was given to cattle or horses to eat, strewn on the fields or mixed with the next crop's seeds. However, over time, the belief in the doll as the spirit of the growing grain incarnate gave way to its being merely a symbol of abundance.This gives an intriguingly different nuance to interpretations of the famous Russian story of Vasilisa and the usually frightening crone known as the Baba Yaga. In that fairy tale, Vasilisa's mother leaves her daughter with a doll before she dies -- the doll provides the young girl with crucial advice that saves her life when she meets the Baba Yaga. But from the perspective of Asherah's essay, the doll may be a representation of the Baba Yaga herself, which means that the child's dead mother is herself a Harvest Queen, which is to say, a variant of Baba Yaga, and the child is her divine daughter, a Persephone figure, perhaps from a very early pre-Hades stratum. In Baba's grain-world, no man alive has any power over the Maiden.
In their heyday, harvest dolls popped up all over Europe.... In Poland, the harvest doll was Baba, or Grandmother; in some localities, the woman who bound the last sheaf was herself called Baba. She was dressed in the last sheaf, carried home on the last wagon, drenched with water and generally treated as a representation of the grain spirit.
NEW WORLD TRADITIONS
[Added 15 September 2000; expanded 20 August 2002]: This is a lengthy, informative, rich page on Autumn Equinox/Mabon from "Storm Wing." In addition to lore on Mabon and his mother Modron (and Persephone and her mother Demeter), the author gives suggestions for what to gather for your autumn rituals and also offers recipes for covenstead bread, Salem Witch pudding, Texas-style pecan pie, and blackberry wine (also for incense and potpourri). At the end are several ritual incantations -- my favorite is to the Southwest's Blue Corn Girl (written by Noel-Anne Brennan):http://ncnatural.com/wildflwr/fall/folklore.htmlListen,
She is coming,
Blue Corn Girl is coming,
She is coming in the winds,
(Listen, she is coming)
She is coming in the sunlight,
(Blue Corn Girl is coming)
She is coming in the fallen leaves,
She is coming in the dying meadows.
She is coming,
Blue Corn Girl is coming,
(Blue Corn Girl is coming)
She is coming
To see the harvest
(Listen, she is coming)
Of the fruits of the soil
And the fruits of the soul
She is coming,
Blue Corn Girl is coming,
She is coming.
Blue Corn Girl is here.
[Added 15 September 2000]: This is "North Carolina Traditional Weather Lore," a brief page offering an engaging Native American (Cherokee) tale that explains why some animals like the panther and owl can see in the dark, and why some plants and trees stay green through the winter. There's also a good collection of North Carolina folk sayings about autumn and early winter.
Pueblo Harvest Dance
From Canku Ota (artist unknown: see directly below --used with permission)
[Added 18 August 2001]: This is a page from the award-winning Canku Ota ("Many Paths"), a thoughtful, beautifully presented e-zine on North American Native traditions, past and current. This particular page, "Dances with Buffaloes" by Suzanne Ruta, looks at buffalo, corn and rain dances among the Pueblo peoples of the southwestern United States. It begins with the Christmas season but then compares the dramatic winter dances with the quieter rain and corn dances of summer and autumn. The lively essay is well written and beautifully illustrated (see above for one illustration).http://www.santaana.org/calendar.htm#September
Note: Canku Ota's site is huge and designed for all age groups, with special sections for children. To explore further, here is the Home Page: http://www.turtletrack.org/index.html
[Added 18 August 2001]: For those fortunate enough to be able to attend the harvest dances in the southwestern United States, I'm adding a handful of links with further information. For those, like me, living too far away to attend, we can dream <smile>. The above is a no frills page from the Pueblo of Santa Ana on dances in Central New Mexico:http://www.stlcc.cc.mo.us/fp/users/cmittler/Faces/dancecal.htmlThere are eighteen Pueblos in addition to Santa Ana within the state of New Mexico. Visitors are usually welcome during annual events and feast days. Easy to reach -- especially in the Albuquerque area, between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and between Albuquerque and Grants, New Mexico....The link will take you to September through the rest of the year; scroll to the top for earlier months.
[Added 18 August 2001]: From St. Louis (MO) Community College comes another no frills page on Pueblo Celebrations, "Yearly Calendar of Indian Dances and Events at the Pueblos." Contacts are provided for further information.http://www.guestlife.com/newmexico/events/eventsindian.html
[Added 18 August 2001]:From Guest Life: New Mexico comes yet another Pueblo events calendar, similar to the preceding two but with nearly 2 dozen telephone contacts to specific pueblos -- since dates for these dances can change at a moment's notice, these contacts are especially valuable. This is an online e-zine with links to well written (and illustrated) articles.http://www.nmhotels.com/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=4
[Added 22 September 2001]: This is another site looking at autumn events among both Pueblo and more recent Navajo peoples. It's sponsored by the New Mexico Lodging Association and includes useful phone numbers. Here's an excerpt from the opening:http://www.collectorsguide.com/nm/nmfa03.htmlOf New Mexico's two American Indian groups, the Pueblo Indians can trace their evolution from a prehistory among pit houses and cliff dwellings to stable village life. Many of the pit houses and cliff dwellings can be seen today. The other group, the Athapascans, which include Apaches and Navajo, arrived later - just a couple of hundred years before Europeans....
[Added 18 August 2001]: Another no frills New Mexico events calendar, but this one includes essential data on the etiquette one needs to observe when visiting a pueblo. It also includes telephone contacts and brief travel instructions for reaching each village.http://travel.roughguides.com/roughguides.html
[Added 18 August 2001]: This is a brief page on Taos (NM) Pueblo. It looks at:...the Feast of San Gerónimo at the end of September, when hundreds and even thousands of outsiders flock to join the general revelry....A telephone number is included. Nearby is a casino -- and I like the quote from an elder:As one unapologetic elder remarked, “poverty was never a part of pueblo life until the Europeans came.”[Revised 20 August 2002]: Note: the page has now been rewritten -- although the new data is fine, I prefer the earlier version and am keeping my original annotation. The new page can only be reached from a pull-down menu at the new link (above).
A pumpkin with a shimmering aura
(Used with the kind permission of the Salem Tarot Page --
check their well-done 3-card tarot reading)
From about.com, comes this page of links to everything you might want to know about pumpkins. It's called "The Great Pumpkin: Pumpkin Picking, Recipes & More!" The focus is on New England and upstate New York, but much of the data is relevant elsewhere.http://www.quinion.com/words/articles/cider.htm
From England's erudite Michael B. Quinion comes "CIDER INSIGHT: The jargon of an ancient craft." This is on autumn cider-making in southern England. . . . . .http://www.quinion.com/words/articles/turkey.htm
. . . . Yet another autumn-related essay from Michael B. Quinion is his engaging "TALKING TURKEY: Names for a much-travelled bird." [Note: a much longer entry on Quinion and his word-loving work is on my Samhain page -- see below for link.]
and the soul-feasts of November:
I have created 2 separate pages for these at:
el dia de los Muertos
[Day of the Dead]
Other Related Pages from
Note: two special Myth*ing Links relating to the aftermath of 9/11:
To Archived Autumn Greetings & Lore (2001)
To Archived Autumn Greetings & Lore (2000)
To Archived Autumn Equinox/Mabon Greetings (1999)
To August's Lammas page
To Current Summer Solstice / Summer Greetings & Lore
To Eastern & Western Europe: Earth-Based Ways (Wicca)
To the Wheel of the Year
To the Crone Papers
To Indigenous Peoples of the American Southwest
To Common Themes: WEATHER-WORKING: Introduction
(An experimental on-going ritual in cyberspace)
To Common Themes: Sacred Foods
To Latin America: The Lore and History of Maize
To Common Themes: The Green Man page
This Hungarian love song, Kerek a szolo levele, is at least 200 years old; it comes from a region in what is now Romania, so it's known among both non-Slavic and Slavic peoples. Courtesy of Robert Szlizs, whose collection of Hungarian music is at Robert's Midi Creations.
Text and layout © 1999-2003 by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.
All rights reserved.
1999 = Page first created & designed 22 June 1999, 2:15am PDT;
page put online Saturday, 14 August 1999 (see Archived 1999 Page for more specifics).
2000 = 18 August 2000 (added new links for current year --
unless noted, all links are from 1999, but newly revised and updated for 2000:
see Archived 2000 Page for more specifics).
2001 = 6 August 2001: began revising images for Autumn 2001;
7 August 2001: updated times & dates; 8 August 2001 (wrote essay; added new images);
16 August 2001 (checked all links; began adding new Pueblo section);
18 August 2001: archived last year's; Nedstated this one; published w/Pueblo links incomplete; began annotating half of the remaining Pueblo links; tracked down Mary Kelly's new URLs);
22 September 2001 (added my NYC & Crone Papers links to very top of page; grokked one of 4 remaining ungrokked links, which now leaves 3; put Pueblo Dance image out in space w/black bkgrnd -- no time for more: must return to unfinished Afghanistan page).
2002 = 20-23 August 2002: new art; stripped 2001's art & text; checked all links; updated 2002's dates & times; reorganized links; added brief annotations to new links (fuller ones pending).
26-27 August 2002: grokked new Greek links; the past few days have also been shifting Pueblo links to a new page; it has taken my mind off grieving for my colleague, Dr. Dan Noel.
Published 2am 8/28/02; minor revisions to essay 8/29/02.
10/18/02: renamed an image due to blatant bandwidth theft from a wiccan site.
9/6/03: archived this page and replaced it with the new one for 2003.
28 August 2002, 2am:
Still to be Grokked
[Added 7/23/02]: This is a 1987 "Harvest Home Ritual" by Michael Fix.http://www.witchvox.com/holidays/xmabon.html
[Added 8/20/02]: From The Witches' Voice comes a page on Mabon, or autumn equinox.http://www.ladybridget.com/r/sepi001.html
[Added 8/22/02]: Nice introduction to Mabon from Lady Bridget.
Do not link directly to images -- download them to your own files.
Otherwise you are stealing from graphics-rich sites like mine
and I may have to shut down these pages.