The Moon Path Chapter of
Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS)will host a
The Ancient Egyptian ninth solar month from
Vernal (Spring) Equinox Sun Celebration
7:00 PM, Saturday March 15, 2014
Unitarian Universalist Church of Ft. Lauderdale,
3970 NW 21st Ave. (between Commercial and Oakland Park),
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl 33309, 954-484-6734 Love Donation.
The public is invited to attend the
Vernal Equinox Sun Celebration which will honor the Ancient ways.
Bring non-perishable food items (or cash donation)
to be donated to LifeNet4Families.
During the Vernal Equinox Sun Celebration
there will be drumming, dancing, and chanting.
Bring food and drink to share as well as your drums and percussion
instruments for the feast and drum circle to follow the Celebration.
Feel free to come dressed in Garb.
Anyone interested in participating is welcome.
Visit the CUUPS Moon Path Chapter website for details on pagan activities.
The month of March is named for the Roman god of war Mars.
He is identified with the Greek god Aries.
The full moon in the month of March is called the Storm Moon.
This year the Storm Moon is on Wednesday, March 16, 2014 - 17 08 Universal Time.
The first Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox is on
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 7 42 Universal Time,
when the Teutonic lunar Goddess Eostre is celebrated.
The Vernal Equinox occurs when the sun crosses the equator
on it's apparent journey northward,
when day and night are of equal duration.
It is a time of equilibrium, moving toward the light half of the year.
The Spring or Vernal Equinox is the official first day of Spring.
This year the Vernal Equinox is Tuesday, March 20, 2014, 16:57 Universal Time,
when the Sun is directly over the Earth's equator and enters zero degrees Aries.
Vernal Equinox is a festival of fertility/rebirth and the first day of Spring.
Eggs representing the cosmic egg of creation are decorated.
In the Ancient Mediterranean lands it was celebrated as New Year's Day
and as the first day of the first sign of the Zodiac, Aries.
It is a time of conception and new beginnings;
a rebirth of the world after the cold Winter months.
The Great Sphinx at Giza, Egypt was built so that it points directly toward
the rising Sun on the day of the Vernal Equinox.
The name Ostara (O-STAR-ah) comes from that of the
Germanic/Teutonic fertility lunar Goddess Eostre
(whose name is probably yet another variant of Ishtar, Astare and Aset).
Her chief symbols were the bunny (for fertility and because the Ancient Ones
who worshiped her often saw the image of a rabbit in the full moon),
and the egg (representing the cosmic egg of creation).
Her Celebration, the Eostara, was held on the
first Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox.
Ostara is recognized as a feminine festival, celebrating Fertility and rebirth.
The Egg, the Rabbit, and the Chick, are all Pagan fertility symbols
associated with Ostara and the Vernal Equinox.
The ancient Egyptians had both a lunar and seasonal (solar) 365 day calendar,
which was divided into three seasons of four months each.
Each month consisted of 30 days (3 weeks of 10 days per week).
Five days called 'Heriu-renpet' were added to the solar calendar at the end
of the three seasons for the birth of the Goddesses/Gods.
An extra day would be added as needed.
The heliacal rise of Sirius just before dawn was an extremely important event
for the Ancient Egyptians. The first visibility of the star Sirius on the
morning sky, called heliacal rising, fell close to the Inundation of the
Nile and was the beginning of the Ancient Egyptian solar year.
The first new moon after the heliacal rising was the beginning of the lunar year.
3,000 years ago the heliacal rising was in early July, currently it is around
August 1st. Each lunar month was named after an Ancient Egyptian Goddess,
God, or major festival. In a year with 13 new moons, the 13th lunar month
was added to the end of the year.
The Ancient Egyptian eighth solar month from
February 27 to March 28 is Peret IV
when there would be planting, cultivating, and maintaining of the crops.
The ancient Hellenic lunar months would start on the new moon and a
new day would start at sunset. The new year would start on the new moon
before the Autumn Equinox. Except for Athens which used the new moon
following the Summer Solstice. I use the Autumn Equinox and the lunar
month of Boedromion for my calculations for the new year. In a year
with 13 new moons, the 13th lunar month (Poseideon II) was inserted
between the 4th (Poseideon) and 5th (Gamelion) lunar months around
December/January. A different Goddess/God was honored for the
full moon of the month.
The Roman calendar was originally lunar.
The first days was the kalends (from which the modern word calendar is derived),
the first quarter was the nones, and the full moon was the ides.
A crown of flowers was hung over the hearth, and sacrifices were made to the
Lares, or household gods on the kalends, nones, ides, and all feast days.
The waning moon was the unlucky part of the month and had no name.
The days were numbered backward from the first of the next month.
The ancient Roman solar calendar consisted of 10 months in a year of 304 days.
The Romans seem to have ignored the remaining 61 days, which fell in the middle
of winter, the unmarked "Terror Time". The 10 months were named Martius,
Aprilis, Maius, Junius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November,
and December. The year began with Martius "March". Numa Pompilius,
the second king of Rome circa 700 BC, added the two months Januarius "January"
and Februarius "February". He also moved the beginning of the year from Marius
to Januarius. This made the Roman year 365 days long.
March was the first month of the Roman year, thus the first day of March was the
old New Year's Day and a Festival for Mars was held to celebrate His birthday.
He is offered strues (finger-cakes) and ferta (oblation-cakes).
In addition, prayers and libations are offered to Jupiter and Janus.
Mars is much more then a war god; He is the protector of family and field.
The Vernal Equinox was celebrated on the 25th day,
the time when nature returns to life after the winter;
The customs surrounding the celebration of the Vernal Equinox were imported from
Mediterranean lands, but there can be no doubt that the first inhabitants of the
British Isles observed it, as evidence from megalithic sites shows.
But it was more popular to the south, where people celebrated the holiday as
New Year's Day, and claimed it as the first day of the first sign of the Zodiac, Aries.
It is a time of new beginnings. This is the time when the Goddess conceives a child.
The child will be born nine months from now, at the next Winter Solstice.
And so the cycle closes at last to begin anew.
Vernal Equinox observences, fesitvals, and/or celebrations in March are:
Lady Day: Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (March 25th),
Alban Eiler(Caledonii Tradition or the Druids),
Bacchanalia, originally held in secret and only attended by women
in the grove of Simila on March 16 and March 17,
Eostar, Eostre's Day (Rite of Eostre), Ostara, Ostra,
Equinozio della Primavers (Aridian Strega),
Festival of Trees, Gwyl Canol Gwenwynol Day of the GorseOestara (Welsh),
NawRuz (ancient Iranian New Years day festival),
No Ruz (New Year celebrated in modern-day Iran since the Achaemenian
(Hakhamaneshi) period over 2500 years ago),
Nowruz (Persian new year),
Passover: the first Full Moon, after the Vernal Equinox
(The Jewish Passover dinner itself was a spring fertility festival,
the unleavened bread coming from the agricultural past of the people
and the paschal lamb from its more distant pastoral years).
Easter: the first Sunday, after the first Full Moon, after the Vernal Equinox
(Easter commemorates Jesus' execution, visit to Hell, and resurrection).
At this time in ancient Turkey (Phrygia) the Goddess Cybele implored the
mighty gods to return her beloved Attis to her. He was her consort who was
believed to have been born via a virgin birth. He was said to have died and
been resurrected each year during the period MAR-22 to MAR-25; i.e.
at the time of the Vernal Equinox in the Julian calendar.
The Strega celebrate the ascent of the Goddess from the
Underworld Realm of Shadows and the awakening fertility.
In Egypt and in Babylon, the Goddesses Isis and Ishtar likewise
retrieved their lovers from the realms of the dead in order to restore the balance.
And in Celtic countries, the Calliach, or Crone,
who fell asleep after the harvest awakens refreshed as Bride.
There is also the Festival of the Goddess Eostar,
to whom the hare and the scarlet egg are sacred.
The Goddess Arianrhod names and arms the Sun God, Llew.
The Sun God, Llew, rides forth in splendor.
The indigenous Mayan people in Central American celebrate
"The Return of the Sun Serpent"
Ancient Native Americans built stone structures which
marked the sun rise/set of the Vernal Equinox.
Native Americans will be saying good-bye to the season of Waboose,
the Winter, the North, the White Buffalo,the Powers of Cleansing,
Renewal and Purification; and welcoming Wabun, the Spring, the East,
the Eagle and the Powers of Clarity, Wisdom, and Illumination.
The Vernal Equinox is a time to celebrate the balance of the
seasons and of the passage from night into day, the arrival of Spring,
the renewal and rebirth of Nature herself, and the coming lushness of Summer.
It is at this time when light and darkness are in balance,
yet the light is growing stronger by the day. The forces of masculine and
feminine energy, yin and yang, are also in balance at this time.
It is the time when the World is awakening, trees budding,
flowers stretching their leaves out to the sun. It is a rebirth of the
world after the cold Winter months. The Vernal Equinox is also a festival
of Fertility of the Earth, the crops, the plants and trees.
This is the time we begin to plant our gardens and our herbs to grow
through the warm Summer months.
At this time we think of renewing ourselves. We renew our thoughts,
our dreams, and our aspirations. We think of renewing our relationships.
This is an excellent time of year to begin anything new or to completely
revitalize something. This is also an excellent month for prosperity rituals
or rituals that have anything to do with growth.
Pagans celebrate the Vernal Equinox in many ways on this sacred day,
including lighting fires at sunrise, tobacco-burning and sweat ceremony,
ringing bells, and decorating hard-boiled eggs.
There is much symbolism in eggs themselves.
The golden orb of its yolk represents the Sun God, its white shell is seen
as the White Goddess, and the whole is a symbol of rebirth. In those ancient days,
eggs were gathered and used for the creation of talismans and also ritually eaten.
The gathering of different colored eggs from the nests of a variety of birds
has given rise to two traditions still observed today - the Easter egg hunt,
and coloring eggs in imitation of the various pastel colors of wild birds.
It is also believed that humankind first got the idea of weaving baskets
from watching birds weave nests.
The time of the Vernal Equinox is a time to celebrate the renewed
fertility of the Earth with the coming of spring, and many Goddesses were
recognized by different people all over the world, and throughout history.
Goddesses worshiped with the coming of spring have included: Astarte, from Phoenicia;
Demeter, from Mycenae; Hathor/Isis from Egypt; Ishtar from Assyria; Kali, from India;
Ostara, a Norse Goddess of fertility as well as the German Eastre, Greece's Athena,
and the Roman Goddess Flora.
The Year is divided into Quarters by the
Winter Solstice, Vernal Equinox, Summer Solstice, and the Fall Equinox.
Halfway beteen the Solstice and and Equinox is the Cross Quarter.
These Quarters and Cross Quarters are called the Wheel of the Year of the Sun.
The Vernal Equinox is one of the 4 Quarter Sun Celebrations in the Wheel of the Year.
It is halfway between the two Cross Quarter Sun Celebrations,
Mid Winter (February 2nd) and May Day (May 1st).
Exactly opposite the Autumn Equinox on the Wheel of the Year.
The eight Sun Celebrations in the Wheel of the Year are:
Wiccan name: Druid Name
Samhain November 1 (Cross Quarter)
Yule December 20-22 (Winter Solstice) Alban Arthan
Imbolc Feburary 2 (Cross Quarter)
Ostara March 20-22 (Vernal Equinox) Alban Eiler
Beltaine May 2 (Cross Quarter)
Litha June 20-22 (Summer Solstice) Alban Hefin
Lammas August 1 (Cross Quarter)
Mabon September 20-22 (Autumn Equinox) Alban Elfed
Sophialinus The Drum Lioness