The Wicca Book of Days for July 1 – A Timely Tribute

The Wicca Book of Days for July 1

A Timely Tribute

 

By today’s reckoning, July is the seventh month of the year, but this month was not always called July, nor was it always the seventh month. Indeed, its original name in the calendar of Romulus (and later, also of Numa) Quintilis, indicates that it was once the fifth month of the Roman year. Gaius Julius Caesar (100 – 44 BC.) had just reformed the calendar that regulated Roman time (after which it became known as the Julian calendar) when he was assassinated, and it was in tribute to him that Quintilis –  the month of the murdered emperor’s birth – was renamed Julius (or Iuluis), the Latin for “July.”

Juggling Powers

Meditate upon the major arcana Tarot card of the Juggler, or Magician (1). The objects on the table may vary, but this man always holds aloft a wand, signifying his will, while his other hand point downward, suggesting the transference of heavenly powers to the Earthly realm.

Test Your Cat Knowledge

Test Your Cat Knowledge

  • Cherise Udell

Feline Muse by Cherise Udell

Since so many people enjoyed my first Cat Quiz in “What Is Your Cat IQ?” I thought I’d put forth round two of quizzing your cat knowledge. So, invite a purring pussy cat onto your lap and take this informative quiz together.

 

1. All cats have retractable claws. True or False?

False. Cheetahs do not retract their claws.

 

2. Myth, legend, and folklore surround the Maine Coon Cat. One legend claims these cats are the descendants of a cat belonging to Marie Antoinette. True or False?

True. According to legend, a ship captain named Samuel Clough attempted to help Marie Antoinette escape France, but was only able to save her cats. He sailed to America and left the kitties in Maine.

 

3. One cat can give birth to over 400 kittens in her lifetime. True of False?

True. A tabby named Dusty delivered 420 documented kittens in her lifetime. Hopefully, Dusty didn’t have to name them all!

 

4. Ailurophobia means “fear of cats.” True or False?

True.

5. Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hilter all hated cats. True or False?

True All of these men, who sought to dominate the world, did share a hatred of felines. Hmmmmm….

 

6. Feeding dog food to a cat on a regular basis can cause blindness in the cat. True or False?

True. Dog food typically lacks taurine, a nutrient essential for cat eye and heart health.

 

7. Carrots are toxic to cats. True or false?

False. But onions, green tomatoes, raw egg yolk, raw potatoes, grapes, raisins, poinsettias, philodendrons, dental floss, and aspirin can all cause havoc on a cat’s digestive system and health.

8. A group of kittens is called a litter. True or False?

False. Everyone I know refers to a group of kittens as a “litter,” however the proper term is “kindle.”

9. The world’s largest feral cat population is in Egypt. True or False?

False. The largest feral cat population is in Rome. Over 300,000 feral cats call famous Roman landmarks such as the Coliseum and Vatican City, home.

10. An ancient Chinese legend maintains that the cat is the result of a romantic tryst between a lioness and a monkey. True or False?

True. The legend suggests that the lioness endowed her offspring with dignity, while the monkey passed on curiosity and playfulness. I would have never thought that one up myself, but now that the Chinese mention it, it makes lots of sense!

 

How did you do? Did any of these answers surprise you? Have you ever heard the term “kindle” used to refer to a group of kittens? I am sure with a little creativity, we all could come up with a significantly more descriptive and endearing term to describe such cuteness!

The God Dis Pater

Dis Pater

Dis Pater, or Dispater was a Roman (Gaulish) god of the underworld, later subsumed by Pluto or Hades. Originally a chthonic god of riches, fertile agricultural land, and underground mineral wealth, he was later commonly equated with the Roman deities Pluto and Orcus, becoming an underworld deity.

Dis Pater was commonly shortened to simply Dis. This name has since become an alternative name for the underworld or a part of the underworld, such as the Dis of The Divine Comedy.

Dis Pater was originally a god of wealth, much like the Roman god Pluto (from Greek Πλούτων, Ploutōn, meaning “wealthy”), who was later equated with Dis Pater. Dis is contracted from the Latin dis (from dives meaning “rich”), and pater (“father”), the literal meaning of Dis Pater being “Wealthy Father” or “Father of Riches.”

Julius Caesar writes in Commentarii de Bello Gallico that the Gauls considered Dis Pater to be an ancestor. In thus interpreting the Gauls’ god as Dis, Caesar offers one of his many examples of interpretatio Romana, the re-identification of foreign divinities as their closest Roman counterparts. The choice of Dis to translate whatever Celtic divinity Caesar has in mind – most likely Cernunnos, as the two are both associated with both the Underworld and prosperity – may in part be due to confusion between Dis Pater and the Proto-Indo-European deity Dyeus, who would have been addressed as Dyeu Phter (“Sky Father”). This name is also the likely origin of the name of many Indo-European gods, including Zeus and Jupiter.

Like Pluto, Dis Pater eventually became associated with death and the underworld because the wealth of the earth—gems and precious metals—was considered in the domain of the Greco-Roman underworld. As a result, Dis Pater was over time conflated with the Greek god Pluto.

In being conflated with Pluto, Dis Pater took on some of the Greek mythological attributes of Pluto/Hades, being one of the three sons of Saturn (Greek: Cronus) and Ops (Greek: Rhea), along with Jupiter and Neptune. He ruled the underworld and the dead beside his wife, Proserpina (Greek: Persephone). In literature, Dis Pater was commonly used as a symbolic and poetic way of referring to death itself.

In 249 BC and 207 BC, the Roman Senate under Senator Lucius Catelli ordained special festivals to appease Dis Pater and Proserpina. Every hundred years, a festival was celebrated in his name. According to legend, a round marble altar, Altar of Dis Pater and Proserpina (Latin: Ara Ditis Patris et Proserpinae), was miraculously discovered by the servants of a Sabine called Valesius, the ancestor of the first consul. The servants were digging in the Tarentum on the edge of the Campus Martius to lay foundations following instructions given to Valesius’s children in dreams, when they found the altar 20 feet (6 m) underground. Valesius reburied the altar after three days of games. Sacrifices were offered to this altar during the Ludi Saeculares or Ludi Tarentini. It may have been uncovered for each occasion of the games, to be reburied afterwards, a clearly chthonic tradition of worship. It was rediscovered in 1886–87 beneath the Corso Vittorio Emanuele in Rome.

In addition to being considered the ancestor of the Gauls, Dis Pater was sometimes identified with the Sabine god Soranus. In southern Germany and the Balkans, Dis Pater had a Celtic goddess, Aericura, as a consort. Dis Pater was rarely associated with foreign deities in the shortened form of his name, Dis.

Encyclopedia Mythica