Pagan Studies – April ~ Growing Moon
Also called: Hare Moon, Seed Moon or Planting Moon, Planter’s Moon, Budding
Trees Moon, Estermonath (Eostre Month), Ostarmanoth, Pink Moon, Green Grass Moon.
The name April comes from the Greek goddess Aphrodite, who is identified
with the Roman Venus. Because the Christian holiday of Easter sometimes
falls in this month, the Anglo-Saxons and Franks called a Easter Month; of
course, the word Easter comes originally from the name of the pagan goddess
Eostre, deity of Spring, and fertility, and new life. The Romans called
this month Aprilis, a time of unfolding leaves and flowers.
The Megalesia of Cybele, who was also known as Magna Mater (Great Mother) in
both Phrygia and Rome, celebrated the arrival of this goddess in Rome. And
to use 204 BCE, Rome was in the midst of a great war with Hannibal. Things
were going very badly for the Roman legions. Finally, the Romans sent the
delegation to the Delphi Oracle for an interpretation of their sacred
Sibylline Books. This pass each said that foreign invaders can only be
driven away when the Mother of Mount Ida was transferred from Pessinus to
Rome. The Oracle sent the delegation to the king of Pergamum in Asia Minor,
where they were told that a black meteorite embodying spirit of Cybele was.
Pine trees from Mt Ida, sacred to the goddess, were made into a ship, and
the stone was transported from one sanctuary to another until it reached
Rome. In about a year, left Italy forever.
The Japanese Flower Festival has now become a celebration of Buddha’s birth.
In the older celebration, however, the people gathered wildflowers for the
family shrine. Those in the Shinto faith placed wooden markers on the
graves and said prayers.
The Roman festival of Cerealia celebrated the return of Proserpina to the
Earth goddess Ceres. Our word “serial” comes from the name Ceres. It was a
time of Planting grain, Ceres was the Roman equivalent to the Greek goddess
Anahit of Phoenicia, Canaan, and Ur was portrayed by carrying an ankh and
wearing horns and a Moon disk. She was known by many other names, among
them Anat, Qadesh, Anait, Anahita, and Anatu.
The Egyptians called their land Khemennu, or Land of the Moon. Plutarch
wrote that they believe the Moon to be the Mother of the Universe. Although
the goddess Bast was primarily considered to be a deity of the gentle Sun,
she was also connected with the Moon.
The Floralia is still celebrated in many Central and Eastern European
countries. It is a time to honor the goddess of flower’s. People dress in
gaily decorated costumes and wear flowers in their hair. Secretly
delivering baskets of flower’s on May Day is a remnant of this old festival.
Although I did it as a child, I haven’t seen this custom for years. This is
such a shame, as children love to make the little paper baskets, choose the
flowers, and leave them on a doorstep.
During this month was also the Incan Ayrihua or Camay Inca Raymi, the Festival of the Inca.
Nature Spirits: plant faeries.
Herbs: basil, chives, dragons blood, geranium, thistle.
Colors: Crimson, red, gold.
Flowers: daisy, sweetpea.
Scents: pine, bay, bergamot, patchouli.
Stones: ruby, garnet, sard.
Trees: pine, bay, hazel.
Animals: bear, wolf.
Birds: hawk, magpie.
Dieties: Kali, Hathor, Anahita, Ceres, Ishtar, Venus, Bast
Power Flow: energy into creating and producing; return balance to the
nerves. Change, self-confidence, self-reliance, take advantage of
opportunities. Work on Temple and emotional flare ups and selfishness.
Old Sayings & Lore
Two New Moons in one month were said to predict a month’s bad weather.
Any View Moon on Saturday and Sunday was said to predict rain and general bad luck.
Good luck will come your way if you see the New Moon outside and over your
right shoulder. You can also make a wish that will be granted. The best
luck came from looking at the Moon straight on.
A rain around the Moon means rain or snow.
If you move to a new house or location during a waning Moon, it will ensure
you never go hungry.
In medieval and England, “Moon’s men” were thieves and highwaymen plied
their trade by night. The current term “moonlighting” is similar, meaning
to hold down an additional night job.
In certain parts of England, the term “Moonrakers” eventually came to means
simpleminded people. The factual story behind this, though, reveals some
pretty fast thinking by local smugglers. The English excise men (a
combination of border patrol, ATF, and IRS) were out at night, trying to
catch the smugglers red-handed. Hearing the excise men coming, the
smugglers sank their lose delay and pretended to be fishing for the Moon
reflected in the water. When the excise men ask what they were doing,
smugglers innocently replied they were raking for the Moon. The excise men
went away shaking their heads over the stupidity of the local folk, while
the smugglers fished up their goods and went on with their business.
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