Happy Hilaria (Greco Roman Festival)

~ Hilaria ~ hilaris ‘hilarious’  ~  ἱλάρια

Today marked the end of the 12-day festival of Cybele, the Anatolian  mother goddess of mountains and fertility, and a life-death-rebirth deity , who was adopted by the Romans as their own Mother of the Gods.

In Ancient Roman religious tradition, the HILAʹRIA (Greek: ἱλάρια Latin: hilaris, “hilarious”) were festivals celebrated on the Spring (vernal) equinox to honor Cybele (cult of the Great Mother – Magna Mata, Gaia, Earth mother).

Hilaria seems originally to have been a name which was given to any day or season of rejoicing.  According to St Maximus, the hilaria were either private or public.  A private hilaria on occasions of marriage (a ritual/ceremony representing sacred union, reconnection of ying/yang) and birth celebrations.  A public hilaria was an emperor appointed day of celebration, the equivalent of a national holiday feria stativa (free day).

The Roman feria stativa,  Hilaria Matris Deûm, March 25th was the first day after the Spring equinox, or the first day of the year which was longer than the night. The winter had passed away and the arrival of the season of rebirth, renewal and regrowth was spent in rejoicings.   A day where all kinds of games, in honour of the mother of the gods, and amusements were had; masquerades were the most prominent among them, and every one might, in his disguise, imitate whomsoever he liked, and even magistrates.

In the Christian calendar, March 25 is the day of annunciation when Archangel Gabriel announced to the Virgin Mary that she would become the mother of  Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  Despite being a virgin, Mary would miraculously conceive a child and to name her son Jesus, meaning “YHWH delivers”.

source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilaria


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Spring Equinox

The Spring Equinox is the point in the yearly cycle when momentary balance exists between light and dark; day and night.  An appropriate time for us to examine our own balance.  Does a balance exists between our poles of yin and yang, or are we prisoners of images of how we “should” behave?  As we move toward our outer nature (the light), do we honor our inner nature (the dark)?  It was Carl Jung who reminded us that without the darkness we could not see the light of the candle flame.

We’ve cycled from the Winter Solstice, the “longest night,” where the focus on the power of darkness — the richness of that unknown, dark fertile, deep part in each of us, wherein our intuitive, creative forces abide through Imbolc.  The period during which the seed that has been nurtured within breaks through the frozen earth and buds appear, and now have sprung into Spring!


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Serendipitious Citations

Albert Hofmann, the Swiss chemist who discovered LSD properties by unintentionally ingesting it at his lab, wrote ~

“It is true that my discovery of LSD was a chance discovery, but it was the outcome of planned experiments and these experiments took place in the framework of systematic pharmaceutical, chemical research. It could better be described as serendipity.”


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