"It was that period in the vernal quarter when we may suppose
the Dryads to be waking for the season. The vegetable world
begins to move and swell and the saps to rise, till in the
completest silence of lone gardens and trackless plantations,
where everything seems helpless and still after the bond and
slavery of frost, there are bustlings, strainings, united thrusts,
and pulls-all-together, in comparison with which the powerful
tugs of cranes and pulleys in a noisy city are but pigmy
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 it Easter Month; of course, the word Easter comes
originally from the name of the Pagan goddess Eostre, deity of
Spring, fertiilty, 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 Phyrgia and Rome, celebrated the arrival
of this goddess in Rome. In 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 a delegation to the
Oracle at Delphi for an interpretation of their sacred Sibylline
Books. This passage said that foreing invaders could 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 meteroite embodying
the 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, Hannibal 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 "cereal" comes
from the name Ceres. It was the time of planting grain. Ceres was
the Roman equivalent to the Greek goddess Demeter.
Anahit of Phoenicia, Canaan, and Ur was portrayed as carrying
an ankh and wearing horns and a Moon disk. She was known by
many other names, among them Anat, Qadesh, Anait, and Anatu.
The Egyptians called their land Khemennu, or Land of the Moon.
Plutarch wrote that they believed 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 flowers.
People dress in gaily decorated costumes and wear flowers in
their hair. Secretly delivering baskets of flowers on May Day is
a remnant of this old festival.
During this month was also the Incan Ayrihua or Camay Inca
Raymi, the Festival of the Inca.
In Celtic tradition, the night of April 30 was thought of as the
darkest of the year, when witches flew to frighten, spawning
evil throughout the land. In response, people pounded on kettles,
slammed doors, cracked whips, rang church bells and made all
the noise they could to scare off the corruption they imagined to
be moving on the moist air. They lit bonfires and torches and
witch- proofed their houses with spring boughs. Such vigils were
kept throughout the night until the rising of the May-dawn.
From: Moon Magick
By D J Conway