21 Ceres/July 31
Day of Madria Candra.
O, Madria Candra, Jana of Reflection, Reason and Purity, be with us.
22 Ceres/Aug.1 marks the Summer festival of Cerealia. This feast is named after the ancient Roman festival which was celebrated in honor of Ceres, the Roman form of Demeter, in April.
Ceres was one of the Di Consentes or chief deities of the Roman pantheon. Known as the goddess of agriculture, grain and the love a mother bears her child , she taught the people how to grow food and make flour and bread. She was kind and benevolent and was considered to be the nurturer of the human race. There was a Roman saying that if something was ‘fit for Ceres’, it was splendid. (1). The word cereals comes from the name, Ceres.
Like her Greek counterpart, Demeter, the sacrifice of Ceres lay in the loss of her daughter, Prosperina (Greek:Persephone) who was also titled, Kore Soteria, meaning, the Saviour Maiden. (2)
The sacrificial Corn Mother or Corn Maiden is honored in North America by the First Nations. There are two main versions of her mythos. In the following version, the Corn Maiden willingly gives up her life in order to nourish humanity. She is called the First Mother:
http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/CornMother-Penobscot.html (If the link doesn’t work, put Native American Indian Legends-Corn Mother-Penobscot in a search.)
Our scriptures and our liturgy speak of the Holy Daughter as being like the corn that was reaped in silence. Like to the corn, My Soul was cut down by the scythe of death and like to the corn did it rise anew. 19) For I am the ear of corn that is reaped in silence. And She said: Like to the grain was My Body broken between the stones of death. (The Mythos of the Divine Maid, Chapter VII vs 18-20.
These three myths speak of great sacrifice on the part of either the Mother or the Daughter. And each is in relation to or symbolized by corn.
Corn, unique to the Americas and is sacred. It is also sacred to the First Nations who believed it was of divine origin and it has a very important tradition here in Massachusetts. If Squanto, of the Wampanoag Tribe, did not teach the Mayflower pilgrims how to grow corn and the secret of its fertilization, who knows how they would have fared.
During the Festival of Cerealia, we bow our heads in thanksgiving for the first harvest of grains; these edible seeds used for food.
We shower gratitude upon our Holy Mother Who, in the fullness of the Sacred Season of Summer, blesses the fruitfulness of the earth with the golden grains of life. We also thank the Holy Daughter, Our Kore Soteria, the ear of corn that is reaped in silence for Her holy Sacrifice.
The Supernal Mother nourishes our bodies through the bread of the earth. The Holy Daughter nourishes our souls through the Bread of Communion. Blessed are They.
Celebrating with crafts and food:
Make a corn wheel or wreath: http://www.earthwitchery.com/cornwheel.html
Check out all of these magnificent corn related crafts!
Cerealia festival meals might consist of breads, especially corn bread, corn muffins, cornmeal pancakes, Indian Bread pudding (popular here in the North-East), barley soups, fresh corn on the cob, rice, oatmeal or oat cookies, etc.
12 Yummy Recipes:
For the truly adventurous, you might want to try your hand at this wheat sheaf bread: https://thecakeshaker.com/2011/09/05/ready-bready-dough-make-your-own-harvest-wheat-sheaf-you-know-you-want-too/
Vegan corn bread recipe: http://theprettybee.com/2015/04/vegan-cornbread.html
or these delicious looking whole-grain pineapple up-side down muffins, both recipes submitted by Madrina Sophia:
And lots of other recipes including barley soup (may be made without the beef).
May Our Lady bless you and yours with abundance and joy.
Blessed is She.
ArchMadria Pamela Lanides
- http://www.ceresva.org/Goddess/Ceres.htm (thanks to Madrina Sophia was providing this information.)
- For further reading on Ceres: http://www.tribunesandtriumphs.org/roman-gods/myths-about-the-roman-goddess-ceres.htm
- For further reading on grains:
New research indicates that oats were ground to make a rough flour or meal 32,600 years ago. That is, firmly in the Palaeolithic era. This was the conclusion of a team from the University of Florence, based on evidence from a tool found in the Paglicci caves in Puglia, southern Italy. In June 1989, a kind of stone pestle or grinding tool was found in the cave. It was carefully stored, and a in 2010 a new study began. The researchers were able to isolate and analyse starch residues from the tool. There were five types identified but the most common was Avena barbata, a species of wild oat. Another grass grain was a form of millet. Acorns from oak trees were also present.And just how did Paglicci people eat the ground grain? “Presumably they mixed the flour with water and cooked [it],” says Mariotti Lippi.But she’s unwilling to speculate whether the outcome was a kind of flat oatcake or a gruel or porridge.As the historical breadbasket of Italy, the southern region carries on the bulk of the country’s bakery traditions. Puglia has cone-shaped trullis, traditional seaside villas. Photo with a sun and ascending dove. http://www.authenticluxurytravel.net/2014/04/puglia-italy-new-trend-luxury-travel.htmlPrevious work shows that sorghum, another cereal grain, could have entered the human diet as early as 105,000 years ago.http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/flour-was-part-human-diet-32000-years-ago-180956675/#aRy1T9AX5GFLiSLY.99
(Thanks, again, to Madrina Sophia).