Sunday, October 05, 2014

Rolling Away the Stone

5 October, in ancient Rome, marked one of three dates (along with 24 August and 8 November) of a festival known as Mundus Patet, when a stone covering the entrance to a round or bottle-shaped pit was ritually removed. Originally the pit was where earliest Roman inhabitants had stored seed grain, to keep it safe. Somehow, over time and with the mix of Etruscan lore, the entrance to the pit came to be understood as entrance to the underworld. I suppose our nearest approach to something similar would be All Souls Day/Hallowe'en.

On the three dates when the entry to the pit was left open, it was thought that spirits of the dead could roam at will, making those times generally inauspicious. It was decreed that, on any of the three days of Mundus Patet, no public business should be performed, no battles fought, no ships allowed to set sail, and no marriages could take place. Not good days for much of anything. In other words, days of ill omen...although the fact that no battles could be fought would be thought to be A Good Thing these days. The other no-nos seem to me like quite good ideas too!

What brought that tid-bit to mind, as well as today's date, was this vintage photograph from husband's collection. A double exposure has created a vision of ghostly figures. I wonder if it was taken on
5 October, 24 August or 8 November?

Ghost car

In honour of the ancient day, a song written by Okie, Leon Russell, and Greg Dempsey. Performed by Leon Russell. (This is not the same song as another with same title by Ian Hunter/ Mott the Hoople).

18 comments:

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Leon Russell...

Brings back memories of living and going to school in Tulsa during an earlier time. Russell is a well-known Tulsan and musician from a city that produced many.

Roll Away the Stone, indeed!

Twilight said...

Jefferson's Guardian ~ It's good to know someone remembers him! :-) Yes, Oklahoma has provided some very good singers and musicians - and a few good eggs in other areas - Elizabeth Warren, Cornel West to mention 2, both soon skidaddled from OK though, sadly!

I'd never heard of Leon Russell until I arrived here. He's a great favourite of husband and his family.
There are a couple of old posts about him and a Leon concert we attended at our local theatre some years ago. I'll link to them here in case any other Leon fans wander past:

2nd half of 1st linked post:

http://twilightstarsong.blogspot.com/2007/12/rotten-day-for-sagittarius-good-night.html


And this one

http://twilightstarsong.blogspot.com/2007/12/master-of-space-and-time.html

mike said...

I would assume the stone had to be removed to allow the harvest to be placed in the cave, thus letting the spirits escape. The harvest may have been only symbolic, too...an offering to Ceres and the spirits. If they really stored a real harvest in the cave, the stone had to be removed to access the harvest when needed.

"The rites of August 24 were held between the agricultural festivals of Consualia and Opiconsivia; those of October 5 followed the Ieiunium Cereris, and those of November 8 took place during the Plebeian Games As a whole, the various days of the mundus suggest rites to Ceres as the guardian deity of seed-corn in the establishment of cities, and in her function as a door-warden of the afterlife, which was co-ruled during the winter months, by her daughter Proserpina, queen-companion to Dis."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceres_%28mythology%29

Nice photo...I like the special effect of the guy sitting on the fender. The era before Photoshop (or did anyjazz have a hand in this?). Reminds me of the hub-bub in the 1920s of photographers capturing ectoplasm and ghosts on film.

Twilight said...

mike~ There are varying interpretations, taken from ancient sources. They vary mainly due to the difficulty of translating old Latin into modern English. So there's no hard and fast explanation of exactly what went on, or why, but it certainly had something to do with harvest and grain, or seed grain for the following season. One source I found somehow linked Mundus Patet to Saturn/Saturnalia.

Re the photograph - No anyjazz didn't tamper with it - he seldom tampers with vintage photos, sometimes renovates, that's all. If you click on the photo it takes you to Flickr and a string of comment where aj mentions that:

"This was found in a batch of about 300 negatives. As near as I can tell, it's the only double exposure in the lot.....

Yes, the 1920s saw a rise in interest in the weird, the occult, I blame the rise of theosophy then. ;-)

mike (again) said...

Maybe this explains part of it:

(look at the Oct 5th entry)
http://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ LOL! Good one, and as timely as can be too! One of your almost-famous quinky-dinks. :-)

Off topic....We saw the first episode of 2nd Season of 'The Paradise' last night (via Roku). It was on PBS (KETA for us) but not until 11pm, so Himself wondered if Roku had it - and yes!
Have you seen it yet? It must have aired sometime last week in other regions I think.

mike (again) said...

Well, another quinky, Twilight! I just saw the PBS schedule for tonight and "The Paradise" season 2, episode 2, airs tonight at 7 PM. Dang...episode 1 aired Sept. 28th. I've been diligently waiting for season 2 and it almost sneaked by me...LOL.

LB said...

Twilight ~ Funny how this morning I dreamed a medium (and later, a group of mediums) approached me and gave me names related to some of the many souls who surround me.

It was very strange, emotionally overwhelming, yet comforting. Also very coincidental considering your post.

When I was a teenager, I owned Leon and Mary Russel's "Wedding Album".


mike ~ I left a final follow-up comment on yesterday's post. It's about one of my favorite brands of *Direct Trade* chocolate, Taza.

Their organic, ethically-produced and sustainably farmed cocoa makes their chocolate a delicious alternative to slave-chocolate and/or some of the Fairtrade options consumers like yourself might have misgivings about.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ I've just checked our PBS region's schedule and we have episode 2 at 7pm tonight too! Goody!

There's probably a synopsis ofseason 2 ep.1 somewhere on line - if not, ask away.
:-)

Twilight said...

LB ~ Synchronicity at it best! :-)
I hardly ever remember my dreams, when I do they are almost always about being late for something or forgetting to do something, or losing something - and usually related to parents or work. There have been a couple of stand-outs I've never forgotten, but those have been exceptional rather than usual.

"Wedding Album" - I shall now wander off to YouTube and find some tracks.

My favourite of his, is A Song for You.

I have read you latest comment from yesterday's post and taken not of that name. Thank you!

LB said...

Thank you, Twilight.:) I suppose if enough customers request particular brands of ethically-produced chocolate (like Taza), the more likely businesses are to carry them.

My husband and I enjoyed our first taste of stone-ground Taza after purchasing it from a small, independently-owned book store in our area. It was the only chocolate they carried.:)

"A Song For You" is beautiful, forgot it was written by Leon Russell. Amazing how many other artists have sung it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Song_for_You

mike (again) said...

LB - The next time I win the lottery, I'll purchase some Taza chocolate. You have expensive taste, girl...LOL!

Give the Askinosie brand a try, if you can find it. I've read a couple of stories about it...burned-out lawyer with a dream. Oprah highly endorses him. I doubt that I'll ever try it, so be our reviewer, LB!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Askinosie_Chocolate

http://chocolateclass.wordpress.com/tag/bean-to-bar/

http://www.askinosie.com/

mike (again) said...

WOW...old home week for me, Twilight, after seeing "The Paradise" again after such a long interlude. I wish that I'd seen episode 1...a lot didn't make sense, but I ran with it best I could. After the first ten minutes, I got into the flow.

Wiki says episode 1 was:
"It's one year later. Lord Glendenning has died, The Paradise is up for sale, Denise is still at the department store, and disgraced Moray is working in Paris. Katherine has a new husband, Tom Weston (Ben Daniels). Katherine recalls Moray to save The Paradise, though her husband doubts her motives."

You offered to fill-in. Is there anything extra I should know from episode 1?

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ The store was failing and a buyer wanted to take it over.

Moray brought back all kinds of finery and Chinoiserie from Paris to give it a gee-up, which seemed to work.

Katherine seems to have made peace with Denise (for now). An employee, in the pay of the would-be buyer, sabotaged the store room where much of the new Parisien stock was kept and caused a flood. That was sorted quite quickly and they afterwards decided not to sell, but to allow Moray to try to make it profitable.

Miss Audrey agreed to marry Denise's uncle.

Denise and Moray plighted their troth - or something like that. ;-)

Katherine's new husband has some nasty scars on his back as though he was whip-lashed at some time and suffers pain intermittently. Not sure where that's going. He also has a daughter with whom Katherine gets on well.

They seem to be introducing a new character in a sassy rosy-cheeked kitchen maid, who is quite shrewd, watches everything.

I think that's about all the extra I remember from episode 1.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Twilight, I'd guess that Leon Russell didn't pursue notoriety to the extent as others. He did produce a few albums with his name, later, but mostly stayed in the background to perfect his craft.

His name is on several recordings as a session musician, having played with well-known artists as diverse as George Harrison and Frank Sinatra, Joe Cocker and Glen Campbell, Badfinger and the Tijuana Brass, and a score of others. He has quite a résumé.

I actually still own a couple of his albums, that I bought new, from when he and the "Shelter People" hit the scene in the early '70s. Ah...those were the days...

Twilight said...

Jefferson's Guardian ~ Yes, he must have preferred to just be the best musician he could be, rather than seeking the spotlight.

Elton John knew his talent and invited him to take part in a tour with him a couple of years ago. We thought that was a lovely thing for Elton to have done. :-)

mike (again) said...

Thanks for the extra information about "The paradise", Twilight! Now that the Roku has been mastered, the next time you and anyjazz are without viewing material and twiddling thumbs, try-out the "Sherlock" series. I viewed one episode of season two, and all three of season three. Wonderful, quirky, not at all what I had expected.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherlock_%28TV_series%29

Twilight said...

mikke (again) ~ You're very welcome!

We shall take your advice and give Sherlock a whirl sometime.