October was the eighth month of the old Roman calendar and was sacred to the goddess Astraea, daughter of Zeus and Themis.
Deireadh Fommhair or an Damhair, the stag rut, was the Irish name for this month or the Gealach a ‘bhruic, Moon of the badger. Winterfelleth, “winter is coming,” was the Anglo-Saxon name. (George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Ice/Game of Thrones series fans will recognize these foreboding words).
The Franks called October Windurmanoth, “vintage month.”
Marigolds are the flowers for October children. It is no coincidence that they are the favored flowers associated with the ancestors and rites honoring the beloved dead, which will come later this month to cultures throughout the world.
Beryl, aquamarine, opal, or tourmaline are best for people born in October, and opal or tourmaline are also the birthstones of Libra, while topaz is the stone for Scorpio. Libra has connections to aquamarine, emerald, kunzite, moonstone, opal, peridot, and pink tourmaline, and other Scorpio stones include albite, aquamarine, emerald, garnet, green tourmaline, malachite, moonstone, obsidian, and ruby.
Today is the Feast day of Fides, one of Rome’s dies nefasti, a day on which no legal action or public voting could take place. This was a festival in honor of Bona Fides, Goddess of Good Faith. Fides was invoked in all legal contracts. Plutarch wrote that Her temple, Fides Publica, or “Faith of the People,” was built by the first king of Latium, King Numa. Virgil noted that Fides was one of Rome’s oldest lawgiving Goddesses.
Fides certainly had one of Rome’s oldest temples, served by three senior Flamines, the core of the ancient Roman clergy.
On this day every year, the clerics of Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus rode in a covered chariot to Her shrine. The covering of the chariot signified that honor could never be too carefully protected. At the offering, they had their right hands wrapped up to the fingers with white bands. The meaning of this was that the right hand, the seat of honor, should be kept pure and holy. Other ceremonial rites were performed this day involving purification and a commemoration of the oath of unification at the Capitoline shrine of Fides.
The Goddess was usually depicted with an outstretched right hand and a white veil. Her symbols are ears of corn and fruits, joined hands, and a turtle-dove.
May the sacred honor of the people be acknowledged once more in our own time, and may Fides forever bless us with Her good graciousness, for we are in sore need of Her. Semper Fidelis!