Sunday, September 1, 2019

Happy New Year and Festival of Dwellings!

A joyous New Year and Festival of Dwellings to you! Take a deep breath and enjoy the scent of petrichor as Ba'lu Haddu, The Thunderer, The Cloudrider, returns from the Betu Khapthatu, the House of Freedom over Mount Tzapunu.
In a meta-moment of typing the above, it seems that spyllchex (i.e. spell-check) does not like the word "petrichor." I looked the word up on Wiktionary to make sure I spelled it right, and indeed I have. It's a beautiful word, a poetic word for the scent of rain hitting hard, dry stone, and dusty earth. It never occurred to me to double check the history of the word.

On Wiktionary, the etymology is stated as being thus: "From petr(o)- (prefix meaning ‘of or pertaining to stone') +‎ ichor ('(Greek mythology) liquid that flows in the veins of gods in place of blood'), coined by Australian scientist Isabel Joy Bear and British scientist Richard Thomas in their 1964 article 'Nature of Argillaceous Odour' published in the journal Nature."

Considering Ba'lu Haddu's return to earth through the autumnal rains, this strikes me as particularly poignant.

I marked the holy day on behalf of our Natib Qadish community with fasting, feasting, and taking the deities on a processional through the countryside. They are currently housed in a temporary mathbatu, for a period of time, as this holy tide passes.

I hope you have a chance to celebrate our New Year as well, with praises to our Gracious Gods, with offerings, and with feasting. Ba'al Hadad, The Cloudrider, returns again as the season in old Ugarit shifts from the heat-death of Motu to the storms which pass over Mount Tzapunu. With the skill of Kothar-wa-Khasis, and the steadfast, caring support of 'Anatu, Shapshu, and 'Athtartu, Hadad is victorious once again! There over the horizon, our Sun Lady carries the Thunderer across her broad, strong shoulders and breath returns to his lungs. May Ilu stamp his holy feet on his lofty footstool and cast off the sackcloth of mourning. May it rain olive oil, and may the land flow with honey. May your New Year be blessed filled with sweetness and riches, and the rich, sweet life of devotion to the Holy Deities, in this the 92nd year of the rediscover of Ugarit.

Day 1, Niqalu, Shanatu 92.

Picture Credits: Photograph of rain on grass, by Adrian Benko, used through Creative Commons license

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