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The online home for Lisa McSherry, author and priestess

April, Not So Foolish

Let me start off by being very clear that I don’t think the pranks played on April Fool’s Day are very funny. By and large, they are mean and rude. And this year we’re all going to start the month on rocky footing as Mercury begins its retrograde dance on the 1st.

Springtime in the Forum, copyright 2014, Lisa mcSherry

Ignore that first day — April is a lovely month in so many ways!

The Romans gave us its name, from the Latin Aprilis and the verb aperire, “to open”, in allusion to its being the season when trees and flowers begin to open. In China, this is the month when the emperor and princes engage in a symbolic plowing of the earth. In Finnish, this month is called huhtikuu, meaning slash-and-burn moon, when gymnosperms for beat and burn clearing of farmland were felled. In Slovene, the most established traditional name is mali traven, meaning the month when plants start growing.

The Lyrids meteor shower falls April 16 – April 26, typically peaking on April 22. The Eta Aquariids and Virginids meteor showers also appear in April.

The Shinto Kanamara Matsuri (Festival of the Steel Phallus) is an annual Japanese festival held each spring at the Kanayama Shrine in Kawasaki, Japan. The exact dates vary but the main festivities fall on the first Sunday in April. The phallus, as the central theme of the event, is reflected in illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, decorations, and a mikoshi parade. The Kanamara Matsuri is centered on the Kanayama Shrine where the god Kanayama-hiko and the goddess Kanayama-hime are venerated. They are both gods of blacksmithing, metal-smithing, and metal works, and are also prayed to for easy childbirth, marital harmony, and protection from sexually transmitted infections.

International Dark Sky Week is held during the week of the new moon (April 7-13 this year). People worldwide may turn off their lights to observe the beauty of the night sky without light pollution.

As for Mercury Retrograde . . . it’s always a tough time. If you can slow down and take extra time, you can ameliorate its effects. Whether that means giving yourself extra time for your commute to work, saving an important presentation every time you make a change, or writing down your thoughts before expressing them, taking preventative measures can help keep your wires from getting crossed until the 25th.

April, Not So Foolish

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