Friday, November 30, 2007

Andrew-tide, feast day of St Andrew the Apostle

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
St Andrew the King
Three weeks and three days before Christmas begins.

So goes the old English saying. Today is St Andrew's Day (Andrew-tide or Andrewtide is the season in British parlance) in both the Western and Eastern Christian traditions. Saint Andrew, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ and the brother of Simon (later the Apostle Peter), was a Galilean fisherman of Bethsaida, and originally a disciple of John the Baptist. In the Gospel of John (1:35-42), Andrew was the first called of Jesus' disciples.

According to tradition, Andrew was crucified at Patmos, in Achaia, on the Cross Saltire, or X-shaped cross, the form of which became known as St Andrew's Cross, which is still on the Scottish and British flags. The Saltire is also called the Boundary Cross (because it was used by the Romans as a barrier) and the crux decussata. Andrew's cross is the same as the cross of Wotan (Odin/Woden) which Norse invaders of Scotland carried ...

Pagan origins
According to Nigel Pennick (The Pagan Book of Days, 1992, 131), Andrew is a version of the divinity Andros, the Man, personification of virility, seen as an aspect of Dionysus. Scotland's matronal goddess is Skadi, the Scathing One. Depicted at left in the image above, is an image of man by Leonardo da Vinci.

St Andrew and the meaning of 'X' on a letter
People used to sign with an X if they couldn't sign their name. Then they would kiss the X and promise by St Andrew (whose cross the X resembles) to abide by their oath or contract. Over the years, 'X' on a letter came to mean a kiss ...

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