April 5, 2020

April 5th with Pocahontas, 777, and A Lucky Goddess

Fortuna lightly balances the orb of sovereignty between thumb and finger in a Dutch painting of ca 1530 (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Strasbourg)
Ah yes, April 5th, the Festival for Good Luck day (Nones of April).  Fortuna, the Lady Luck to whom all gamblers pray.  Fortuna's father was said to be Jupiter and like him, she could also be bountiful.  Evidence of Fortuna worship has been found as far north as Castlecary, Scotland and an altar and statue can now be viewed at the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow. Unlike most of the other gods and goddess, Fortuna did not disappear with the ascendancy of Christianity. In the 6th century, the Consolation of Philosophy, by statesman and philosopher Boethius, written while he faced execution, reflected: "...most coincidental events are part of God's hidden plan which one should not resist or try to change." Of course, as the Christian faith became more and more worldly, the goddess Fortuna became their hidden secret.  Go to any casino on a Sunday morning and see all the Christians hitting the slots:  "Sweet Jesus!" you'll hear more often than not when someone hits 777. 

Oddly enough, Fortuna seems to have married into the Christian faith much as Pocahontas did on this day a thousand years later.


As coincidence would have it, on this day in 1614 in colonial Virginia, Pocahontas marries Jamestown tobacco planter John Rolfe, and by doing so, ensured peace with the Native Americans because Pocahontas' dad was the leader of most of the tribes in the area.  I guess you could say Rolfe married up.   Fast forward to the year 1758, on this same day! What? Really, on this same day in Pennsylvania teenager Mary Jemison is kidnapped by Native Americans from her family's farm and spends the rest of her life with the Senecas nation.   She eventually wrote a best selling biography about her captive history and it became a huge hit and was sold at all the feed stores.  


On this day in 1794, French revolutionary leader Georges Jacques Danton is executed by guillotine for standing up to the wealthy 1% bastards running the show back then (The Monarchy).  Renowned for his satire, he said things like "The kings of Europe would dare challenge us? We throw them the head of a king!" at the execution of Louis XVI.

Before his own execution, Danton said: "Be sure you show the mob my head.  It will be a long time ere they see its likes again."

Danton was a man, yes, a big man.  Just look at his mugshot.


And finally, on this day in 1887, Lord Acton wrote the following in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton of Cambridge University:

"Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Possibly, the greatest words ever spoken since Pocahontas (playful, spirited little girl) said to John Rolfe, her husband to be: 

                     "eeleeliihilaani, (me bathe you, you stink!)"

An 1850s painting of John Rolfe and Pocahontas

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