St. Mary’s Church, Old Ursuline Convent, New Orleans, LA 2012

Tomorrow packs a double whammy: It’s the Feast of St. Joseph–patron saint of confectioners, carpenters and cuckolds, along with fathers and real estate sales–and the Spring Equinox. St. Joseph’s also the patron of saint of Sicily, and the Feast of St. Joseph’s Day is a big deal in New Orleans which has a large Sicilian/Italian population (muffalettas!). Altars are laid out with lemons for new love. Fava beans represent the drought in Sicily which ended after prayers to St. Joe statues of the Holy Family (plus additional saints if you’re so inclined) candles, flowers and food, with an emphasis on seafood, round out a traditional altar.

And the equinox, when all things come into balance, and the sun moves into Aries. It’s a holy day for pagans and for Thelemites (those who follow Aleister Crowley). Passover falls on the first full moon after the spring equinox, and since Easter falls on the Sunday after Passover–surprise, fundie Xians!, you’re in a lunar-based religion whose roots go back to an agrarian society.

This equinox I’m having dinner with friends at my favorite restaurant. I might have the lamb.

In honor of St. Joseph and the start of Spring, here’s a live version of ”Top of the World” from the the Nixon White House.

 

Photo: Steve Wehmeyer