April 2003 A Conscious Evolution Newsletter
Ahimsa parmo dharma
- A look at Jainism
Zolar - The Men Behind
the Crown
Lunations à la Linda
Linda Goodman's
Social Activism
Survival of the Spirit:
The Cherokee Spirit
April Star Watch
Conscious Community
April Interactive
Newsletter committee, writers, & contact info
Index of All Articles
Volume 2, Number 4

Opinions presented in Metamorphosis are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of others associated with the newsletter.

Calendar Page
Special Days and Aspects for April 2003

April 2003
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
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7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        

Welcome to April! Click on a date in the calendar to see the current aspects and events for that day.

April 1, 2003

Moon Phase
New Moon in Aries. To read about the astrological effects of New Moons, with interpretations by Linda Goodman, please see the article Lunations à la Linda in this issue.

April Fool’s Day: Sorry, but there are no holidays of any kind this month. April Fool! This day for playing tricks on friends by getting them to believe false information (at least momentarily) dates to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1582. New Year’s Day was moved to January 1 from its more natural occurrence near the vernal equinox. People who continued to celebrate the old form of the new year and to make new year’s visits to loved ones in late March and early April were mocked as April Fools. In the French version of the day, the fool is a fish, the poisson d’avril, and the prankster’s goal is to pin a paper fish on the back of someone’s shirt without getting caught.

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April 2, 2003

Mercury at 23 degrees Aries sextile Saturn in Gemini
Saturn’s influence adds an element of sobriety to the often light-hearted Mercury, although today this soberness is not likely to cause any great feelings of depression, as the sextile aspect works to create a day that is suited to disciplined mental work, serious thought and deep reflection.

Sun at 12 degrees Aries sextile Neptune in Aquarius
Physically, today may be a day of low energy, as dreamy Neptune interacts with the normally robust Sun in Aries. Psychically, however, this aspect offers an excellent opportunity to deeply and wordlessly understand all who cross your path.

Chandraman Ugadi: A Hindu Lunar New Year celebration in Andhra Pradesh in India. This New Year’s observance, determined by the New Moon, is also celebrated in Maharastra, India, as Gudi Padwa.

International Children’s Book Day: Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday was chosen by the International Board on Books for Young People as the day to celebrate children’s literature.

Florida State Day: Explorer Ponce de León landed in Florida around Easter time in 1513 and called the land “Easter Full of Flowers” - Pascua Florida. The Florida Legislature proclaimed April 2 a state holiday in commemoration of the landing.

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April 3, 2003

Have a great day!  

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April 4, 2003

Megalesia: An ancient Roman festival, Megalesia honored the Great Mother, a goddess called Cybele. The cult of Cybele was introduced to Rome by the Phrygian people about 200 B.C. Beginning about 200 A.D., Cybele’s festival became the first day of a series of annual days devoted to pleasure and recreation, days during which business must cease for fear of offending the gods. The Ludi Mengalenses lasted from April 4-10 and were followed by two other sets of spring games.

Feast of San Isidro de Seville: The Spanish saint, who was bishop of Seville, founded many schools in late sixth- and early seventh-century Spain and brought together all the scholarly knowledge of the time into a 20-volume encyclopedia, the Etymologies. Latin American countries, as well as Spain, celebrate this holiday.

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April 5, 2003

Mercury enters Taurus
The quick-thinking, fast-talking style of communication so prevalent while Mercury was in Aries slows down today as Mercury starts his turn in Taurus. Communication and thinking during this time is characterized by a slow, steady and even-handed approach, with an emphasis on subject matter that is practical and down-to-earth.

Qing Ming Jei: Variously celebrated on April 4, 5 or 6, two weeks after the vernal equinox, the celebration of Qing Ming - Clear Brightness - is one of a few Chinese festivals recognizing the solar calendar, rather than the culture’s more prominent lunar calendar. In ancient times it was more of a celebration of spring and new life. These days it is also known as “Tomb Sweeping Day,” a day to honor the ancestors.

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April 6, 2003

Mercury at 1 degree Taurus sextile Uranus in Pisces
An exciting day with unbridled potential. Any combination of these two planets ignites a spark of unexpected possibilities, unexplored genius. The earthy sensuality of Venus-ruled Taurus combined with the dreamy oceans of Neptune offer a myriad of innovative and creative possibilities today.

Daylight-Saving Time begins: Set your clocks forward an hour if you’re in the part of the world that saves summer daylight.

Chakri Day: This national holiday in Thailand honors the establishment of the Chakri dynasty, which has been in power since 1782, although the absolute power of the monarchy ended with reforms in 1932. The holiday marks the enthronement of Chao Phraya Chakri, a general who assumed the throne after a coup. After his death he became known as Rama I.

Founding of the Mormon Church: The birthday of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is generally a formal observance by church officials, who hold their annual conference at their Salt Lake City, Utah, headquarters at this time. The church’s founding prophet, Joseph Smith, established the church on April 6, 1830, in Fayette, New York.

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April 7, 2003

Have a great day!  

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April 8, 2003

Buddha Day: There are different celebrations of Buddha’s birthday on other dates, but in the northern tradition, his birth is celebrated April 8. The Buddha was born about 563 B.C. as Prince Siddhartha Gautama in Nepal. He renounced his royal privileges at age 29 and became a wandering ascetic. Meditating under a ficus tree, now called the Bodhi Tree, he achieved enlightenment at age 35 and went on to teach ethics and work against the caste system. The core of the religion he established teaches that one must free oneself of worldly fetters to attain the enlightened state of Nirvana, freedom from sorrow and selfish desire.

Hana Matsuri: Japan’s celebration of Buddha’s birthday is known as the Flower Festival. In a custom dating to the seventh century, people use a special sweet tea, made of hydrangea leaves, to anoint a small statue of the Buddha, which stands in an open lotus flower.

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April 9, 2003

Moon Phase
First-quarter Moon in Cancer.

Linda Goodman’s Birthday: On this day, probably in 1925, author and astrologer Linda Goodman was born. She died in 1995.

Appomattox Day: The American Civil War ended on this day in 1865 in the Virginia village of Appomattox Court House. The surrendering Confederate soldiers were allowed to keep their horses and return home.

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April 10, 2003

Sun at 19 degrees Aries trine retrograde Pluto in Sagittarius
The strong Arian Sun is magnified today by the intensity of its trine to Pluto. A perfect day for problem-solving, as you are able to insightfully penetrate the inner workings of everything around you. Keep yourself in check when dealing with others though - the strength of this transit can bring out the most militaristic side of your nature.

Mercury at 8 degrees Taurus square Jupiter in Leo
A providential transit that enables one to enthusiastically and optimistically grasp the big picture. The downside is the bossy and assumptive manner that such insight can create. Combined with the effects of the Sun trine Pluto (see above), today is likely to be your best day this month to work on mental projects - but do the work alone.

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April 11, 2003

Rama Navami: Hindu temples fill with people chanting the name of Rama on this holiday, their prayers focused on gaining freedom from the reincarnational cycle of birth and death. The day celebrates the birthday of Prince Rama, who was the seventh of 10 reincarnations of the god Vishnu in Hindu belief. The faithful recite stories from the Ramayana, an epic poem with Rama as its hero.

Uganda Liberation Day: The anniversary of the 1979 overthrow of dictator Idi Amin, accomplished with the help of Tanzanian fighters, is a national holiday in Uganda.

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April 12, 2003

Songkran: A three-day festival in Thailand, April 12-14, celebrating the traditional New Year. The public holiday includes Buddhist services and the custom of people splashing each other with water.

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April 13, 2003

Venus at 19 degrees Pisces square retrograde Pluto in Sagittarius
Sensitive and emotional Venus in Pisces tangles with Pluto’s heavier tones. Look for shifts in the power balance in your relationships and watch for situations that dissolve into struggles for power and control.

Palm Sunday: A week before Easter, Christians commemorate Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, when crowds welcomed him with praise, waving palm fronds symbolic of victory. The original day occurred during Passover, and the people, who had heard of Jesus’ miracles, expected him to lead them in freeing the land from Roman domination. These days on Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, Catholic and other churches distribute specially blessed palm fronds, or small branches of other trees where palms are unavailable, to their congregations. Many people hang the blessed leaves in their homes all year to bring continued blessings.

Baisakhi: This New Year’s celebration is a major festival in Punjab, India. For the Sikh population it also has religious meaning, commemorating the date of the founding of the Khalsa brotherhood.

Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday: The author of the American Declaration of Independence was born this day in 1743. Founder of the University of Virginia and co-founder of the Democratic Party, Jefferson was a philosopher, linguist, engineer and farmer in addition to being an American president and political writer.

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April 14, 2003

Mercury at 12 degrees Taurus square Neptune in Aquarius
Another difficult day for communication, as the sometimes hazy energy of Neptune casts a fog of confusion over your mental energy. A day where it is as easy to misunderstand others as it is to be misunderstood. If you must speak in public, have meticulous notes prepared and rehearse them well!

Sun at 24 degrees Aries sextile Saturn in Gemini
Saturn in Gemini has a structuring effect on the mind and, combined harmoniously with the Sun, lends a serious note to your thoughts. The question today is which aspect will prevail - the delusional haze of the Mercury/Neptune square, or the grounded stability one can find here.

Ambedkar Jayanti: Birthday of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, also called the architect of the Indian Constitution. Ambedkar led the committee that wrote India’s Constitution after India achieved independence from Britain in 1947. He was a lawyer who belonged to the class of Hindus called Dalits (the untouchables in older, more intolerant times). He was a firebrand activist who fought for Dalit rights.

Hindu New Year’s celebrations: Some of the various Hindu New Year’s festivals described below on Tuesday, April 15, are observed in some areas on Monday, April 14.

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April 15, 2003

Mahavir Jayanti: A festival of the Jain faith, celebrating the birthday of Lord Mahavir, the 24th and final Tirthankara, who popularized the religion in its present form. For more about Jainism, please see the article Ahimsa parmo dharma - A look at Jainism in this issue.

Souryaman Ugadi: Hindu Solar New Year’s Day in Karnataka, India. It is said that Lord Brahma began the creation on this day.

Bengali New Year’s Day: Also New Year’s Day in the Indian state of Assam, where the holiday is called Bihu, and in Kerala, where it is celebrated as Vishu, and in Tamil Nadu, where it is called Pongal.

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April 16, 2003

Moon Phase
Full Moon in Libra.

The Lord’s Evening Meal: The major annual celebration for the Jehovah’s Witness faith, commemorating the Last Supper, Jesus’ Passover meal, on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Nisan.

Hanuman Jayanti: The Birthday of the Monkey God, Hanuman, who was the greatest devotee of Lord Rama and helped rescue Rama’s wife, Sita (an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi), who had been kidnapped by the demon king Ravana. This war to rescue Sita forms a major chunk of the Ramayana.

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April 17, 2003

Venus at 24 degrees Pisces square Saturn in Gemini
If you’ve been wearing rose-coloured glasses in your relationship, today is the day they will come off! Saturn’s exacting standards and calm sense of detachment mean that today’s energy provides the ideal setting for a balanced analysis of how you are handling the people in your life. While upsetting truths may be uncovered, strong relationships will withstand the test and move forward stronger still. Weak relationships can dissolve under this influence, but before despairing, ask yourself why you would want to hold on to a weak relationship anyway.

Passover (Pesach) begins: The week-long celebration of the Jewish exodus from slavery in Egypt is April 17-24 this year, although officially beginning at sundown the night before. The Egyptian Pharaoh’s refusal to allow Moses to lead the Hebrew people out of Egypt prompted God to send a series of plagues to the country, according to the Biblical book of Exodus. In the 10th plague, the Angel of Death visited every Egyptian household, but passed over the Jewish households, sparing those families from the tragedy. As the Egyptians mourned their dead, Moses roused his people to make their escape. The holiday period is celebrated with retellings of the story and with special meals, called Seders, incorporating many foods that symbolize the experiences of slavery and freedom.

Maundy Thursday: Also known as Holy Thursday, the day commemorates Jesus’ Last Supper - and the origin of the sacrament of Holy Communion or the Eucharist, using unleavened bread and wine, as the Last Supper was a Passover supper, or Seder. Jesus took the bread and wine, offered thanks and praise to God, then gave the bread and wine to his disciples, telling them it was his body and blood, which would be given up for them and all people so that sins may be forgiven. “Maundy” is said to come from the Latin for commandment, referring to Christ’s words: “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

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April 18, 2003

Sun at 27 degrees Aries square Mars in Capricorn
One of the last major aspects the Arian Sun forms before it moves on to Taurus, and it’s bound to be memorable! Strengthened by being in the signs of their exaltations, these two ego-fuelled planets demand recognition. Channeled well, today promises raw creative power and unbridled energy to get things done. The difficulty will be in not succumbing to the sheer force of either of these monoliths.

Good Friday: The day commemorating Jesus’ crucifixion is a solemn one in Christian churches. Crosses in churches are often draped in black. Some churches hold special services from noon to 3 p.m. in honor of the last three hours Jesus hung on the cross and the last seven things he said.

Passover (Pesach) continues: The week-long celebration of the Jewish exodus from slavery in Egypt is April 17-24 this year.

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April 19, 2003

Ceralia: Festival in ancient Rome, a favorite of the common people, in honor of Ceres, goddess of grain and harvests.

Holy Saturday: The last day of Lent is time for the Easter vigil in many churches. Orthodox Christians in Slavic countries bring baskets of food prepared for Easter feasts to church to be blessed this night.

Lazarus Saturday: Orthodox Christian celebration of the resurrection of Lazarus by Jesus, celebrated on the eve of Orthodox Palm Sunday. The celebration honors Jesus as “the resurrection and life.”

Passover (Pesach) continues: The week-long celebration of the Jewish exodus from slavery in Egypt is April 17-24 this year.

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April 20, 2003

The Sun enters Taurus
A shift from the fiery and impetuous energy of the Sun in Aries to the quiet strength of the Bull. Earthy, fixed and ruled by Venus, Taurus is concerned with resources, and managing them in a stable and practical way. Material possessions and the practical creativity of home décor and gardening are highlighted during this time.

Easter: Most Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ on this day, the Sunday following the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox. The most holy of Christian sacred days includes worship services beginning at sunrise, special music, feasting and parades. Eastern Orthodox Christians figure in some additional elements in setting the date for Easter, including the date of Passover. This year, Easter Day in western churches is Palm Sunday for Orthodox churces, who celebrate Easter on April 27.

Passover (Pesach) continues: The week-long celebration of the Jewish exodus from slavery in Egypt is April 17-24 this year.

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April 21, 2003

Venus at 29 degrees Pisces sextile Mars in Capricorn
Like the Sun/Mars aspect on the 18th, this is another example of two planets working though the signs of their exaltations, however this time the energy is combined much more harmoniously. The sextile aspect between Venus and Mars promotes a balance between Venus’ concern for the relationship and Mars’ concern for the individual. A great day for making new friends, and for singles to pursue friendships that may develop into romance.

Venus enters Aries
A tough spot for Venus here in her detriment in Aries, opposite to Libra, her ruling sign. At its best, Venus in Aries offers an exuberant and animated approach to love and relationships. Aries’ childlike qualities may not produce the most sophisticated approach to love, but its naiveté carries with it a certain charm, provided the tendency towards selfishness is overcome.

Parilia: Ancient Roman observance honoring Pales, protector of shepherds and their flocks.

Ridvan begins: Technically beginning at sunset April 20, Ridvan is a 12-day festival of the Baha’i faith, which teaches the unity of all religions and all people. The faith’s founder, Baha’u’llah, stayed in a garden he called Ridvan, or Paradise, near Baghdad for 12 days in the spring of 1863 when he declared that he was God’s messenger for the age. Days 1, 9 and 12 of the period are holy days, when no work is to be done. Ridvan lasts until May 2.

Passover (Pesach) continues: The week-long celebration of the Jewish exodus from slavery in Egypt is April 17-24 this year.

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April 22, 2003

Mars enters Aquarius
The transit of Mars through Aquarius presents us with a time where considerable energy can be directed towards the Aquarian ideal of service to humanity. Less tradition-bound than Mars in Capricorn, there is an opportunity here for reform, and even revolution. Although Mars is not normally strong in the arena of teamwork, the Aquarian influence grants Mars a little more patience in cooperative efforts.

Sun at 1 degree Taurus sextile Uranus in Pisces
Unexpected possibilities are around every corner today. Not normally a disturbing influence, this transit can generate surprising experiences and interesting situations. Even normally straight-laced people will feel the need to cut loose today. A fun day to go shopping and buy that item you’ve secretly yearned for but never dared to try. But unless you are ready for a more permanent change, avoid the salon.

Earth Day: A day for promoting environmental awareness, Earth Day has been celebrated in the United States since 1970 and has become popular in other countries since then. In some cities, it has become an occasion for interfaith religious services promoting responsible treatment of the Earth.

Passover (Pesach) continues: The week-long celebration of the Jewish exodus from slavery in Egypt is April 17-24 this year.

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April 23, 2003

Moon Phase
Last-quarter Moon in Aquarius.

St. George’s Day: The patron saint of England is known in legend for converting a town to Christianity by vanquishing a threatening dragon. His day is celebrated with parades and fanfare in a number of European countries and even in Syria, where he is honored by both Christians and Moslems.

Shakespeare’s Birthday: The English town of Stratford-on-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare, hosts parades and pageants on this day in honor of the great poet and playwright. Controversy exists over whether Shakespeare wrote the prolific body of work published under his name or whether a nobleman was the author, using Shakespeare’s name to protect his anonymity. But the man known as Shakespeare, who was born in Stratford-on-Avon and buried there, gets the honor on this day. His actual date of birth is unknown, but he was baptized April 26, 1564 and died April 23, 1616.

Passover (Pesach) continues: The week-long celebration of the Jewish exodus from slavery in Egypt is April 17-24 this year.

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April 24, 2003

First Day of Summer in Iceland: The Thursday between April 19 and 25 is a major holiday in Iceland, celebrating the end of winter. People exchange gifts and stage performances of drama and song.

Armenian Martyrs’ Day: One of this century’s holocausts, a genocide based on ethnic and religious differences, was the Turkish massacre of Armenians in 1915 and 1916, in which 1 million people - half the Armenian population in Turkey - were killed. The martyrs are memorialized on this day in Armenian communities and churches around the world.

Passover ends: The week-long Jewish freedom celebration concludes.

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April 25, 2003

Secretaries Day: Established in 1952 by the trade organization Professional Secretaries International, the occasion provides an opportunity for employers to give their secretaries and office assistants special recognition.

Anzac Day: Australia and New Zealand’s memorial day for those who have died in the wars of this century is observed with veterans’ parades and religious services. The holiday is named for the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac).

Sinai Day: This Egyptian holiday commemorates the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Sinai Peninsula in 1982 as promised in the 1978 Camp David agreement between the countries.

Italy’s Liberation Day: The anniversary of the Allies’ 1943 invasion, leading to the overthrow of Mussolini’s fascism, is a national holiday in Italy.

Liberty Day in Portugal: The Portuguese holiday celebrates a coup in 1974 that ousted a government with unpopular military policies.

River Kwai Bridge Memorial Day: The Kanchanaburi War Cemetery in Thailand holds services for the nearly 7,000 American, Australian, British and Dutch prisoners of war buried there who died while being forced by their Japanese captors to build a railroad through the jungle from Bangkok to Burma during World War II.

Orthodox Holy Friday: The somber day commemorating Jesus’ crucifixion, according to the Eastern Rite churches’ calendar.

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April 26, 2003

Audubon Day: The National Audubon Society, an American group dedicated to the conservation of wildlife, celebrates the birthday of John James Audubon, born in 1785. Audubon published 435 realistic paintings of birds of the New World in his book Birds of America. The Audubon Society, originally set up to study and protect birds, was founded by a George Bird Grinnell, a student of Audubon’s widow, Lucy, after the illustrator’s death.

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April 27, 2003

Holy Pascha: Easter for Orthodox churches.

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April 28, 2003

Have a great day!  

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April 29, 2003

Venus at 9 degrees Aries trine Jupiter in Leo
This month, the best transits were definitely saved for last! Venus trine Jupiter is typically one of the most bountiful, lucky and pleasant planetary combinations. A day where anyone would be hard-pressed to feel less than content. Even those in the most negative situations will find a glimmer of hope and a sense of peace today.

Sun at 9 degrees Taurus square Jupiter in Leo
The bounty of Jupiter is so fortuitous that even a square aspect really can’t be considered negative. In fact, the slight tension created by the square may actually help to keep this great-feeling day on track, since the only danger of two so enjoyable transits on one day is the possibility of being mired in lazy feelings of self-indulgence. And really, what’s so bad about that?

Yom HaShoah: The first Nazi concentration camp to be liberated by the Allies when the war against Germany ended in 1945 was the camp at Buchenwald, Germany, liberated on the 27th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan. Israel’s government established the anniversary as Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Day. The holiday, which technically begins at sundown the evening before, has a threefold meaning: it memorializes the 6 million Jews killed in the Nazi holocaust, honors the survivors, and reminds humanity what human beings are capable of doing to one another.

Greenery Day: Celebrated with parades, costumes and fireworks, this Japanese holiday originally was established in honor of the birthday of Emperor Hirohito. The world’s longest ruling monarch, Hirohito led Japan during World War II. In 1946, he renounced the divinity the Japanese traditionally associated with the emperor and had a reduced role in post-war Japan’s parliamentary democracy. He died in 1989.

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April 30, 2003

St. James the Great Day: Orthodox Christian recognition of the martyrdom of the Apostle James the Great in 44 A.D.

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Astrology by Terri Smallwood; holidays compiled by Maria Barron