Sôgmô releases Holiday Message early

The Sôgmô has released þess holiday message early on Christmas eve and in text, rather than the custom of sending a video in the early morning of 25 December. The message cites Royal Family events on the eve of Christmas and the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti as the cause for the break from tradition.

Read the Sôgmô’s annual Holiday Message here.

In the message, það talks about Jesus’s message and how Christians’ views are like those associated with all Sandum citizens, and mentions a story from þess recent nyungné, a Tibetan Buddhist fasting ritual, about how Jesus’s story is accessible to people across a variety of different boundaries. Það talks about how this season is one meant for family, both born and chosen families, and marks how important the New Gregorian Year will be as we mark the 10th anniversary of the Creation of Sandus.

Solstice Report: Sôgmô’s Legitimacy Unanimously Supported, 88.9% Participation

The Autumn season is one of the busiest times for Sandum citizens, and this has certainly been the case for us this year. We have celebrated the Armilustrium with much fanfare and joy, we have held a successful CPS Party Congress, and we have just finished an election that was the most participated in our history. Sandum citizens are becoming more and more committed to our humble micronation and are more and more interested in its independent cultural and social message.

A successful Autumn will mean a busy Winter, too. As this report discusses below, Sandus and her citizens will have much on their plates in the New Gregorian Year: a new government official will have to find her way to plan holiday celebrations and share holiday spirit; a body of five interreges will interview and select candidates for the position of heir who will take up the position of Sôgmô when það passes; and, new honours, awards, and prizes will be given and established in the New Year.

It is the Brumalia season in Sandus, also known as the “Halcyon Days.” Taking part in the spirit of the season, we are pleased to announce that Sandus has passed another major milestone in the history of its charity tax system: in 2018, Sandus has donated more than $5,000 USD to charitable foundations (sometimes to individuals themselves) and volunteered more than 1,000 hours!

Winter Solstice

Charity Taxes: Sandus has donated more than $5,000 in 2018!
Sandus has donated more than $5,000 USD in the past administrative year of 2018. After donating $1,095 in the winter, $2,174 in the spring, and $1,628  in the summer, recent reports are showing that (with only two citizens reporting) Sandus has donated $1,543.65 in the autumn—putting Sandus more than $1,400 over the $5,000 milestone! Never before have Sandum citizens donated so much money in one year alone. Sandum citizens donated to religious organisations and communities (Buddhist temples, Christian churches), museums, human rights organisations, wild life and environmental charities, organisations dedicated to LGBTQ+ equality and anti-Semitism, and other political charities.

History of Sandum Charity Taxes (2011-2018)

Sandus has earned $6,441.62 in 2018! This number may increase as more citizens declare their charity tax contributions.

Sandum citizens, likewise, volunteered more time this year than in previous years. 136 hours were volunteered for the benefit of others in the last season alone, with Sandum citizens volunteering time to political campaigns in the United States, serving as officials in student organisations, providing education, and going beyond the expectations of their job titles to serve others—without financial reward.

Election 2018 Poster.png

Election 2018: Sôgmô’s Legitimacy Unanimously Supported, 88.9% Participation
The Sôgmô has received the unanimous support of the Sandum people to continue to govern and reign the State of Sandus. 88.9% of eligible Sandum voters turned out to vote for the Sôgmô’s reign, the highest turnout ever recorded. Eight votes in total were cast.

Five of those eight votes cast were also ballots for members of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus. They voted in the election on the Party’s Platform which was recently drafted by Party Secretary Adam Camillus von Friedeck. The ballots cast unanimously approved the Party Secretary’s platform.

Read the new Party Platform here.

Two petitions were cast, as well. One concerned diplomatic relations with the country of Aabaro, while the other petitioned the Sôgmô to review citizenship law to make it easier to become a Sandum citizen. This petition will be addressed by því over þess winter holiday.

Quot estis in convivio: Sôgmô creates, appoints Feaster
At the November 2018 Party Congress of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus, Party members focused on encouraging cultural cooperation and integration between citizens. A variety of solutions were discussed—encouraging “Sandum-adjacent” people to apply for citizenship, giving gifts to Sandum citizens, encouraging participation in holidays and online discussions—but one solution focused on creating a functionary, bureaucratic office to hold joyous events for all Sandum citizens involved.

On 20 December, during the Saturnalia, that position has now become the “Feaster,” or epulo in Latin after the Ancient Roman college of priests. The Sôgmô created the position yesterday in a decree announced on Sandum media.

Sisenna Melville, who is also the Bishop of ἡ Ἔκκλησία τῆς Σανδῆς (the Church of Sandus, a sodality of the Collegium Sacerdotum cooperative), has been appointed the first Sandum feaster.

The feaster is broadly charged with performing holiday duties, such as planning events and sharing information on the holiday—as well as sharing the spirit of the holiday! Special tasks include preparing for and celebrating important Sandum holidays, whether with other Sandum citizens or non-Sandum people, and consulting one-on-one with Sandum citizens on how to share the holiday spirit.

Melville will be compensated with the standard worker’s salary of 8¶c, and is entitled to (but does not automatically receive) a knighthood. (She already has one as virtue of her bishopric.) As a knight, she will as feaster receive a special charge of a patera or chalice on her coat of arms, and Feasters also receive an official carol.

Heir Needed: Caucus of Quinque Interreges to sit in 2019
The search for the Sôgmô’s heir has begun.

According to the May 2018 law on succession, the process for finding an heir lasts one year. It begins in the December before the anniversary of Sandus’s creation divisible by five (2019, 2024, and so on) with the sitting of a caucus of five interreges. The caucus is comprised of the three major Sandum officials in our republican constitution (the Sôgmô, the Party Secretary, and the Facilitator of the Council, also known together as the “Three Grand State Officers”). The Sôgmô appoints one interrex, while both the Party Secretary and the Facilitator appoint the fifth.

The caucus is comprised of the following members:

  1. The Sôgmô: Gaius Soergel Publicola
  2. The Party Secretary: Adam Camillus von Friedeck
  3. The Facilitator of the Council: Hatsu Ryuho
  4. Fourth Interrex: Sisenna Melville
  5. Fifth Interrex: Jan DeWitt

The caucus will meet for the first time in the New Gregorian Year.

Over the course of the next year, the Caucus of the Quinque Interreges, as they are officially known in this capacity: draw up the relevant criteria for someone to be a Sôgmô; brainstorm a long list of candidates; perform interviews and hold public meetings, if necessary, and reduce the list to about three to five candidates. The caucus then presents the list to the Party Congress of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus in November, and the Party then selects two candidates to be put on the ballot of that Winter Solstice’s election.

The winner of the election becomes the new heir.

But the position of heir only lasts five years or at the Sôgmô’s pleasure, since það can choose to prorogue the heir’s five year term and can be sacked by the Sôgmô. At any moment the Sôgmô may meet þess demise, however, and the heir elected will automatically become the Sandum monarch for life or for as long as they reign legitimately. The idea is both to have a flexible political system where there can be contingencies while also allowing for the heir elected to train and to learn how to be a Sandum monarch appropriately.

Former heirs who have honourably resigned (that is, are not sacked) receive the title of “heir sine officio” for life and are entitled to a knighthood.

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The Sanôba and the Sôgmô

Sanôba will visit Quercus Candida for January 2019
Sanôba Oliver will visit the Sôgmô next month for several weeks before his university returns to session in February. He will live at the Appartements du Sôgmô in the capital for three weeks and will later return to live with the monarch for the summer. It will be the second time he will have visited Sandum land since becoming Sanôba in April, two days before the Day of Foundation. The Sôgmô recently visited Minnesota in the United States, where the Sanôba is from, to celebrate American Thanksgiving with him and his family.

The royal couple met online several years ago in 2010 through a mutual friend, who was at that time a Sandum citizen. Both kept in touch over the years and they first met in person in March of this year, when the Sanôba visited the Sôgmô in Quercus Candida. They began dating a month later, two days before the Day of Foundation, on 11 April.

New Fraternal Order, Honours, and Nobles to come in 2019
In the upcoming year, the Sôgmô has announced þess intention to found a new fraternal order, to establish new honours, and to create new nobles and knighthoods.

New Order: the Fraternal Annonary Order of the Wooden Bowl
The Sôgmô has announced that they will create a new chivalric order dedicated to the purpose of philanthropy, charity, and almsgiving under the title of the Fraternal Annonary Order of the Wooden Bowl (Ordre annonaire fraternel du Bol en bois). The order will be comprised of members of three ranks: Chevaliers, Chevaliers banneret, and Seigneurs. Each member, too, is entitled to a squire who will receive a ribbon. The order’s official business will be done in French, and members may communicate in any language they please so long as it is translated into the record in French.

The name of the order refers to the wooden bowls carried by Buddhist bhikkhus to receive alms. Companions of the order, as members will be called, must pay dues according to their rank so that the order can donate the money to a charitable foundation. (The amount will be determined by an arcane formula tied to the value of French francs in 1945.) The order will meet to collect money, make decisions, and donate the money to a specific charity on the Tibetan Buddhist holiday Chökhor Düchen, or the ‘Festival of Turning the Wheel of Dharma,’ which occurs on the fourth day of the sixth Tibetan lunar month. This will be 6 July in 2019, the first time the order will meet.

Table of Dues by Rank

Rank Francs due (1945 value) Conversion (1₣ = 0.6714$)
Seigneur 25 16.79$ USD
Chevalier banneret 15 10.07$ USD
Chevalier 10 6.71$ USD
Squire 5 3.36$ USD

Membership will be capped at fourteen, not including squires: two seigneurs, four chevaliers banneret, and eight chevaliers.

New Honours: Commendationes, Ovationes, and Party and Council Honours
The Sôgmô will award new, extemporaneous honours in the form of commendationes, Latin letters of recommendation. These letters patent will be awarded for extraordinary actions on the part of Sandum citizens and non-citizens alike to reward and acknowledge outstanding character and virtue.

Commendatio example
An example of a commendatio given to the Sanôba.

Some commendations may be awarded with ovationes, meaning that they will be accompanied by a speech or a public statement. These commendations and ovations may be presented and given at public intermicronational events, such as next year’s 2019 MicroCon in Hamilton, Ontario, in Canada.

Other honours are possibly in the works for the Party and the Council. Already, the Council awards a laureate prize to important and significant artists and craftspeople, effectively making them national artists. But other honours may include a prize given by the Party Congress in recognition of outstanding achievement for the betterment of Socialism and Socialist and proletarian peoples. An award from the Council may recognise work done on behalf of the State of Sandus and may praise the work of particular citizens.

New Nobles: One Knighthood, Two Baronets, and One Baron next season
In the New Gregorian Year, there will be four new nobles in Sandus. One knighthood will be awarded to a non-Sandum citizen who has been a sound adviser to the Sôgmô on matters of constitutionalism and on thinking of new micronational alternatives. Two baronets will be awarded to the Sôgmô’s longstanding advisers and veritable friends—both of whom are Sandum citizens. And, finally, one barony will be awarded to the Sôgmô’s most trusty adviser and friend.

Adam Camillus von Friedeck will become Sandus’s first baron in the New Year, in recognition of his long and dedicated service to Sandus and to the Sôgmô. Although he will not receive an entitled and inholden barony, his personal grant of the rank of baron reflects his long tenure as Sandus’s second Grand State Officer, the Party Secretary. He already holds a baronetcy as Baronet Eliot and is a member of the gentry.

Hatsu Ryuho will become Sandus’s second baronet and will be known as Baronet Wexford. His entitled grant of a baronetcy reflects his service to the Social System as former premier of Kumano and his long-term service as Sandus’s third Grand State Officer, the Facilitator of the Council. This will be his first noble rank.

Oliver Armstrong will become Sandus’s third baronet. Although he will not receive an entitled grant of a baronetcy, his close proximity to the Sôgmô as the Sanôba and as the Sôgmô’s boyfriend are the grounds for such a high Sandum noble rank. He is already a member of the gentry.

Jan DeWitt will receive an offer for knighthood on account of his close and intimate discussions with the Sôgmô on Sandum constitutionalism. A scholar of Roman constitutionalism and political culture, DeWitt will be Sandus’s second non-citizen knight.

Quot estis in convivio: Sôgmô creates, appoints Feaster

PateraDetailed

Detail of a patera, a symbol of the feaster, depicting Athena.

At the November 2018 Party Congress of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus, Party members focused on encouraging cultural cooperation and integration between citizens. A variety of solutions were discussed—encouraging “Sandum-adjacent” people to apply for citizenship, giving gifts to Sandum citizens, encouraging participation in holidays and online discussions—but one solution focused on creating a functionary, bureaucratic office to hold joyous events for all Sandum citizens involved.

On 20 December, during the Saturnalia, that position has now become the “Feaster,” or epulo in Latin after the Ancient Roman college of priests. The Sôgmô created the position today in a decree announced on Sandum media. Continue reading

[Report] 2018 CPS Party Congress condemns White Supremacy, discusses Culture

CPS Party Congress Event Header

The 2018 CPS Party Congress concluded shortly before 11:00 SLT (UTC-5). Party members held discussion on a range of subjects having to do with a statement from the Party and its organs on white supremacy in the United States and Canada, the Party’s platform and agenda, and on Sandum people as cultural workers. The Party Congress also reëlected Adam von Friedeck for a fourth year as Party Secretary, the longest tenure in Sandus’s history.

The Party Congress began at 8:59 SLT (UTC-5), or 9:59 EDT, with the Party Secretary asking for all those present and playing the Party’s anthem, the Internationale. This was followed by a brief report on the Party Secretary’s activities, where he underwhelmingly noted that his “office has continued to advise the Office of the Sôgmô and the Central People’s Government on wide-ranging issues.” In effect, the Sôgmô recalled, það asks for von Friedeck’s advice on nearly all Sandum matters. His report concluded with a congratulatory message to all Party members.

Each Sandum worker and Party member has carried on this institution’s work in their daily lives. All of you in attendance stand as examples of devoting your time and resources to social productivity, whether through professional employment, academic work, charity, or political organizing. This is how the Sandum Philosophy and Party agenda are truly enacted: the efforts of each citizen-worker to build a more just, enlightened society.

Following the Party Secretary’s report, the Sôgmô presented a statement condemning white supremacy and white nationalism in North America to the congress; the statement was unanimously approved by the Party Congress.

Read the text of the statement here.

Following the statement, the Party Secretary motioned to put the Party’s proposal for a platform on the 2018 Winter Solstice election ballot in December. The platform, which still must be drafted, will focus comprehensively on the Party’s political stance and its vision for Sandus in the future.

Next, the Congress unanimously reëlected Adam von Friedeck as Secretary of the Party, as he was unopposed. He has served in this capacity since 2014 and has seen the successful transition to Sandus’s republican form of government today.

Finally, there was an open discussion on the role of Sandum citizens as “cultural workers” in Sandus, which focused both on the role of Sandus’s cultural economy and on matter realism—first coined by Jacob Barnet, the Diplomatic Affairs Minister. The discussion, which was wide and varied, came up with a list of things that the Sandum government and the Party can do to better include Sandum citizens in our cultural events and holidays. For example, the Party approved of the Sôgmô’s use of parties for Sandum holidays, but recommended adding a virtual component for holidays such as with Google Hangouts. Members also discussed using the events for networking and sharing common values with “Sandum-adjacent” people—a term coined by Adam von Friedeck and which has entered the Central People’s Government’s vocabulary since he visited for the Armilustrium. This term will likely begin to be wrapped up in Sandus’s three forms of citizenship, which range from full citizenship to social citizenship and “auxiliary” or “peregrine” citizenship (both of which do not have suffrage in elections).

In addition, the conversation also focused on other material ways to encourage Sandum people to be cultural workers. The Sôgmô mentioned a previous idea to gift tote bags to Sandum citizens in order to cut down on the number of plastic bags used by citizens. Recently, the Sôgmô purchased and has received Sandum flag pins, which will be given to Sandum citizens ahead of next year’s 10th anniversary. Other specific material items are still pending, but the Sôgmô reiterated that Sandus does give $25 USD to Sandum citizens to celebrate holidays and to keep traditions.

Last of all, near the end of the discussion, members discussed introducing an official tasked especially with events in Sandus and their coordination. This is a job that the Sôgmô stated will go to Sisenna Melville, who is also the bishop of the Ekklēsia. This role, which has not yet been named, will entail checking in with Sandum citizens, coordinating virtual components of holidays, and keeping a list of major Sandum holidays and traditions, as well as other extraordinary components of her job as she sees fit.

Sandus responds to White Nationalist, Anti-Semitic Terrorist Attack

On Saturday 27 October, a white nationalist terrorist entered the Tree of Life – Or L’Simcha synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Motivated by hatred and anger towards Jewish people, the terrorist, Robert Bowers, murdered almost a dozen people and injured several more. The incident has caused people in North America to respond with shock at the public display of the terrorist’s hatred toward a religious minority, as well as to advocate for agitation and resistance against anti-Semitism and against white nationalism. Jewish leaders in the United States have called out American president Donald Trump, arguing that his inflammatory rhetoric have radicalised his ardent supporters and normalised racist and other phobic rhetoric in the mainstream.

In Sandus, a country which is majority Christian but with a long tradition as a religious-minority country, Sandum politicians and citizens have responded with similar messages of shock and need to agitate. Though this concern falls outside of the concerns of the State of Sandus, 86% of Sandum citizens are American citizens and residents and some who are minorities feel unsafe in their places of worship because of vandalism, hateful and angry rhetoric, and similar instances of violence done against other religious minorities.

THE STATE OFFICERS
Reactions from the Sôgmô, the Party Secretary, and the Facilitator:

The Sôgmô voiced their concern attending their Buddhist temple in Michigan, not because they believe that Buddhists are targets of such hateful rhetoric but because there have been cases of misidentified rage and of rage against religious “others” in the United States generally. “I should preface this by saying that I am not Jewish nor have I experienced anti-Semitism,” they said, “but white nationalism goes hand-in-hand with notions of Christian supremacy and nationalism. After the August 2012 terrorist attack on a Sikh gurdwara in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the United States, people in the Buddhist sangha of which I am a member voiced similar worries and concerns.” They continued by voicing their concerns that the rise of white nationalism will likely entail violence for people of many minority groups, not just restricted to religious minorities. Jews, það continued, are historical and poignant targets, however.

“As a micronation,” the Sôgmô concluded, “our work is political, as well as cultural. We should not forget that both advocacy and culture are political, and I suspect that Sandus will work to embrace its advocacy role as a polity and as a voice of the free world in the future.” Það mentioned that the 2018 CPS Party Congress will likely include a statement or platform detailing Sandus’s increased role as a political advocate, demonstrating a potential diplomatic change in the State of Sandus’s diplomatic policy since 2014.

Party Secretary Adam von Friedeck, who is facing reëlection at this Saturday’s CPS Party Congress, commented that “the violent far-right has been emboldened by this decade’s surge in reactionary politics, with antisemitism in particular going unpunished far too often.” The Party Secretary added, “massacres like this are reminders that hate always tends toward violence,” recalling the Sandum national philosophy’s perspective on hatred and anger and how attacks like these will be seen again and again in the future.

I hope those of us who see bigotry as the evil it is can discern the best path forward.”

The Council’s facilitator, Ryuho Hatsu, expressed his disgust for the terrorist attack but commented that the “shock factor was gone,” adding that “shooting have become so common now.” As a local resident of the city, Hatsu stated that the city is very shaken at the moment after the attack. He concluded on a note of indignation, saying that his thoughts and prayers were with the victims, their families, and their friends, but that more must be done by all to agitate against anti-Semitism, white nationalist terrorism, and gun violence.

PUBLIC OUTRAGE IN SANDUS:
Artemis Langford, a Sandum chargée d’affaires in the Central People’s Government, expressed her sadness at the terrorist attack, adding that “the current environment in the United States is reprehensible,” similarly also expressing fear that this attack will represent a vicious cycle of fear, anger, hatred, and violence. “It furthers my beliefs that action must and will continue to be necessary, with or without the United States government’s involvement.” She expressed her deepest condolences to the synagogue’s community and to the Pittsburgh Jewish community, calling the antisemitic act disgusting and saying that “it will drive me to combat [anti-Semitism]. I believe that Sandus will do whatever we as a nation can to further efforts to combat antisemitism and terrorism.” The citizen’s call to arms reflects a broader sense of urgency in many Sandum citizens now after the terrorist attack.

10 Facts about the Sandum Armilustrium

The Sôgmô and the Party Secretary are celebrating the Armilustrium this evening, and Sandus is all together getting ready for the holiday! Here are some 10 fun facts about Sandus’s most important cultural holiday:

  1. The holiday is really ancient. The holiday has been celebrated since at least Roman times, and dates far back into Roman prehistory. By the time of Augustus’s death in 14 CE, the holiday had lost the importance of its more archaic rituals—but the holiday seems to originally refer to the end of the military campaign season.
  2. The name means “purification of weapons.” The holiday’s name, Armilustrium, comes from the Latin phrase arma lustro, or “I purify the arms.” A lustrum was a Roman religious ceremony which ritually purified an object, in this case weapons. But in other lustra, the Roman people were purified.
  3. There are no weapons purified today. In Sandus, the Armilustrium has been transformed into a pacifist holiday. Instead, we purify and wash our books as symbols of the weapons of yesteryears.
  4. The holiday is NOT Sandus’s version of American Thanksgiving. The holiday closest to Thanksgiving is Athena’s Day (29 November). The Armilustrium is more similar to the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, or zhōngqiū jiē (中秋節). Sandus even has similar traditions, such as a festive meal with friends, family, and chosen family and the cleaning of the house.
  5. Sandus has celebrated this holiday since 2012. That is only a year after the founding of the State of Sandus, and three years after the creation of Sandus as a micronation. The only cultural holiday with a longer history is Remembrance Day (9 May).
  6. The holiday was first celebrated so that Sandus would become more isolationist during the winter months. The holiday originally was celebrated to mark an end to a diplomatic season, much like the role of the Ancient Roman holiday. After the Armilustrium, Sandum diplomacy would typically cease because of the school year and more business was done internally.
  7. Baklava has been traditionally served for the holiday since 2013. The pastry’s honey is meant to recall the end of summer and the earth tones are meant to remind eaters of autumnal colours. Interestingly, the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival has moon cakes, while we have baklava!
  8. In 2012, the Sôgmô attempted a croquembouche for the holiday. The French pastry was too difficult and technical for the Sôgmô to make, however, and ended up being a mess. Hope still remains to make the croquembouche a traditional food item for the holiday!
  9. State media has broadcast the holiday since 2012, though some years Channum Unum replays old ceremonies of the holiday. This year the holiday is expected to be broadcast live from Quercus Candida at l’Appartement du Sôgmô.
  10. Adam von Friedeck, Party Secretary of the CPS and King of Überstadt, has flown out from Überstadt to take part this year. This marks the first time two Sandum citizens will celebrate the holiday together, and hopes have increased to have more citizens visit with the Sôgmô for future holidays. The Royal Family will also fly out later this week to be with the Sôgmô during the holiday.

King Adam will attend Sôgmô’s Armilustrium dinner, marking second Sande-Überstadti state visit

Armilustrium 2018

The Sôgmô has announced that they will hold a dinner for friends and colleagues to celebrate the Armilustrium ahead of the 19 October holiday on 15 October. The dinner, which coincide’s with þess university’s autumn break, will be held in the royal Appartement du Sôgmô and will include traditional food for the holiday. At first, it was an occasion to celebrate the holiday with the Sôgmô’s chosen family, but it has now taken on a greater significance for Sandus as a whole.

Following a courteous invitation to the Party Secretary and the King of Überstadt, Adam von Friedeck has announced that he has accepted the Sôgmô’s invitation and will attend þess dinner. The visit will both be the second state visit by the King of Überstadt and the first visit by the king to Sandus’s capital as a Sandum citizen and Party Secretary.

Read the Sôgmô’s invitation here for a state visit and the King of Überstadt’s response here.

Armilustrium Invitation - Redacted

A copy of the dinner invitation, with the Appartement du Sôgmô‘s address redacted.

The dinner will feature traditional food, such as baklava, Three Sisters Soup, and roast chicken, as well as other autumn desserts and delights, and will also feature communal drinking for those who imbibe alcohol. Since the dinner also falls on the occasion of the October Horse, a Roman holiday which featured a horse race and the sacrifice of the winning horse, the Sôgmô’s dinner will also feature a horse and racing theme—though, to be sure, no horse will in fact be sacrificed.

Guests have been requested to bring one book in order to be washed, representative of the traditional Sandum ritual of cleaning the home and washing books important to one’s life, which in Sandus taken on the meaning of philosophical weapons, or “arms.”

On 19 October, for the Armilustrium, according to tradition, Roman legions would enter the city and stop in an area on the Aventine hill to perform a lustrum, or ritual cleansing ceremony, of their weapons and of the soldiers. Presumably, this ritual stretches far back into Roman pre-history to mark the end of the campaign season and, as some anthropologists have argued, as a means of mitigating blood guilt and guilty consciences from the summer’s violence.

Sandus is not into war. It is instead a pacifist micronation and, unlike many other micronations, does not even have a decorative armed force. Instead of lustrating our arma, whence Armi·lustrium, we wash our metaphorical weapons: books. Specifically philosophical books, and other books important to our way of life. In Sandus, this holiday has become something of an Autumnal festival and, today, many of our citizens celebrate this holiday—shown by the fact that Adam von Friedeck will join in the Sôgmô’s celebration. von Friedeck celebrates the Armilustrium every year since the tradition began in Sandus in 2012.

Happy Armilustrium!