Tag Archives: 2009

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays : December 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th

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December 10th

Roman Festival Lux Mundi

Roman Ides of December

French Goddess named Liberty

Think statue of Liberty — when you think of the French Goddess named Liberty.

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December 11th

Welsh Festival for Arianrhod

The daughter of Don, Arianrhod was said to have been present during the Count of King Math ao Mathonwy. The King was steeped in his traditions. One of them being his need of having a Virgin. The Virgin’s job was simple. Hold his feet in her lap when he was lucky enough to not be away at War.  Unfortunately, in this story, his regular foot-holding Virgin, Goewin, was raped by Gilfaethwy. To cover up her brother’s crime, Arianrhod agreed to take Goewin’s place. The problem was, she wasn’t a Virgin and the moment she stepped over the King’s magic wand to prove an non-existance state of virginity, she went right into labor giving birth to two sons.

The story leads to more sadness. She curses one of her sons who was then raised by another brother, named Gwydion.  The tale is thick with interest if you are ever looking to read a soap opera deep in Welsh lore.

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December 12th

Welsh Day of Bellisama Dydd—for the Goddess Bellisama, who is Goddess of the forge. This should begin at sundown.

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December 13th

Informal Roman Observance Bruma Day—Winter Solstice

Welsh festival of Lights called Gwyl o Golau

Egyptian God Thoth takes oath today

1/2 month of Jara Begins—means the union and completion between the spiritual and temporal elements

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Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays : December 3 : Bona Dea, Rhea,

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Today is a celebration for women only in Rome today. In fact, no men were permitted to celebrate or attend at all nor were they even allowed to here the Goddess’ name spoken—that Goddess being Bona Dea. And today is all about her and her Observance.

Her temple was built in Aventine and she represented the Earth and everything that sprang from it.

 However, if we jog on over to Greece, they are celebrating their Goddess Rhea. Today is one of those days that we see the similarities between Greece and Rome and how they seemed to share their God’s and Goddesses, only changing their names to suit their Culture.

Rhea is the Goddess of growth, procreation, vines, wine, and agriculture. (Remember above, Bona Dea is earth and ‘all that sprang from it’)

Rhea was believed to have shined brightest in Crete, during the Minoan civilization.

Rhea, however, did something even more remarkable. It is believed that she actually gave the Greeks their knowledge of building their cities—their beautiful architecture and so forth.

Now today is also sacred to Cybele—Phrygian Goddess known as Mother Earth—the same as the Greek Gaia and also their Rhea . (Keep Bona Rea in the back of your mind) because Cybele also is a goddess of caverns and mountains, walls and fortresses, nature, wild animals (especially lions and bees).Wikipedia links and source.

The cult Cybele, the “Magna Mater, the Mother Goddess of Phrygia, was braought to Rome in 205/4 BCE. The Goddess was served by self-emasculated priests known as galli. Until the emperor Claudius, Roman citizens could not become priests of Cybele, but after that worship of her and her lover Attis took their place in the state cult. One aspect of the cult was the use of baptism in the blood of a bull, a practice later taken over by Mithraism. Source

 

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: December 2 : The Feast & Story of Rhiannon

 

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Feast of Rhiannon

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Now, do you know who Rhiannon is? Some people connect her as being a Witch in the Stevie Nicks song, Rhiannon. But Rhiannon was so much more than that. In fact, there is a whole story behind her that I am about to tell. So grab a piece of Tom’s art and gather around the campfire.

The Feast that is going down today comes to us from Welsh tradition. Rhiannon happens to be a Goddess, a very good goddess, in Celtic culture.

Rhiannon’s father was Hefeydd and apparently she was a sight to be had. Now, it seems that daddy promised Rhiannon to Gwawl. Back then if you were promised by poppa dearest, that meant you were flat out—soon—to—be—betrothed.

Unfortunately though, someone else had their sights on Rhiannon and believe me when I say, he wasn’t stopping until he had her.

Yep, I smell more lover drama and romance in the air…pull out the smores.

One day Rhiannon was out riding a beautiful white horse and it was during this ride that she met Pwyll. During their meeting, he knew with all his heart that she was the one for him. So he proclaimed his undying love for her but instead of running into his arms, Rhiannon and her white horse took off.

Now Pwyll wasn’t the type to let go so instead of finding someone to take Rhiannon’s place, he sent one of his horsemen to chase after her.

Why didn’t he go himself? I don’t know…maybe he had a castle to build or something.

Anyway, his horseman chased Rhiannon for three whole days but just couldn’t catch her.

Out of his wits, Pwyll decided to do it himself. He soon learned, though, that Rhiannon wasn’t an easy Goddess to snare.

Catching glimpse again, absolutely exhausted, he finally shouted out to her with his heart bleeding with want, “ Lady, for the sake of the man you love most, stop for me.”

Rhiannon boldly called back, “I will gladly, and it would have been better for your horse had you asked me earlier.”

(Think how silly he felt at that point? All he had to do was ask her to stop instead of chasing her all over the place—duh)

Once she stopped and they spent more time together, Rhiannon admitted that she favored Pwyll over Gwawl. But if you think they lived happily ever after at this point, you are so wrong. Because now Pwyll had to win her from Gwawl. I mean, you didn’t exactly walk up to a guy who basically had the marriage papers already signed and say, “Hey, taking your woman now buggar off.”

Nope, for 2 years Pwyll had to struggle with Gwawl before he finally laid down his arms.

Pwyll had to be completely exhausted now, you know?

After they married, it took 3 years for Rhiannon to have a child—a son. But of course the life of a woman is never easy because her the night Rhiannon gave birth, one of her ladies claimed she murdered the baby just before her other ladies stole the child and took off with him.

Looking as if Rhiannon was guilty, she was made a slave and servant of her own house as punishment.

Meanwhile a man named Teirnan Twrvliant, the Lord of Gwent Ys Coed discovered the babe and adopted him but when the boy grew up in no less than seven years, Teirnan kind of realized, “Hey, something is up with this.”

Putting two and two together, he figured out who the boy—well man was—and returned him back to Rhiannon and Pwyll. Imagine her relief and how ticked off she was to have been a servant all this time for doing something she knew she didn’t do. Anyway, she named her son Pryderi which was Welsh for worry. I’d say that suited him.

 

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays : December 1: Poseidon, Cromniomancy, Kalends of December

 

On December 1st, our Ancestors celebrated:

Poseidon, Cromniomancy, Kalends of December

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Today in Ancient Greece, there will be a festival for their God Poseidon. Now I am sure you have all heard about him whether it was a movie or other…but in case you didn’t know, he happens to be the Big Daddy of earthquakes, the sea, AND rebirth.

Now, Poseidon has a palace under the ocean located near Aegae. In art or even the movies or cartoons that portray him, he carries a three- pronged, fork- like Staff, called a,  Trident. You can see an image of that in the picture above.

Poseidon has a good and bad side (finally someone like the rest of us). He was known to cause storms and shipwrecks, but he also brought about the wind that filled the ships sails. See…a little good and bad.

Now since the Greeks are holding a Festival in his honor today, it will not be a boring one, I can tell you that. Poseidon happened to be one of the most loved Gods. So today, we will see horse-races, games, other types of races, and even some bull fights. And that’s not even talking about the huge Feast itself that will probably have more food and wine than I have seen in a lifetime.

Oh and if that’s not enough…in Greece and in some other Pagan Cultures, we may see a strange form of divination happen on this day as well. It’s called Cromniomancy and it was performed by young women. By divining and reading the layers and or sprouts of an onion, she will be able to see the identity of her future husband, among other things. Again, strange but to our Ancestors…not so very strange at all.

Today also marks the Kalends of December in Rome.