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.

 

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: November 30th: Skadhi, & Night of the Dead

Skadhi, & Night of the Dead

Never anger a Norse woman and if ever there was proof of that, it is Skadhi.

Today is the Observance for her and according to her tale, I would say she deserves it.

Skadhi was simply a mortal Norse woman living day to day like any other until the Gods killed her father Thjazi.

Madder than a bunch of war mongering Vikings, Skadhi grabs her weapons and marches off to Asguard with nothing on her mind but blood vengeance. Somehow or another, the Gods convinced her to let it go (obviously she was tearing some stuff up if the Gods wanted to bargain.) In return for laying her vengeance to rest, they offered her the chance to choose any God of her choice and marry him. And Odin claimed that he would made stars out of her father’s eyes…now who could resist that?

But there was a catch…

Skadhi could not see the Gods’ faces…only their feet.

So, by their feet, she chose the most beautiful…Njord.

Skadhi lived for however long with Njord but her tale did not end as his loving wife, for she longed and loved something much greater than him, and that was the mountains of her birth. So eventually, she left her God to return to the place she so loved…

But the Gods were not done with her yet. Obviously there was something very special about this woman warrior because soon after she came home, Odin came to her doorstep. She became a wife of his and gave him many sons.

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Tonight is the last night of Samhain—Night of the Dead— according to our Irish ancestors. The entire month of November, starting with Samhain, belongs to the spirits of the dead. According to the Irish, tonight, the last of those nights, is unlucky to be caught wondering about.

Why?

Because the spirits of the dead know that they will have to return to the Underworld for the next 11 months. Now what would you do on your last night to party?

Why, if you were the spirits of the dead, you would join up with a bunch of fairies, cause a ton of mischief and party it up until darkness ran out.

That’s why Irish people didn’t go mucking about after dark…they didn’t want to fall into the trap of the Deads’ mischief.

 

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Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: November 29th: The Sons of Saturn and Minerva

Today is the Festival of the Sons of Saturn in Rome.

This festival is for Jupiter, Neptune, & Pluto.

They are all the sons of Saturn, husband of Ops, whose name means sower. Saturn is the God of the Harvest and his Ancient temple was built on the Capitoline Hill of Rome.

All of his sons by Ops became important figures in the eyes of Rome. For instance, Jupiter became the supreme God of Rome’s Pantheon while Neptune was known as the God of the sea itself. Pluto  was known as the God of the Underworld.

 

While these three were being honored by a very big festival…Rome also had an informal observance for Minerva—Goddess of intellect.

 

 

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Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: November 28th: Egypt’s’ 3 Fold, A Goddess Month and Runic Month Begins

Well it seems the Egyptians have triple blessings to celebrate on this day in our Ancient Calendar. A feast for Hathor and Sekhmet will kick things off, but also, they honor Ma’at.

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Now while the Egyptians are doing their thing, the Greeks will once again be doing theirs.

Today marks the beginning of their Goddess Astraea. Yep, this is her Goddess month and we think she deserves it because Astraea happens to be the Goddess of Justice. We all know we need a lot of that in this world.

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Now while her month begins, so does the Runic half month of Is.

Is- ‘I’-ice.

This is a time of forced rest.  No movement, no growth. Just rest.

If you draw this rune in a spread, it means…

Isa:  A vertical line.

Normal: Winter has come upon you.  You seem to be
frozen in ice and can not move.  Positive
accomplishment is unlikely now.  A cold wind is
reaching you over the ice flows of outmoded habits.
Try to discover what it is that you are holding onto
that prevents the spring from arriving.  Shed the
outdated, and the thaw will follow.  It may be that you
have no control over the conditions causing the winter.
In this case remember that this is the way of Heaven
and Earth; winter follows autumn, but spring will
always follow winter.  Watch for signs of spring.

 

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