Tag Archives: Ancient Religions

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: January 25, 26, 27

January 25—Monday

 

Hold tight because tonight Old Disting or the feast of Disir according to the Norse old Runic Calendars. Now, the Disir are guardian Goddesses, dressed in black and sporting swords. They bring with them great fortune, fertility, protection, and more. In order to gain such blessings, you must invite them into your home. And don’t dare be shy or humble when it comes to accepting their gifts—not unless you want to tick them off.

How many of you knew that tonight is known as Burns night in honor of the Scots poet Robert Burns?

 

 

January 26—Tuesday

 

There is a God who is patron of the forests. Once was his name Cernunnos but the rest of you might recognize him as Herne the Hunter. In Pagan history, he wears the great stag’s antlers. He is one of the oldest deities.

 

In various Pagan stories, Cernunnos is born during the solstice of Winter. In others, he is web to the Goddess at Beltane and then dies again on the day of the summer solstice. (Only to be reborn again come Winter *winks*)

 

January 27—Wednesday

 

Ok Pagans, take note because if you were in Rome on this day in Ancient History, you would be celebrating the wondrous festival of Paganalia! This celebration was to honor the Earth Mother, Tellus Mater, who happened to look after things like fertility, birth, and the sacred act of marriage.

Paganalia comes from the Latin term ‘pagus’ meaning’ village’. So these celebrations often took place in rural areas. Paganalia is also where the term PAGAN derives from—a name given to rural people who followed the old gods.

 

Now if Rome isn’t your thing, then perhaps you might like to pop on over to Babylon where they are having their own festival and celebrations for the Goddess Ishtar. She also happens to be a Goddess of love and fertility. Now even though we have a difference of cultures, its times like these that I see the link connecting each one no matter the name of the Goddess, God, or Festival.

 

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: January 22, 23, 24

 

 

WRITERS AND ARTISTS TAKE NOTE OF TODAYS HOLIDAY!!!!!!

Today is Friday January 22nd and it’s a busy one for the Goddesses of Inspiration—also known as the Muses. Most do not know this but the Muses were actually a collection of nine daughters born of Zeus and Mnemosyne.

Calliope—in charge of song

Thalia—in charge of comedy

Melpomene—in charge of tragedy

Terpsichore— in charge of dancing

Erato—in charge of erotic poetry

Polymnia—in charge of songs of serious issues.

Urania—in charge of astronomy.

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Also on this day, in Ancient wondrous Egypt, we will make the way for Khum—the god of creation. (a lot of CREATING going on today isn’t it?)

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And for all those who mark your Calendars for the Goddess Months–grab the sharpie, because today the Goddess Month of Hesta Ends.

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January 23

 

We are going to kick things off in Egypt because today is a HUGE festival for Hathor—their Goddess of Love and Happiness. Hathor is also famous for being the keeper of the Eye of Ra and more importantly, the Goddess of the sky.

At one time in Egypt’s ancient bliss, the Priests of Hathor would begins things by pouring cow’s milk into the natural flowing Nile.

Many people don’t know this but the name Hathor actually means ‘The House of Horus.’ There were actually seven Hathors, but the main one we are honoring today is Isis who represents this Goddess and the mother of Horus.

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Now while the Egyptians are doing their thing…at SUNDOWN over in Welsh territory, they will be doing theirs. When the sun leaves the sky, that will mark the beginning of Braciaca Dydd, also known as the Day of Braciaca who happens to be the sacred Goddess of Agriculture and more importantly…brewing.

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Go pick the sharpie back up and run to the calendar—

The Goddess Month of Bridge Begins on this day!

 

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January 24

 

Well if we have learned anything by doing and reading these Pagan Holidays, its that the Romans and the Greeks love a damn good time. They will make a celebration and holiday for anything! Any excuse for fabulous dancing, partying and drinking of the wine.

Today is going to be no different. In Rome, there is a NINE day celebration which starts TODAY. That’s right, nine days of nothing other than damn good times! It’s called Sementivae and it honors the Goddess named Terra, whom happens to be the patron of soil. But don’t think its all about her, no….let’s add Ceres to the mix who happens to be the grain Goddess and then lest not forget Proserpine, Goddess of seeds. So if you haven’t guessed it….these nine days will be all about spring, crops, and honoring the Goddesses that have the power to bring the Romans good harvest.

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Now, if you are not interested in what’s going down in Rome then today, I have another one for you. There are some Occult traditions which recognize something called Bevil Blizard, Who is he and why does he get an observance?

Well according to some, he was the last necromancer of Winchcombe and it was on this day of 94 years in 1838 that he passed away. What most forget however, on this day, its also celebrating a brand spanking new season of Cornish Tinner‘s & Seafarer Day’s—sailing and mining in that captivating place called Cornwall. That’s right, Bevil passed on an Ancient Labor Day.

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Now if you aren’t all that into what the Welsh are doing, then you can always pop back over to Egypt…golden glitz and sandy sunsets. Today is extra special becomes it marks the Coming of Thoth.

Thoth is famous for the Emerald Tablets, for being the God of writing, astronomy, music, art, time & magic, and for assisting Isis a great deal during the whole Osiris ordeal. Thoth is said to protect Osiris and he also assists the dead.

 

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Reconstructing Minoan Spirituality

x-evans-made-up-altar-shrine-scene

I often find myself telling people that Modern Minoan Paganism isn’t a reconstructionist tradition, but if I’m really honest, that isn’t strictly true. We do use a great many bits of reconstructionist technique. We examine the art and artifacts the Minoans have left us and we do our best to piece together the few garbled remnants of Minoan mythology that made it through to the classical writers.

But we don’t have any Minoan texts we can rely on (Linear A is sadly still untranslated and the Linear B tablets are mostly just inventory lists that can only tell us just so much). So instead, we place a great deal of emphasis on personal and ecstatic experience, perhaps more than on the archaeological stuff. The bits-and-pieces left in the ruins of ancient Crete are our starting point, but they can only get us so far. The rest of the journey is something we have to undertake ourselves. So how are we making that journey?

By doing it. I know that sounds kind of Zen, or Taoist, or something, but the only way to figure out how to practice Modern Minoan Paganism is to try things out and see how they work. That’s what I did with the rituals in both of my books, Ariadne’s Thread and Labrys and Horns, before I published them – I wrote the rituals and then I enacted them, often with the help of friends and members of my various Pagan groups.

I listened/felt/paid attention during those rituals. Sometimes the gods didn’t like what we were doing. I’ve had a ritual blade knocked out of my hand by invisible forces, been tripped by “nothing at all” while walking around a circle, had whole tables full of ritual tools tipped over when no one was standing near them. When that happens, I pay attention and ask what I should change, how I could do it better.

Quite a few of us also use mystical and ecstatic techniques, from simple meditation to ecstatic body postures to trance dancing. Once again, we try things out and see what happens, then we share our results with each other to build up a set of practices that work for us. I’ve written about my experiences with Minoan ecstatic body postures here, here, here, and here (yep, I’ve done this a lot!).

Ecstatic (a.k.a. shamanic) techniques appear to have been a major component of ancient Minoan religion. Though I certainly don’t condone the use of illegal substances (the Minoans, like other ancient people, used a lot of hallucinogens), I do think our modern spirituality can be enhanced by deep meditation, journeying, and trancework. In fact, I think our modern world is ecstasy deprived. Adding a bit of that back into our lives is probably a good thing, and it fits well with Modern Minoan Paganism.

A lot of what we’re doing falls under the category that Steven Posch calls Younger Lore. It’s the part of the spirituality that’s living, breathing, evolving. There was Younger Lore in ancient Crete just as there is now. This is nothing new, and I think it’s important that we keep pushing these boundaries, finding out more about this spirituality we practice.

There is one issue we need to keep in mind when we’re rebuilding ancient religions for the modern world: We have to be careful not to idealize the ancient culture. Crete was no utopia. But the Minoans did have a lot of positive things going for them. Their religion reflected the equality of the sexes, the reverence for nature, and the communion with the divine that permeated their society. Those are things that are definitely worth bringing forward into our lives.

So we’re forging this path one step at a time. We’re bridging a gap of thousands of years during which the Minoan gods and goddesses were lost, ignored, forgotten. I’m pretty sure they’re glad we’ve found them again.

In the name of the bee,

And of the butterfly,

And of the breeze, amen.

Pagan Holidays for May 9, 2010

Ancient Egypt would have had an Observance of the Akhet Eye that Pleases Ra today. However, the eye itself would have represented Hathor. So apparently Ra was very pleased with her on this day lol.

The Roman’s would have kicked off a festival of Lemuria today. Now, there are a TON of myths and theories concerning this lost civilization. However, the festival Lemuria that the Roman’s were having, had nothing to do with that. Their Lemuria stood of the Larvae which were restless spirits of the dead.

Now what makes a spirit restless according to Rome? Well, if you died a violent death or were eaten up with your own guilt, then that would pretty much do it, among other things.

Now, lore says that the Larvae take the shape of spectral forms and if you happen to be unfortunate to touch one, well you will just go totally mad in the head afterwards. On this day, the point was to get rid of these spirits and send them on.  And those Roman’s who wronged these spirits would have to do an act of atonement in order to do so.

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Greeks are throwing down yet another festival for their Goddess Artemis today.

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And this is Old May Day otherwise known as Laa Boaldyn on a place called Isle of Mann. Manx tradition has it that Witches and Fairies rise up and walk this world (our world) doing acts of good or mischief—depending on what they will.

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C.H. SCARLETT

www.chscarlett.net

Coming  Soon from Noble Romance Publishing Click to Purchase

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Pagan Holidays for May 6, 2010

Ready to see what our Ancient Ancestors were doing on this day in History?

The Greeks never watch a week go by whereas they are silent. Think of this one to be no different for not only are the celebrating something, they will be going strong for the next two days.

And it’s all about Aphrodite and Eros.

So between a Goddess who stands for love and marriage and a God who stands for erotica and pleasure, well I am thinking the next two days would have been VERY interesting in the realm of the Greece. If only we were a fly on the wall. *winks*

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C.H. SCARLETT

www.chscarlett.net

Coming  Soon from Noble Romance Publishing Click to Purchase

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Pagan Holidays for May 5, 2010

Image from the album of Double Army Brat

If we peak back in time into the Calendar of the Ancient Egyptians, then we’d see something marvelous being planned. Today would have been known as THE DAY OF THE LIVING CHILDREN OF NUT.

Nut, (Nuit, Newet, Neuth) happened to be their Goddess or mistress of the sky. That meant stars, planets, and all things existing in the sky. Her name translated to Night, but in time she began to represent Night and Day and without her, the Sun God Ra, who was said to be of her design, would not have been reborn day in and day out.

Older writings show her name drawn as a pot, which represented a Uterus. Because of this, human women were often called by the name nutrit which translated to little Goddess for women had the same gift as Nut–the ability to give life.

Weren’t the Ancient Egyptians smart?

nut

Egyptian Sky Goddess Nut by Caroline Smith

Now when Nut is depicted in Egyptian Art of the Ancient variety, she is usually drawn  as above. Her star dazzling body stretches over with her hands and feet which hold the four compass points –North, South, East, West.

According to the Egyptians, Nut protects the world (and all things in it) from the outside darkness existing beyond her shields.

Now while some myths tell of Nut as the mother of Ra, she is also said to be the mother of Isis, Osiris, Nephysis, and Set by that of the God Geb. Geb represented the Earth or was the Earth depending on how you personally interpret myths.

Not only is she responsible for the rebirth of Ra, but legend says Osiris could not have been reborn if it wasn’t for the sacred sky Goddess, his mother Nut.

Hope you enjoyed today’s Holiday and learned something.

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C.H. SCARLETT

www.chscarlett.net

Coming  Soon from Noble Romance Publishing Click to Purchase

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