Tag Archives: Pagan Holiday

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: January 16, 17, 18

 

 

January 16th- Roman Festival of Concordia

January 17th– Today is sacred to Felicitas (Roman Goddess of Good Fortune)

Celts will be carrying out the tradition of Wassailing (apple trees). The drink is made from mulled ale, spiced apples, curdled cream, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and sugar.

January 18th—Ancient Greece—Theogamia of Hera….a festival for women when Hera is honored.

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

Salamandra_breaks_the_moon__by_CopperAge

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: 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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 gothic-art-AutumnsGoddess-corpse-bride

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 25th: New Celtic tree Month, Women’s Day, Knocking the Knickers off of Persephone

 

The Celtic Tree Month of Ruis Begins

For more about this Tree Month check out this AWESOME site I found that has the most information I have ever seen concerning these Celtic Tree Months.

A pat on the back to them and that information.

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Women’s Merry Making Day

This took place in most parts of Europe long ago. Some suspect that it was once an Observance & celebration for Women’s Mysteries especially concerning Persephone.

(Since some Greek Deities and their secrets, rituals, and knowledge could only be preformed by women, known by women, and so forth.)

However, what I have noticed moving forward from Ancient Civilizations into the Middle Ages or Medieval times, the same sacred days that were once honored ,take on new form as something else. Now there was good reason for this. Sometimes and in most part it was done to protect the Pagan Traditions long celebrated.

This is one of them, sort of, and the day itself was really nothing to brag about . The only thing women got on this day…was the right to do less labor. And I say less because even though the point was to give them the entire day off…*gee thanks*lol…in most cases, less is what they got if that.

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Speaking of….

and further back in time…today is the Greek Festival of…(can you guess)

Persephone!!!!!!

Now you know the Greeks were romping it up and throwing down on this day! But the Greeks were not the only ones, no. Rome also adapted Persephone and made this day all about her as well. Only instead of calling her by her Greek name, they called her Proserpina.

By Natalie Harter

 Persephone was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter.

If you read the holidays yesterday when I spoke of Isis and Osiris’ love story, well here is another classic tale that is often forgotten. And as a young girl, I’ll admit, I used to get all hazy-eyed over this one. Why?

Because ….

Persephone happens to be the P.H.A.T (pretty hot and tempting) Goddess on the block that every guy-god wants. Only she can’t get no lovin’ from any of the guy-gods who sends her gifts because her too-damn-strict-momma keeps tellin’ them boys no and sendin’ them presents back!

So it’s startin’ to look like poor Persephone will be a lonely little maid forever..

UNTIL….

Hades—*knock our knickers off* bad boy– does what bad boys do best—break all the damn rules!

Now Hades happens to be the dark, forbidden, and ever-so-sexy-your-momma-warned-you-about-hottie in this story. And this bad boy falls in love with Persephone, decides he wants her *oh yeah* and then kidnaps the little miss because of it.

In short, her mother, Demeter is  flippin’ completely out because her daughter is missing, and after raising so much noise, the God of the Sun Helios finally gives up what Hades did.

So the pissed off momma sends a guy-god named Hermes to snatch her baby girl back.  With fingers crossed, Demeter waits…in fact she waits for so long and grieves so bad that the brakes are thrown on the seasons.

(Now you know that is making this rough and crazy for the world of humans and I can’t imagine Zeus being happy either)

Anyway, if you’re thinking Hermes is going to swoop in, rescue Persephone like the knight in shining armor, kick yourself now because that doesn’t happen. For once, the dark, forbidden, and ever-so-sexy-your-momma-warned-you-about-hottie Hades wins (to my delight) and plans ahead for all the family drama to come.

You see, while his beloved Persephone is with him in the ever-so-fab-Underworld, he gets her to eat an enchanted pomegranate. And the seeds of this fabulous fruit is what kicks it all into motion and forces the Fates to back Hades and give him what he wants so that the other Gods can’t to a damn thing about it….well sort of. 

When it all comes down to it, Hades does have to give up his Persephone but not forever. You see, Persephone may have to go back to her mother but only for a few months out of the year and because of those fabulous seeds, he has the rights to do it.

*snap*

So when Persephone returns to the Land of the Living…so comes Spring. And when she goes back to the Underworld to have her socks rocked off by Hades, so comes winter for us.

Now do you see why this would make a girl swoon?

If not and you want to read more, then check out…

This link here

Wikipedia

 

 

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Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: November 18th : Ardvi Sura Anahita, Sacred Prostitutes and Sex Magic

 

 Today belongs to Ardvi Sura Anahita

It’s an Observance

Ardvi Sura Anahita was a Goddess of Babylonian times. Her name means, “damp, strong, AND immaculate’.’

Interestingly enough, she was a water Goddess that has the power to influence the flow of water which was believed to enable life.  After all, we need water to survive, yes?

Now this also meant  she ruled over the sperm of men and of all beasts– for without that—this making up half the recipe to create life.  She is considered to be a “mother” AND a virtuous maiden.

Ardvi Sura Anahita‘s temples accepted offerings of Green Plants which represented new life as well as purity. The temples were filled with Sacred Prostitutes.

Back in the day, a sacred prostitute was an important part of certain societies. They were well kept, sacred vessels that a partner could better connect to the Goddess through and with. I kind of considered them to be Priestesses of an ancient sex magic or that’s what I walked away with when researching them.

 Through pictures and art, Anahita is usually shown driving a chariot with four horses. They represent the natural and raw forces of  rain, clouds, hail and wind.

 

 

 

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Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays: July 2: Feast of Expectant Mothers

 

 

In ancient Roman calendar, today would have been the Feast of Expectant Mothers . Pregnant women of Rome would go to their favorite temples on this day to pay homage to their favorite Goddess of fertility.