Tag Archives: Urban Paganism

Ancient Calendar & Pagan Holidays for February 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th

February 11th

On this day, in the year 1858, the haunting image of Our Lady at Lourdes suddenly appeared in a grotto keeping the shrine of the Goddess for many, many centuries. After the apparition and even before, the spring there has been a place people have gathered to gain healing and or special prayer.

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In many ancient cultures, today was actually the Lunar New Year or New Year’s day.

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In Abydos Egypt, today will be the Feast of Osiris. (Urban Paganism)

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February 12th

Today marks the holy day of Artemis, also known as Diana. (Urban Paganism)

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In some Ancient cultures, today was actually their sacred Imbolc.

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Today symbolizes the good devouring the darkness as the Runic-Half Month of Sigel begins.

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February 13th

For the next eight days, Parentalia—a huge festival in Rome, will be running. This Festival is for the dead as the spirits of our parents are honored throughout the week. The Romans connected this festival with the Manes—who were dead, and immortal, but not gods. Now in the spirit of Urban Paganism—in many Roman cities there existed a vast, huge pit covered up by one huge stone. Inside this pit, was the path into the Underworld—the path of the Manes.

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Old Leap Years Day—in many ancient calendars.

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Today in Egypt, there is another feast of Osiris, only this time the feast will be held in Busiris.

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Welsh Culture gives us a festival called Gwyl o Don a Cerunnos—held for the Goddess mother Don and the honored God of the forest Cerunnos. The Festival will begin at sundown and will not end until sundown on February 21.

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February 14th

 

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!!!!!!

In Rome, today is sacred to Juno Februa—their Goddess of Looooooooooooooove! Before dreaming, a girl should decorate her pillow with five bay leafs—this will let her dream of her lover. Others should wear a yellow crocus which is believed to attract their true love.

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The Norse will be celebrating Valisblot –a feast for Vali—during which the light triumphs over darkness. Vali was the son of Odin and Rind.

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Interfaith, intrafaith

Cities tend to be multicultural places. Pagans are one faith group amongst many, and as society becomes more open to people following different faiths, this creates all kinds of interesting issues.

Do we want to engage with other religions? Should we be talking to people of other faiths? Secrecy and wariness have been part of pagan life for a long time and there are still places where it’s not ok to be openly pagan. Should pagans receive the same attention (and money and tax breaks) from governments that other faith groups do?

If talking to other groups, and sharing public celebrations is something we want to do, who speaks for us? There are probably as many kinds of paganism as there are individual pagans. It’s very hard to represent paganism to anyone else. There are at least as many differences as there are similarities between practitioners. (The same can be said of Christianity though).

Moots and open gatherings bring pagans of all and no tradition together. Sometimes that means exploring common ground, but it can equally lead to confusion, and discomfort. Eclectic public ritual can lose focus, becoming an ineffective crowd pleaser rather than a meaningful expression. Frequently what happens is that wiccan forms dominate, because there are more wiccans.

There’s at least as much misunderstanding between pagans as there is between pagans and non-pagans. As new branches of paganism spring up, this increases. Is it ok for us all to go our different ways? Diversity is good, but do we seek it at the cost of making sense to outsiders? Do we need to be able to speak with one coherent voice when dealing with other faith groups and people in authority? Can Fairy Wicca and Revivalist Druidry be recognised easily as part of the same thing as Gardenerian witchcraft, modern Heathenry or Celtic Shamanism? That’s scraping the surface of types of pagan. Sometimes about the only things we all seem to have in common is that we like the word ’pagan’ and we think nature is a good thing.

My feeling is, we need to keep talking to each other, and keep listening. And I don’t mean that with reference to subsets of paganism, or the interfaith scene. As human beings, we need to hear each other’s truth and stories, respectfully. We can all learn from each other. We are all different. We all want to belong somewhere and we all tend to designate some other group as ‘not us’ as part of how we understand ourselves.

I’m not a huge fan of formal interfaith things – I’ve had good and bad experiences, but they tend to emphasises ‘leaders’ speaking on behalf of ‘communities’ and that’s fraught with difficulty. But opportunities for sharing, listening and learning come up all the time. If people come knocking on your door wanting to talk about God, hear them out. We represent paganism best when we express it honourably, respectfully, in dialogue with others. We can do that, all of us, every day, and we can make all kinds of differences.

Urban Paganism : Have you read Urban Primitive? Give us your review!

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Have any of our urban pagans read this? If so, drop us a comment and let us know what you thought. I haven’t read it but while researching the subject to match our theme—I found this title for you.

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Paganism in the Concrete Jungle : Buy Link

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Description:

You consider yourself a Pagan, or a Magician, or a Witch, because you know there’s more to this world than meets the mundane eye. You believe that magic can influence events in your own life and in the world around you.

But you don’t live on some pastoral, isolated farm, living off the land, generating your own electricity and pumping your own water. No, you live in the urban jungle. You learned early on that money really doesn’t grow on trees, and you don’t have wads of extra cash to spend on elaborate ritual tools, custom spell ingredients, and stylish ritual attire. So what a modern urban Pagan to do? Learn how to live a magical life in the concrete jungle.

Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or you’ve never cast a spell before, this in-your-face guide to commando-style magic is for every urban primitive.

Excerpt:

Most Pagan rituals, spells, and symbols stem from an older, agricultural era. The holidays follow the Wheel of the Year as seen by farmers dependent on it for their food; the rituals revolve around fertility and growing things. This is a difficult path for many city dwellers to follow, surrounded as they are by the energy of a different place and time.
Seasons pass differently in the city; although climatic changes are the same, there are less natural cues, short of the weather, to notice. Even moon cycles are harder to follow in the city. There is more obscuring light pollution, and tall buildings may block the moon when she is hanging lower in the sky.
Granted, it is important to know your roots, to connect with your ancestral patterns, and above all to understand where your food comes from. One thing that is artificial about living in a city is that the majority of food production necessarily happens far away, and urban dwellers are quite dependent on their rural neighbors for almost everything they put in their mouths. This connection is vital, and should be appreciated, and to that end we encourage all city dwellers to periodically take time away from the urban centers in order to connect with the spirit of the giving Earth. Find a farm, and pick apples or help cut cabbages. Acknowledge how dependent you are on rural people for your living, and be respectful of this.

READ MORE HERE

Let us know if you read it!!!!

C.H. Scarlett

Urban ritual

As I commented yesterday in ‘From an Author Perspective’  for most people ritual is a private thing, often carried out indoors, safely out of the public eye. Doing ritual in public woodland, on hilltops and the like means that you get the odd dog walker, but that’s seldom too terrible.

The first time I attended an open ritual at Avebury, I found it really intimidating. There were a lot of tourists. People came and watched the ritual. We were on display, part of the entertainment, and the watchers were not all respectful. Some of them joined the circle even. It was a very different kind of energy from the ritual I had grown used to. I’m not sure I’d have felt much more vulnerable and exposed if we’d been doing it naked! It was scary.

Over a few years of publically visible ceremony, I got comfortable with it, able to trust the druids around me, and used to the idea that the police weren’t going to come and take us away. After all, the chance of seeing people in funny costumes doing eccentric things is part of the tourist appeal of well known ancient sites.

I gather that some years ago there’s a group in Birmingham (UK) who did street ritual. They went out into the city, and went for it. Without the aid of a predefined space, or any context that would make passers by more amenable.

A few years ago, folk from the druid network performed a peace ritual near the Houses of Parliament. It was a radical thing to do, working in a space where people protest, and going through the official channels, explaining that no, this wasn’t a protest, but a ritual. I wasn’t there – I wish I had been – it was a beautiful, radical thing to have done.

Doing pagan ritual in an urban public space is a dangerous thing. Especially if you don’t seek permission before hand. There’s no knowing how the crowds will react, or the police for that matter. Urban ritual in an organised context is a different thing because you have the space made for you – as with rituals held in previous years at the Custard Factory, (Birmingham again) as part of bigger events.

Could you take your ritual work onto the streets? What would happen if we all did? How would it feel? What would change? It’s not something I’ve done. I’m not sure I’d have the courage to do it. How different the world would be, if pagan folk could comfortably stand in circle, in public spaces, and honour the spirits of place, celebrate the ancestors, call to the four directions, and offer prayers to the gods. That’s a world worth striving for, I think.