Firstly, I would like to wish you a happy New Year and that all of your wishes and hopes in 2016 come true through the great blessings of the Divine!
Today I would like to share with you my view on Pagan holidays, how are they celebrated, what are their roots, how I personally celebrate them and so on.
The picture above represent Wheel of the Year, it is a pagan annual cycle of various festivals; both solstices and equinoxes. These terms are different in Wicca, they are called Sabbaths. I would like to note that a person that identifies himself/herself a pagan or a wiccan, doesn’t necessarily need to celebrate these pagan holidays, but usually the most famous celebrated ones are Litha and Samhain, while a favourite one can vary pagan to a pagan and wiccan to a wiccan.
Wheel of the Year can be divided into 3 different stages: life, death and rebirth. The moral is not that we live to die and be reborn. That is just the tip of the thoughts. These 3 cycles really represent our behaviour and actions that were made in a year, so we gain experience, we gain insight and we become wiser. Through a certain time of the year we spiritually die, but only te be reborn with greater wisdom and knowledge and continue living the cycle incorporating new methods and thoughts. At the end of the year we bring a new years resolution, which many people have forgotten it’s actually a pagan element.
As a human being, you make yourself achieve things you didn’t in the previous year hence the Wheel of the Year and its morals standing behind it. You promise yourself to grow in the following year and raise awareness.
During the Death stage, you are thinking about your actions and thoughts that occured in the previous year. It is time to relax your spiritual self and make resolutions and plans for the upcoming year. Before midnight it is said that you have been spiritually dead, just so that your spirit emerges back to your body refreshed and glowing, having to throw away all the negative sides of the previous year.
During the Life stage, you are living your life incorporating those elements you’ve learned in the previous year. You do your daily jobs such as go to work/school, eat, think, relax, pray…whatever it is that you are satisfied doing it.
During the Reborn stage, your spirit self is developing deep sensations and is begining to awaken. You are separating reality from the other dimension. During this stage, it is strongly advised to meditate as often as possible, not only that it’s good for your health, but it’s also important to seek a stable connection with the Divine and your inner self as well.
Pagan holidays can of course be celebrated with a group of people (your coven or a study groups perhaps) or it can be celebrated solitary. Depending what holiday are you celebrating, there’s always a big circle casted and people would be singing and dancing around it to raise energy. Offerings would also very often take place.
You probably know these holidays, but since the old times names have changed.
- Christmas was known as the Winter Solstice
- Easter was known as Ostara
- Halloween was known as Samhain
- Valentine’s Day was known as Imbolc
Days through a week also changed meanings and were differently written and pronounced, but their real meanings are:
- Monday was known as the Moon Day
- Tuesday was known as Tyr’s Day
- Wednesday was known as Odin’s Day
- Thursday was known as Thor’s Day
- Friday was known as Freya’s Day
- Saturday was known as Saturn’s Day
- Sunday was known as the Sun’s Day
Samhain is a pagan holiday where pagans would celebrate the start of a new year and would honor their ancestors. [October 31st-November 1st]
Yule is a pagan holiday where pagans would celebrate return of the Sun and winter solstice would take place later on. [December 21st]
Imbolc is a pagan holiday that symbolizes returning light, signs of spring and deeper connection with the Goddess in some traditions of Wicca. [February 2nd]
Ostara is a pagan holiday that represents rebirth; new life and also spring equinox takes place. [April 21st]
Beltane is a pagan holiday that represents fertility and its celebration. [May 1st]
Litha is a pagan holiday when the summer solstice takes places and the Nature is at its highest peak. [June 21st]
Lammas or Lughnassadh is a pagan holiday of Gaelic roots, it represents harvest. [August 1st]
Mabon is a pagan holiday which follows autumn equinox. [September 21st]
I personally try to celebrate all of them as an eclectic wiccan and I usually do offerings and rituals the solitary way. My favourite ones are Litha (I was also born 21st of June!), Ostara and Samhain.
I would like to hear your thoughts and how you celebrate these holidays if you are a pagan!