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Thread: What sorts of holidays?

  1. #1

    What sorts of holidays?

    Hello everyone! I'm not too familiar with the forums, but I'd like to get involved.

    I know it's encouraged to find information on your own, but I'm a bit overwhelmed, and all around lost, and would appreciate some help. Or a point in the right direction! I'd like to start celebrating holidays other than the Christian ones I was raised on. But I'm not really sure what holidays there are, how to figure out which ones best fit with my religious views, or how to celebrate them. I guess a little background info could help.

    I believe in the possibility and existence of all gods. I however, do not worship one specifically or focus my attention on any one. The Earth is where I find the most connection with. I feel worshiping it is in a way, a connection to all gods. It's a part of me, and everything around me. It's the most important part of my spirituality. So, I guess what I'm looking for is holidays geared towards the Earth.. I guess.

    Sorry if this is in the wrong section, or is rather annoying. Any input would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Sr. Member WinterTraditions's Avatar
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    Re: What sorts of holidays?

    Well, there are the Pagan Sabbats and Esbats. These are the ones that I am familiar with.

    Yule: Winter Solstice, around Dec. 21 - The God is born from the Goddess
    Imbolc: Feb.2 - The Goddess recovers from childbirth
    Ostara: Spring Equinox, around March 21 - The God is young and energetic
    Beltane: April. 30/May. 1 - The God and Goddess join together in union, the Goddess becomes pregnant
    Litha: Summer Solstice, around June. 21 - The God is at the peak of his strength
    Lughnasadh: Aug. 1 - The first harvest. The God's power begins to wane
    Mabon: Autumn Equinox, around Sept. 21 - The second harvest. The God's growing increasingly weak
    Samhain: October. 31 - The last harvest. The God dies, and the veil between the spirit world and our world is at its thinnest

    The Sabbats are all about the Earth's cycles. Things die, and are reborn. These holidays are geared towards celebrating the God(s).

    The Esbats are for celebrating the moon's cycles, and the Goddess(es). Waxing Moon, Full Moon, Waning Moon, Dark Moon, New Moon.



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    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    Re: What sorts of holidays?

    What Winter said - that will give you a fantastic starting point )
    ThorSon's milkshake brings all the PF girls to the yard - Volcaniclastic

    RIP

    I have never been across the way
    Seen the desert and the birds
    You cut your hair short
    Like a shush to an insult
    The world had been yelling
    Since the day you were born
    Revolting with anger
    While it smiled like it was cute
    That everything was shit.

    - J. Wylder

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    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: What sorts of holidays?

    Quote Originally Posted by WinterTraditions View Post
    Well, there are the Pagan Sabbats and Esbats. These are the ones that I am familiar with.

    Yule: Winter Solstice, around Dec. 21 - The God is born from the Goddess
    Imbolc: Feb.2 - The Goddess recovers from childbirth
    Ostara: Spring Equinox, around March 21 - The God is young and energetic
    Beltane: April. 30/May. 1 - The God and Goddess join together in union, the Goddess becomes pregnant
    Litha: Summer Solstice, around June. 21 - The God is at the peak of his strength
    Lughnasadh: Aug. 1 - The first harvest. The God's power begins to wane
    Mabon: Autumn Equinox, around Sept. 21 - The second harvest. The God's growing increasingly weak
    Samhain: October. 31 - The last harvest. The God dies, and the veil between the spirit world and our world is at its thinnest

    The Sabbats are all about the Earth's cycles. Things die, and are reborn. These holidays are geared towards celebrating the God(s).

    The Esbats are for celebrating the moon's cycles, and the Goddess(es). Waxing Moon, Full Moon, Waning Moon, Dark Moon, New Moon.

    I'd add that while they are from various cultures those are generally WICCAN or Wiccanesq holidays not general pagan holidays. Nor are they typically to be found in any practice that is found about the equator. The assumption that moon phases are goddess only is also an assumption often derived from a Wiccan influence as there are many solar goddesses and lunar gods if one looks to the various mythologies.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Heka View Post
    What Winter said - that will give you a fantastic starting point )
    Only if one is Wiccan or follows a Wiccanesq practice. Many shamanic types follow a Wheel of the Year that is nothing like the Wiccan one that is usually presented for instance. Many Recons or pantheon specific practices don't acknowledge any of them as they are not found in them. Consider that the ancient Egyptians had a three season calendar so none of the Northern European holidays and observances would have matched up to the tidal flows of the Nile river. Most of the Med Basin would have observed none of them as they to had a three season yearly cycle.

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    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    Re: What sorts of holidays?

    Fair enough Monsno. I just started with the Wiccan Wheel of the Year, and have developed (and am developing) my own 'wheel'. For me it's been a good starting point. And it gives you a point of reference. IMO. I mean I don't subscribe to the whole god/goddess cycle. It's more following the harvest cycle for me, but starting with those names, you get a starting reference.

    But then I've told you how much I like your opinion!
    ThorSon's milkshake brings all the PF girls to the yard - Volcaniclastic

    RIP

    I have never been across the way
    Seen the desert and the birds
    You cut your hair short
    Like a shush to an insult
    The world had been yelling
    Since the day you were born
    Revolting with anger
    While it smiled like it was cute
    That everything was shit.

    - J. Wylder

  6. #6
    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: What sorts of holidays?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heka View Post
    Fair enough Monsno. I just started with the Wiccan Wheel of the Year, and have developed (and am developing) my own 'wheel'. For me it's been a good starting point. And it gives you a point of reference. IMO. I mean I don't subscribe to the whole god/goddess cycle. It's more following the harvest cycle for me, but starting with those names, you get a starting reference.

    But then I've told you how much I like your opinion!
    Oh I don't find anything wrong with the Wiccan wheel just think when people put it up they should say which wheel it is. When one suggests it is the only pagan wheel I think it does a dis-service to anyone who would read it later who may not know anything else. I recall an argument I saw years ago that occurred between a person in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere because it is flipped then had a discussion about the tropical / equatorial regions and how the Wiccan wheel means nothing in those regions.

    Myself I tend to follow the spiritual (and elemental) wheel of the land where I live and observe the cultural holidays that are observed. Upon that I tend to try and place holidays that are specific to the gods / goddesses I follow. Which can be confusing when you try to take archaic calendars and try to place things that may only occur once every 6 years for instance. Have to admit that both Spiritual and elemental wheels did change based upon where I was living over the years though now it is pretty static since i'm no longer military nor moving every 3 or 4 years.

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    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    Re: What sorts of holidays?

    haha I'm a southern hemisphere pagan. And even I had to look up just recently what bloody holiday it was 'supposed' to be, because everything is bloody flipped! haha

    I'm trying to observe the wheel of my own land as well. Hubby and I are trying to get out in the nature more. Seeing as pretty much nothing grows here ever (esp crops) gotta work it out myselfs. That'll take a few year though! If I stay committed! haha
    ThorSon's milkshake brings all the PF girls to the yard - Volcaniclastic

    RIP

    I have never been across the way
    Seen the desert and the birds
    You cut your hair short
    Like a shush to an insult
    The world had been yelling
    Since the day you were born
    Revolting with anger
    While it smiled like it was cute
    That everything was shit.

    - J. Wylder

  8. #8
    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: What sorts of holidays?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heka View Post
    haha I'm a southern hemisphere pagan. And even I had to look up just recently what bloody holiday it was 'supposed' to be, because everything is bloody flipped! haha

    I'm trying to observe the wheel of my own land as well. Hubby and I are trying to get out in the nature more. Seeing as pretty much nothing grows here ever (esp crops) gotta work it out myselfs. That'll take a few year though! If I stay committed! haha
    Off Topic reply

    Did a quick search on Leigh Creek as I had not heard of that place. Based upon what I read it seems that area was really trashed and is struggling to recover. Just a suggestion but you might try seeking a major land spirit as they usually lay really deep but can be touched in a dream like state. Other than that wish you luck and the area luck in recovering from the destruction that was caused there by man.

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    Supporter Gardenia's Avatar
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    Re: What sorts of holidays?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heka View Post
    I just started with the Wiccan Wheel of the Year, and have developed (and am developing) my own 'wheel'. For me it's been a good starting point. And it gives you a point of reference. IMO. I mean I don't subscribe to the whole god/goddess cycle. It's more following the harvest cycle for me, but starting with those names, you get a starting reference.
    That's basically what I did, as well. Way back when I first found paganism it was through Wicca, and when I was moving away from Wicca the dates for the holidays were one of the few things I kept, because they really clicked with the seasonal cycle of where I live... but the Goddess/God mythos, etc, didn't ever really work for me, although sometimes the more general theme of the holiday did.

    Since then I've followed other calendars (like when I was an Egyptian recon, I followed their feast calendar), but nothing's ever worked for me as well as sort of building my own holidays around the quarters and cross quarters, which for me became much less deity focused, and much more focused on the local seasons, cycles, spirits, and so on - just because that's what matched up the best, and ended up working for me. (As well as building a sort of hearth/home focused calendar around the lunar cycle.)

    So I would say if you're looking for something that connects you to the earth, think about what the climate is like where you live, what cycles the land goes through. You might find that the solstices, equinoxes, and cross points in between match up well - but you might also find that they don't really work so well, or require some heavy modification, or that a totally different systems of dates makes much more sense. Depending on where you live, looking into the holidays of the older religions local to your area, or even just older farming calendars and such, can also be helpful to seeing how others did things locally.

  10. #10
    Newbie Starlight's Avatar
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    Re: What sorts of holidays?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gardenia View Post
    ... nothing's ever worked for me as well as sort of building my own holidays around the quarters and cross quarters, which for me became much less deity focused, and much more focused on the local seasons, cycles, spirits, and so on ...
    I agree with this. Unless you're part of a community of practitioners, you should celebrate what has meaning to you. Different parts of the world have different natural cycles, and I think it's silly to celebrate somebody else's solstice or harvest. Personaly, I'd focus on natural energies near you that you can observe and be a part of, or any feasts specific to deities you venerate. Holidays should either be a time for family and worshipers to come together, or if you don't know anyone who shares your faith, a time to celebrate and reflect on the things that matter to you. At least, that's how I see it.

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