Age 12 - First Jupiter Return: The ancients celebrated puberty because the biological God and Goddess of creation had been awakened and it was a sacred time in one’s life. This was recognised with jubilance and honour. Jupiter rules hormones and cultural conditioning. In modern times we shame and denigrate the phase, remarking on hormonal changes that inconvenience society, and yet we wonder why teenagers self destruct, rebel, and turn to substance. This changing biology transforms the lower body and activates the spirit, and yet we are not prepared or nurtured for this powerful change.
Age 14 - Jupiter opposes Saturn: The resistance to authority and conditioning is activated here, along with self consciousness and the lure into danger. This is the moment a young person can typically choose between ‘indulgence, laziness, and self pleasure’ (Jupiter) in leaving school or ‘responsibility, expectation, and conforming to authority’ (Saturn) in remaining in school or focusing on the future. The karmic lesson is revealed around this period. We face intimidating figures of authority, often threatening with ‘what until you’re in the real world’ shaking confidence even more
Age 21 - Uranus squares natal Uranus: 21 is the age globally recognised as completed transition into adulthood. This period indicates self expression and experimentation, a time for tattoos and lilac hair and inspiration. It’s a favourable time for sparking people’s interest in astrology. Political activity, protest, and rebellion can begin around here. Cosmically, this is a time where people learn a lot about themselves and generate good self awareness, they start to feel wholly in their body, or as if fogginess has dissolved
Age 28-30 - First Saturn Return: Everything you have built until this point is under threat. Saturn writes his first report card, and it will rely on how intimate and satisfactory you have been in facilitating Saturn’s condition in the natal chart. This is the biggest overhaul we experience on a physical/mental level, when the anchor of the chart completes transit and writes a new criteria. We are given 29 years because the reading material and substance is so profound. Harsh reality hits with shattering force. It’s time to become an adult.
This is your occasional reminder that Ostara is probably not actually a holiday because Jacob Grimm failed at etymology. It is neither ancient nor was it stolen by Christians.
It’s fine if you want to celebrate some sort of spring festival and I don’t expect anyone to rewrite the Wheel of the Year, but please realize that it’s not an “ancient festival celebrating the goddess of the dawn”. It’s the result of a linguistic fuck up.
2015: Zayn leaves One Direction 2016: Mind of Mine released Very vague and strange first photo of Freddie son in a stroller as Louis slowly walks back and forth in front of a pap
2017: Ultra Festival Announcement of Baby Payno (on Mother’s Day)
Forget the Ides of March…during ancient Roman times they celebrated a festival on this day called HILARIA.
“The hilaria were, therefore, according to Maximus the Confessor either private or public. Among the former, he thinks it the day on which a person married, and on which a son was born; among the latter, those days of public rejoicings appointed by a new emperor. Such days were devoted to general rejoicings and public sacrifices, and no one was allowed to show any symptoms of grief or sorrow.” (Thank you for the research @nautilarrie)
The ancients celebrated puberty because the biological God and Goddess of creation had been awakened and it was a sacred time in one’s life. This was recognised with jubilance and honour. Jupiter rules hormones and cultural conditioning. In modern times we shame and denigrate the phase, remarking on hormonal changes that inconvenience society, and yet we wonder why teenagers self destruct, rebel, and turn to substance. This changing biology transforms the lower body and activates the spirit, and yet we are not prepared or nurtured for this powerful change
“The Sun is our lord and father: Bright face at the gate of day, comfort of home, cattle, and crop; Lord of the Morning, Lord of the Day. Lifting our hearts, we sing his praise - dance in his healing rays…” ~ “Reel around the Sun,” Riverdance
Here we stand on the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The sun seems as if it were standing still in the sky, pausing before sliding back down beyond the horizon. This is a time of bonfires, celebration, and feasts. It is a time of banishing harmful spirits and praying for bountiful harvests during the remainder of the year.
Litha is a holiday that hearkens back to ancient Germanic cultures, celebrated today most often by Anglo-Saxon and Germanic re-constructionists and pagans who follow beliefs linked to Germanic practice. It is also a prominent holiday in Christian belief, known as St. John’s Day.
This sabbat would be difficult to trace back to any specific, single point. In part this is due to the fact that midsummer held a significant role to many cultures, and also in part due to the fact that even today, it is celebrated in many different ways. As such, much of what I’ll be describing here tends to be a bit of a generalization. Not every culture engaged in large bonfires, and not every culture even placed nearly so much significance on midsummer (the Celts, for instance, may have acknowledged midsummer, but didn’t celebrate it to the same extent as their four other fire festivals - Samhain, Beltane, Lughnassadh, and Imbolc).
The Wheel of the Year
In the Wiccan story for the wheel of the year, the God as the Oak King is at the height of his virility and power. The Goddess is pregnant, and the Oak King offers his bounties. Though a time of life and celebration, it is also a silent acknowledgement that the Oak King will surrender to the Holly King. After all, now that the year is at the longest the day will get, it will only begin to shorten as the autumn and winter days approach.
Celebrating the Sun
Today, Litha (a name carried over from the Germanic, derived from a text describing months and times of the year - this day being part of “late Litha”) is celebrated by Wiccans and neo-pagans both as an acknowledgement of the turning of the Wheel and also as a way of giving thanks for the bounty brought by the year thus far.
Like Beltane, bonfires are a frequent sight for Litha, symbolizing the power of the sun at its height. Celebrants would wake early so as to construct the fires and watch the rising of the sun, and would keep them burning from sunrise to sunset. In order to cast away negativity and evil spirits, torches built from the bonfires would be carried around the home, representing the light of the sun being cast on all sides of the house. The ashes would be used to bless livestock (much like the Beltane ashes), and the cooled coals and embers would be mixed into the soil of fields so as to bless the crop and encourage strong growth in the months to come.
Feasting is common, as it is on many holidays. Traditionally, dishes with fruits, grains, and honey would be consumed - all goods that are readily accessible during the summer.
Traditionally, oak holds a special role in the pagan aspects of Litha. A tree found throughout the northern hemisphere, it is often respected as a guardian and sometimes even as a spiritual passage into other worlds. Its wood, when burned in a Litha fire, was a potent form of blessing and protection. Aromatic herbs added to the fire would further serve to empower these blessings, and would help add more of that sacred energy to the ashes for the fields and livestock.
In my personal practice, Litha is not that prominent of a sabbat. However, I do occasionally celebrate it, and do so by creating a small fire either in the form of a candle or in the form of a camp/bonfire if celebrating with the coven. I usually give my thanks for the blessings I have received throughout the year, and ask for blessings during the waning light.
If I celebrate with the coven, food is nearly always present. Traditional fare is usually brought to the table, along with wine or whiskey (or if I have it, mead).
This year, contemplate the role the sun has in your life. What kinds of blessings have you received this season, and how might you give thanks for them? And what do you hope to accomplish as the light wanes?
If you have been reading up on Wicca for a while, online and perhaps in books, you have probably read a bit about the eight sabbats. It’s important to note that these sabbats were included in Wicca by Gerald Gardner, and they are borrowed from several different places, from several different traditions. There is not one ancient European religion that celebrated all eight sabbats.
In this post I want to talk about Imbolc on a slightly deeper level, from a different point of view than you might have come across in basic books on Wicca.
To begin with this was the sabbat that I had the most trouble connecting with, but what I am going to share in this post has made it easier for me to feel a connection to this sabbat. Nowadays I am always looking forward to Imbolc and I feel a very strong connection to this beautiful celebration.
Basics About Imbolc
Date: 1st/2nd February (some places say 2nd but I like to celebrate on the Eve of the 1st) Other names: Imbolg, Brigid, Candlemas
For me the biggest issue with Imbolc started when I found Wicca while still living in Sweden. In English books, this sabbat is described as the first spring sabbat. You are to celebrate that the nature is re-awakening, new life is growing. In the Goddess and God mythological cycle, the Goddess is entering Her phase as a young maiden, while the God is a child. There are snowdrops and other flowers too - the books tell you.
And this is probably true in some other places in the northern hemisphere as well (and in the southern hemisphere, this goes completely out the window!)
Right, so it says that now you can see the first signs of spring.
And as a Swedish person you look out through the window at all the snow and wonder where exactly these signs of spring are hiding.
I know I was even thinking that the date for this sabbat should be changed, because it so obviously does ring true with the Swedish climate. Of course you can see Imbolc as a chance to help spring move along, but I never thought this was enough. It was always very frustrating to me, because I felt like I completely missed out on this part of the Wheel of the Year.
It wasn’t until I moved to England, to Devon, that I actually felt I could get a connection to Sweden’s Imbolc. This is a bit ironic, since Devon is known as England’s Riviera. Here crocuses have already started to appear. Though this winter has been cold: the temperature has dropped below zero at least a couple of days. Sometimes we have had to have the heating on in the house all day. One day there was even sleet for an hour or two.
When Imbolc appears there are snowdrops, crocus and often daffodils. There are buds on the trees and I can really see how Imbolc is the first spring sabbat.
But Imbolc is so much more than that, and that is what I have gained a connection to that will also work in Sweden and other colder countries in the Northern Hemisphere.
Because Imbolc is also called Brigid (pronounced ‘Breed), and Brigid is the Goddess of poetry, the forge, fire and creativity. She is also the Goddess of healing and midwifery. This is connected to the Goddess having given birth to the God, but it is also about re-awakening and give life to one’s own creativity and creative force after the winter darkness.
Even in Sweden the light is returning, and people know that they are headed toward spring and they have more energy. So this is a perfect time to honour the fire within ourselves, and its creative flames. That is what has allowed me to make a connection to Imbolc.
For me this is now a celebration of fire, a time to start forming what I want to achieve during the coming year. This is a chance for me to find myself and stand in my own power, just like the Goddess is doing. This is the sabbat when She has the least connection to the God; She is out there celebrating Herself and Her desires, and we have the chance to do the same!
What You Can Focus On
The Goddess is in her forge. She is strong, she surely has soot smeared on her face, her skin is blank with sweat while she is lifting the hammer against the anvil, to form what she is working on. She is forming her own life. She works with what she wants. She decides which one of her ideas she wants to make reality, and then she makes it happen. There is nothing that can stop her.
She is the mistress of her own life.
So take this moment to have a ritual where you are honouring the Goddess’ immense power of creation. It is this very power that will soon melt even the snow. It is this power that makes nature crackle with new life. And this power is present within each and everyone of us.
How can you use this power within a ritual? Here are some of my suggestions =)
Use this creative life force to think about what you want to make in your forge. What do you want to achieve the coming year?
Focus on your own inner creative fire. How does it look? Is it lit? Or do you need to kindle it? What fuel does it need? Think about how the fire used to be the very heart - the hearth - of the home, and how we need this to survive. If yours has gone out it is time to feed the flames!
Do you feel your are stuck in some project and you’re not sure how to move it forward? This is the perfect ritual to find new inspiration.
Do you need healing? Let Brigid’s healing hands help you to heal.
Do you want to get rid of bad habits? Let Brigid’s fire burn them away, and let yourself be born again from the flames.
Ideas For Magic
This is the perfect sabbat to work with healing magic both for yourself and for others.
Candle and fire magic are also great to work with here, to re-connect to the power of the fire.
It’s also a really good time to plant seeds representing that which you want to achieve the coming year. Plant a seed for something you want to grow and charge it with your energy and inention. See how it grows as your project is growing, and take some time each day to connect to your seed (and in time plant!) to deepen your own connection to it and that which you want to achieve.
I hope this have given you some new thoughts about this glittering celebration!
Samothrace temple complex, also known as the Sanctuary of the Great Gods (Ιερό των Μεγάλων Θεών), one
of the principal Pan-Hellenic religious sanctuaries, located on the island of Samothrace within the larger Thrace. It
was celebrated throughout Ancient Greece for its Mystery religion, a
Chthonic religious practice as renowned as the Eleusinian
Mysteries.Numerous famous people were initiates, including the historian
Herodotus – one of very few authors to have left behind a few clues to
the nature of the mysteries, the Spartan leader Lysander, and numerous
Athenians.The temple complex is mentioned by Plato and Aristophanes.
During the Hellenistic period, after the investiture of Phillip II it
formed a Macedonian national sanctuary where the successors to Alexander
the Great vied to outdo each other’s munifence. It remained an
important religious site throughout the Roman period. Hadrian visited,
and Varro described the mysteries – before fading from history towards
the end of Late Antiquity. (source: Wikipedia)
The City Dionysia is a yearly celebration in honor of Dionysos, God of wine and theater. In ancient Athens it was celebrated with a theatric competition every year. This blog serves to recreate the spirit of the competition but encouraging modern Hellenists to submit literary pieces in honor of Dionysos, to be judged by the mob.
Retellings of Classic Myths
Submissions will open up February 1st and close on March 31st, allowing two months to write and submit your piece.
Voting will take place from April 1st thru April 6th.
Winners will be announced April 7th.
At current there are no prizes for winning, it’s just a fun competition to bring the City Dionysia to life as a communal event for modern worshipers.
Rules for Entries
Roleplay and fanfic are not allowed in submissions. This is a religious festival, please respect our faith and do not submit an entry if you are roeplaying or writing fanfiction.
All stories, myths, and poems must be entered using the submissions button.
All entries must be tagged for the category they are being submitted to.
Entries must also be tagged for potentially triggering content and squicks.
An entry may only be submitted to a single category.
Each person may only submit one entry per category each year.
Winners for each category will be decided by popular vote.
Green week (also known as Семи́к – Semik) is an ancient Slavic fertility festival celebrated in early June and closely linked with the cult of the dead and the spring agricultural rites. At this time, rusalki (water nymphs in Slavic mythology or spirits of young women who either committed suicide by drowning or were drowned against their will) were supposed to have left their watery depths in order to swing on branches of birch and willow trees by night. A common feature of the celebration was the ritual banishment or burial of the rusalka at the end of the week, which remained as entertainment in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine until the 1930s.
Icelanders will soon be able to publicly worship at a shrine to Thor, Odin and Frigg with construction starting this month on the island’s first major temple to the Norse gods since the Viking age.
Worship of the gods in Scandinavia gave way to Christianity around 1,000 years ago but a modern version of Norse paganism has been gaining popularity in Iceland.
“I don’t believe anyone believes in a one-eyed man who is riding about on a horse with eight feet,” said Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, high priest of Ásatrúarfélagið, an association that promotes faith in the Norse gods.
“We see the stories as poetic metaphors and a manifestation of the forces of nature and human psychology.”
Membership in Ásatrúarfélagið has tripled in Iceland in the last decade to 2,400 members last year, out of a total population of 330,000, data from Statistics Iceland showed.
The temple will be circular and will be dug 4 metres (13ft) down into a hill overlooking the Icelandic capital Reykjavik, with a dome on top to let in the sunlight.
“The sun changes with the seasons so we are in a way having the sun paint the space for us,” Hilmarsson said.
The temple will host ceremonies such as weddings and funerals. The group will also confer names to children and initiate teenagers, similar to other religious communities.
Me when I Practiced Wicca:
There are just....so many holidays. Is today a holiday? Where tf am I gonna buy flowers? "Wheel of the year" SLOW TGE HELL DOWN i got shit to do and it scares me that the seasons keep changing!!!
Me Now that I Don't Practice Wicca:
Another holiday!!!! That looks so fun!!! I should jump over a fire tonight! Gosh it's so beautiful the way people celebrate the rhythms of nature. Maybe I should start celebrating more ancient holidays...
Strange question, who is Baphomet? I've tried googling it, but everything is phrased in such difficult to read ways and I don't really understand?
I don’t think that’s a strange question. Baphomet has quite a confusing history.
The first (known) case of Baphomet first came up in the 12th century when the French Knights Templar were arrested and tortured into confession. They admitted to “worship of a heathen idol-head”. Some scholars believe Baphomet’s name is a version of Muhammad, that the Knights Templar had incorporated Islamic principals into their worship during the Crusades. However, this is still widely debated.
The name came up again in the early 19th century when historical writers documented the faith of the Knights Templar as a kind of occult moral impurity. (This did not go unchallenged, btw; check the debate surrounding Mysterium Baphometis revelatum, seu Fratres Militiæ Templi, qua Gnostici et quidem Ophiani, Apostasiæ, Idoloduliæ et Impuritatis convicti, per ipsa eorum Monumenta). In 1856(?) Eliphas Levi published a dogma on high magic in which he named Baphomet as the “Sabbath Goat”, which is to this day the best-known representation of Baphomet. Levi’s belief was that Baphomet stemmed from ancient Pagan festivals celebrated on the Witches’s Sabbath, although the evidence to support this is dubious at best.
I can’t answer how Baphomet is approached today, as I don’t worship Him. Based on my conversations with His worshippers, they do not associate Baphomet with Lucifer (the association probably came from His picture on the “Devil” card in the Tarot and His association with the Witches’s Sabbath, which was misconstrued as devil worship).
If anyone has any more information, or any personal experience with Baphomet, please add on! We’d both love to hear.
“Satan is not a spirit of destruction. There is no essential evil in the universe. Our present form of the "devil” is merely derived from the Greek nature god Pan. As Goethe says, Mephistopheles, or Satan, “is part of the power that still works for good while ever scheming ill.” Satan is really karma, but he is more than that. He is the temptation from which arises strength.
When the Mysteries were celebrated in ancient Egypt, there was an evil spirit called Typhon or Set who brought about the death of the good Osiris. It is the red Set that has given us our concept of the devil; but Set was nothing but the material world, the ground of man’s temptation, and also the environment in which he gains immortality through self-discipline. Therefore, Set, or Satan is divine opportunity; the world into which we come in ignorance but from which we depart in wisdom.“
oh but don’t forget to consider that this will still be their anniversary when they’re old and they’ve both gone grey and they’ve got knees that crack and callused, wrinkled hands, that someday the years they spent apart will seem like no more than a blip in their long, happy lives, that someday they will have worn rings for so long they’ll have forgotten what it was like not to wear one, what it was like not to wake up in bed together, what it was like to pass a mug of tea without an accompanying kiss. someday they’ll be old and weathered and their kisses will feel like ancient tradition, like a celebration of two long lives lived in pursuit of a best future side-by-side, and when the gunmetal gleam of cold stakeouts and dangerous cases has faded into a cushy sofa and a fireplace burning in the hearth with the sussex downs stretching long and shadowy and comforting outside their windows, they’ll still have this anniversary for their own. they’ll still have the 29th of january, circled on the calendar in a red crooked heart, and they’ll know that sometimes all it takes to change your life, to save your life, is a strange meeting with someone who sees you for you, and thinks you’re brilliant.
All foods have correspondences, think of your favorite meal growing up… Doesn’t it bring a rush of memories and feelings when you have that meal? Try eating at least one meal a day with a little magic. Be mindful of every bite you take and really feel the energy of the food being passed onto you! Below are some of my personal correspondences, but this is a great opportunity to make your own!
Celery- fresh starts, health, cleanliness
Apples- wisdom, sexuality
Peanut butter- comfort, a link to the past
Kale- energy, health, endurance
Spinach- beauty, health
Honey- wealth, luxury, ancient wisdom
Berries- fun, joy, sexuality
Avocado- sacred femininity, peace
Olive oil- ancient wisdom, celebration, power
Coconut oil- flexibility (duh!)
Dates- kindness, generosity, wealth
Bread- comfort, energy, community
Salt- cleansing, protection
Pepper- passion, energy
Cinnamon- warmth, comfort, love
So add a little magic to your mealtimes and be mindful and intentional of every bite!
Midsummer Celebrations in Lithuania: The Magical Night of Joninės
Nature was worshipped in Lithuania for centuries. Before the country became Christianised, Lithuanians were pagans who praised and venerated nature. They believed in nature deities because they were wholly dependent on nature and its whims.
It’s said that when the Teutonic Knights came to Lithuania in the 13th century, they were frightened to enter forests even in the daytime. They believed that the forests were swarming with devils and demons that could grab passers-by and carry them off, never to be seen again. Many legends were told about Lithuanian customs and the local reverence for nature. Newcomers believed that the health, beauty and bravery of Lithuanian people were gifts from the wondrous and generous nature of Lithuania.
June 23rd is a magical night that all Lithuanians wait impatiently for just as their ancestors did – the shortest night of the year, the sun’s victory against night and darkness. On this night, vegetation seems more lush and luxuriant than ever, with every single tiny plant reaching maturity, ready to create new life. It’s a celebration of rebirth for nature and every living creature.
Rasos, Kupolės & Joninės
In the past, the celebration was called Rasos, a name derived from rasa – the glistening droplets of dew that cover meadows at daybreak. It was believed that washing your face with dew collected from rye could rejuvenate the skin. Dew was also used to moisten the bed linen of the sick in the belief it would return them to health. It was also used to water vegetable gardens as it was thought to make the soil more fertile. It was even given to animals to drink.
At one point this special night was called Kupolės because in the evening people traditionally picked medicinal herbs – an activity called kupoliavimas. It was believed that on this night medicinal herbs acquire their healing properties. They would later be used to brew teas or placed near the roof. St. John’s wort picked on Joninės was said to cure 99 kinds of illness.
After Christianisation, the celebrations were associated with the birth of St. John the Baptist, and named Joninės (from Jonas – the Lithuanian equivalent of John). The century-long traditions and mystical rituals were not forgotten, however.
Mystical healing rituals
As you arrive at the festivities, you must first walk through the special gates of Kupolės, which are decorated with herbs. Walking through the gates is a symbol of rebirth, and as you pass, you might be asked to dance or sing a song, but a smile will do just fine.
Unmarried girls must make a wreath from nine or twelve different herbs before midnight – it’s not only a traditional accessory, but also a mystical charm to draw the attention of your true love. The wreath is later set afloat on a river, and the faster the current carries it, the sooner the girl will get married.
One of the main rituals is the lighting of the fire. The fire is lit on a high hill at dusk and kept burning all through the night until dawn. It’s believed that the lighter the fields are, the greater the harvest will be. Another important custom is jumping over the fire of Joninės, as jumping guarantees good health and cleanses you of your sins. So it’s essential to jump over the fire, but wait until it dies down of course! If you jump holding hands with your loved one, you’ll get married the same year.
The most important and mysterious tradition of Joninės night is the search for the fern flower. The fern is said to bloom at midnight and anyone who finds its flower, which only blooms for a short moment, will gain incredible power – they’ll understand all the mysteries of nature, read minds, see what’s invisible and acquire wealth and lasting happiness. Traditionally, people are supposed to look for the fern flower alone, but for certain reason most people return in pairs. It is also said that the person who finds the fern’s blossom, one must cut it’s hand and put the blossom in it, in that way it won’t be lost.
If it happens that you’re not allowed to jump over fires, make wreaths, or search for fern flowers, don’t worry – simply being part of this ancient Lithuanian celebration will fill you with long-lasting positive emotions and good energy.
“Yalda” means birth, and in the pre-Zoroastrian religion Mithraism, the god of the sun was believed to have been born on the longest night of the year. On Dec. 21, Iranian families celebrate this ancient winter-solstice holiday by telling stories around tables set with lit candles, mixed nuts, pomegranates and watermelons, the last of the summer fruit.