equal length of day light and night

pagan holiday guide 2017

hello friends!!! some of you may know me as a pagan (originally wiccan but decided that wasn’t the path for me so now just a pantheistic pagan). there’s lots of pagan holidays so any excuse for a party right?? here are the ones this year and what they’re all about and how to celebrate them!

Keep reading

    OSTARA (EOSTRE) The Spring Equinox

     * Masterpost and helpful information HERE <—*                    
                             
                             DATES: Northern hemisphere  March 20-23
                                Southern hemisphere  September 20-23
   Also called The Spring or Vernal Equinox and Easter. Keep in mind that pronunciation obviously differs between accents but, these are the most popular.
          OSTARA IS PRONOUNCED LIKE “OH-STAR-UH”
          EOSTRE IS PRONOUNCED LIKE “OHS-TRAH” or “ES-TRAH”

If Ostara reminds you of Easter, you’re not wrong! Over the years the name was changed to fit into more standard and modernised systems and while both still represent very similar things, much of the history of the beloved Germanic goddess of fertility, Eostre, aka Ostara has sadly been lost in translation in the eyes of many Pagans. Ostara was represented by things associated with the new light of birth, such as eggs, rabbits, sweets, growth and nurturing compassion which represents the nature of Spring. When it comes to the astronomy aspect of this day, the Equinox is one of the balancing points in the cycle of the seasons. This is because both day and night are of equal length, reminding us of equality and the continuous growth in our lives. 

Ostara is a beautiful spring planting festival that celebrates the return of life to the earth. Represented by fresh flowers, baby animals and eggs, the symbolism paints a welcoming picture for the new energy spirits that have been brought into existence. It is a day to rejoice in the reawakening of the Earth! During this time the God and Goddess are perceived as young adults, projecting youth and innocence before their climb into adulthood. The Goddess, as the Maiden, covers the earth with life and love while the God grows to maturity helping her to make things grow quickly. The Sun God’s strength increases day by day and the Maiden celebrates her fertility. This is a time to plant our gardens, the seeds of flowers, herbs and vegetables and it is a time to honour the masculine and to reflect on what exactly makes us who we are.

The Gods that are associated with Ostara are Adonis, Attis, Ovis, Odin, Osiris, Frigg, the Sun God + more, depending on specific path/cultural background The Goddesses that are associated with Ostara are Eostre, Aphrodite, Isis, Freya, and the Moon Goddesses + more, depending on specific path/cultural background The Colours of Ostara are pretty much all of the pretty pastel colours you can think of. Animals that correspond with this day are Hares, rabbits, snakes, unicorns, Pegasus, lambs fledgelings and other small baby animals. Essences that are perfect for Ostara would be pretty much any type of fresh floral scent, jasmine, violets, roses, sage, strawberry, citrus scents, roses, lotus, magnolia and ginger. Stones that pair perfectly with this celebration are Rose quartz, aquamarine, moonstone, amethyst and jasper Popular things to consume during Ostara are Eggs, honey, bread, seeds, herbal teas, sprouts and green leafy vegetables Decorate your Altar with things like Flowers, seeds, eggs, crafts made from things you’ve found while in nature, images of rabbits and the appropriate herbs and stones. The areas you should put thought into during Ostara include yourself; Ostara is a time to reflect on your accomplishments and progress you’ve made so far in the year and to recharge your energy to continue going down the right path for YOU. It’s a time to continue working that butt off and readjust anything you may need to prevent any snags or problems during the remainder of the year. The key word is MANIFESTATION! Rituals and areas of Magick work are working with herbs and gardens, kitchen/cottage magick, abundance spells and animal work. Some fun activities of Ostara include planting seeds in a magickal or herbal garden, taking walks through gardens, parks, woodlands and decorating eggs.
                                       Video used in .Gif from here

10 Ways to Celebrate Mabon and The Autumn Equinox

Mabon is also known as the witches Thanksgiving. The holiday takes place surrounding the Autumn Equinox between September 21st and September 23rd. On the Autumn Equinox the day and night are equal in length of time. Therefore, Mabon is a celebration of balancing the light and the dark both within ourselves and in the physical world. It is also the middle of the harvest season, so it is a time to be thankful and celebrate the abundance in your life. The Autumn Equinox marks the change of the season from Summer to Autumn. Take this time to embrace who you are and who you want to become in the new year, finish up old projects and relish in the high energy that surrounds this time of year.

There are many ways to celebrate Mabon. Here are 10 ideas:

1. Count your Blessings

Start by counting your blessings. Literally, count them. Take a piece of paper and cut or tear it into many smaller pieces (large enough to right on). Find a jar or bowl that can hold the physical representation of you blessings. Light a pink or red candle to symbolize the love in your heart. A green candle can also be used to symbolize your heart chakra and the growth you’ve experienced this past year. White is another acceptable alternative if you have no colored candles. Now, write out each blessing that has entered your life over the past year, one for each piece of paper. After you write each one, add it to the jar or bowl. When you have finished place the jar or bowl somewhere you can see it. Add to it as you think of more blessings that you are grateful for.

2. Collect the Gifts of Nature

Another way to celebrate Mabon is to take a walk in nature. Bring with you a bag or basket that you can use to collect the gifts of nature. You can use these for crafts and to decorate your home or altar. Some things you might want to collect are beautiful yellow, orange and red leaves, acorns and bare twigs.

3. Enjoy the Fruits of your Labor

Mabon is a time to celebrate the harvest and abundance. Invite friends to a potlucks where you share in each others company and food from the heart. This is made even better if some of the food came from someones home garden. Watch the sun set together as the light dims and the sun disappears into darkness. When the darkness comes turn on a string of lights or lights some candles.

 4. Go Apple Picking

Spend some time in the crisp Autumn air in the glowing light. Apples are a wonderful symbol of the Autumn season. They can be used for divination or simply to make an apple pie. Celebrate the fruits of the season and have a treat. 

5. Raise Energy and Vibrations with Music

During Mabon, Energy levels are very high. Keep the energy in the air active and add to it with music and dance. If you play an instrument play it and invite friends over to jam with you. If you don’t play an insturment dancing, singing, playing recorded music or even clapping are great alternatives.

6. Honor the Darkness

There is no light without dark. Now is the time to honor the coming dark season. Find a warm and cozy place to meditate on balance. Think about what the darkness means and how the lightness is reflected in the darkness. Meditate on the balance of your life and time and how you manage stress.

7. Create a Seasonal Herbal Mix

Autumn is associated with many comforting and earthy scents. Make a mix incorporating these. Try cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, hazelnut, vanilla, orange, and ginger. Use this mix as a potpourri or loose incense to add scent to your whole house. Sprinkle it around doors and windows for protection.

8. De-Clutter your Home

Mabon is a great time to finish up old projects and remove unwanted items from your space. Go through room by room and collect anything you no longer use or need. Gather these items and take them out of your house.

9. Give Back

The most powerful way to share your gratitude is to pass it on. Find a way to give back to your community. Look through the things you got rid of in the previous step decide if someone else could use them. Donate anything worth reusing to charities. Give someone else a blessing to count.

10. Host a Ritual

Lastly, make sure you make time to host a ritual for Mabon. You can do this alone or with friends. Make sure the focus of your ritual is abundance, gratitude and giving back. Incorporate the colors of the season: brown, red, orange and yellow.

These are the ways I’ll be celebrating Mabon this year. What do you like to do to celebrate this Holiday?

Southern Hemisphere Sabbat Dates

Wiccan Holidays in the Southern Hemisphere.  What is the Wheel of the Year, or Wiccan holidays, for those in the Southern Hemisphere? It gets a little tricky since Wicca was created in the Northern Hemisphere. Since it’s a nature religion, an Earth religion, this makes a big difference.  

✨ Lammas: 2nd February

Lammas is the “cross-quarter” day marking the first harvest of early grain, where the first loaf of the bread from the harvest is broken and shared in the name of the Goddess. All crops associated with grain and of the season are sacred to this time. Much festivity is coincident with Lammas in Australia, with Australia Day being marked on January 26. It is a time to reflect on the successes of the year and to reward yourself for jobs well done. Lammas magic can be magic of facing up to change. The God gives his energy to the crops to ensure life while the Goddess, as Mother, prepares to transform into her aspect as the Crone. The God loses his strength as the days grow shorter.  

✨ Manbon: 20th - 23rd March (Autumn Equinox)

Mabon is a balancing point in the light and dark of the year, the day when the sun has equal hours in and out of the sky. It is also the second harvest. At this time food is prepared for storage, jams and pickles are made, and fruits are candied and preserved for the coming winter. Pagans celebrate this as a rite of Thanksgiving, a celebration of harvest abundance, an appreciation of hearth, home, and family. It is a time to reflect on what it means to be a Witch and re-affirm your commitment to the Craft. This is the time when the Goddess is mourning the God even though she carries him within her, to be born again at Yule.  

✨ Samhain: 1st May

The Pagan year begins (and ends) with Samhain. It is a time of reflection, of looking back over the last year. This is the time when the boundary is thinnest between the worlds of living and dead; the powers of divination, the Sight, and supernatural communication are strengthened on Samhain night, and it is considered a powerful but dangerous time to communicate with lost loved ones. Pagans celebrate Samhain as an acknowledgment that without death, there can be no rebirth. At Samhain, the darkness increases and the Goddess reigns in her powerful aspect of the Crone.  The God passes into the underworld to become reborn of the Goddess again at Yule. It is a time to honour those who have gone before us and it is a poignant co-incidence that Australia and New Zealand’s day of Remembrance for their fallen in war, ANZAC Day on April 25, should be so close to the southern Samhain.

✨ Yule: 20th - 23rd June

Winter solstice or Yule is the shortest day, and also the longest night of the year. It marks the return of the Sun’s warmth and light, and the promise once again of a productive Earth. Pagans celebrate these aspects with candles, fire, greenery and feasting. At this time, Yule logs are burned. The Yule log must traditionally be the root of a hardwood tree, and in Australia mallee roots are ideal for this purpose, as are Tasmanian oaks and all types of Eucalyptus. The Yule log is burned down until nothing but a small piece remains, which is saved and kept to be used as a lighter for the following year’s Yule fire. A Yule tree is placed within the traditional Wiccan home, with a pentagram (five pointed star) at the top, symbolizing the five elements. Presents are exchanged and many Witches stay up all night to welcome the sun. This is symbolic of the Goddess giving birth to the God and then resting after her ordeal.  

✨ Imbolc: 1st August

Imbolc is the time of the beginning of beginnings, the time to consider carefully what you will do with the year stretching before you. Imbolc brings the awakening of the life force when the first green shoots of bulbs appear. Life is stirring again and this marks the Goddess recovering after giving birth while the newborn God is depicted as a small child nursing from his mother. The God is growing, spreading sunshine all around causing things to grow. It is a time to honour the feminine and get ready for spring. At lmbolc, the Australian forests are bright with the colour yellow, the Acacia trees coming into full flower.

✨ Ostara: 20th - 23rd September (Spring/Vernal Equinox)

The Equinoxes are the balancing points in the cycle of the seasons, when the day and night are of equal length, reminding us of the harmony of the whole. Buds of flowers and leaf, all manner of eggs and just-born life are celebrated in decorations and imagery as Pagans rejoice in the Earth’s reawakening. The urge of spring is to do, create and bring in the new. Here light overcomes darkness with lengthening days bringing the magic of new growth. Ostara is associated with childhood and new life, and the God and Goddess are perceived as children, personifying youth and innocence before their entry into adulthood. The Goddess, as the Maiden, covers the earth with flowers and love while the God grows to maturity. This is a time to honour the masculine and to celebrate everything that is great about being alive.  

✨ Beltane: 31st October

Beltane, the beginning of the summer months is at the November cross-quarter. This is the festival of the Great Rite - of sexual union between Goddess and God. Beltane is the spring fertility festival and there is feasting and celebration - a great festival for lovers! Beltane is the most popular time for Witches to be handfasted. This is the time when the brilliant red flowers of the Flame Trees highlight Australian forests and gardens.

✨ Litha: 20th - 23rd December (Summer Solstice)

This is the longest day of the year, and a time of joy and strength for the light. It is a time when the powers of nature are at their fullest. In the past this was often marked with bonfires and celebrants staying awake through the short night. To leap over the bonfire was to assure a good crop; some said the grain would grow as tall as the leapers could jump. Due to fire restrictions in Australia throughout summer, celebrations for this Sabbat tend to be quite different from those throughout the rest of the year. No candles can be lit, no cauldrons burned, and no open flames are allowed outside throughout much of the country. Litha falls in the dry stifling heat of summer in the southern part of our land, but in the north, Litha falls in the hot, wet season, and represents fruitfulness. In Australia the Sturt Desert Pea is a sacred flower of this time. This is a time of ascendancy of the God, at his most powerful now, while the burgeoning Goddess brings forth the bounty of the Earth.