High Holy Days: Southern Hemisphere

Howling Dingo

A subspecies of the wolf, our cousin the Dingo

The Pagan Sabbats In The Southern Hemisphere

The early pagans around the world were very balanced in the way they scheduled their lives. One of the places this is seen most clear are in the High Holy days.

Each festival celebration falls in between a solstice or equinox. But the holidays were also celebrations of the seasons and the change of energy throughout the year.

Additionally, Pagans are pretty big on using the right energy in concert with the right movement of time and space. In other words, we align our conscious thoughts and connections with the Divine in our lives based on the energy that surrounds us.

Simply put, how you relate to the world around you and how you feel connected to the “this or that” in your life, all depends on where you are and the beliefs you choose to follow. It doesn’t makes sense to align your energy with the warm summer sun when outside your window it’s snowing like a blizzard. Because of this, the Southern Hemisphere sees the holidays differently than we do here in the North.

For Pagan Metaphysical practitioners in the Southern Hemisphere this means celebrating the Sabbats in conjunction with the opposite change of seasons than what we celebrate in the Northern Hemisphere. There is some controversy about this.  There are some practitioners who believe the Sabbats are set in stone dates and must be honored based on the “original” celebrations of old. To this I say ‘horse hockey’.

Even the dates observed within the North aren’t exact matches to the old recognized celebrations. The advent of the modern calendar changed the festivals assigned dates when converted from a lunar cycle to the modern solar cycle. To some degree this does throw off the balance intended for the cycle of the lunar year. Additionally, today we have merged observances between Celtic, Germanic, Italian and various other pagan traditions. This is also one reason varying traditions hold their festivals on different days. Wicca for instance recognizes May 1st as the date for Beltane, where as many Celtic traditions see it as May 6th.

It’s more important for each individual to feel comfortable with their connection to the energy around them. If that means changing a date based on the season where you are, than go right ahead and do it. It’s your path, your personal connection to spirit, so it should be set the way you feel the most aligned with the world around you.

Thanks to an old friend who lives and practices in Australia for helping me put this calendar together.

Southern Hemisphere Sabbat Dates
Holiday Alternative
Date Purpose
Samhain 15° Taurus May 1 Pagan New Year, Honouring the
Dead, Cleansing and releasing
Yule Winter Solstice Jun 21 Rebirth, Life triumphs over
Imbolc Bridgid Day 15° Leo Aug 1 Purification, Initiation,
Ostara Lady Day Spring Equinox  Sep 21 Conception, Regeneration, New
Beltane May Day 15° Scorpio  Oct 31 Passion that fuels Life, Joy,
Midsummer Litha Summer Solstice Dec
Transition, Planning
Lughnasadh Lammas 15° Aquarius Feb 2 Gratitude, Abundance, Fruition
Mabon Autumn Equinox Mar
Giving thanks, Reflection

You can find more about the High Holy Days: The Pagan Sabbats, to discover why they’re observed at sunset and their timing through the year.

If you’d like to read more about aligning your energies and how you can connect to the world around you, check out The Correspondence Of This and That: – The Meaning Behind Correspondence Lists.

© Springwolfs Hanko

© 2013 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Springs Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


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