Tag Archive | holiday

Yule Time Begins

It’s That Time of Year Again

The winter solstice, also known as midwinter, is an astronomical phenomenon marking the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. It occurs when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt away from the Sun. It happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere.

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the solstice occurs on December 21st and marks the start of the Winter holiday for Pagans. The Solstice is known as Midwinter, Yule for Pagans, the Longest Night, and Jól for the Norse.

Yule for Pagans, is a 12 day celebration that honors the Goddess in all 3 of her forms, Maiden, Mother, and Crone. And the rebirth of the God, in the form of the Sun. Each one of these representations of the Divine is honored and observed for a 3 day period beginning with the Maiden. The Mother Goddess comes next, followed by the Sun God, and ending with the Crone. 

This year of 2018, Pagans will also enjoy a special occurrence of a Full Moon (read more at Space.com) AND a meteor shower during the Yuletide celebrations. The Ursid meteor shower is active each year around the December solstice. This year’s peak morning is probably December 22. Even under the full moon light, you should be able to see a little bit of the meteors. So if you’re up before sunrise, look up and check it out. (read more at EarthSky.org). Continue reading

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The Legend of the Sacred King

Father Sun and Mother Earth

A Celtic Tale of Sacrifice and the Blood Moon

In ancient history, many cultures hold tales concerning a Sacred King. Back then a King was a form of deity, or was placed on a throne by Divine hands. As such they were worshiped as much as they were revered and honored. The Sacred King we’re going to talk about comes from the early pagan days of the Celts.

In this tale, the Sacred King is associated with the Sun, and in some variations with the Sun God Lugh who is honored during the 1st Harvest Festival known as Lughnasadh, celebrated on August 1st in Northern Hemisphere.  Elements of this story are scattered through pagan festivals throughout the year, and have been passed on through the generations of practitioners primarily through oral tales. Even today, most Pagans celebrate these events in our modern festivals and rituals, but often as separate events instead of one long story arc. 

In his writings, Sir James George Frazer describes in a book called The Golden Bough (1890–1915); the sacred king represented the spirit of vegetation. He came into being in the spring, reigned during the summer, and ritually died at harvest time, only to be reborn at the winter solstice to wax and rule again. 

Elements of Frazer’s book, document Pagan tales celebrated throughout the cycle of the year in one story. There are elements of the Holy and Oak King, who share governance of the seasons as they wax and wane between summer and winter. There’s the association of the fertile spring equinox when the Great God and Maiden Goddess unite and reign through the summer. And the outcome of that union in the fall, which provides for an abundant harvest season. Continue reading

Merry Lammas & Imbolg 2016

Arctic Wolf Fire

“Arctic Wolf Fire”
By Tom-in-Silence

The Festivals of Fire and Light
Celebrations of August 1st or 2nd

These Sabbats (Pagan Holidays) are observed on August 1st or 2nd, depending on one’s personal Tradition (spiritual denomination). The early pagans were not blessed with NASA or the Naval Observatory, so their celebrations varied slightly from places to place and Tradition to Tradition. Over time these holidays began to find stability as official calendars become more commonplace throughout Indo-European countries.

Even though many parts of the world transitioned to Solar calendars, Pagans still celebrated their rituals on a Lunar cycle. Thus our holiday observances actually begin  at sunset on the evening before the scheduled day of the Sabbat. And that too can depend on where you are in the world. Continue reading

Merry Mid-Year Solstice for 2016

WinterSolsticeHappy Solstice Celebration

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we celebrate the Summer Solstice on June 21st or 22nd. The Summer Solstice rings in the waning year and begins the slow good-bye of the sun as the days become shorter and the darkness slowly returns to the land.

As the story goes, the Oak King has ruled over the Earth, bringing the Sun to warm the ground so fields could be planted for wheat, barley and gardens can grow. When the solstice arrives, the Holly King wakes from his slumber and challenges the Oak for supremacy in the sky. Continue reading

Planning and Preparation For The Solstice

Fairy Moon Dance by Julie Fain (Juliefainart.com)

Fairy Moon Dance by Julie Fain (Juliefainart.com)

Create A Happy Solstice Celebration

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we celebrate the Summer Solstice on June 21st or 22nd. The Summer Solstice rings in the waning year and begins the slow good-bye of the sun as the days become shorter and the darkness returns to the land.

Many have started planning for their celebration and gatherings. If you’re preparing your list and getting ready with your shopping, you might want to incorporate one of my most favorite rituals for this holiday. Because the Summer Solstice is also the Time for Faeries. And I love to include a ritual we call Walnuts For Wishes: A Recipe and Ritual for the Fae.

This ritual requires a few items you may not have laying around your home or in your ritual cabinet. So if you want to add a few things to your list for your own implementation or a variation of this ritual, now might be a good time to start planning it.

You can learn more about the Summer Solstice through these articles here on Reflections:

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© Springwolfs Hanko

© 2016 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Springs Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Merry Mid-Year Solstice

WinterSolsticeHappy Solstice Celebration

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we celebrate the Summer Solstice on June 21st or 22nd. The Summer Solstice rings in the waning year and begins the slow good-bye of the sun as the days become shorter and the darkness returns to the land.

In the Southern Hemisphere the mid-year solstice it falls on December 21st or 22nd. Which rings in the slow hello to the Sun as the days become longer and the darkness becomes shorter.

In both cases, the Sun is honored with bonfires and celebrations of the Holly and Oak Kings. But this year coincides with the celestial conjunction of Venus, Jupiter, and the crescent Moon. Making this a very special holiday to honor and celebrate.

Everyone here at Springwolf Reflections and Spring’s Haven
wish you and yours a very Merry and Joyful holiday celebration.
May the Faeries in your home and garden
bless your evening and all the days of your life.

 

You can learn more about the Summer Solstice through these articles here on Reflections:

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© Springwolfs Hanko

© 2015 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Springs Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Merry Mabon – The Feast of Avalon

mabonCelebrating The Fall Equinox

Mabon (May-bawn) is also known as the Feast of Avalon, the Festival of the Wine and the Festival of the Apple Harvest.

This year the Equinox will fall on Sunday, September 22, 2013 at 4:44 PM EDT.

On the equinox, night and day are nearly exactly the same length – 12 hours – all over the world. This is the reason it’s called an “equinox”, derived from Latin, meaning “equal night”.

Today we have better methods and tools to measure astrological events. So we know that this initial accepted idea of equal hours isn’t necessarily true. In reality equinoxes don’t have exactly 12 hours of daylight. But let’s not mess the holiday with that. It’s tradition! Continue reading