Monday, May 3, 2010

Earth Holy Days (8 Pagan Sabbats)

These are the mark of the seasons that have been used to honor the Great mother and Earth for much of human existence. They come from astronomy. Seasonal worship was not only common to Europe but to Africa, Asia, Native Americans, South Americans, and Aboriginals. I state this because our western culture has much racism and tends to make herstory and history more Eurocentric.

Many ancestors from all the ancient civilizations (Egyptian, Incan, Mayan, Sumerian, etc) understood the great cycles of the Goddess & the Earth and her key periods of power and release.

February 2
Festival of Renewal. The time of Initiation.
Ruled by the Daughter.
Time to dedicate and re-dedicate your life to the Goddess. Can be celebrated with binding ceremonies. It is the first signs of spring and new life.

Names: Imbolc (means "in the belly"), Imbolg, Candlemas, Feimbolc, Feast of Ormelc, Oimelc, Feast of Pan, Brigit, Feast of Brigid, Anagantios, Festival of Milk, Festival of Waxing Light, Nos Gwyl Fair.

March 20-22
Spring Equinox
Ruled by The maiden and the number 3.
Time of fire and fertility festival. Balance between our feminine and masculine energies, light and dark, and our spiritual and physical lives.

Names: Ostara,  Yster, Alban Eilir, Eostre, Bacchanalia, Lady Day, Gwyl Canol Gwenwynol (and, of course, "Easter").

May 1
Festival of Expectation. Time of the lovers.
Honoring sacred sexual union. Fertility and fire rites. Beginning of the light part of the year. It's a time to welcome the abundance of the fertile earth. It's the time when the earth mother opens up to the fertility god. Lots of festivals (i.e. the lighting of bonfires and the winding of the May Pole) take place at this time.

Names: Beltane (means "bright fire"), Beltine, Beltaine, Bealtine, Bealtaine, Belotinia, Walpurgisnacht, Cyntefyn, May Eve, Roodmas, Roodmass, Cethsamhain, Nos Galon-Mai

June 20-22
Summer Solstice
Ruled by the Mother and the number 6. This is the time of greatly energizing our creative projects and works. The time of abundance and wholeness. Nurturing ourselves and others. Longest day of the year. Celebrating the power of the sun. The Sun God is at the peak of his power

Names: Litha, Alba Helfin, Midsummer, Vestalia, Whitsuntide, Gwyl Canol Haf

August 1
Festival of Reminder. Time of harvest.
Ruled by the Amazon and female warrior. Time of the first fruits of the harvest. Begin reaping our harvest or good. First harvest. The days are becoming shorter and shorter as the Sun God's power wanes

Names: Lammas, Lughnasadh, Loaf-Mass, Lammas-Tide, Ceresalia, Elembiuos, First Harvest, Lad Day, Lugh Samhioldanach, Nos Calon Awst

September 20-22
Autumn equinox
Ruled by the Matriarch.
Time of the festival of thanksgiving and the main harvest. The bountiful mother. Second harvest. There is equal amount of day and night. Witches' Thanksgiving.

Names: Mabon, Alban Elfed, Festival of Dionysus, Second Harvest, Wine Harvest, Harvest Home, Gwyl Canol Hydref, Harvest Home, Harvestide

October 31/ November 1
Festival of Remembrance. Time of death and the dead.
Time of rebirthing the self. Honoring of death, the ancestors and the sacred darkness. The veil between the worlds are at their thinnest. Beginning of the dark part of the year. Significant time for divination and sorcery. The sun makes its way back to the earth

Names: Samhain [which means "Summer's End"], Sambain, Samhein, Samain, Samonios, Samhuinn, Samfhuin, La Samon, Shadowfest, All Hallow's Eve, Martinmas, Hallowmas, Blood Harvest, Calan Gaeaf, Third Harvest, November Eve, Ancestor Night, Nos Galon Gaeof, Hallowtide (and, of course, "Halloween" [Hallowe'en]).

December 20-22
Winter Solstice
Ruled by The Crone and the number 9.
Beginning of winter. Time of self-reflection, clearing, and solitude. Rebirth of the sun god by The Great Mother.Longest night of the year.  The Great Mother gives birth to the Sun God.

Names: Yule, Saturnalia, Midwinter, Alban Arthan, Finn's Eve, Feast of Sola Invicta [the invincible sun], Modranect, Modranecht, Modresnacht, Mother Night (and, of course, "Christmas").

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