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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 29 - 2/19/2001
How About Some New Holidays?
June 22, 2001 will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the repeal of the last Witchcraft law (or anti-Witchcraft law, if you will) in England. Shortly after that event, the flow of information related to ancient and modern Witchcraft and Wiccan practices, beliefs and rituals began to flow across the waters into the United States and beyond (Whether British Witches think that this was/is a good or bad thing is still debated in some circles). Should we do something to celebrate this event each year, and especially, during this 50th anniversary year? Someone else suggested that October 4th-marking the first time ever a Wiccan (Bryan Lankford) gave an invocation at a government assembly-be adopted as 'Invocation Day.' What founder birthdays, anniversaries or significant-to-Pagan-history events might we consider as communal Holidays?
| Reponses: There are 39 responses posted to this question.
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| If A Particular Coven Or Solitary Wants To Name A Certain Day... ||Feb 22nd. at 1:13:56 pm EST|
|Morgaine Moonsong (Springfield, Massachusetts US) ||Age: 20 |
If a particular coven or Solitary wants to name a certain day a holiday for themselves, that's fine. However there are way too many different perspectives to have just one day marked off as a pagan holiday. Because there are so many "founders" of the Craft i.e. founders of traditions, and a whole heckuva lot of important Pagan people it would be extremely difficult to honor all of these people by themselves. Perhaps a day set aside as an official Pagan Pride Day would be good, but there are so many different opinions how would any one set a day that would satisfy the majority? Would a prominent Pagan get to pick the day or would there be a poll? Would only one coven be involved in the choosing or would you get every coven and solitary to choose? And if so how would the decision be made? Unfortunately, this is a very tough topic, as it could step on a lot of toes. Would we want the government to declare this a national holiday? Boy, that would raise a lot of ruckus with the radical right wing! This is something that needs a lot of planning and thought.
| I Do Think That There Should Be A National Pegan Pride Day... ||Feb 22nd. at 11:56:01 pm EST|
|Aspen (Gulf Shores, Alabama US) ||Age: 17 - Email |
I do think that there should be a national pegan pride day, but there are many consequences on the thought of that. If the media should get its filthy hands on it all of it would be blown out of proportion and many problems would arise. But you also have to think about the civil rights movement, that had a majority as an opposition but it still went through and now there is a national black history month. I do not have any suggestions on how to choose such a day but i stongly think that one should be honored, not only for the great pegans who have set a precident for us to follow, but also for all of those ancient pegans in celtic Britian, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and especially for our bravest ancestors in the last pegan nation of Lithuania. We should honor our past, not only our recent past but our ancient past. Remember more pegans have died for our beliefs than any other group in the history of humanity.
| I Believe That A Special Holiday For Pagans Would Nice. I Lean... ||Feb 23rd. at 7:25:17 am EST|
|Anthony Griego (Hamden, Connecticut US) ||Age: 58 |
I believe that a special holiday for Pagans would nice. I lean more towards Pagan Pride Day which has been celebrated around September 22-24. That day would be a good time to get positive information out about who Pagans, Witches and Wiccans are and what we believe in. Because of the misinformation out there many of us are still in the closet Pagan Pride Day would honor us all, not any special person or event I hope I will see this come to pass in my lifetime. Connecticut is the location of the first Witch executed for Witchcraft in the North America. Alse Young of Windsor, Connecticut was hung in Hartford, Connecticut on May 26, 1647.
| Instead Of "new" Holidays, How About Going Back And Finding Some More... ||Feb 23rd. at 11:28:44 am EST|
|SGIWizard (St. Louis, Missouri US) ||Age: 34 - Email |
Instead of "new" holidays, how about going back and finding some more "old" ones? Why not turn to texts & scriptures of ancient Pagan cultures, e.g. Norse, Celtic, Persian or Sumerian (the oldest of all), and find out what sacred days those peoples celebrated, and why? Some of those days will no doubt be the same Sabbats we recognize today, but there could be some additional celebrations we could add to our Pagan Year to enrich it even further. I've been wanting to do this for a long time but haven't gotten around to it. It's also a way to connect with our ancient ancestors from whom our beliefs and practices originated, and remind ourselves that Paganism is not a 20th century sociopolitical invention.
| Mm Everyone! I've Taken The Time To Read Through What Some People... ||Feb 23rd. at 2:00:02 pm EST|
|Whitefeather Dolphin-moon Skyowl (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario CA) ||Age: 16 - Email |
I've taken the time to read through what some people have written, and it's good stuff. I agree with the idea of a Pagan Pride Day, an official day we can all have to go out into our communities and be Pagan without fear. But, I don't think any other holiday would be neccessary. I already have eight Sabbats, not to mention 13 Esbats to celebrate all year, so the addition of another holiday seems a bit much. Seems to me that all the honour that special pagans need (Scott Cunningham, SilverRaven Wolf, Starhawk, Gerald Gardner etc) is the fact that many many many many many people follow their teachings to a greater of lesser degree. That's recognition enough. As for days marking the final death of a witch, or the repealing of laws, they should be allowed to pass to memory quietly, one as a tragedy, one as a great victory. (And if you don't know which is which, go jump off a bridge!) :(
In closing, Hurray for a Pagan Pride Day! Let me know of the date, eh?
| I Think That We Should Make Invocation Day An Official Holidayand That... ||Feb 23rd. at 3:18:01 pm EST|
|Lila Astarte (East Meadow, New York US) ||Age: 35 |
I think that we should make Invocation Day an official holidayand that we should celebrate it on October 4th. It is an excellent way to mark the ending of our year. I think that the first suggestion of celebrating the fiftieth annerversary of the last anti-witchcraft law should be remembered and not forgotten but I feel it might interfer with the celebration of the summer solstice. I feel it should be a dedication day, not a celebration day.
| As A Solitary, I Would Like To See A National "day Of... ||Feb 24th. at 2:34:00 am EST|
|Dreaming Cougar (bryant, Arkansas US) ||Age: 39 - Email |
As a solitary, I would like to see a national "Day of Remembrance". A day set aside for all Pagan paths to assemble together to acknowledge our Ancestors and the sacrifices made to pass down the 'ways'. I know we have Samhain, but what I would like to see, is something on a bigger and more spiritual level. If I had to pick one person to recognize, I guess it would have to be Lady Sheba. Although choosing one pioneer of our century would be a monumental task. There have been so many wonderful people who have risked all to bring our paths into the light after so many centuries of shadows.
| How About Looking Into The Dates Of Incorportation Of The First Openly... ||Feb 24th. at 2:23:11 pm EST|
|Christopher Bingham (Snohmish, Washington US) ||Age: 40 - Email |
How about looking into the dates of incorportation of the first openly Pagan churches? I could be mistaken, but I beleive the Church of All Worlds was started in 1962. Then there is the ATC incorporated in 1985 (I THINK)I bet if we started with largests organizations we'd have another week of holidays!
I wouldn't celebrate the first time a Pagan gave an invocation at a Government event, however. While it's great that we're at the table, it's a sad day for me when there is a government sponsored table at all. I think the best meetings start witha simple "hello - let's get to the issues. Lunch is in an hour. Let's get it done..."
| This Is Inevitably A Political Issue. I Am Somewhat Familiar With The... ||Feb 24th. at 3:06:20 pm EST|
|sphinxring (Snoqualmie, Washington US) ||Age: 48 - Email |
This is inevitably a political issue. I am somewhat familiar with the political process from the inside (ugh!). Does anyone remember the firestorm of debate about Martin Luther King Jr. Day? I am NOT saying it wouldn't be worth doing, but any half-assed proposal will be shunned. Asking official blessing from political leaders is like asking for a political endorsement. For the same reason Christian religious holidays are becoming problematic, and pagan ones would face the same constitutional issues.
I'd recommend that any thought of an "official" holiday be place long after establishing a tradition that can be referenced.
If however a day of remembrence of the honored dead, martyrs etc. were to be promoted as an unofficial but public event, we are merely looking at the usual PR requirements of a public event. That means that community by community, pagan events could get news coverage.
The memory of Maypole celebrations was accepted until very recent times.
There's a goal folks... BRING BACK THE MAYPOLE! Do it this spring.
| Another Pagan Holiday?! We've Got Pagan Pride Day, A Day That Isn't... ||Feb 24th. at 4:47:48 pm EST|
|Liz Scally (Vancouver, British Columbia CA) ||Age: 29 - Email |
Another Pagan holiday?! We've got Pagan Pride Day, a day that isn't made enough of in these parts (Southern British Columbia, Canada). The repeal of the British witchcraft laws, Old Folks' birth/death dates and the like are significant days, too, I agree, but it's better, I think, to focus on one day, a neutral day, to make ourselves visible. Pagan Pride celebrations should be a way to not only bring Pagan/Wiccan folk together, but also tell the world something about us. And it's better to choose a neutral day, not a Sabbat, to show solidarity and share with non-Pagans, because darn it all, we need our Sabbats to ourselves. It's hard enough scheduling time to do the Sabbat thing without making it a public celebration of ourselves and our history. Sorry if I sound all crotchety and grumpy...
| I Think That We Should Have A National Holiday Like Pagan Pride... ||Feb 24th. at 9:43:09 pm EST|
|Anon (Reading, England UK) ||Age: 16 - Email |
I think that we should have a national holiday like Pagan Pride day in the UK because as far as I am aware there aren't any holidays, apart from Samhain, that are recognised by non-pagans although we probably gave them most of their holidays. It would be a good idea to celebrate the repealling of the anti-Witchcraft laws in Britain but it is the day after the Summer Solstice so maybe we could have it then instead?
| Kia Ora Just A Suggestion From Downunder - As I Browsed Through All... ||Feb 25th. at 6:58:46 pm EST|
|Brighid (Ohaeawai, New Zealand) ||Age: 57 |
Just a suggestion from DownUnder - as I browsed through all the previous suggestions, I noticed that noone so far has considered discussing a GLOBAL approach to a special day. We pagans from NZ, Australia, S Africa, S America etc
already celebrate the Sabbats etc 6 months before (or behind!) our brothers and sisters in the Northern Hemisphere, so a suggestion such as using the Maypole as a symbol and Beltaine as the Day (for instance), would mean only half the world could take part - the rest would have to wait 6 months!
1 We all see the Moon's phases together - how about the day she is closest to the Earth?
2 We all share the mundane world's calendar, so a date from this would at least be inclusive of both hemispheres.
3 If the latter, it would be better if the person/event being remembered were from the distant past, therefore being more likely to be known by everyone, and not giving any particular country today more emphasis.
4 Perhaps don't bother at all - why should any particular day on the spiral of Life be any more important than any other? They are all celebratory.
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