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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Nov. 17, 2002   This Page Viewed: 13,143,620  

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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. Reverse Sort 

Instead Of Creating A New Holiday I Believe We, As Pagans, Should... Mar 1st. at 8:32:40 am EST

Joseph Hancock (Maple Creek, Saskatchewan CA) Age: 41 - Email

Instead of creating a new Holiday I believe we, as pagans, should recapture Samhain as a high and holy day. I feel this has always been our special day, and that cannot be changed no matter what abuses have been heaped upon it and false stories and legends are around it. The days of the Sabbats would be fine but I personally prefer Samhain since it is already in place. What do you think?

I Have Been Reading Many Of The Responses And I Must Agree... Mar 1st. at 3:35:31 am EST

Amalthia (Houston, Texas US) Age: 45 - Email

I have been reading many of the responses and I must agree to Pagan Pride Day as a major holiday for Pagans. I was the first state coordinator, here in Texas, back in 1998. Since then I have attended the second celebration and volunteered for the third. It has grown greatly since the humble beginings in '98. It not only gets the word out about who we are and who we are not but it also benefits a charity in the process. We have collected food for the food banks in our area and this past celebration helped a battered women's group. This celebration takes place on or about the Autumnal Equinox (share the harvest). It is a win win celebration.

I Believe We Are Too Cluttered Up With Holidays As It Is... Feb 28th. at 9:23:50 am EST

MalenRuadhRhen (Bristol, Connecticut US) Age: 30 - Email

I believe we are too cluttered up with holidays as it is. Who really *celebrates* President's Day, or Labor Day anyway? Perhaps *holiday* is the wrong idea. A better idea might me an observance/education day instead. Use days like the exmapled *Invocation Day* as a day to reflect on paganism in general and perhaps educate the public about who we REALLY are and what we stand for, rather than use those days as another empty *holiday*

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

Kia ora
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!
My thoughts:

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.
Blessed Be

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?

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...

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.

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..."

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.

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.

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

MM everyone!

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?

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.

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