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Posted: Nov. 17, 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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| Please No More Holidays! There Are Too Many To Deal With Today... ||Feb 20th. at 5:16:31 pm UTC|
|eaglewoman (Phoenix, Arizona US) ||Age: 46 - Email |
Please no more holidays! There are too many to deal with today! Every single day there is a holiday and more are added every day. I just prefer to stick with the wheel and leave it at that. What's wrong with writing stuff like this down in a book, like a Pagan history book. US history, English history, etc.from the last 50 years. There are too many wonderful people who would not get 'honored' by a holiday, but if there was a book, like LIFE then pictures could be donated, stories be told, dates put in history so all would know what has happened or is happening and keep our wonderfully rich history alive.
| How About Pagan Martyrs' Days? This Is Something Found As A Sort... ||Feb 20th. at 2:15:18 pm UTC|
|Aedh Rua (Prophetstown, Illinois US) ||Age: 35 - Email |
How about Pagan martyrs' days?
This is something found as a sort of minor modern "secular tradition" among some Asatru groups. It shows up in one of Kveldulf Gundarsson's books, among other places. The basic idea is to memorialize the day a particular person died for their Pagan or Heathen faith. Most of the Asatru examples were people killed in various grisly ways by Olaf the Lawbreaker, aka "Saint" Olaf, though there are also a few days dedicated to people who successfully resisted the Christian incursions into their area, Radbod of Friesenland being an example.
Other Pagan and Heathen traditions could have days dedicated to figures from their history, Hypatia of Alexandria being an obvious example from Greco-Roman traditions. Oddly enough, my own, Celtic, tradition doesn't have very many matryrs that I know of, unless you count people burned as witches, of whom there were a great many. Most of them, however, were in fact practicing Christians, which makes them rather unsuitable as Pagan martyrs.
There were a number of Druids who resisted Christianity with various degrees of success, and a number of kings who refused to convert, and continued to hold to the old ways well into the 500s or 600s, depending on which sources you believe. Whether it would be possible to dedicate days to them, I don't know.
There might also be some non-European Pagan traditions which would have people martyred by religions other that Christianity, particularly Middle Eastern traditions who lost leaders to Islam or very early Yahwism.
These sorts of days would be a good way to complement celebrations of various types of Pagan revival, such as the repeal of repressive laws, or the first Pagan to deliver a public invocation. It would help to create an impression of a Pagan History, a story of greatness, followed by oppression, survival, revival, and maybe eventually greatness again.
As to birthdays, I don't know, they might do for humor. Somehow I just can't take the idea of feasting on Papa G's or Starhawk's birthday very seriously. This is not meant to offend Starhawk; I rather suspect she would agree with me, particularly since one does not normally turn the birthday of a LIVING leader into a holiday. In any case, we are not the followers of Prophets who have Revealed to us the Truth and Chosen us from all human kind. I do know a few people who might take Gardner's birthday, or another one, as an excuse to get good and drunk, but that's about it.
| 8 Sabbats And 13 Moons Is Plenty, Don't You Think? I Must... ||Feb 20th. at 1:08:32 pm UTC|
|Marea (Niagara Falls, Ontario CA) ||Age: 30 - Email |
8 Sabbats and 13 moons is plenty, don't you think?
I must say that we have a series of festivals set in a wheel of the year for good reason - because everything has it's season and it's appropriate time for expression. We move through the sabbats in cyclical fashion because this is the way the natural world moves, and our purpose is to bring ourselves in balance with it. Certainly the celebration of milestones in pagan history is a laudable effort, but we can express that celebration in the context of a Sabbat or a moon if we wish. Consider celebrating the repeal of anti-witchcraft laws at Imbolc - the time of the quickening, when the first seed is given the impetus to flourish. Or how about celebrating the end of the Inquisition at Samhain, when the Roll of the Martyrs is often read? Just a couple ideas to get the creative juices flowing............
| Should There Be A New Holiday That All Pagans Must Recognize? No... ||Feb 20th. at 9:49:31 am UTC|
|Emerald (Fort Lauderdale, Florida US) ||Age: 19 |
Should there be a new holiday that all pagans must recognize? No, don't be ridiculous, there is no way to do that without being as bad as any of those other religions that tell their practitioners which dates they must celebrate, and how they must celebrate them. It's best if we can all come to agree on a new holiday without forcing it on anyone, and if we can all celebrate that holiday in our own way. Other than that, celebrate any day that feels special enough to you and/or your coven. Take me for instance, this month I'm celebrating Pentagram Night on the 26th. You can learn about Pentagram Night and many many other special occult-related occassions at the Witches' Web of Days - http://www2.witchesweb.com/days.html
Good luck finding new holidays.
| Heilsa All! I Definitely Believe That We Should On Some Level Celebrate... ||Feb 19th. at 11:05:58 pm UTC|
|Herwodis Brusse (Boone, North Carolina US) ||Age: 21 |
I definitely believe that we should on some level celebrate milestones big and small that mark an increase in unity and awareness, but whether or not these should be made into an official holiday I believe should also be based on whether or not they will recognize the previous achievements along similar lines of others. I think that we should have something along the lines of an all-encompassing day of remembrance for our ancestors (aside from a certain October holiday); without their first footsteps both religiously and culturally many of our traditions-both by religion and custom-might not exist or may not have survived.
| To Be Brief(my Computer's Being Whiny And Won't Post This) A... ||Feb 19th. at 7:34:14 pm UTC|
|Jason Carman (St. Louis, Missouri US) ||Age: 30 - Email |
To be brief(my computer's being whiny and won't post this) a national day whereby we celebrate
and be who we are in front of all would do wonders to eliminate the crazy ideas people have about us.
Imagine what good it would do to see people everywhere in public circles, or just in public, just dancing and frolicking for the Goddess! It would be a wonderful way to express all that is positive about our bodies and our minds to a culture full of those who find such unpleasantness in our bodies and minds.
| Oh Yes - After All, Most Pagans Will Take Any Reason We Can... ||Feb 19th. at 7:08:10 pm UTC|
|EnidMuse (Clevelnd, Ohio US) ||Age: 42 - Email |
OH YES - after all, most pagans will take any reason we can to have a celebration. Besides, which, the way things are in the world today,
we need to celerate and honor every victory.
| Gerald Gardner's Birthday (which Also Happens To Be Mine... ||Feb 19th. at 6:19:42 pm UTC|
|Maia BlackWolf (Milnesville, Pennsylvania US) ||Age: 32 - Email |
Gerald Gardner's birthday (which also happens to be mine).
| While There Have Been Strides In Acceptance, Has There Really Been One... ||Feb 19th. at 1:09:02 am UTC|
|Tanais (Spokane, Washington US) ||Age: 20 |
While there have been strides in acceptance, has there really been one ground breaking moment where we can say on this day something or other happened? I would like to see a day of religious toleration on the calendar sure. who wouldn't? Unfortunately, it takes a negative to get much notice these days. We have more days of rememberance in the United States then I care to count. Colombine, the bombing in Oaklaholma city, Pearl Harbor, D-day, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the list goes on and on. I dare someone to walk down the street and ask when the million man march was or when women earned the right to vote in this country. A pagan holiday or even a day of rememberance would never catch on but if you are talking a communal day of rememberance simply among others of similiar faith then I see no problem and in fact whole heartedly endorse it.
| We Should Abolish The Gregorian Calendar Entirely, And Adopt The One Made... ||Feb 18th. at 10:51:52 pm UTC|
|Stormwatch (Fortaleza, Brazil) ||Age: 20 |
We should abolish the gregorian calendar entirely, and adopt the one made by JRR Tolkien for his epic "The Lord of the Rings". What would be the exact beginning of this new era? January 24, 1984, when Apple Computer introduced the Macintosh ("...and you'll see why 1984 won't be like 1984"). Yeah, I'm a computer freak!
| I'm Sorry To Be Flippant But Should We Have A National Pagan... ||Feb 18th. at 9:59:35 pm UTC|
|Betsy (New York, New York US) ||Age: 0 |
I'm sorry to be flippant but should we have a National Pagan Day or National Pagan Week or Month? I think given the current political climate- not.
We have many holidays and festivities that we are not vocal about outside of our circles. I am willing to add more to this list. I have enough problems celebrating the Vernal Equinox as a holiday.
| My Personal Preference Is To Keep Only Holidays That Celebrate Nature And... ||Feb 18th. at 8:59:43 pm UTC|
|Helen (Kansas City, Kansas US) ||Age: 44 - Email |
My personal preference is to keep only holidays that celebrate Nature and the Gods, not civil type holidays such as "Invocation Day" as described. Founder birthdays, significant history events can go noted in published "Books of Days" and whoever wants to, can celebrate these. Anyone who knows me knows that I am very much into holidays and festivals (of Mediterranean paganism). But among these I ignore the civil celebrations (of which there are many in Greco-Roman traditions!) in favor of the ecstatic celebrations in honor of the Gods of Nature.
I'm not opposed to communal Holidays for those who want them, but I prefer to celebrate the Gods and the cycles of Nature.
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