Pagan Holidays - Magic for the weekend Wiccan

Practical Magic: A Beginner's Guide to Crystals, Horoscopes, Psychics, and Spells - Nikki Van De Car 2017

Pagan Holidays
Magic for the weekend Wiccan

WE SEE WORDS LIKE BELTANE AND SAMHAIN AND KNOW AS WE read them that we aren’t pronouncing them right. We also know there’s something specific meant by them… but we don’t quite know what that is. And of course we’re curious about holidays that have been celebrated for centuries and transmuted into more acceptable contemporary holidays—like Christmas or Candlemas or Halloween. Where did these holidays come from? Was it all orgies and flying on broomsticks?

It’s pretty much an accepted fact that people didn’t really fly around on broomsticks, and the same goes for the whole orgy thing. Pagan, or Wiccan, holidays are less grotesque and macabre and much more inspirational and joyous than we might imagine.

There are eight traditional pagan holidays, and you’ll note that many of them fall on or around a lot of the holidays celebrated by more traditional religions and forms of spirituality. They also occur based on earth events, like the winter solstice or how the earth aligns with certain constellations or other planets in the solar system, and they almost always have something to do with the year’s harvest. For that reason, the dates of pagan holidays often aren’t fixed, as when the longest night of the season actually falls on December 22 one year, instead of 21. Our calendar isn’t that precise, so sometimes we have to be a little flexible. The pagan year runs from October 31 to October 30, and a day begins at sundown the previous evening, so Samhain, the start of the New Year, begins at sundown of October 30.

Each of these holidays, also called sabbats, are celebrated in order to honor a certain time of the year—like harvest or spring—or to honor a particular god or goddess—like Brighid, Lugh, or the Green Man. They are also times of reflection, when a witch might look within and see how she could have done things differently in the past year and how she might continue to evolve, treading lightly and with love through her life.

Your celebration can be as simple or elaborate as you like. It could be as grand and fun as throwing a garden party in honor of Beltane, complete with a maypole, an abundance of flowers, and oat cakes… or it could be something just for you, during which you light a rose-scented candle on the summer solstice, reflecting with gratitude on the happiness and prosperity you’ve enjoyed since winter.