Saturday, January 22, 2011

2011 Pagan and Wiccan Celebration Calendar

“The Wheel of the Year”

The Eight Wiccan and Pagan sabbats are ancient holidays that modern Witches and Pagans celebrate still today with feasting, ritual, magic and camaraderie. Each festival offers a captivating opportunity for the Wiccan magic spells and Pagan rituals best suited to the season. Many Wiccans and Pagans choose to begin the celebration of these holidays at sundown the day before the dates given below.

Wiccan and Pagan Sabbats and the Seasons

Each of these hallmarks of the Wheel of the Year has its own special feeling in large part due to the close association between Wicca and Paganism in the natural world and its seasons. For some it is found curious that the dates of the sabbats are reversed in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres however this is to reflect this close association between the Wiccan faith and the seasons. Some Wiccans and Pagans slightly alter the dates the Sabbat of Imbolc which marks the return of Spring, to reflect local seasonal variations.

The Sabbat of Imbolc

Imbolc is celebrated February 2, 2011 in the Northern Hemisphere and August 1, 2011 in the Southern Hemisphere. Imbolc is a time of renewal and celebration for the Wiccan and Pagan community. Celebrate the return of spring with these Imbolc Spells and Rituals.

The Sabbat of Ostara at the Spring Equinox

Ostara, (Wiccan Easter), takes place March 20, 2011 in the Northern Hemisphere, and September 23, 2011 in the South. Ostara is a time of growth symbolized by the Spring Hare.

The Sabbat of Beltane

May 1, 2011 in the Northern Hemisphere and November 1, 2011 in the Southern Hemisphere, Beltane is a festival of fertility symbolized by the union of the God and Goddess. Fires, socializing and being in nature are all fitting celebrations at this time.

The Sabbat of Litha at the Summer Solstice

Litha or the Summer Solstice falls on June 21, 2011 in the Northern Hemisphere and December 22, 2011 in the Southern Hemisphere. The Pagan and Wiccan Festival of Litha is an important point in the Wheel of the Year; a time for celebration of the abundance of summer, as well as being a time to prepare for the darkening to come.

The Sabbat of Lughnasadh or Lammas

Lughnasadh or Lammas falls on August 1, 2011 in the Northern Hemisphere, and February 2, 2011 in the Southern Hemisphere. The Celtic Festival of Lughnasadh or Lammas celebrates the fertility of the harvest while offering Wiccans and Pagans the opportunity to initiate change in their lives.

The Sabbat of Mabon at the Fall Equinox

The Autumn Equinox festival of Mabon is September 23, 2011 in the Northern Hemisphere and March 20, 2011in the Southern Hemisphere. The Sabbat of Mabon is time of harmony marking the beginning of the turning within for inner spiritual work over the winter.

The Sabbat of Samhain

The day of Samhain is November 1, 2011 in the Northern Hemisphere, and May 1, 2011 in the Southern Hemisphere, however the Wiccan celebrations of Samhain often begin a sundown on the day before these dates. Samhain is a wonderful time for magic and ritual alongside the more familiar celebrations of Halloween.

The Sabbat of Yule at the Winter Solstice

The Sabbat of Yule falls on the Winter solstice on December 22, 2011 in the Northern Hemisphere, and on June 21, 2011 in the Southern Hemisphere. Wiccans choose what to take with them into the New Year, and what to leave behind at the evocative and magical festival of Yule, the Winter Solstice Wicca and Pagan Festival.

Together, Pagans and Wiccans collectively feel the inherent meaning associated with each of the sabbats. The interconnectedness with nature is celebrated by maintaining traditions and rites that date from centuries past.

Fed Up With Perfectionism?

"If a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing badly." -- G.K. Chesterton

Ever turn a proverb upside down? In “Way of All Flesh” by Samuel Butler, Ernest was annoyed and surprised at his parents for wanting him to be more religious all his life, and when he did, they were still not satisfied. He said to himself that a prophet was not without honors save in his own country, but he had gotten into an odious habit of turning proverbs upside down, and it occurred to him that a country is sometimes not without honor save for its own prophet.

It helps sometimes, to see what happens. Many of us are brought up to believe that we have to do, excel, finish first, get on the team, do a good job, see it through, get it done on time, say it right, get ahead, and on and on, better and better as we go. Why? Maybe that's the way Dad did it; and Grandma did it and that's just the way it's supposed to be.

And then, inevitably, we'd fail or fall. So we'd turn back on ourselves in shame, beat ourselves up, maybe turn to alcohol or drugs or some other addiction. If we were failures in public, then many of us would make up our own private world where failure doesn't exist. In this little world fantasy ruled, and in fantasy there are only successes; everybody scores

But I have come to know that it doesn't have to be so. We can break the spell and stop beating ourselves, and get away from Father's angry voice or that disappointed look on Mother's face. We can do things at our own speed, in our own unique way, on our own timeline, just for the joy of doing them.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

God Loves Me Because I’m Human Not Despite It


For so it must be, and help me to do my part.”  -- A Tibetan Master

It’s been said that God exists only in the present. That means we must live in the present if we are to find God.  In God’s eyes, we are worthy and loveable as we are, today.  ‘God never rejects part of creation.

Can we accept that our God, Higher Power or Universe loved us even we were at our very worst? Can we accept that God loves us if we are struggling, or slipping today?  If this happens, we can pick ourselves up again and make better choices and pray to God for help.

The power of the present makes it possible for God to love each one of us unconditionally because God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, just willing to do our very best.  Only in the present do we have the power to choose our attitudes and actions, and it is this freedom that links us to God’s power.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Better Bend Than Break

Snow Trees 162

There’s an old fable about the competition between the reed and the oak during a gale storm. As the wind howled, the oak boasted, while the reed said nothing. The wind became a tempest, and the reed bent down flexibly to the ground. The oak fell, uprooted.

Sometimes we seem strong but we are just being stubborn. We become rigid in our moral positions and don’t even try to understand the problems of those around us. We like to be thought of as uncompromising and tough.

Maybe we’re frightened. Perhaps we fear that if we even start to compromise we will be lost; on sign of weakness and the dam will burst and we’ll be up to our old tricks again.

Don’t confuse rigidity with true strength. To be strong we need to be tolerant, responsive, and gentle. We need to be strong in a loving, flexible, human way. This is a central part of one’s personal growth.

What I Want is to be Myself Again

Mark artistic photo edit 2

I’m learning that when we lose faith in our feelings, we lose faith in ourselves and become outer-directed. That is, we look to the world to tell us how to feel and what to do.  We seek approval and love from others so we can prove to ourselves that we are worthy.  Paradoxically, to be outer-directed is to be self-absorbed. How can this be?  We feel so unsure of who we are , that we cannot let go, be spontaneous or real.

We can reclaim ourselves by becoming inner-directed.  This means looking within ourselves for the direction we need.  When we’re just beginning to learn to trust our feelings, this can seem to be truly agonizing.  It means trusting the reality of our needs and our right to express them.  Only then can we find the faith in ourselves and in life, that we have lacked.

Becoming inner-directed takes self-acceptance and self-love.  It also takes time. Until then, there will be no real peace because it is the only way to find ourselves.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Faith Is


Faith is putting all your eggs in God's basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch.

-- Ramona C. Carroll

The Duality of Me

duality of me


I am a Gemini. There was a time when I was ashamed to say that I'm a Gemini.  People would begin to go off about how horrible their entire life experience has been with us Gems.  Really.  And then they'd hurl their judgments of me (cloaked as comparisons of course), by the time they were done, I felt like an inappropriate, over talkative, manipulative ass. I'd try to recover by saying, "I'm gregarious".  But you wouldn't even believe the number of individuals that chose to believe that I'm not a safe person to be around - because I'm a Gemini.  Well let me tell you this: there is a duality about me.  And it's all good. Sure, I may be Bi-polar.  But that's all good too.

Some of my friends and family actually enjoy that I'm a Gemini.  My duality.  Yes, there seems to be two of me in many aspects of my life.  But to a degree, it balances me.  I still love myself when I hate myself.  See myself as honest when I'm lying.  See myself as creative when I feel like a slug.  See what I mean?  And you know what?  I am gregarious!  I love people.  Love to hate 'em and love to love 'em.  Sometimes I love too fast.  Sometimes I want all that I cannot have or possess.  But overall, I love who I am, and am happy that I'm loved by someone else.