Monday, 6 January 2014

A New Year?

So, A New Year is upon us, 2014 CE, if you follow the accepted labeling of time as per the Roman Calendar, and yet, in these Isles those of our Ancestors who lived pre-Christianity measured the year from another point, rather than some arbitrary date a week after the Christian celebration of Christmas (which itself is nothing more than an attempt by the church to supersede the Roman festival of Saturnalia and usurp the festivities to their own ends) our Ancestors celebrated the New Year as starting after Samhain.

Neo-pagans tend to celebrate 8 festivals, Yule at the midwinter solstice, Imbolc at the first cross quarter, Ostara at the Spring Equinox (another celebration usurped in name and imagery by the church into Easter), Beltane at May Day (2nd cross quarter), Litha/Lughnasadh at the Summer Solstice, Lammas at the 3rd cross quarter, Mabon at the Autumn Equinox and Samhain at the last cross quarter.

This has become the accepted Ritual Calendar for most Pagans, and yet, were all of these festivals actually all celebrated by our Ancestors, and were they on the dates we are told?

Certain of these festivals come from different regions and pantheons, Ostara is distinctly Saxon in origin, Yule is Norse, Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh and Samhain are from the Celtic world, it is fairly unlikely that today's Ritual Calendar was followed by the Witches of Old, but aspects of it, correspondences and certain ritual aspects would definitely have been used, although exactly what, when and how is something that only you can judge for yourself.

Never be afraid to question the accepted norm, to ask questions that others may consider strange, never be afraid to follow your own heart, go with what feels right for yourself and ignore that which does not work. For in doing so you will be crafting your own Crooked Path, one that has meaning and personal validity, something that many seek but ultimately do not find by blindly following what is accepted by most.

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