Celebrate significant milestones in pagan and ancient history each turn of the Wiccan Wheel of Days—from January 1st through December 31st.Researched and compiled by contemporary Wiccan expert and practicing witch Gerina Dunwich, this day-by-day calendar commemorates the pagan festivals and feasts, birthdays, and major events in Wiccan history, legend, and lore. Entries include the Roman festival of Carmentalia on January 11th, Whitsunday on June 4th, and the Chinese Festival of the Hungry Ghosts on August 18th. Highlighting Eastern, Western, and Native American holidays, feasts, and celebrations, The Wicca Book of Days is essential both as a Witch’s calendar and as a highly browsable history of pagan culture and folklore from ancient times to the present.
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||3 MB|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
January, the first month of the current Gregorian calendar and the second month of Winter's rule, derives its name from the ancient Roman god Janus.
The traditional birthstone amulet of January is the garnet; and the carnation and the snowdrop are the month's traditional flowers.
January is shared by the astrological signs of Capricorn the Goat and Aquarius the Water-Bearer, and is sacred to the following Pagan deities: Antu, Felicitas, Inanna, Irene, Janus, Pax, and Venus.
NEW YEAR'S DAY
This day is sacred to the goddesses known as the Three Fates, the German goddess Bertha, the Morrigan, the Parcae, and the Japanese household gods.
Many modern Witches and Wiccans around the world traditionally start off the new year with a spell for good luck and a ritual to bless the new year with peace, love, health, and prosperity for all.
This is a traditional time for ending bad habits and beginning New Year resolutions.
The first day of January was dedicated by the ancient Romans to the god Janus (whom the month is named after). Janus possesses two identical faces looking in opposite directions: one to the past, and the other to the future. He is a god of gates and doorways, and a deity associated with journeys and the beginning of things.
The birth of the Pagan goddess Inanna has been celebrated annually on this date since ancient times. Inanna is the Sumerian queen of heaven and earth, and a deity who presides over both love and war.
Every year on this date, the Perihelion of the Earth takes place. When this occurs, the planet Earth reaches the point in its orbit closest to the Sun. Many astrologers consider this to be a highly significant event.
In ancient Egypt, a religious ceremony known as the Advent of Isis from Phoenecia was performed yearly on this date in honor of the goddess Isis.
On this day, an annual fertility ceremony known as the Deer Dances is performed by the Native American tribe of the Pueblo in the southwestern United States. The ceremony, which includes sacred ritual dances performed by shamans wearing deer headdresses, is centuries-old and dedicated to the great female spirit-goddesses known as the Deer Mothers.
In ancient Greece, a Pagan religious festival called the Lenaia was celebrated each year on this date in honor of Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility.
In Korea, the annual Sacrifice to the Seven Stars (Chilseong-je) is performed on this date at midnight. To receive good fortune and divine blessings, water and white rice are offered to the god who rules the constellation Ursa Major.
Twelfth Night and Wassail Eve (in England) heralds the end of Christmastide.
In ancient Egyptian times, it was believed that the waters of the mystical and sacred River Nile possessed special magickal powers on this date.
On this date in the year 1918, renowned astrologer and author Jeane Dixon was born in Medford, Wisconsin.
DAY OF THE TRIPLE GODDESS
On this date in the year 1988, Circle Sanctuary of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, became legally recognized as a Wiccan Church by its local Township and County levels of government. Circle Sanctuary's attainment of church zoning was a significant victory for Wiccans around the world, for it was the first time a Witchcraft group had been publicly sanctioned as a church by local government officials.
In the seventeenth century, it was customary on this day for a special Epiphany Cake to be baked with a coin in it. Whoever was lucky enough to receive the portion containing the coin was saluted by the family as a "king" or "queen" for the day. As part of the tradition, the "king" or "queen" would draw cross symbols on the ceiling with white chalk to drive out evil spirits and ward off misfortune.
OLD DRUID'S NEW YEAR
In ancient Greece, Midwife's Day (dedicated to the goddess Babo) was celebrated annually on this date, while an annual festival called Justicia's Day was celebrated by the early Romans.
In ancient times, this day was dedicated to the Norse goddess Freya (or Freyja), who presided over both love and fertility.
On this date in the year 1989, Jamie Dodge (a Wiccan who had been fired from her job at the Salvation Army because of her Wiccan beliefs) won a lawsuit against her former employer for violating her First Amendment right to freedom of religion and unnecessary entanglement of government with religion.
On this date in the year 1880, "Old Dorothy" Clutterbuck was born in Bengal. She belonged to a hereditary Witch coven in the New Forest of England, and was the High Priestess who initiated Gerald B. Gardner into the Craft in 1939. She passed away in the year 1951.
The Feast of Dreams, a centuries-old ritual, is performed annually by the Native American Indian tribe of the Iroquois to celebrate their New Year, which occurs on this date.
In rural England and Scotland, Plough Monday (the first Monday after Epiphany) occurs on or around this date. A plough is traditionally paraded through the streets and a ritual sweeping with brooms is performed to drive away evil spirits from the village.
In years gone by, an old ritual to ward off Witches was performed annually on this date in many fishing villages along the coast of Scotland. At sunset, a barrel of tar would be placed on top of a pole, set on fire, and allowed to burn throughout the night. Afterwards, charred pieces of it would\ then be used by the villagers and fishermen as protective charms.
In ancient Rome, a festival called the Carmentalia was celebrated annually, beginning on this date and lasting until the fifteenth of January. The festival honored the Roman goddess Carmenta, a deity presiding over childbirth, whose priestesses cast the fortunes of children at the moment of their birth.
Juturna, the ancient Italian goddess of pools and still waters, is honored each year on this day.
Each year on this date, a sacred solstice ritual called the Makara-Sankranti is celebrated by Hindus in India with saffron, songs of joy, and ritual baths in sacred rivers.
Saint Silvester's Day. Evil spirits are traditionally driven away with clanging bells on this night by villagers in Urnasch, Switzerland, where the pre-Julian New Year's Eve continues to be celebrated on this date.
In pre-Christian Ireland, the thirteenth day of January was celebrated each year as the Feast of Brewing by the ancient and mysterious priests known as the Druids.
On this date in the year 1967, a psychedelic spiritual "pow-wow" called the Human Be-In took place in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. The event drew approximately 20,000 people (including Allen Ginsberg and Timothy Leary) and consisted of chanting, dancing, poetry readings, music, and celebrations of love and the unity of humankind.
In Southern India, the three-day Pongal festival begins on this date each year to celebrate the January rice harvest, honor the great sun-god Surya, and give thanks to the spirits who bring the rainy season.
In ancient Rome, a sacred festival called the Feast of the Ass was celebrated each year on this date in honor of the goddess Vesta and the ass that saved her. Vesta presided over the hearth and her temple was lit by a sacred fire tended by six virgin priestesses known as the Vestal Virgins.
Each year on this date in the country of Indonesia, the fire-god Betoro Bromo is honored by Buddhist monks and pilgrims who gather at Mount Bromo. At the first stroke of midnight, offerings of food and flowers are cast into the volcano where the god is believed to dwell.
On this date in the year 1976, the famous astrologer and author known as Zolar died.
Wassailing the Apple Trees, a ritual dating back to old Celtic Britain, is held annually on this date (the eve of the old Twelfth Night). A traditional libation of cider is poured on the roots of apple trees while an old invocation is sung to the tree in order to ensure fertility and to drive away all evil-natured supernatural entities.
In the country of China, the kitchen-god Zao Jun is honored with prayers and offerings of sweet rice cakes each year on this night, which marks the end of the Chinese year. For luck, paper images of the god are burned and dried beans are thrown onto the roofs of houses.
Each year on this date, the Thorrablottar (also known as Husband's Day) is celebrated in Iceland. In pre-Christian times, it was celebrated as a Pagan festival in honor of the mighty god Thor, the red-bearded lord of lightning bolts and thunder.
On this date (approximately), the Sun enters the astrological sign of Aquarius. Persons born under the sign of the Water Bearer are said to be inventive, independent, unconventional, and often idealistic. Those born on this day, the cusp of Capricorn and Aquarius, are believed to make the best astrologers. Aquarius is an air sign and is ruled by the planets Saturn and Uranus.
On this date (approximately) in the year 2160, the Age of Aquarius will begin when the Sun moves into the 11th sign of the zodiac. According to many occultists and astrologers, the following two thousand years will be a Golden Age of spiritual enlightenment, mind power, world peace, love, and harmony. However, according to many prophets, the Age of Aquarius will also bring cataclysmic changes in the Earth and its atmosphere.
Saint Agnes' Day. On the eve of Saint Agnes' Day, according to ancient legend, an unmarried woman will see her future husband in a dream. Saint Agnes' Day (named after the Roman Catholic child martyr who was beheaded in the year 304 A.D. for refusing to marry) is an ideal time for Witches to cast love spells and prepare love potions and charms.
This day of the year is sacred to Yngona, an ancient goddess worshipped by the Danish people in pre-Christian times.
Festival of the Muses. Each year on this date, the invisible spirits that inspire and watch over all poets, musicians, and artists are honored and invoked with Goddess-inspired poetry, Pagan folk songs, music, and dancing.
A Pagan festival known as the Day of Hathor is celebrated annually on this date in Egypt to honor the ancient cow-headed goddess of heaven, beauty, and love. A libation of cow's milk is poured into the River Nile as prayers to the goddess are recited.
Ekeko, the Aymara Indian pot-bellied god of prosperity, is honored on this date with an annual fair called the Alacitas, which is held in La Paz, Bolivia.
In Hungary, a Pagan purification ceremony known as the Blessing of the Candle of the Happy Women is performed annually on this date.
Good-luck rituals are traditionally performed during the Vietnamese Lunar New Year Festival (Tet), which takes place annually on or around this date. Offerings are made to ancient deities and ancestors, traditional feasts are prepared, and evil spirits are driven away with whistles, bells, and horns.
Each year on the second new moon after the winter solstice (which normally occurs on or around this time of the month), the traditional Chinese New Year begins and is celebrated for two consecutive weeks until the full moon. On the first day of the New Year, ancestral spirits are honored and houses are decorated with strips of red paper to attract good luck and ward off evil ghosts. A Lantern Festival and Dragon Parade traditionally take place on the last night of the New Year celebration.
On this date, the annual Day of Ishtar ceremony takes place to honor the ancient Assyrian/Babylonian goddess of love, fertility, and battle. Ishtar is identified with the ancient Phoenician goddess called Astarte.
In the Shetland Islands, a centuries-old fire festival known as Up-Helly-Aa is held each year on the last Tuesday of January (which normally falls around this date). The festival, which marks the end of the traditional Yuletide and pays tribute to the old gods and goddesses of the ancient Viking religion, climaxes with the torching of a replica of a Viking ship. The day ends with a traditional prayer to drive away evil entities from village homes.
On this day in the year 1688, famous mystic, scientist, and spiritualist-medium Emanuel Swedenborg was born in Sweden. His works had a major influence upon the secret societies of the eighteenth century, and a religion based on his mystical theological philosophy was founded in his name by his followers.
In the country of Vietnam, a mystical and centuries-old Parade of the Unicorns takes place each year on this date (approximately).
According to mythology, the ancient Pagan goddesses Irene and Pax were born on this day.
In ancient Rome, an agricultural festival called the Feriae Sementiva (Feast of Spring) was celebrated annually on this date with sacrifices to Ceres (the goddess of agriculture) and Tellus Mater (the goddess of the Earth and fertility), as well as other lesser gods and goddesses associated with agriculture.
On this date in the year 1940, Z. Budapest (the founder and leader of the main branch of feminist Dianic Wicca) was born in Budapest. Among her many accomplishments, she founded the Susan B. Anthony Coven (named after the famous suffragist), hosted a radio show in San Francisco, directed the Women's Spirituality Forum in Oakland, and led a successful public hexing against a mass murderer.
Each year on or around this date, a sacred festival is held in the Katmandu Valley of Nepal in honor of the goddess Sarasvati, an ancient Indian deity who presides over all forms of education. At temples dedicated to her, offerings of food, flowers, and incense are made by faithful Hindus and students who seek her help on their school exams. In the courtyard of the Hanuman Dhoka, an ancient palace where the king is accompanied on this day by Nepalese officials, the annual rites of Spring begin with a traditional gun salute, followed by veneration ceremonies which are performed by the royal priest.
In the Hawaiian Islands, a joyous flower-filled festival in honor of an ancient goddess associated with the narcissus flower is celebrated each year on this day; while in China, an annual festival honoring Kuan Yin takes place.CHAPTER 2
February, the second month of the current Gregorian calendar and the third month of Winter's rule, derives its name from Februa, the name of a Roman purification festival held on the fifteenth day of February in ancient times.
The traditional birthstone amulet of February is the amethyst; and the primrose and the violet are the month's traditional flowers.
February is shared by the astrological signs of Aquarius the Water-Bearer and Pisces the Two Fishes, and is sacred to the following Pagan deities: Aradia, Brigid, Juno Februa, and the Wiccan Goddess in Her aspect as the Maiden.
During the month of February, the Great Solar Wheel of the Year is turned to Candlemas, one of the four Grand Sabbats celebrated each year by Wiccans and modern Witches throughout the world.
Brigit, the Celtic Earth-Mother and goddess of fire, wisdom, poetry, and sacred wells, is honored on this day. In Ireland, offerings of yellow flowers are made to the goddess at sacred wells dedicated to her.
In ancient Greece, the three-day Lesser Eleusinian Mysteries began each year on this day in honor of the goddesses Ceres, Demeter, Persephone, and Proserpine.
On this day, the Candlemas Sabbat is celebrated by Wiccans and Witches throughout the world. Candlemas (which is also known as Imbolc, Oimelc, and Lady Day) is a fire festival that celebrates the coming of Spring. New beginnings and spiritual growth are represented by the "sweeping out of the old," symbolized by the sweeping of the circle with a besom (a Witch's broom). This is traditionally done by the High Priestess of the coven, who wears a brilliant crown of thirteen candles on top of her head. In ancient Europe, the Candlemas Sabbat was celebrated with a torchlight procession to purify and fertilize the fields before the seed-planting season, and to honor and give thanks to the various deities and spirits associated with agriculture.
On this date, an annual ceremony called the Blessing of the Throats takes place to honor the healing powers of Saint Blaise and to magickally ward off throat ailments brought on by the winter's cold.
Throughout Japan the evil demons of winter are exorcised annually on this day with a festival called the Setsu-bun. Beans are placed in every corner of a family's house, and pointed branches and sardine heads are mounted over the doors. Centuries-old purification rites are performed by priests in all temples and shrines. Prayers are written on slips of paper and then cast from bridges into the rivers below.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Wicca Book of Days"
Copyright © 1995 Gerina Dunwich.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents