Thoughts, lessons, and theology from an eclectic witch from a varied background.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Devotional Polytheist Meme Question No. 12

What sort of festivals, memorials, or seasonable observances do you keep through out the year?

I honor early spring, when crocuses and other early spring plants come up. This is around the time of Imboleg/Luciad. I honor the goddess Brigid, whom I have had a long standing relationship with. For this celebration of light, I will bless the candles I have (including the electric ones). I am planning on introducing my children to the idea of Bride's Bed and making something sweet of the day as well.

On the 19th of February, I observe Moura Eve. I try to finish up whatever devotional tasks I have left to do for the spiritual year. If I am preparing a special project to do during the 'season' of Moura, I spend some time Moura Eve to get it ready. On the first day of Moura, I do a modified fast. While my taboo and my health concerns do not permit a full fast, I abstain from intoxicants and sweets this day. Generally, I keep the abstinence from sweets until the equinox.

The day that I get a reprieve is mid-Moura (March 5/4). This is a day where the restrictions of Moura are lifted to give believers a much needed rest from the austerity. Moura is a time of discipline, sacrifice, and purification. Mid-Moura is, in my mind, a quick breather so that we have the focus to continue on towards the end of this period that is often equated to the Christian Lent.

The last day of the spiritual year is Kala (March 19/19). Kala is a day of mourning for the Daughter. For in the mythos, Kala is the day that the Daughter dies. I cover my icons of the Daughter. It is my plan that for Kala and Hiatus, I will have a special headcovering that I wear only for that time (and times of mourning). It is still in the planning stages, but it is a goal that I'm working towards. I am also seriously considering fashioning a piece of mourning jewelery that I can wear during this period. Oh, I forgot to mention, but I also extinguish the candle that I have lit for Dea at this time.

Hiatus is the time between Kala and the vernal equinox (Eastre). Within the filianic faith, this is a time outside of time. Thus, I am under a taboo not to consider future events. It is considered a time when all worlds have ended. One of the things I meditate on during this period is Ragnarok. I abstain from doing divination during this period because I don't want to accidentally reach forward in time. It is a bit harder then it seems to think only of the present. I also try to spend Hiatus doing no unnecessary work. This means, I make my meal plans before Kala and put by what I need so that I can focus on each day in turn.

In late March, I observe the beginning of the agricultural year. While I haven't a plough to charm, I invoke Freyr's blessing over my meager garden and my gardening tools. I also ask him to bless my household with prosperity and health through the growing season. This is also Eastre, the day of the resurrection of the Daughter. I uncover my icons of the Daughter and put the cloths away into storage for next year. I will also ritually relight Dea's candle. I give my children sweets and do what I can to make the day pleasant.

On the first of May, I observe the exaltation of the Daughter. I also make something of a nod towards Beltaine. Having spent most of my spiritual life observing that holy day, I still feel a pull towards it. It is a day of fertility and great blessings. The summer solstice, I observe the feast of Rosa Mundi and Litha. I fall more heavily upon Rosa Mundi's side of the ledger. In either case, I focus upon celebrating the very essence of being alive. Following this, comes the first of the harvests.

When the first crops are harvested around here, I observe and give thanks for it. It usually happens around the time of Chelanya/Lughnassadh. I celebrate and give thanks as the harvest season progresses. When the autumnal equinox comes, I observe Cuivanya/Mabon. This is another, fuller harvest festival. For me, Chelanya is a celebration of the labor of taking in the harvest. Cuivanya is the celebration of the fruits of the harvest.

Tamala/Samhain comes next. It is a time where I focus upon my ancestors and those who have come before me. I also meditate upon Deam Mysterium. She who is the prime source and the destroyer of all existence is sometimes difficult for me to contemplate. But I strive to do so anyways because I feel it is important that all three aspects of Dea be honored. I also consider this to be the final of the harvest festivals (as this is when, in ancient times, the herds were culled). Through out all the harvest festivals, I meditate upon Freyr's sacrifice. It is particularly hard at Tamala because there is so many reminders of death around me.

I have begun to celebrate Advent (11/28-12/25) because I am finding it something that buoys my spirits during the darkness of winter. I also celebrate the winter solstice as Mother's Night/Yule. On the 25th of December is Nativity. My celebration of Nativity and Yule are much like most people's celebrations of Christmas. Except, I keep the celebration going between Yule and Nativity. This is the only time of year that I will play 'holiday' music. At the beginning of Advent, I start to put my decorations for the season. I have them all up around the time of the feast of Conception.

After Nativity, comes Sai Herthe's day. Sai Herthe is the angel of the home. I spend a bit of extra effort on cleaning up the house for this day and generally do my best to focus on the domestic aspects of my life. This sort of extends itself to Epiphany (which is also Distaff Day). On Eipiphany, I have a day of rest and celebration. This means my crock pot gets used and I avoid housework (which is hopefully completed from the previous few days of work).

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