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Pagan and Witchcraft Holidays

The date varies from December 20 to December 23 depending on the year in the Gregorian calendar. Yule is also known as the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere and the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere due to the seasonal differences. Yule, (pronounced EWE-elle) is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, the sun's "rebirth" was celebrated with much joy. Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were "wassailed" with toasts of spiced cider. The ceremonial Yule log was the highlight of the Solstice festival. A different type of Yule log, and perhaps one more suitable for modern practitioners would be the type that is used as a base to hold three candles. Many customs created around Yule are identified with Christmas today.

n, Pagan and Witchcraft Holidays., Samhain Lore Samhain, (pronounced SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne) means "End of Summer", and is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter half of the year commences on this Sabbat. It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st. Originally the "Feast of the Dead" was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the "wandering dead". This was the time that the cattle and other livestock were slaughtered for eating in the ensuing winter months. Various other names for this Greater Sabbat are Third Harvest, Samana, Day of the Dead, Old Hallowmas (Scottish/Celtic), Vigil of Saman, Shadowfest (Strega), and Samhuinn. Symbolism of Samhain: Third Harvest, the Dark Mysteries, Rebirth through Death. Symbols of Samhain: Gourds, Apples, Black Cats, Jack-O-Lanterns, Besoms. Herbs of Samhain: Mugwort, Allspice, Broom, Catnip, Deadly Nightshade, Mandrake, Oak leaves, Sage and Straw. Incense of Samhain: Heliotrope, Mint, Nutmeg. Main Index

n, Pagan and Witchcraft Holidays., Samhain Ritual Snuff the black votive candle and replace it. Remove the white pillar candle from the cauldron and place it in the center of your altar. Stare in to the flame and think about the goals that you are setting for the upcoming year. When done, say: As you say "Blessed Be!" It is now time for meditation and spellworking. ***This Samhain Ritual and Planner are dedicated to MyztkM'jyk as she begins her Year and a Day study. --Adapted by: Akasha Ap Emrys for all of her friends and those of like mind.-- Copyright © 1997-99 Akasha, Herne and The Celtic Connection Rituals Index Holidays Index Main Index n Sabbats, Pagan and Witchcraft Holidays., Mabon Ritual It is now time for meditation and spellworking. Associated spellworkings would include those for protection, wealth, security, and self-confidence. If there is no spellworking, celebrate with Cakes and Ale, then release the Circle. Clean up. *Find a fallen tree branch. ***This ritual and the accompanying activity planner are dedicated to MadaRua, as she gracefully transcends from one season of Life to the next. --Adapted by Akasha Ap Emrys to share with all her friends and those of like mind-- Copyright © 1997-99 Akasha, Herne and The Celtic Connection Holidays Index Main Index

Pagan and Witchcraft Holidays., Yule Ritual Winter Solstice Ritual Tools: In addition to your usual m'jyk-l tools, you will need: A Green Altar Cloth A Cauldron w/Lid or Cover Plate Holly Sprig Wreath Mistletoe Sprig Wreath 12 Low Vibration Stones (flat oval river rock work well) 1 Black Votive Candle, 1 Green 12" Taper Candle, 1 White 12" Taper Candle, 1 Gold (12hr) Pillar Candle Pine Incense Bowl of Water w/ Pine Sprig in it Plate of Sand Athame Other Personal Items of choice Preparation: This ritual showed be performed right after sunset. About an hour before, sweep area moving in a deosil manner. Yule symbols such as Poinsettias, Pine Cones, and even a decorated Yule Log nearby (if too big for altar) adds to the ambiance. Place the proper candles and symbols at the four cardinal directions. Cast circle by envisioning flames of Yule colors red, green, and gold coming up between the stones. "From the darkness is born the light, From void, fulfillment emerges... Light the pine incense and place on Pentacle/Center Plate. "Hark!

n, Pagan and Witchcraft Holidays., Lughnasadh/Lammas Ritual Lammas Ritual Lughnassadh, First Harvest, August 1st Tools: In addition to your m'jyk-l tools, you will need: Golden Yellow Center Cloth 1 Gold Candle 1 Silver Candle Summer Blend Incense (recipe from Litha Ritual) Harvest Vegetables Golden Stones or other Sun Symbols Cornbread Cupcakes Cauldron Apple Cider Any other personal items of choice Preparation: Sweep area moving in a deosil manner. Cast the circle and call Quarters... "What will be is. We plant with love, tend with respect, and at Harvest time our yields reflect The bounty of our Mother Earth, ripened by our Father Sun. Now upon our humble hearth, gifts we offer the Two that are One. Rising early, setting late, and now that he's supplied The warmth and light to bring to bear, the Goddess and the lands He knows that his death is drawing near, but this secret he understands, that with the turning of the wheel, his rebirth has been planned." Pick up one of the Cornbread Cupcakes, and offer up to the God/dess, saying: Holidays Index

n Traditions and Lore, Pagan and Witchcraft Holidays., Sabbats Mabon Mabon Autumn Equinox, 2nd Harvest, September 21st Mabon, (pronounced MAY-bun, MAY-bone, MAH-boon, or MAH-bawn) is the Autumn Equinox. The Autumn Equinox divides the day and night equally, and we all take a moment to pay our respects to the impending dark. We also give thanks to the waning sunlight, as we store our harvest of this year's crops. The Druids call this celebration, Mea'n Fo'mhair, and honor the The Green Man, the God of the Forest, by offering libations to trees. Various other names for this Lesser Wiccan Sabbat are The Second Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest, Feast of Avalon, Equinozio di Autunno (Strega), Alben Elfed (Caledonii), or Cornucopia. At this festival it is appropriate to wear all of your finery and dine and celebrate in a lavish setting. Symbolism of Mabon: Second Harvest, the Mysteries, Equality and Balance. Symbols of Mabon: wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grains, corn, apples, pomegranates, vines such as ivy, dried seeds, and horns of plenty. Holidays Index

n, Pagan and Witchcraft Holidays., July 31st. "Lughnasadh" or "Lammas" At Lammas, sometimes called Lughnasadh, it's time to celebrate the first harvest of the year, and recognize that the hot summer days will soon come to an end. The plants of spring wither and drop seeds to ensure future crops. Grains are ready to be harvested and the fruits are ripe for picking. Lughnasadh means the funeral games of Lugh (pronounced Loo), referring to Lugh, the sun god. As autumn begins, the Celtic Sun God enters his old age, but is not yet dead. The Christian religion adopted this theme and called it 'Lammas ', meaning 'loaf-mass ', a time when newly baked loaves of bread are placed on the altar. Traditional Foods: Apples, Grains, Breads and Berries. Herbs and Flowers: All Grains, Grapes, Heather, Blackberries, Sloe, Crab Apples, Pears. Incense: Aloes, Rose, Sandalwood. Sacred Gemstone: Carnelian. Special Activities: As summer passes, many Pagans celebrate this time to remember its warmth and bounty in a celebrated feast shared with family or Coven members. Blessed Be!

Pagan Holiday, Wicca Sabbat Litha Although the name Litha is not well attested, it may come from Saxon tradition -- the opposite of Yule. On this longest day of the year, light and life are abundant. At mid-summer, the Sun God has reached the moment of his greatest strength. Seated on his greenwood throne, he is also lord of the forests, and his face is seen in church architecture peering from countless foliate masks. The Christian religion converted this day of Jack-in-the-Green to the Feast of St. Midsummer Night's Eve is also special for adherents of the Faerie faith. Traditional Foods: Garden fresh fruits and vegetables are made into a variety of dishes and eaten by Pagan's who choose to celebrate this day. Herbs and Flowers: Mugwort, Vervain, Chamomile, Rose, Honeysuckle, Lily, Oak, Lavender, Ivy, Yarrow, Fern, Elder, Wild Thyme, Daisy, Carnation. Incense: Lemon, Myrrh, Pine, Rose, Wisteria. Woods Burned: Oak Sacred Gemstone: Emerald