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Author Topic: Druidic celebrations (solar, lunar, and otherwise)  (Read 1158 times)

Sage

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Druidic celebrations (solar, lunar, and otherwise)
« on: December 19, 2012, 09:41:37 am »
One of the projects I've undertaken is coming up with a personal devotional calendar for my Druidry that goes beyond the basic eight-spoked Wheel of the Year. As a member of ADF I do celebrate those eight High Days, I feel like I don't often connect with them on a deeper level. In a way, because I've been following the Year for almost six years, the solar sabbats can seem a little "high churchy." Important to the faith I practice, yes! Personalized in a way I can fully engage with... not quite yet.

So, I'd like to open up a discussion about festivals and observances within modern Druidry. This goes all the way from Big Important High Days that take time to prep for, to cyclical devotional rituals like Flamekeeping for Brighid, to just casually lighting candles or incense for [insert Spirit here] because it's Tuesday. I've got a few questions lined up, but feel free to ignore them as you see fit. I'm just curious what the rest of y'all are doing. :)

  • What holidays are an integral part to your Druidry? How do they fit into your practice?
  • Do you observe both solar and lunar events (equinoxes, full moons, etc)? Is there a difference in what you do or Who you honor?
  • Do you have any calendar of events you work from, or do you make it up on the fly?
  • Are there any deities that get their own day(s) in your ritual calendar? What about ancestors or local spirits? (This can be big like Imbolc/Lughnasadh, or smaller like Flamekeeping.)
  • I'm also specifically interested in folks who have observances crafted outside the omnipresent Wheel of the Year/Celtic fire festivals. Is there anything you'd care to share about what days you celebrate and why?
  • Running out of smart questions! Anything else you feel like explaining?
Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
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What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

-Canticle of Trials 1:10

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dragonfaerie

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Re: Druidic celebrations (solar, lunar, and otherwise)
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2013, 05:06:06 pm »
I've put my foot down that this is the year that I complete the ADF DP, and join the local Grove. They're cool folks. Anyways...

Quote from: Sage;85686

What holidays are an integral part to your Druidry? How do they fit into your practice?


I celebrate all 8 common holidays, though with an Irish hearth culture I realize that there's going to be difficulty with the solstices and equinoxes. Although there's some evidence in the neolithic monuments that the Irish marked these times of the year, finding evidence of religious celebration is more difficult. Not that I need to worry terribly much about reconstructionism.

I haven't decided yet whether to look at another hearth culture (perhaps Norse) for the solstices and equinoxes, to utilize my own UPG, or to just blend in the common themes for those holidays. I've only been to two rituals at the grove, and when I bother do actually do ritual at home, it's a slapdash "hedge witch" sort of thing.

Ironically, the holidays are important to my practices, as they ground me into whatever season we're celebrating. I don't feel like time is whizzing by me when I take the time (no pun intended) to think about the season of Imbolc, or the season of Beltane, etc.

Quote
Do you observe both solar and lunar events (equinoxes, full moons, etc)? Is there a difference in what you do or Who you honor?


Well, see about about the equinoxes. As far as full moons, I would like to start doing my own moon rituals at home. However, those would be done in a Wiccan context, as I'm also Wiccan and do continue to work with a coven. I've been ignoring that work, too, and the moons are a good time to do magic. High Holidays, to me, have always been more about honoring the Gods and turning the wheel than in doing personal workings of any sort.

Quote
Do you have any calendar of events you work from, or do you make it up on the fly?


The holidays and moons have their own dates, of course. I've been trying to find information about when certain Gods might have been honored in the past, so I can perhaps start a calendar of "feast days", but I think that work is going to have to wait until I get my DP done, unless I turn it up in the course of doing that. I tend to get side-tracked on projects, and I'm determined to get that DP finished!

Quote
Are there any deities that get their own day(s) in your ritual calendar? What about ancestors or local spirits? (This can be big like Imbolc/Lughnasadh, or smaller like Flamekeeping.)


I'm part of both the Cauldron's Flamekeeping Cill and the ADF one. Besides that, and Imbolc/Lughnassadh, I'd like to do a couple Ancestor rites a year. One as part of my personal celebrations of Imbolc, as my mother's birthday was Feb 2 (and it's my birthday as well), and one in July for my grandparents. Any other ancestors can be honored around the Samhain time, as that's a traditional time for dealing with the ancestors.

Though like I said, if I run across historical evidence of "feast days", it might be fun to incorporate those. Or I could probably make 'em up myself eventually.

Quote
Running out of smart questions! Anything else you feel like explaining?


My overarching work in personal spirituality is to craft a path that blends Druidry, Wicca, and other stuff to create a more authentic Irish Witchcraft practice than the "Wicca with Shamrocks" shit you find all over the place. I chose ADF because of their emphasis on the PIE scholarship to augment UPG, and because they have a grove in Baltimore. There are other Druid organizations out there, many of whom are closer to Wiccan practice than ADF, but I'm looking for education and fellowship.

Karen

Aiwelin

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Re: Druidic celebrations (solar, lunar, and otherwise)
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2013, 01:13:34 pm »
Quote from: Sage;85686

  • What holidays are an integral part to your Druidry? How do they fit into your practice?
  • Do you observe both solar and lunar events (equinoxes, full moons, etc)? Is there a difference in what you do or Who you honor?
  • Do you have any calendar of events you work from, or do you make it up on the fly?
  • Are there any deities that get their own day(s) in your ritual calendar? What about ancestors or local spirits? (This can be big like Imbolc/Lughnasadh, or smaller like Flamekeeping.)
  • I'm also specifically interested in folks who have observances crafted outside the omnipresent Wheel of the Year/Celtic fire festivals. Is there anything you'd care to share about what days you celebrate and why?
  • Running out of smart questions! Anything else you feel like explaining?

 
What a wonderful question, Sage!  I always find exploring other's 'celebrations' of their faith to be so interesting.

We celebrate lots of holidays in our family!  The biggest, most formal occasions are the Wheel of the Year, which I celebrate with the ADF Core Order of Ritual, and oftentimes my eldest daughter (5) joins in as well.  I honor many deities on a daily basis, but to me, the Wheel of the Year is almost entirely about honoring the Earth Mother.  We do work with a springtime flower deity at the spring festivals and the ancestors at Samhain; but primarily we honor the Earth Mother.

I also do (solo) full moon rituals, these are Wiccan in nature and focus on a female moon goddess from the same pantheon; though having picked up some literature from the Henge of Keltria, I'm thinking of changing it up and adapting some of their moon ritual ideas to my own practice.

The holidays we celebrate most often are also the most informal, and the whole family (minus my atheist husband) gets in on these.  They are on no set schedule, but revolve exclusively around natural happenings in our little corner of suburbia.  They are informal, spontaneous rituals to honor the nature spirits, and to celebrate events like the first buds on the trees, opening of the leaves, the spring thaw, the first snow, the first ripe fruit in the garden, etc.  We probably end up doing about 12 of these in a year, but they're not entirely consistent as sometimes we miss some firsts and catch others - and they're weighted slightly towards the spring, as I am a creature of warmth and sun, and it gets awfully cold and dreary here in the winter!

As for daily practice and ritual, I do try to set aside some time each day to light a bit of incense and do some ritual prayer in honor of different deities.  I have an informal calendar where each deity or spirit important to me gets a day of the week, but it is very informal and is more for the purpose of organization than any overarching spiritual meaning.

I hope that's helpful for you!  I really found that in constructing holidays outside of the solar/lunar landmarks, it was very helpful for me to reach out to nature in my specific locale.  There are all sorts of little things to celebrate if you go looking, and though they are very flexible and happen differently each year, pausing to mark them has really helped me feel more 'in-tune' with the local climate and ecosystem of of which I am a part.
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