Loy Krathog is the traditional wishing festival of Thailand. On this day, small boats are fashioned from banana peels and lotus leaves. When the sun sets, people take their boats to the shore, where they fill them with offerings of incense and gardenia petals. A white candle is then placed in the boat along with a wish. The boats are then set adrift on the water. It is believed that if the candle in the boat stays lit until its owner can no longer see, then the wish will be granted.
After the calendar reform of 1752 the Lord Mayor’s Day was moved from October 28 to November 9. It is on this day that “Mock Mayors” are elected in many of the poorer English towns. The elections are designed to poke good-natured fun at some of the more prestigious municipalities and their sometimes times pompous politicians. Of course, the more offensive the candidate is, the more joy in having him take the podium, whereupon a cabbage stalk is presented to him to serve as hiis mayoral mace. The festivities are usually followed by somewhat raucous behavior and of course the usual drinking and feasting.
Ludi Plebii (Plebian Games) were held from the 4th to the 17th of November to honor Jupiter. The games included chariot racing and entertainment in the Circus Maximus. It is believed that the games were established around 220 B.C. by Gaius Flaminus when he was the censor. The only games that were more important than the Ludi Plebii were the Ludi Romani that were held during September, again in honor of Jupiter.
This can be a good day for progress or idea-generating when it comes to creative matters or a romance, dear Aries. You are more able to express yourself in subtle ways, to feel in touch with what’s inside, and to convey your inner world or message easily. Words may not be quite as effective as body language and actions today. Activities that feed your imagination and sense of magic can thrive now. Inspiration may come from a private moment with someone, or from within. The pipeline to your inner world is open today, so take the opportunity to get to know yourself better. Consciously look for those things that feed your faith today for best results. Try not to get angry at yourself if you’re feeling passive, as much can be accomplished in the mind and heart now.
This is a good day for helping friends or a partner, dear Taurus, whether this is in tangible or intangible ways. It can be in the form of simply being there, talking through problems, gentle advice giving, or physical help. It can be a nice time for surrounding yourself with people who are accepting or share your own ideals. Like minds tend to gravitate towards one another today. It’s also a fine time for creative thinking, writing, and conversations about dreams, spiritual or philosophical subjects, as well as fanciful musing. Intuition is strong. You could be actively seeking out solutions to problems, and they’re bound to be unusual and creative now, as you’re tuned in to layers and levels of situation that you might miss on a busy day. A partner becomes a friend, or friend and a partner mix wonderfully now. The day is more about accepting and enjoying people than making big moves.
This is a good time for healing and repairing efforts, dear Gemini, particularly if you back up and let others be themselves, but also show that you’re supportive. You might have the opportunity to add some creative flair to your work, and ideas for marketing or promotion can be wonderful and inspired now. Some of you could be looking for a “calling” in terms of work, and the services you provide now can be inspiring. A sense of mission or purpose is with you today when it comes to business and possibly self-care and health efforts. Projects seem to come together magically. Feeling connected to something higher than the material lifts your spirits. This is the time to conserve your energy, not to waste it. If you’re looking for more from your routine, imagine improvements you can make. Today is strong for dreaming and connecting with your ideals.
Warm energy is with you today for love, affection, and acceptance, dear Cancer. Your personal magnetism is subtly enhanced, and your gentle manner is especially appreciated. Creative efforts tend to be rewarding. Sharing a dream, ideal, or belief with someone can enhance your bond. Love relationships can flourish now, and it’s not about pressure for commitment or pressure to do or say anything. Instead, going with the flow, listening, and opening yourself up to others are the key ingredients now, particularly if they have been missing a little recently. You’re more able to connect with the things that feed your spirit today. A busy life can sometimes separate us from soul-nourishing needs, and it’s time to reconnect. The Moon in your privacy sector all day also serves as a reminder to focus on emotional renewal.
This is a day for accessing your imagination and creativity fairly easily, dear Leo. Logic and intuition pair up wonderfully now, and this can help you understand yourself and others better. Feelings and actions tend to fall into place, and a gentle and perhaps slightly mysterious approach to the world today becomes you. Matters related to real estate, family, and the home tend to come together, and relationships with family or an intimate partner can be inspiring or subtly enhanced today. This is not the time for making big commitments or for overthinking – it’s a time for accessing inner faith and showing your acceptance of the people in your life. It’s also good for forgiving or understanding someone or possibly a past relationship in order to better put a grievance behind you – do it for yourself. Let things unfold without force or pressure today. On a practical level, money hunches may be worth following.
A strong day for communications and partnerships is in store for you, dear Virgo. You may find an opportunity to support someone who needs your help either mentally, physically, or spiritually. You could enjoy a pleasing attraction or find someone especially fascinating. Your own charm expands, particularly in the way you communicate or get your message across. Connections with others can be enhanced through a nice gesture or other form of reaching out. Try to allow your ideas to flow instead of trying to force them. You have much that you’d like to accomplish now, but it’s important to let things flow now in order to better access your intuition and imagination. Recognize your needs for some romance, subtlety, gentleness, and spirituality today for best results. Repair relationships with a gentle touch, concern, and care.
This is a strong day for paying more attention to your imagination and intuition, following a hunch, and tuning in to your needs to serve, help, and give back, dear Libra. On a practical level, instincts for money and methods are good, even if you’re not seeing all the facts clearly. Developing faith in your intuition as well as your natural talents comes more easily now. There is strong energy for design with you today. You might want to focus on activities that let loose your more compassionate side. Doing things for the inner rewards will feed you well now. You might find activities that soothe and relax you particularly beneficial. When it comes to practical matters, taking a step back from a problem can help your intuition to kick in. While you could feel some pressure from others, try not to succumb to it. The Moon is in your adventure sector all day, reinforcing the need for non-routine, spirited experiences.
Today’s energies are good for tuning in to your imagination and sharing your ideas and your warmth with others, dear Scorpio. You are coming across pleasingly and eloquently at times today, and your creative instincts are on point. Adding special creative flair to whatever you’re doing now is natural. There can be some psychic phenomena experienced now, as your hunches tend to be well-developed, particularly if you avoid succumbing to pressures to perform. You are likely to be feeling spiritually strengthened and well, and the world around you are likely to enjoy and appreciate your manner and attention. Helping others can fill a need. Take note of your dreams and ideas today, as they may very well take shape going forward. This is also a fine time for enhancing your manner or image in some manner. Like-minded people will make their way to you.
This is a favorable day for honoring your need to dream, wonder, and imagine, dear Sagittarius. Forgiving leads to healing, so aim to take care of yourself mentally and emotionally – your body counts, of course, but you need to feed your spirit as well. Your thoughts can be turning to matters of the past, hidden things, or mysteries. The need to find comfort in familiar situations and with family or close loved ones is real and strong now. Connect in compassionate ways, through gestures that show where your heart is, and that you care. Conversations should focus on acceptance. If you can manage quiet time, comforting activities, and rejuvenating endeavors, do so. The rewards will be great. Helping others out can also fill a need and lift your spirits. The Moon is in your partnership sector all day, suggesting that reaching out to others can be helpful.
This can be a strong day for connecting socially, dear Capricorn, as well as for work that engages your imagination. You are looking for inspiration now, and you’re likely to find it. With the Sun and Neptune harmonizing today, you would do well to set aside personal agendas and reach out to others. It’s a good day for overlooking differences, forgiving, accepting, and supporting. It’s also a fine time for team work and giving back to friends and family. Humanitarian efforts and gestures can be rewarding. This is also a good time for entertaining a new dream or plan, or for reviving an old one. Some of you could be feeling particularly poetic and expressive. Good energy is with you for accessing your imagination and applying it to your work, projects, and communications.
Work and practical projects seem to come together almost without effort today, dear Aquarius, if you allow yourself to step back from problems and let your intuition engage. Instincts for money and business are good. There can be some feeling of pressure to perform or to get things done quickly, but your best bet now is to allow things to flow more naturally. Others may be appreciating the talents that come most naturally to you, and you can make an inspirational leader, guide, or manager now. Alternatively, someone in authority or in the position to help you advance your goals can be supportive. Activities and mantras that build your faith in yourself and in the universe can help and succeed now. Others are likely to return the faith. Long-term goals can be elusive at times, but today you may very well be able to envision where you’d like to head.
With Neptune in your sign, dear Pisces, there can be times when you struggle with understanding your personal goals and identity, feeling as if you don’t have a clear tether. However, today’s Sun-Neptune influence can help you to feel connected. Ideas flow nicely now, and you could feel especially inspired by a new interest, topic, or idea. You are especially attracted to activities that feed your spirit and mind, and that take you away from immediate concerns at least for the time being. The desire to learn more about the world around you and other people is strong today, and you tend to attract experiences that broaden your thinking and your experience. Your personal appeal is magnetic now, and like-minded people can be drawn to you. Helping others brings you closer to yourself and lifts your spirits.
The Ludi Victoriae Sullanae were the games held on October 26 to honor the Goddess Victoria. This festival was established in 81 B.C. to celebrate Sulla’s victory over a large army of Sammites at the Porta Collina in Rome.
Victoria was the Goddess of victory, and her temple was on the Palatine Hill in Rome. She was the equivalent of the Greek Goddess Nike and was pictured with wings. Victoria was an important Goddess to the Romans, and she appears regularly on coinage from the late third century B.C. Victoria came to be regarded as the guardian of the empire, and her altar became a symbol of Paganism.
“When a community does something together, that community is very happy, jovial, connected and unified.”
–Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA
The Indian People have always been able to adapt. If the hunting changed, we found new hunting grounds. If the earth changed, we moved to a better place. If the river changed course, we followed the river. But with every change, we kept our Indianness and spirituality. Our culture and spirituality have always been our strength. Our culture and spirituality taught us to live in harmony. We must change with the times, but we must maintain our culture and spirituality, always living in harmony.
Great Spirit, You have taught us to survive. Let me always maintain my Indianness.
For eight years now, I have been joyfully and devotedly practicing and studying the path of witchcraft and pagan spirituality. I have sipped from the cauldron of wisdom, and from that moment forward decided that I wanted more. If nothing else, I wanted to taste more of that magick, freedom, and absolute spiritual awareness. I studied path after path after path, and read from book after book. I sought mentoring from those much wiser than I, and turned to the rawest teacher, nature, for the lessons no other human could teach. I approached Gods and Goddesses of many cultures, faces, and names. Each of them with a purpose and personality of their own. Some came and went from my life quickly, never really “clicking” as the others did. Those who have stayed all this long while have become deep rooted in my life.
A day never goes by anymore when I do not think on my deities, and am not grateful and loving from their presence in my life. In each breeze that weaves its airy fingers through my hair, I feel the loving caress of my matron Goddess. In each gentle twinkle of starlight or flitter of a butterfly’s wings before my eyes, I see my father God’s adoring face. When I am weak, my sisters and brothers pick me up and strengthen me. When I am wavering, the elements give me courage. I relish in the mysteries of the divine feminine, and I am empowered by the support of the divine masculine.
Yet for all this love and devotion I feel for my spirituality, I hesitate to call it a religion. You see, religion has rules. It has, at the very least, guidelines that all practitioners are expected to follow. Paganism, however (and yes I say paganism because I do not and never will consider myself a Wiccan. I will get to that later) , has only one major guideline: the path must be nature-based.
Now, I hardly see THAT broad and vague requirement as substantial enough to call it the basis of a religion. It is, instead, the perfect start to a blossoming spiritual life and path. And you know what? That is good! Great even. Because the spirit has no fences. It has no limitations.
Take away the rules, the set beliefs, the traditions…leave yourself with the freedom to decide for yourself, each person to themselves, what they believe and wish to practice for what makes sense to them, and no two people will tell you the exact same thing twice. And isn’t that the beauty of paganism? Of spirituality? There are no true rules or words set in stone. We have the freedom to CHOOSE!
Believe in reincarnation or not. You are still a pagan. Believe in literal Gods or metaphorical Masculine and Feminine energies. Still a pagan. Wear a pentacle or a moon or a goddess or an Om or nothing! Still a pagan. You are if you believe you are.
Myself, for example. Firstly, why do I not consider myself Wiccan? Simple: I do not follow the Wiccan Rede. Nor do I believe in the Neo-Pagan take on ancient traditions. I certainly disagree with much of what Gerald Gardner put out as Wicca, and I do not fit into any of the Wiccan branches’ moulds. Am I Eclectic Witch then? Again, I’d just say no. I believe that the singing of a song, the enjoyment of the earth, and the moment taken to smile up at the moon and sun is a moment spent in adoration and worship of the God and Goddess.
I believe that you are a King or a Queen if you allow yourself to be, and that you are your own greatest limitation if you ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE! I believe that Faeries steal my belongings and that Lavender is the greatest sleeping medicine I’ve ever used. I believe that the Goddess and God love and watch out for me, and that I came into this life to serve them and their children. I believe that I will never be done learning. I believe we make our own magick, and are made up of magick. I believe what I believe, and I go with it.
Isn’t that brilliant? Say it with me now!
I believe….what I believe.
Isn’t that enough? I set up my altars, I light my candles, and I set my magick to do what I need it to. I sing and dance and talk with my Goddess, and she seems to have no problems with how I show my love. My magick is no less effective than others. My God is just as pleased with me if I walk clockwise or counterclockwise. It just doesn’t matter. And THAT, my brothers and sisters, is what makes me a Witch, I think. I can throw away all the words and creeds and books and still have my emotion. My heart. My soul. I don’t want the rules. You can keep them. I don’t want the restrictions. They have no place in a heart of freedom. I don’t want the labels. I am what I am.
Every day my students, friends, and kindred come to me and tell me of their insecurities. They feel incompetent as pagans. They feel weak as witches. They feel lost as young adults and children. They have no confidence! If I did not remember my earlier years as a Witch, I would be utterly baffled, for I am long past wavering, usuries, and meekness. This path, whatever it pleases you to call it, is supposed to teach our young freedom of spirit and ecstasy in all life. And yet here they are feeling that they are not good enough to meet the standards of the community because they do not measure up to some bar that does not even really exist!
There is no expectation or obligation to a witch, but that they be free and confident in themselves. But these children do not feel as if they follow the path correctly. “Correctly”, as if there is a yellow brick road to skip down. What have we done? That we allow our new and our young to feel shame in not fitting into a mould? What hypocrisy is it? I cannot count how many times I have had to tell my students to raise their chins and ease their minds. That the path is THEIR’S to forge.
So I ask you to ask yourselves: What makes me a Witch? What makes me a pagan/wiccan/druid/shaman/heathen/etc.? And I believe that once you find the answer to that, you will realize that your spirituality goes beyond your “religion”, and that only you, not those teachings, make you who and what you are.
Despite being mostly mythical nonsense, the neodruid movement never entirely lost its charm, but by the early twentieth century, interest was dwindling. The decline would not last long. With new scholarship, a better sense of the ancient religion began to take shape. When the 1960s rolled around, bringing increased interest in the environment and alternatives to main-stream spirituality, interest in druidry as a religion began anew.
There are several types of modern druid organizations. A handful of these groups claim lineage from one or more of the eighteenth-century revival orders, and their beliefs and practices are more in keeping with eighteenth century esotericism than druidry as a strict religious pursuit. Still others, sometimes referred to as Celtic Reconstructionists or neopagan druids, try to emulate as closely as possible ancient druid religious practices, gleaned from historical and archaeological reconstructions, but dispensing with the notions of the romantic revivalists.
The modern day neodruid movement sprang up somewhat simultaneously both in the United States and the United Kingdom. The first such group, the Reformed Druids of North America (RDNA), was formed in 1963 as something of a lark. A group of Minnesota college students were upset with a school rule demanding mandatory attendance of religious services. Not liking any of the available choices, they opted to create their own. They chose druidry and dressed up their new religious organization with tongue-in-cheek style. When the absurd rule was finally withdrawn, pretend druids actually found themselves interested in studying druidry, and eventually the group began practicing in earnest.
About a year after the founding of the RDNA in the United States, a British poet named Ross Nichols, a member of the Ancient Druid Order, became offended by the group’s election of a new leader. He set out on his own and organized a new group, which he called the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids (OBOD), after the classical system of druidical ranking. The OBOD emphasized a more historical, Celtic-centered mythology and ceremonies, and adopted a calendar of festivals based on the ancient Celtic calendar. The OBOD, like its parent order, places more emphasis on personal spiritual growth and inspiration than on faithfully recreating the practices of ancient druids.
What these newer druid groups and their offshoots had in common was an interest in an in-depth real spiritual experience, in contrast to the generalized esoteric spirituality and clubbishness of the fraternal druid orders and the nationalistic cultural emphasis of the Welsh groups. During the 1980s, membership in these groups and many other newly formed druid groups exploded alongside the Wiccan movement. Today, Celtic Reconstruction and druid orders are equally popular with disenchanted Wiccans and others looking for more authentic pagan traditions.
The Everything Celtic Wisdom Book: Find inspiration through ancient traditions, rituals, and spirituality (Everything®) Jennifer Emick
Long-range weather forecasts, best day guides, planting tips, recipes, sustainable living advice, healthy hints, natural remedies, astronomy, and a bit of humor is what you’ll find in the 2016 Farmers' Almanac.