Festival of the Oak Nymph. This Pagan celebration honors all hamadryads (female nature spirits who are believed to inhabit oak trees). Decorate a Pagan altar with acorns and war some oak leaves in your hair. Kiss an oak tree or place a small offering of some kind before it, and the tree nymphs who dwell within it will surely bestow a blessing upon you.
Shapatu of Ishtar. A Pagan festival dedicated to the goddess Ishtar is celebrated every year on this date. She is the ancient Assyrian and Babylonian deity who presides over love and fertility as well as war. The birth of the god Apollo is also celebrated on this date.
The Festival of Cataclysmos is celebrated annually on this date on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The seaside ritual consists of prayers for the souls of the departed, traditional water games, and a sacred dance.
In Japan, a Buddhist ritual for young girls is performed annually on this date, and is dedicated to the goddesses Befana, Bona Dea, Kuan Yin, Rumina, and Surabhi.
Whitsunday, an annual Christian festival marking the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the disciples, is celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter (which normally falls on or near this date). However, like most Christian holidays, Whitsunday was at one time a Pagan fertility festival. It was celebrated in Europe with a “heathen feast” that marked the death of the spirit of Winter and the birth of the spirit of Summer.
According to English folklore, if a baby comes into the world on Whitsunday, he or she is destined to commit an act of murder or to be murdered.
On this date in the year 8498 B.C., the legendary island-continent of Atlantis sank beneath the waves of the Atlantic Ocean in a cataclysm believed to have been brought on by the anger of the great god Zeus.
To ensure an abundant harvest, a sacred Corn Dance is held each year at this time at San Ildefonso pueblo in the southwestern United States. It is dedicated to the Earth Mothers and the nature spirits known
as the Rain People.
On this date (approximately), an annual festival to honor ancestral spirits begins in Nigeria. The festival, which lasts for one week, consists of street dancing, offerings of food and gifts to the Egungun, and ecstatic trance.
In Thrace, an ancient country in the southeastern part of the Balkan Peninsula, a festival called the Bendidia was held each year on this date. It was dedicated to the lunar goddess Bendi.
The Vestalia, an annual festival in honor of the hearth goddess Vesta, began on this date in ancient Rome. During the eight-day long festival, the shrine of Vesta was opened to married women. After the festival was over, the shrine was once again forbidden to all except the goddess’ attendant vestal virgins.
In many Japanese villages, an ancient rice festival is held annually on this date. Women wearing traditional kimonos recite prayers and light rice-straw fires to honor the god of the rice and to bless the crops.
In China, the Grain in Ear festival is celebrated at this time. The grain gods are honored with old rituals to ensure a harvest of plenty.
On this date in 1892, Grace Cook (a popular spiritualist medium and founder of the White Eagle Lodge) was born in London, England. Her first psychic vision of Indian Chief White Eagle and other Native American spirits occurred early in her childhood. With the aid of her spirit guide, she authored many books on healing and spiritual growth. She believed that after her death (which occurred on September 3, 1979), her spirit would be reincarnated in Egypt.
On this date in the year 1692, a woman named Bridget Bishop was hanged on Gallows Hill in Salem, Massachusetts, after being found guilty of the crime of Witchcraft. She was the first person to be publicly executed in the infamous Salem Witch Trials.
On this date in 1912, spiritualist-medium Ruth Montgomery was born in Princeton, Indiana. Her interest in the world of the occult began in 1956, when she first began attending seances. She has written numerous bestselling occult books and is famous for her gift of communicating with spirit guides through automatic writing.
Light gold-colored candles on your altar and wear oak leaves in your hair to honor the Greek god Zeus, who is traditionally honored on this day.
In Korea, rice farmers wash their hair in a stream on this day as part of an annual ritual to dispel bad luck and to ensure an abundant crop. This ritual has taken place since ancient times.
On this date in the year 1884, Gerald Gardner was born in Lancashire, England. Nicknamed King of the Witches, he went on to become a famous and well-respected Wiccan author and the founder of the Gardnerian tradition of the modern Wicca religion. He died on February 12, 1964.
Irish poet and ceremonial magician William Butler Yeats was also born on this date in the year 1865.
In ancient Rome, the goddess Minerva (patroness of wisdom and the arts, and a deity of battle) was honored annually on this date at her sacred festival, the Lesser Quinquatrus of Minerva.
In India, this is a day sacred to Jagannath, a benevolent incarnation of the god Vishnu. An annual festival in honor of him is celebrated in the city of Puri on the East Coast of India.
On this date in the year 1648, Margaret Jones of Charlestown, Massachusetts, was executed in Boston for practicing Witchcraft and magickal healing. This was the first pre-Salem Witch execution to be officially recorded in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Silver Chalice Day. Every year on this date, Wiccan friends and coven members gather together in a circle to rejoice and share a traditional silver chalice of wine (or fruit juice) consecrated in the names of the Goddess and Her consort, the Horned God. Many Pagan handfastings and Wiccanings are performed by coven priestesses around this time of the month.
On this date in the year 1881, famous Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau died in her home in New Orleans, Louisiana.
An annual purification ritual to drive away the evil spirits of the rainy season takes place on this date in Nara, Japan. Lily stalks are blessed by seven white-robed priestesses, and a traditional dance is performed.
Also on this date, Eurydice (a tree nymph who was transformed into an Underworld goddess after dying from a serpent bite) was honored annually in ancient Greece.
The annual Dragon Boat-Festival (which at one time was a Pagan summer solstice ritual to appease the dragon gods of the rivers) is celebrated on this date in China in honor of the martyred poet, Qu Yuan.
In ancient Rome, the goddess Anna was honored on this day with an annual religious festival.
The Feast of the Holy Ghost, a weeklong religious festival, begins annually on this date in Brazil.
In ancient Rome, the Day of All Heras was celebrated annually on this date in honor of the Goddess within as well as all wisewomen.
On this day, Pagans in parts of England celebrate the Day of Cerridwen in honor of the ancient Celtic goddess of fertility. Vervain (the herb most sacred to Cerridwen) is burned in small cauldron pots as an offering to the goddess, green ribbons are tied to trees, and green candles are lit on altars dedicated to her.
On the first day of Summer (which normally occurs on or near this date), the Summer Solstice Sabbat is celebrated by Wiccans and Witches throughout the world. Summer Solstice (which is also known as Midsummer, Alban hefin, and Litha) marks the longest day of the year when the Sun is at its zenith. In certain Wiccan traditions, the Summer Solstice symbolizes the end of the reign of the waxing year’s Oak-King, who is now replaced by his successor, the Holly-King of the waning year. (The Holly-King will rule until the Winter Solstice.) It is the ideal time for divinations, healing rituals, and the cutting of divining rods and wands.
On Midsummer Day, the people of ancient Russia worshiped the fertility goddess Kupala. To ensure female fertility and abundant crops, she was honored with bonfires, sacrifices of cockarels, and special wreaths that were cast into the rivers.
On this date (approximately), the Sun enters the astrological sign of Cancer. Persons born under the sign of the Crab are said to be family and home-oriented, nurturing, sympathetic, and often very moody. Cancer is a water sign and is ruled by the Moon.
In parts of Ireland and Great Britain, Pagans celebrate an annual festival on this date called the Day of Cu Chulainn. It is dedicated to the legendary Irish folk hero of the same name and to the ancient Pagan fertility god known as the Green Man.
Saint John’s Eve. This night is a traditional time for Witches to gather herbs for spells and love potions, for it is believed that the magickal properties of plants are at their peak on this mystical night.
On this date, an ancient Egyptian festival known as The Burning of the Lamps is celebrated in Sais,
a city on the Nile delta.
In pre-Christian times, the festival of Fors Fortuna was celebrated annually on this date in the city of Rome to honor and receive favorable blessings from the goddess Fortuana.
A sun-god festival called Inti Raymi was celebrated annually on this date by the ancient Incas of Peru. Llamas were ritually slaughtered and their entrails were used by priests for divining the future.
On this date in the year 1950, Reformed Alexandrian Witch and author Janet Farrar was born in London, England.
Gay Wiccan Pride Day. This is a time for gay and lesbian Wiccans from around the world to unite and celebrate life, love, and the Goddess. Come out of the proverbial “broom closet” and be proud of who you are!
A centuries-old women’s festival is held in India every year on this date in honor of the goddess Parvati.
According to ancient Icelandic legend, every year at noon on the date, the tip of the shadow of Mount Scartaris points to the secret entrance of “Centre Earth”, in which dwell giant humanlike creatures and prehistoric monsters.
Salavi, the Spruce Tree Rain God, is honored annually on this day by a Native American corn-ripening ceremony. This day is also sacred to the Corn Mothers and the Kachinis.
A centuries old Native American Sun Dance ritual is performed annually on this date by many Plains Indian tribes in honor of the Summer Sun. As part of the ceremony, a sacred crow totem is decorated
with black feathers.
On this date in the year 1956, prolific Wiccan author Scott Cunningham was born in Royal Oak, Michigan.
Every year on this day, the birth of Hemera (the ancient Greek goddess of day) is celebrated. Festivals in her honor begin at sunrise and last until the setting of the sun.
On this day in the year 1916, Reformed Alexandrian Witch and author Stewart Farrar was born in Highams Park, Essex, England.
On this date in Appleton, England, the boughs of a large and very old hawthorn tree are decorated with flowers, flags, and ribbons as part of a centuries-old Pagan tree-worship ritual known as Bawming the Thorn.
This is a sacred day to Papa Legba, a powerful loa in the Voodoo religion. Originally a Dahomean sun god, Papa Legba is worshipped as the spirit-master of pathways and crossroads, and is the most important deity of the Vodoun pantheon.
Day of Aestas. The ancient Roman corn-goddess of Summer is honored each year on this sacred day. Corn bread is traditionally served at Wiccan gatherings.
This day is sacred to the Pagan and Native American goddesses Ceres, Changing Woman, Chicomecoatl, the Corn Mothers, Demeter, Gaia, Ge, Hestia, Iatiku, Oraea, Pachamama, Spider Woman, and Tonantzin.