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Information about celticcoolness

Published on November 6, 2007

Author: Noormahl

Source: authorstream.com

The Celtic Calendar:  The Celtic Calendar Slide2:  The Celtic year is based on the cycles of the moon. It has 13 months that are divided into 8 segments of either light or dark. Each segment has a corresponding festival that is either one of the four fire festivals or an equinox or solstice. Extra days are added at the end of the year when needed to remain on schedule and are known as the “time between time.” The calendar was an important part of Celtic religion and life allowing them to track the seasons and year. The Thirteen Months :  The Thirteen Months Dec. 24 - Jan. 21 I am a stag of seven tines Beith the Birch Jan. 22 - Feb. 18 I am a wide flood on a plain Luis the Rowan Feb. 19- Mar. 18 I am a wind on the deep waters Nuinn the Ash Mar. 19 - Apr. 15 I am a shining tear of the sun Fearn the Alder Apr. 16 - May 13 I am a hawk on a cliff Saille the Willow May 14 - Jun. 10 I am a fair amongst flowers Huath the Hawthorn Jun. 11 - Jul. 8 I am a god who sets the head afire with smoke Duir the Oak Jul. 9- Aug. 5 I am a battle-waging spear Teinn the Holly Aug. 6 - Sep. 2 I am a salmon in a pool Coll the Hazel Sep. 3 - Sep. 30 I am a hill of poetry Muinn the Vine Oct. 1 - Oct. 28 I am a ruthless boar Gort the Ivy Oct. 29 - Nov. 25 I am a threatening noise from the sea Ngetal the Reed Nov. 26 - Dec. 22 I am a wave of the sea Ruis the Elder Dec. 23 Who but I knows the secret of the unhewn dolmen? *This calendar is based on the Ogmah or the Celtic tree alphabet and “The Song of Amergin.” The Four fire festivals:  The Four fire festivals Samhain::Halloween Oct.31-Nov.1:  Samhain::Halloween Oct.31-Nov.1 “From the dark silence comes the whisperings of new beginnings, the stirring of the seed beneath the ground.” Slide6:  Samhain, literally meaning “summer’s end,” marks the beginning of Winter and the end of the harvest. Soon the fairies will come and freeze everything with their icy breath. Signaling the dissention into the dark part of the year it is one of the two “gateway” holidays in which the barrier between different worlds is thin and interaction and overlap is possible especially with fairies, the gods draw near and many sacrifices and gifts are given. This thinning also allows for magical divination. Popular traditions include cutting an apple in half width wise (so you can see the star) and eating it while looking at your reflection, supposedly so the image of your true love will appear over your shoulder. Another being the placing of a snail in hearth ashes so that they will reveal the first letter of your true love’s name. There is the “Feast of the Dead” where places are set for the deceased. Stories of deeds long past are told to the younger generations passing down their rich oral tradition. Imbolc::Groundhog’s Day Feb.1-2:  Imbolc::Groundhog’s Day Feb.1-2 Imbolc prayer We’ve made it to the mid-point Of the Winter dark and bleak From this day on the Sun Will climb and thaw the Ground and creeks. Bless us now, oh maiden fair And keep us in your loving care With signs of new life everywhere As you awaken from your sleep. -akasha The Lactation of the Ewes:  The Lactation of the Ewes Imbolc called Oimeagl by the Druids is derived from a Gaelic word that means “ewes milk.” It celebrates the return of the life-giving forces of spring such as the birth of lambs, thus the ewes milk reference, also it is taboo to cut plants during this time. It is the midwinter fire festival that hales the coming light seasons, the ascension from the dark. Imbolc is the holiday of purity, re-growth, and fertility. It is the dispensing of the old and replacing with the new. The plough is a traditional symbol of Imbolc because it was sometimes the first day of ploughing for the first planting. A plough would be decorated with streamers and flowers then whiskey poured over it and lastly accompanied with offering of bread and cheese for the nature spirits. Children running door to door would ask for food, trinkets, and money people who refused had there yards ploughed. Beltane::May Day May 1-2:  Beltane::May Day May 1-2 green spilt out into the meadows running into every being filling us up with spirit tumbling the pulsing red life of the earth in the smoke of the firecircle i saw my demons scatter to the skies dissolving into the midnight air there is nothing but the sun the moon in perfect equilibrium unreal yet grounded alone in body, full in spirit love -Lady Lissar Beltane being the counter holiday to Samhain celebrates the beginning of the Light Season, the sudden awakening of the earth, through planting and fertility rights.:  Beltane being the counter holiday to Samhain celebrates the beginning of the Light Season, the sudden awakening of the earth, through planting and fertility rights. On this day the god Bel or Cernunnos the horned god of Ireland dies and is reborn as the goddess’ son only to impregnate her assuring the never ending cycle of rebirth. Flowers are picked in the forest during the day and preparation is made for the unbridled passion of the night, social attachments are suspended are partners are taken, wondering off into the woods they return in the morning joyous and rumpled. A common tradition of this holiday is the leaping of lovers over the bonfire. If a couple can remain holding hands and makes it over the fire without being singed their love will last forever. Lughnasadh:: The Lammas Feast aug. 31-Sept. 1:  Lughnasadh:: The Lammas Feast aug. 31-Sept. 1 O nurturing Lugh, Lord of the Harvest. Hear, O my people, The ploughland is heavy with the golden wheat of life, The cattle are bound, good substance fills the house, Fair women and men are in their homes, The boys go gladly with the girls in flowing dances! -OakWyse Harvest Festival:  Harvest Festival Here is the where the shift from growing to harvesting from incline to decline becomes evident. Here is where the warmth and joy of the Light season is tinged with fear of the oncoming dark. Lughnasdh is a time of personal reflection of events and experiences both good and bad that have occurred over the past year. This holiday is a celebration of the celtic god Lugh the God of Light. He led the Tuatha De Dannan to numerous victories. Stories of his adventures and achievements are deeply embedded in celtic myth. It is a day of feasting. Bread is baked in mass quantities and fruits and nuts are harvested. Corn a vital crop that is harvested at this time. Lughnasdh is a holiday of death and harvest as well as bounty and life. The Solstices and Equinoxes:  The Solstices and Equinoxes Yule :: The Winter Solstice Alban Arthuan::Light of Arthur:  Yule :: The Winter Solstice Alban Arthuan::Light of Arthur This is the longest night of the year and the time of greatest darkness. The celebration is of the return of the sun (representing male divinity though the Sun God) after the shortest day of the year. The Winter solstice is associated with the birth of the “Divine King” believed by some Pagans to be King Arthur before the Christians declared him Christ and changed the holiday to Christmas. Holly and Mistletoe sacred to the Druids are used for decoration and there is a designated Holly King (Santa Clause?) to bring joy and love. Ostara::Spring Equinox Alban Eiler::Light of the Earth:  Ostara::Spring Equinox Alban Eiler::Light of the Earth The day and night are equal in length and the new sprouts and buds continue to mature and grow. The days are becoming warmer and hope and excitement are rejuvenated. This a holiday for the Spring goddess Eostre who is often depicted holding colorful eggs, wreathed in flowers and surrounded by bunnies (all symbols of fertility). This holiday was also taken by Christians as Easter Christ’s resurrection. Midsummer::Summer Solstice Alban Heruin::Light of the Shore:  Midsummer::Summer Solstice Alban Heruin::Light of the Shore The longest day and the shortest night of the year the Summer Solstice represents the pinnacle of the power of Light and the final surge before its decline. Fire and water are equally important to the holiday. Bonfires are built with the sacred wood of the oak and fir trees. Their ashes will be taken home providing protection and good luck. Bathing in springs and lakes during this time provides purification and healing and it is mixed with the fire’s ashes. The dew of Midsummer is said to bestow health. The Holly King relinquishes his throne to the Oak King. Mabon::Autumn Equinox Alban Elued::Light of Water:  Mabon::Autumn Equinox Alban Elued::Light of Water Known as the “Second Harvesting” this holiday is a continuation of Lughnasadh. Cornucopias and wheat sheaths decorate the home during the large feast of thanksgiving and celebration. As day and night are once again equal it allows us time to look at our own scales and hopefully balance them. This is a time of great change, a short pause before the plunge, decisions are weighed carefully and then made. Bibliography:  Bibliography Aubin, Christina. “Holiday Overview” The Witches Voice. Sept. 21, 2001. Found May 4, 2004. http://www.witchvox.com. “Celtic Religion.” Found April 21, 2004. http://celtdigital.org/celtrel.htm. Culbreath A. Steven. “Calendar and Astrology,” “Religious Festivals.” April 24, 2004. Found April 21, 2004. www.celticgrounds.com “Druids the Celtic Calendar.” Found May 2, 2004. http://celt.net/Celtic/History/calendar.html. Freeman, Mara. “Samhain,” “Imbolc,” “Beltaine,” “Lughnasadh,” Celtic Spirit. 1999. Found May 4, 2004. http://www.celticspirit.org. By Lauren Patz

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