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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Summertime Ukrainian Ridnoveri Holidays

If you have recently contacted the Slavic gods and are looking to deepen your connection to them, here is a list of holidays observed by some Ridnoveri groups and individuals. Ridnoveri is a modern Ukrainian pagan path. Other Slavic peoples have their own paths, which share many gods and characteristics but don't always have the same holidays.

Some of these holidays have a Christian history and some Ridnoveri pagans are Christopagan. I have done the math to translate these from the Julian calendar, traditionally used by Orthodox Christians in Slavic countries and also by Slavic pagans, to the Gregorian calendar generally used in English speaking countries.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Upcoming Ukrainian Ridnoveri Holidays

If you've recently initiated contact with the Slavic gods and are wondering what to do next, here are some upcoming holidays you might want to research and explore. These are Ridnoveri holidays, which is a modern Ukrainian pagan path. Other Slavic peoples have some of the same holidays and some different ones. There are cultural and linguistic differences between the various Slavic peoples and their varieties of paganism but their gods are recognizably named the same names and most pagans consider the various versions of a same name god to be the same god, just like with the heathen Germanic and Scandinavian gods. That is, all versions of Mokosh are Mokosh, just like all versions of Odin are Odin, even if spelled slightly differently (Wotan, Odhinn, Mr. Wednesday, etc.)

The Slavic gods are busy right now so if you are going to pursue your new relationships, just honor them, don't ask for anything unless you're Ukrainian yourself.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Seasons of the Minoan Calendar

In Ariadne's Tribe, we developed our sacred calendar one bit at a time over the course of several years, relying on a combination of archaeology, comparative mythology, dance ethnology, and shared gnosis to collect up and organize the festivals. But now that it's a living, functioning thing that we've worked in sync with for a while, something interesting has happened.

We've come to know the seasons of ancient Crete.

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Minoan Subcultures and the Sacred Calendar

We tend to think of ancient cultures as monolithic: the Minoans, the Sumerians, the Greeks, the Romans. But there were subcultures and differing groups within those larger labels, just like there are now among, say, Americans or modern Greek people.

It can be difficult to tease out the identities of the subcultures, but it's important to do so. Why? Because choosing not to bother has the effect of erasing those people from history. I think they deserve better than that.

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I know how much my fellow heathens and pagans get annoyed about things being called Christmas that are actually pagan. The upcoming conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on December 21st 2020 will make the two planets appear as a single bright star to the naked eye, or like a double planet. Since it will be visible just after sundown it will be easier to view than some other sky occurrences, so people are excited about it. I've seen posts on the net saying the media calling it a Christmas star is wrong because it will be on the solstice, not on the 25th. The date of Christmas in the Bible is in lambing season, but the date established for the holiday by the Church as December 25 was supposed to be the solstice.

Christmas was originally established over the date of Roman Saturnalia, or on Sol Invictus (the Romans had multiple gods with overlapping areas of influence just like we heathens), which was on the winter soltice in accordance with the Julian calendar in use at the time. The winter solstice precesses, though. The Gregorian calendar reform re-established the drifted date of Christmas with the solstice. Eastern Orthodox who still follow the Julian calendar have their Christmas on January 7 according to our calendar, the Gregorian. Since the Gregorian calendar reform, the solstice precessed again. So the dates of Christmas and the solstice are off again, but they aren't supposed to be. Christmas was supposed to be on the solstice, so calling it a Christmas Star is not really wrong.
 
However, it is not going to look like a cross in the sky. It's going to look like a double planet, or if you have a telescope, like two planets close to each other.
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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Modern Minoan Paganism: Looking back at 2019

2019 was a busy year for Modern Minoan Paganism (MMP). We had our first public ritual, put on by the talented folks of Puget Sound Minoan Pagans at a park in their local area. We made our first official appearance at a Pagan conference, the very awesome Mystic South (we'll be there again this year, hopefully putting on a ritual as well as a workshop). We drew up By-Laws, installed a Board of Directors, and began officially accepting members and chapters (the Puget Sound Minoan Pagans are our first official chapter!). We've topped 1400 members in our Facebook group, which is the official public forum of MMP, and we're still growing.

So yeah, busy year. I expect 2020 isn't going to let us slow down much, either. When I started the Facebook group back in 2014, I was just looking for other folks who shared an interest in Minoan religion and culture. I had no idea we were going to end up with a practicing Pagan tradition. But here we are, and I thank the Mothers every day that I'm surrounded by so many marvelous people whose enthusiasm and skill has helped us move forward in a way that (I hope) serves our members and respects the gods and goddesses with whom we have a formal relationship.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
December 2019 Heathen and Asatru Holidays

Moveable feasts in this time period include Krampuslauf, which is the weekend closest to Dec. 15th before Yule (Urglaawe.) Midwinterhoorn Blazen in the province of Overijssel Beginning of Advent until the Sunday following Epiphany (Netherlands.) Although Luciadagen is fixed on Dec. 13 elsewhere, it is 1 week before winter solstice among the Swedish minority in Finland.

5
Sinterklaas (Holland),
Sinterklaas Avond (Netherlands)

6
Samichlaus Abend (Switzerland),
Neklosdag (Luxembourg)

9
Day of Egill Skallagrimson (American Asatru, American Odinist)

13
Luciadagen (Norway),
Lusinatta (Sweden) 

14
Krampuslauf begins (Urglaawe)

15
Krampuslauf ends (Urglaawe)

20
Mother Night (alternate date) (American Asatru),
Ærre-Geól begins (Theod),
Julfest begins (German), Juleaften (Denmark)   

21
Yule (American Asatru, Theod),
Beginning of 12 Days of Yule (American Asatru, England),
High Feast of Yule (American Asatru),
Yuul begins (Urglaawe),
Yol (Icelandic Asatru),
Juledag (Denmark),
Midvinterblot (Swedish Forn Sed)

22 Mōdraniht (American Asatru)

31
Twelfth Night (American Asatru, England, Urglaawe),
Berchtaslaaf (Urglaawe),
Silvesterabend (Switzerland),
Nytarsaften (Denmark) 



Image: closeup of the word "jol" (Yule) spelled out in Elder Futhark runes in pie crust on an apple pie, pie made by Erin Lale, photo by Erin Lale.

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