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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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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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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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Moveable feasts in this time period include the Feast of Ullr, which is a heathenization of the USA holiday Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving takes place on the fourth Thursday of November each year. The modern secular holiday Wolfenoot also takes place in November. It has been adopted by many heathens and pagans. Last year, 2018, was the first time Wolfenoot was celebrated, and it occurred on the same day as the USA's Thanksgiving, which gave it a boost among those seeking an alternative holiday to celebrate on that day. That also happened to be a full moon, which gave Wolfenoot a boost among those who already howl at the full moon. But Wolfenoot is a fixed date holiday, always on the 23rd of November, not a moveable feast like Thanksgiving.

October
1
Month of possible date of Disablot begins (Icelandic Asatru)

6
Oktoberfest ends (Munich, Germany)

8
Day of Erik the Red (American Asatru, American Odinist)

9
Leif Erikson Day (American Odinist), World Odin Prayer Day (Odinist)

12
Day of Leif Erikson and Freydis Eriksdottir (American Asatru)

14
Winter Nights (alternate date) (American Asatru)

28
Day of Erik the Red (alternate date) (American Asatru)

29
Winterfyllith begins (American Asatru)

30
 Winter Nights (American Asatru),
Alf-blessing (American Asatru),
Freyr-blessing (American Asatru),
Allelieweziel begins (Urglaawe)

November
1
Winter Entdeckung (Germany)

2
Winterfyllith ends (American Asatru)

9
Day of Queen Sigrid (American Asatru, American Odinist)

10
Allelieweziel ends (Urglaawe)

11
Einherjar’s Day (Universalist American Asatru),
Hollersege (Urglaawe),
Ewicher Yeeger Sege (Urglaawe),
Marten Gas (Norway) 

21
Alfablot (Asatru)

23

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August and September 2019 Heathen Pagan and Asatru Holidays

Moveable feasts during August and September include Oktoberfest, a two-week celebration beginning in late September and ending on the first Sunday in October (Munich, Germany,) and Schafer Sonntag, the 2nd sun in September (Switzerland.)

In Northern Tradition Pagan and some Lokean sects, Loki’s Day is on the heliacal rising of Sirius. It precesses 1 day every 4 years. It moves from August 8th to August 9th in 2019. The Lokean sects that dedicate July for Loki began doing so when the heliacal rising of Sirius took place in July.

August

1
Freyfaxi (American Asatru),
Haustblot (American Asatru),
Loaf-Fest (American Asatru),
Liðasblót (American Asatru),
Elben Segen (German Reconstructionist)

9
Day of Radbod King of the Frisians (American Asatru, American Odinist),
Loki Day (Northern Tradition, Lokean)

15
Month of possible date of Hoietfescht ends (Urglaawe)

21
Hlafmaest (Theod)

23
Schaferlauf begins (Swabian Germany) 

25
Schaferlauf ends (Swabian Germany)

28
Freyfaxi (American Odinist)

September

1
season of possible date of Almabtrieb begins (Germany)

9
Day of Herman the Cheruscan (American Asatru, American Odinist),
Day of Queen Sigrid of Sweden (American Asatru)

22
Winter Finding (American Asatru),
Vetrablot (American Asatru),
Harvest Home (Urglaawe),
Erntfescht (Urglaawe),
Erntedankfest (Germany)

Oktoberfest begins (Munich, Germany) 

28
Zisasege (Urglaawe)

30
season of possible date of Almabtrieb ends (Germany)

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June and July 2019 Heathen and Asatru Holidays

Maienzug (Aarau, Switzerland) takes place every year on the first Friday in July. It's an example of a moveable feast, that is, a holiday that is not on the same date every year. The following is a list of holidays with fixed dates which are celebrated by heathens or heathen-derived cultures.

June
8
Lindisfarne Day (American Asatru, American Odinist)

9
Day of Sigurd (American Asatru, American Odinist)

21
Midsummer (Urglaawe, England),
Hleifblot (American Asatru),
Líða (Theod),
Mittesommer (Germany),
Sommersonnewende (Germany),
Hochsommer Fest (Switzerland),
Midsommar (Norway),
Midsommardagen (Sweden)   

July
7
Lindenfest begins (Geisenheim, Germany)

9
Day of Unn the Deep-Minded (American Asatru), Lindenfest ends (Geisenheim, Germany)

15 Month of possible date of Hoietfescht begins (Urglaawe)

29 Stikkelstad Day (American Asatru)

31 Month of possible date of Honoring of the Weisskeppichi Fraa ends (Urglaawe)

Some moveable feasts require knowing the date of other feasts to derive their dates. Pinkster is on the fiftieth day after Easter, aka Whitsunday (in Deventer, province of Overijssel, Netherlands)
Pinkster Bruid or Pinksterbloem on Whit Tuesday (in Volte, Ootmarsum, Markelo, Rijssen, Hellendoorn, Hengelo, and other communities, province of Overijssel, Netherlands.)

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    You're welcome, and thanks! Have a great day!
  • Shawn Sanford Beck
    Shawn Sanford Beck says #
    Right ... thanks for the explanation. Have a beautiful weekend!
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    It's on the official calendar of some groups. I'd guess it was probably intended as "fight the Christian oppressor." That was a po
  • Shawn Sanford Beck
    Shawn Sanford Beck says #
    Hmmm ... Is "Lindisfarne Day" an actual thing? Seems a bit of an odd and disturbing event to celebrate ... I wonder what others i
April and May 2019 Heathen and Asatru Holidays

April 1: Loki Day. Loki's Day is celebrated on April 1st by American Asatru groups and individuals influenced by the old Ostara festival held by the old Ring of Troth, which was a multi day campout that included April 1st when that date fell on a weekend. Loki Day was a day for pranks and jokes in honor of Loki, and toward the end of the RoT women who were awake in the early morning threw their hair-combings into the fire for Loki. When the Ring of Troth broke into two groups, the American Vinland Association kept the Loki celebrations intact, while over the years the Ring of Troth abandoned them due to the influence of new members who were Nokeans (see my post on Nokeans for a definition and discussion.) The Troth recently re-embraced Loki, so the old custom may or may not come back. Also on April 1st: Narrentag (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and the season of the possible date of Alp Aufzug begins (Switzerland.)

9 Day of Haakon Sigurdson (American Asatru, American Odinist)

14 Flyttedag, Faredag (Norway)

15 Sechseläuten (Zurich, Switzerland)

21 Sigrblot (Asatru)

22 Yggdrasil Day (American Asatru)

30

Valpurgisnacht (American Asatru),
May Eve (American Asatru, England),
Walpurgisnacht / Wonnenacht (Urglaawe), Wonnezeit begins (Urglaawe),
Walpurgisnacht (Germany, Austria, Switzerland),
Valborgsmässoafton (Sweden)
Valborgsnatten (Norway),
Maitag Vorabend (Switzerland),
Valborgsaften (Jutland, Denmark) 

May

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