The spring equinox, reckoned as the moment of each solar year after the winter solstice and before the summer solstice when the center of the sun passes directly over Earth’s equator, the instant when the solar terminator—the liminal boundary between night and day that rushes endlessly across the face of our rotating planet—transits through perpendicularity with the equator, marks the occasion of Mid Spring, also called Ostara. This sabbat provides an opportunity to focus on themes of beginnings, breakthroughs, and regeneration in our personal lives and in within the broader Pagan Reformation.
By some traditional, agrarian reckonings, the point in early February halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox marks the beginning of spring. This occasion has been celebrated by certain peoples of northwestern Europe as Imbolc, a name which may refer to the pregnancy of ewes around this time of year. Reform Pagans call this sabbat Spring Eve, and we take this opportunity to reflect on themes of openness, purification, and resolve.
Continue reading On the Spirit of Imbolc
We wish you a very happy Mid Winter, Yule, Alban Arthan, and the rest! At this time of year, when days are shortest and the sun hangs lowest in the sky, we make time to celebrate solidarity, hope, and patience. One element that sometimes figures in our Mid Winter celebrations is the Yule log, a folk custom of unknown origin that has become for many of us a familiar favorite and a symbol of the inspirational themes on which we reflect in this season. Continue reading Gather We Around One Flame
Winter Eve, Samhain, the Pagan New Year, Sabbat of Sabbats—when the natural world enters a season of relative dormancy, we remember the past and those who have gone before us as we celebrate the dark, the mysterious, the ominous, the frightening, the macabre, even death itself. For many, this sabbat is a favorite; for others, it is difficult or painful. Whatever our opinion of this time when “the veil between the worlds thins”, Winter Eve has lessons to teach us. Continue reading Masquerading Together
At Mid Autumn, when day and night pass through a moment of balance amidst the ongoing harvest season, we have an opportunity to celebrate sacrifice, reconciliation, and balance. This year, in particular, we call our attention to the balance that Reform Paganism strikes through the sacrifice of certainty and the reconciliation of ostensibly contradictory opposites through a hieros gamos (“sacred marriage”) that rejects “either–or” in favor of “both–and”. Continue reading Celebrating the Harvest through Sacrifice
When we come each year to Autumn Eve, Lughnasadh, Lammas, the midpoint between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox, we celebrate the feast of the first fruits of the harvest. As we enjoy our sabbat, we would do well also to reflect on a certain natural law of the harvest, which reminds us, “We reap what we sow.” Continue reading A Natural Law of the Harvest
Mid Summer, also called Litha, gives us an opportunity to celebrate joy, vitality, and power. And “Power for the Will” is a cardinal aspiration that we develop in Reform Pagan practice through the Element of Fire, which corresponds to ritual observances of common and special occasions over the course of human life in Nature. Mid Summer is, therefore, a fitting occasion for Reform Pagans to reflect on what we might call our “magickal physics of Power”. Continue reading A Magickal Physics of Power
At Summer Eve, Reform Pagans circle to celebrate passion, union, and creativity on or about the occasion of Beltane, an ancient “fire festival” dedicated, in many ways, to love. Continue reading Open But Unbroken
Reform Pagans celebrate Mid Spring (also called “Ostara”), a sabbat of regeneration, breakthroughs, and new beginnings, around the time of the spring equinox, when hours of light and darkness in a day are most nearly equal. This time of year also sees new life emerging everywhere from winter’s dormant Earth. Continue reading A Faith Ever New
Reform Paganism’s sabbat of Spring Eve, coming halfway between Mid Winter and Mid Spring, draws some of its inspiration from the ancient Gaelic festival of Imbolc, a celebration of the goddess Brigid around the traditional beginning of the season of spring. Continue reading The Perpetual Flame