Happy Hallowe’en? – Gavin and Yvonne’s Archive – Wicca.org

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Yvonne muses:

In a popular presentation that we do, “Ninety-Nine Ways Good Witches Go Bad”, we make a point of how dedicated (or not) the fictitious group are. Example: we find more and more that self-styled pagans don’t bother with the real dates for celebrations of the Craft’s sabbats and esbats.

What did our spiritual forebears fight and die for? Don’t we care? Can’t we be bothered?

Everything on this planet–its earth, its waters, its living creatures including humans–everything is influenced by the pull of the moon. We all know (at least I hope we do) not to go out partying on full-moon night; rather, that’s the night to stay home and do our own house or coven rituals, our own form of observance.

The Hindus say that we in the west have it wrong: that we ought properly to be observing our holy days three days after the appropriate phase of the moon.Why? Because thousands of years ago they observed that the tides of the oceans demonstrate what is called a hysteresis; that is, the tides lag the moon’s actual position. Hindus compare the concept to sitting in a bathtub and sliding your bottom several times, toward the back end of the tub, then toward the front end, then toward the back end again. A watch with a second-hand will prove that there is a perceptible lag between (a) your bottom’s reaching its most forward point and (b) the bathwater reaching its highest point on the front wall of the tub. The hysteresis between the moon’s position and the ocean tides, then, takes three days. Currently, then, we are saying, “Any day between the full (or new) moon and three days after is okay for a ritual.” Of course the ritual should be done as the moon is crossing the zenith at your location; that is, about midnight for full moon and about noon (standard time) for new.

As a double Aries, I get really upset when people fail to understand the importance of doing rituals on or near the best day. It curdles my insides. Why else would anyone keep an Old Farmer’s Almanac in their bathroom?

So, pagans, Wiccans, and anyone else who cares, you don’t want to do that to me, do you? If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. Think back to our early spiritual ancestors, who watched the heavens as a matter of survival. When they honored Nature’s gifts, they didn’t time the occasions by a calendar devised by some pope in Rome. They scheduled their reverent observances by the real–the visible–positions of the heavenly bodies. It makes my insides churn when someone says to me, “Happy Hallowe’en!” I’m not yet to the point where I can just scrape it off my shoe and get on with life. What are our traditions worth, anyhow?

Blessed be those who think. Yvonne

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