The Domain and Realms National Site
The Day of Honor, January 5 -
Created by former Domani and Astorian ruler: Lady Athene Airheart, the Day of Honor is a day on which, in Athene's words, "one gathers with friends, feasts, and tells stories of glorious deeds - both done by oneself, others, and in legend. It is a day to concentrate on individual greatness and to honor the warrior storyteller. This is not celebrated by everyone but holds a strong calling for a few. The best place to celebrate the Day of Honor is around a fire, either a campfire or a hearth." Because of the nature of this holiday, the Day of Honor is the Domani version of Veterans' Day, to remember those warriors - ancient and modern-day - who fought for honor and for truth.
Imbolc(Midwinter's Night), February 2 -
Imbolc is a day for celebrating the balefire of imagination and creativity and its replenishment after the long darkness of winter. Also known as Bard's Day, Imbolc honors the creative spirit. It is a day to celebrate what it means to dream, to imagine, and to be alive. It is also a day to re-affirm one's personal convictions to always do their best to keep dreams, understanding, wisdom, and magick a part of their lives.
It is a particularly special day for the Realm of Orinoco, as it became a Realm under Royal rule by former-Lady Vampier ni Shadow Storm on Imbolc 2002.
Imbolc, (pronounced "IM-bulk" or "EM-bowlk"), also called Oimealg, ("IM-mol'g), by the Druids, is the festival of the lactating sheep. It is derived from the Gaelic word "oimelc" which means "ewes milk". Herd animals have either given birth to the first offspring of the year or their wombs are swollen and the milk of life is flowing into their teats and udders. It is the time of Blessing of the seeds and consecration of agricultural tools. It marks the center point of the dark half of the year. It is the festival of the Maiden, for from this day to March 21st, it is her season to prepare for growth and renewal. Brighid's snake emerges from the womb of the Earth Mother to test the weather, (the origin of Ground Hog Day), and in many places the first Crocus flowers began to spring forth from the frozen earth.
The Maiden is honored, as the Bride, on this Sabbat. Straw Brideo'gas (corn dollies) are created from oat or wheat straw and placed in baskets with white flower bedding. Young girls then carry the Brideo'gas door to door, and gifts are bestowed upon the image from each household. Afterwards at the traditional feast, the older women make special acorn wands for the dollies to hold, and in the morning the ashes in the hearth are examined to see if the magic wands left marks as a good omen. Brighid's Crosses are fashioned from wheat stalks and exchanged as symbols of protection and prosperity in the coming year. Home hearth fires are put out and re-lit, and a besom is place by the front door to symbolize sweeping out the old and welcoming the new. Candles are lit and placed in each room of the house to honor the re-birth of the Sun.
Another traditional symbol of Imbolc is the plough. In some areas, this is the first day of ploughing in preparation of the first planting of crops. A decorated plough is dragged from door to door, with costumed children following asking for food, drinks, or money. Should they be refused, the household is paid back by having its front garden ploughed up. In other areas, the plough is decorated and then Whiskey, the "water of life" is poured over it. Pieces of cheese and bread are left by the plough and in the newly turned furrows as offerings to the nature spirits. It is considered taboo to cut or pick plants during this time.
Various other names for this Greater Sabbat are Imbolgc Brigantia (Caledonni), Imbolic (Celtic), Disting (Teutonic, Feb 14th), Lupercus (Strega), St. Bridget's Day (Christian), Candlemas, Candlelaria (Mexican), the Snowdrop Festival. The Festival of Lights, or the Feast of the Virgin. All Virgin and Maiden Goddesses are honored at this time.
Deities of Imbolc:
All Virgin/Maiden Goddesses, Brighid, Aradia, Athena, Inanna, Gaia, and Februa, and Gods of Love and Fertility, Aengus Og, Eros, and Februus.
Symbolism of Imbolc:
Purity, Growth and Re-Newal, The Re-Union of the Goddess and the God, Fertility, and dispensing of the old and making way for the new.
Symbols of Imbolc:
Brideo'gas, Besoms, White Flowers, Candle Wheels, Brighid's Crosses, Priapic Wands (acorn-tipped), and Ploughs.
Herbs of Imbolc:
Angelica, Basil, Bay Laurel, Blackberry, Celandine, Coltsfoot, Heather, Iris, Myrrh, Tansy, Violets, and all white or yellow flowers.
Foods of Imbolc:
Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Poppyseed Cakes, muffins, scones, and breads, all dairy products, Peppers, Onions, Garlic, Raisins, Spiced Wines and Herbal Teas.
Incense of Imbolc:
Basil, Bay, Wisteria, Cinnamon, Violet, Vanilla, Myrrh.
Colors of Imbolc:
White, Pink, Red, Yellow, Lt. Green, Brown.
Stones of Imbolc:
Amethyst, Bloodstone, Garnet, Ruby, Onyx, Turquoise.
Activities of Imbolc:
Candle Lighting, Stone Gatherings, Snow Hiking and Searching for Signs of Spring, Making of Brideo'gas and Bride's Beds, Making Priapic Wands, Decorating Ploughs, Feasting, and Bon Fires maybe lit.
Ostara-Spring/Vernal Equinox(Lady Day/Alban Eiler [Druidic]), March 21 -
As Spring reaches its midpoint, night and day stand in perfect balance, with light on the increase. The young Sun God now celebrates a hierogamy (sacred marriage) with the young Maiden Goddess, who conceives. In nine months, she will again become the Great Mother. It is a time of great fertility, new growth, and newborn animals.
The next full moon (a time of increased births) is called the Ostara and is sacred to Eostre of the Dawn, the Saxon Lunar Goddess of fertility (from whence we get the word estrogen), whose two symbols are the egg and the rabbit.
The Christian religion adopted these emblems for Easter which is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox. The theme of the conception of the Goddess was adapted as the Feast of the Annunciation, occurring on the alternative fixed calendar date of March 25, Old Lady Day, the earlier date of the equinox. Lady Day may also refer to other goddesses (such as Venus and Aphrodite), many of whom have festivals celebrated at this time.
Leafy green vegetables, Dairy foods, Nuts such as Pumpkin, Sunflower and Pine. Flower Dishes and Sprouts.
Herbs and Flowers:
Daffodil, Jonquils, Woodruff, Violet, Gorse, Olive, Peony, Iris, Narcissus and all spring flowers.
Jasmine, Rose, Strawberry, Floral of any type.
Planting seeds or starting a Magickal Herb Garden. Taking a long walk in nature with no intent other than reflecting on the Magick of nature and our Great Mother and her bounty.
World Tarot Day - May 25th (http://www.worldtarotday.org/)
"To promote the use of the Tarot tool across all human made borders, be they political boundaries, misunderstandings of the mind, or ignorance of the tool itself, for the benefit and growth of the Spiritual Self."
1) To promote Tarot's use beyond any public conception of it as 'evil' or Satanic.
2) To promote Tarot uses in honest manner with integrity.
3) To promote the use of Tarot in responsible manner beyond both use as an unsavory monetary "fortune-telling" scheme, as well as use as a crutch by those unwilling to take responsibility for their own future and/or behavior.
4) To promote Tarot use as a tool for self-examination, spirituality, and other self-aide methods of guidance.
5) To have at least one day to celebrate, share, and stimulate our love of the Tarot tool with each other, and to think about what we can 'give' to instead of what we can 'take' from the Tarot Community.
Renewal of the Soul, June 1 -
Marking the end of the Cleansing season, the Renewal of the Soul - created by ur-Lord ShadowDarkFyre and former Plainitian ruler: Lady Summer Rayne Dreamie ni DarkFyre - is a holiday dedicated to the re-dedication of Domani their faiths/beliefs. Straightforwardly enough, it is a renewal of the soul: a renewal to one's chosen path, chosen belief, and/or chosen deity.
Litha-Summer Solstice(Alban Heruin [Druidic]), June 21 -
Although the name Litha is not well attested, it may come from Saxon tradition -- the opposite of Yule. On this longest day of the year, light and life are abundant. At mid-summer, the Sun God has reached the moment of his greatest strength. Seated on his greenwood throne, he is also lord of the forests, and his face is seen in church architecture peering from countless foliate masks.
The Christian Catholic religion converted this day of Jack-in-the-Green to the Feast of St. John the Baptist, often portraying him in rustic attire, sometimes with horns and cloven feet (like the Greek Demi-God Pan).
Midsummer Night's Eve is also special for adherents of the Faerie faith. The alternative fixed calendar date of June 25 (Old Litha) is sometimes employed by Covens. The name Beltane is sometimes incorrectly assigned to this holiday by some modern traditions of Wicca, even though Beltane is the Gaelic word for May.
Garden fresh fruits and vegetables are made into a variety of dishes and eaten by Pagan's who choose to celebrate this day.
Herbs and Flowers:
Mugwort, Vervain, Chamomile, Rose, Honeysuckle, Lily, Oak, Lavender, Ivy, Yarrow, Fern, Elder, Wild Thyme, Daisy, Carnation.
Lemon, Myrrh, Pine, Rose, Wisteria.
An Ideal time to reaffirm your vows to the Lord and Lady or your dedication to following the old traditions
International Fairy Day, June 24th -
Founded by artist Jessica Glbreth, International Fairy Day is a time for all of us, fairy kissed or no, to honor and delight in the fanciful, the mystical, the ethereal in our lives. Throughout man’s history, Midsummers Day has been known as a time to revel in the magic of nature. It is one of the few "in between" times, when the veil is drawn thinnest and crossing between the worlds is at it’s easiest. This day, the longest of the year is known for odd things happening to unwitting mortals, victims of the fairies playful games. It is at this time that fairies may be seen, dancing round rings, or that mortals with the desire and a pure heart may meet a fae out walking in the woods.
Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Night Dream is a famous version of such an event. And with the creation of Fairy Day, we wish to honor this ancient connection, to help bring back into the common focus the magical in our world, to help keep the veils thin enough so that we do not lose the Fae forever, and with them, a part of our own souls. To even, perhaps, one day lift the veil entirely and bring them back home.
Lughnasadh-Lammas, July 31st -
Lughnasadh means the funeral games of Lugh (pronounced Loo), referring to Lugh, the Irish sun god. However, the funeral is not his own, but the funeral games he hosts in honor of his foster-mother Tailte. For that reason, the traditional Tailtean craft fairs and Tailtean marriages (which last for a year and a day) are celebrated at this time.
This day originally coincided with the first reapings of the harvest. It was known as the time when the plants of spring wither and drop their fruits or seeds for our use as well as to ensure future crops.
As autumn begins, the Sun God enters his old age, but is not yet dead. The God symbolically loses some of his strength as the Sun rises farther in the South each day and the nights grow longer.
The Christian religion adopted this theme and called it 'Lammas ', meaning 'loaf-mass ', a time when newly baked loaves of bread are placed on the altar. An alternative date around August 5 (Old Lammas), when the sun reaches 15 degrees Leo, is sometimes employed by Covens.
Apples, Grains, Breads and Berries.
Herbs and Flowers:
All Grains, Grapes, Heather, Blackberries, Sloe, Crab Apples, Pears.
Aloes, Rose, Sandalwood.
As summer passes, many Pagans celebrate this time to remember its warmth and bounty in a celebrated feast shared with family or Coven members. Save and plant the seeds from the fruits consumed during the feast or ritual. If they sprout, grow the plant or tree with love and as a symbol of your connection with the Lord and Lady. Walk through the fields and orchards or spend time along springs, creeks, rivers, ponds and lakes reflecting on the bounty and love of the Lord and Lady.
Autumn Equinox-Mabon(2nd Harvest), September 21st -
Mabon, (pronounced MAY-bun, MAY-bone, MAH-boon, or MAH-bawn) is the Autumn Equinox. The Autumn Equinox divides the day and night equally, and we all take a moment to pay our respects to the impending dark. We also give thanks to the waning sunlight, as we store our harvest of this year's crops. The Druids call this celebration, Mea'n Fo'mhair, and honor the The Green Man, the God of the Forest, by offering libations to trees. Offerings of ciders, wines, herbs and fertilizer are appropriate at this time. Wiccans celebrate the aging Goddess as she passes from Mother to Crone, and her consort the God as he prepares for death and re-birth.
Various other names for this Lesser Wiccan Sabbat are The Second Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest, Feast of Avalon, Equinozio di Autunno (Strega), Alben Elfed (Caledonii), or Cornucopia. The Teutonic name, Winter Finding, spans a period of time from the Sabbat to Oct. 15th, Winter's Night, which is the Norse New Year.
At this festival it is appropriate to wear all of your finery and dine and celebrate in a lavish setting. It is the drawing to and of family as we prepare for the winding down of the year at Samhain. It is a time to finish old business as we ready for a period of rest, relaxation, and reflection.
Symbolism of Mabon:
Second Harvest, the Mysteries, Equality and Balance.
Symbols of Mabon:
wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grains, corn, apples, pomegranates, vines such as ivy, dried seeds, and horns of plenty.
Herbs of Mabon:
Acorn, benzoin, ferns, grains, honeysuckle, marigold, milkweed, myrrh, passionflower, rose, sage, Solomon's seal, tobacco, thistle, and vegetables.
Foods of Mabon:
Breads, nuts, apples, pomegranates, and vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions.
Incense of Mabon:
Autumn Blend-benzoin, myrrh, and sage.
Colors of Mabon:
Red, orange, russet, maroon, brown, and gold.
Stones of Mabon:
Sapphire, lapis lazuli, and yellow agates.
Activities of Mabon:
Making wine, gathering dried herbs, plants, seeds and seed pods, walking in the woods, scattering offerings in harvested fields, offering libations to trees, adorning burial sites with leaves, acorns, and pine cones to honor those who have passed over.
Spellworkings of Mabon:
Protection, prosperity, security, and self-confidence. Also those of harmony and balance.
Deities of Mabon:
Goddesses-Modron, Morgan, Epona, Persephone, Pamona and the Muses. Gods-Mabon, Thoth, Thor, Hermes, and The Green Man.
Mabon is considered a time of the Mysteries. It is a time to honor Aging Deities and the Spirit World. Considered a time of balance, it is when we stop and relax and enjoy the fruits of our personal harvests, whether they be from toiling in our gardens, working at our jobs, raising our families, or just coping with the hussle-bussle of everyday life. May your Mabon be memorable, and your hearts and spirits be filled to overflowing!
Changing of the Colors, from October 1st to November 15th -
An informal holiday, the Changing of the Colors is meant as a way to celebrate the gift of nature at it's most colorful: which starts around the beginning of October(when the leaves on the trees start turning colors), to the middle of November(when the colors start fading). It's always encouraged for Domani to get out and celebrate nature's beauty at this colorful time, when nearly all the colors of the rainbow are on display and seem to blanket the ground. Especially at their most colorful: about a week before Halloween(Samhain). Whatever festivals occur during the Changing depends completely on the Domani who wish to celebrate them. Outright and formal celebrations aren't necessary, really. The simple act of going out for a walk or drive through a wood or field to enjoy a beautiful Autumn day is celebration enough. Though festivals are always nice.
Samhain(Halloween), October 31st -
Samhain, (pronounced SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne) means "End of Summer", and is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter half of the year commences on this Sabbat.
It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st. It is one of the two "spirit-nights" each year, the other being Beltane. It is a magical interval when the mundane laws of time and space are temporarily suspended, and the Thin Veil between the worlds is lifted. Communicating with ancestors and departed loved ones is easy at this time, for they journey through this world on their way to the Summerlands. It is a time to study the Dark Mysteries and honor the Dark Mother and the Dark Father, symbolized by the Crone and her aged Consort.
Originally the "Feast of the Dead" was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the "wandering dead". Today a lot of practitioners still carry out that tradition. Single candles were lit and left in a window to help guide the spirits of ancestors and loved ones home. Extra chairs were set to the table and around the hearth for the unseen guest. Apples were buried along roadsides and paths for spirits who were lost or had no descendants to provide for them. Turnips were hollowed out and carved to look like protective spirits, for this was a night of magic and chaos. The Wee Folke became very active, pulling pranks on unsuspecting humans. Traveling after dark was was not advised. People dressed in white (like ghosts), wore disguises made of straw, or dressed as the opposite gender in order to fool the Nature spirits.
This was the time that the cattle and other livestock were slaughtered for eating in the ensuing winter months. Any crops still in the field on Samhain were considered taboo, and left as offerings to the Nature spirits. Bonfires were built, (originally called bone-fires, for after feasting, the bones were thrown in the fire as offerings for healthy and plentiful livestock in the New Year) and stones were marked with peoples names. Then they were thrown into the fire, to be retrieved in the morning. The condition of the retrieved stone foretold of that person's fortune in the coming year. Hearth fires were also lit from the village bonfire to ensure unity, and the ashes were spread over the harvested fields to protect and bless the land.
Various other names for this Greater Sabbat are Third Harvest, Samana, Day of the Dead, Old Hallowmas (Scottish/Celtic), Vigil of Saman, Shadowfest (Strega), and Samhuinn. Also known as All Hallow's Eve, (that day actually falls on November 7th), and Martinmas (that is celebrated November 11th), Samhain is now generally considered the Witch's New Year.
Symbolism of Samhain:
Third Harvest, the Dark Mysteries, Rebirth through Death.
Symbols of Samhain:
Gourds, Apples, Black Cats, Jack-O-Lanterns, Besoms.
Herbs of Samhain:
Mugwort, Allspice, Broom, Catnip, Deadly Nightshade, Mandrake, Oak leaves, Sage and Straw.
Foods of Samhain:
Turnips, Apples, Gourds, Nuts, Mulled Wines, Beef, Pork, Poultry.
Incense of Samhain:
Heliotrope, Mint, Nutmeg.
Colors of Samhain:
Black, Orange, White, Silver, Gold.
Stones of Samhain:
All Black Stones, preferably jet or obsidian.