User:PoizonMyst/Australian Esoterica

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Australian EsotericaDiscussionManual of StyleResource Sandbox
This is my personal sandbox for the Australian Esoterica wikibook.

Table of Contents[edit]

Aboriginal Australian Culture[edit]

These should be demonstrated by incorporation throughout the book chappters/pages.

Equipment and Arts need to be changed around and sections better clarified[edit]


Introduction[edit]

Main article: Introduction
F

or Australian followers of Neopagan philosophies and customs, the traditional seasonal festivals, rituals, and practises taught by the European based disciplines, make it difficult for Australian witches to correctly synchronise with mother nature in the Southern Hemisphere. The Australian Esoterica aims to realign the traditional Northern Hemisphere Neopagan seasonal customs in accordance with Southern Hemisphere seasonal changes, while at the same time offering a comprehensive guide to Neopagan philosophies for Australian followers of the faith. Nevertheless, this book is not just a rehash of European spiritual practises turned upside down, but also aspires to become an internet Book of Shadows for all Australian Neopagans by describing culturally relevant mythologies, philosophies, and practises.


What is Neopaganism?[edit]

Main article: What is Neopaganism?
A

derivative of neo- (from the Ancient Greek prefix νεο-, meaning "new") and pagan (from the Latin pāgānus, meaning "country dweller, rustic"), Neopaganism is a broad term used to describe several modern spiritual movements that are influenced by ancient philosophies and cultures, in particular traditional nature-based customs and polytheistic or pantheistic beliefs of pre-Christian Europe. Neopaganism is distinguished as the modern revival or reconstruction of classical Paganism, although both terms are often used interchangeably.

While early Christian missionaries first focused their efforts on establishing the Christian Church in major urban centres of the Roman Empire, people of the outlying rural regions continued to revere the cycles of nature and their associated spiritual deities. As such, "country dweller", or "pagan", soon pertained to someone who was simply "not a Christian." Ultimately, Christian political propaganda presented "paganism" as a derogatory expression pertaining to sinful hedonistic practises (from the Ancient Greek hēdonē, meaning "pleasure"). Similarly, the Old Norse and Germanic Pagans, known as heathens (Old English translation of the Old High German heide, meaning "heath, heathland"), became yet another term eventually distorted to be regarded as unfavourable.

Today Neopagans worldwide are proudly reclaiming the original definitions of "Pagan" and "Heathen" to identify their nature-based spiritual practises and beliefs.



Nature Traditions of the World[edit]

Main article: Nature Traditions of the World



Neopaganism in Australia[edit]

Main article: Neopaganism in Australia
S

o how can a philosophical belief system originating in the Northern Hemisphere be relevant to a multicultural nation situated south of the equator?

In answering this, the Australian Esoterica is not prepared to classify a cultural identity for Australian followers of Neopagan philosophies however there are a number of factors that southern followers of the craft may wish to contemplate.

Modern Neopagan spiritual movements of the Northern Hemisphere describe themselves as influenced by ancient nature-based cultures and their philosophies. Seasonal festivals throughout the year commemorate these occasions. Certainly the dates of such observances can be adjusted in accordance with the southern seasons, yet Australian Neopagans may find it difficult to culturally relate to the relevant historical stories. But does that really matter? We are all of the same biological genus and reside on the same home planet. Ultimately, such narratives belong to all of us - they are the chronicles of human spirituality. Neopaganism is as much about what feels right for the individual as it is about traditional folklore and customs. With all this is mind Australian Neopagans might consider:

  • The traditional cultural practises and myths of Aboriginal Australians.
  • Other traditional cultures of the Southern Hemisphere such as the Austronesian peoples of Oceania and Southeast Asia.
  • The Anglo-Celtic colonial history of Australia.
  • The traditional nature-based practises of Asiatic and Abrahamic philosophies and customs who have prominent populations within Australia (such as Feng Shui of China, the Islamic Koranic Law of Nature, or Ayurveda of India).
  • Personal ancestry/geneology.
  • The natural landscape and local history of an Australian region with which they closely identify (such as their place of birth or residence).
  • The legality of Neopagan practises in Australia.
  • Their personal views on the cultural identity that is an Australian Neopagan.



Seasonal Festivals[edit]

Main article: Seasonal Festivals
A

s seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are reversed to those of the North, so too is the Neopagan festival calendar known as the Wheel of the Year. In Australia and New Zealand the long familiar "Christmas in July", though not an official holiday, is a popular celebration and compelling evidence of efforts to suitably inverse the Pagan festival of "Yule" for the Southern regions.

Sabbat Festivals[edit]

Neopagans and Wiccans observe eight festivals each year, known as Sabbats, which commemorate the annual cycle of seasons or phases of the sun and moon. This cycle is referred to as the Wheel of the Year, with festivities spaced at approximately even intervals throughout the calendar. Traditionally the festivals mark the solstices and equinoxes, and the times for planting and harvest of crops.

The Wheel of the Year is a modern development of Wicca and Neopaganism originating from traditional holidays observed by Pagan cultures of ancient Europe. No pre-Christian European cultures celebrated all eight Sabbats of the calendar, so the Wheel of the Year comprises a modern merging of traditional festivals from all over ancient Europe, with similarities to the ancient rituals often ending at their shared names alone.

Modern interpretations of ancient practices vary widely, as such different groups may conceptualize and celebrate the Sabbats in very different ways, but the themes and meanings are generally similar. For some, the Wheel of the Year not only describes the continuous cycles of nature and time, but also the human progression through birth, life, decline and death. For many Wiccans, it represents the cycle of life, death, and rebirth of the Horned God and fertility of the Goddess.

Inspired by Gaelic fire festivals, the Cross-Quater Days (or Greater Sabbats) mark the beginning of each traditional season (as opposed to astronomical seasons) and fall approximately half-way between a solstice and an equinox. Generally, and mostly for convenience, the Greater Sabbats are celebrated on the first day of the season.

In British and Irish traditions of the Middle Ages, Quarter Days (or Lesser Sabbats) fell close to the two solstice and two equinox holidays. These were dates on which servants were hired, rents or rates were due, and magistrates would determine debts and resolve conflicts in outlying rural regions. In England today, leasehold payments and rents for business premises are often still due on the old English Quarter Days. The timing of these Lesser Sabbats are determined by the relationship of the Sun to the Earth so their dates deviate slightly each year.

The Celtics recognised that a new day began in the darkness, so too the start of a new year. Thus Samhain, the Celtic Feast of the Dead and beginning of Winter, is generally recognised as the first Sabbat of the year.

Southern Hemisphere Wheel of the Year[edit]

Below, are the eight festivals and their dates, conveniently inversed for Southern Hemisphere practitioners of the craft.


Season Greater Sabbat Lesser Sabbat
Winter

Start: 1st June
(SH Astronomical)

Samhain
  • 1st May (alt. 4-10 May)
  • First day of ancient Winter.
  • Greater Sabbat. Lunar Festival.
  • A Cross Quarter celebration.
  • Also known as Halloween.
  • Northern Hemisphere: 31 Oct/1 Nov
Yule
  • 21st or 22nd June
  • June Solstice - Winter solstice. Shortest day of the year.
  • Lesser Sabbat. Solar Festival.
  • A Quarter Day celebration.
  • Also known as Yuletide.
  • Northern Hemisphere: 21/22 Dec
Spring

1st September
(SH Astronomical)

Imbolc
  • 1st August (alt. 3-10 August)
  • First day of ancient Spring.
  • Greater Sabbat. Lunar Festival.
  • A Cross Quarter celebration.
  • Also known as Imbolg or Candlemas.
  • Northern Hemisphere: 1 Feb
Ostara
  • 22nd or 23rd September
  • September Equinox - Spring (Vernal) Equinox. Equal day and night.
  • Lesser Sabbat. Solar Festival.
  • A Quarter Day celebration.
  • Also known as Easter.
  • Northern Hemisphere: 21/22 Mar
Summer

1st December
(SH Astronomical)

Beltane
  • 1st November (alt. 5-10 Nov)
  • First day of ancient Summer.
  • Greater Sabbat. Lunar Festival.
  • A Cross Quarter celebration.
  • Also known as Beltaine or May Day.
  • Northern Hemisphere: 1 May
Litha
  • 21st or 22nd December
  • December Solstice - Summer solstice. Longest day of the year.
  • Lesser Sabbat. Solar Festival.
  • A Quarter Day celebration.
  • Also known as Midsummer.
  • Northern Hemisphere: 21/22 June
Autumn

1st March
(SH Astronomical)

Lughnasadh
  • 1st February (alt. 2-7 Feb)
  • First day of ancient Autumn.
  • Greater Sabbat. Lunar Festival.
  • A Cross Quarter celebration.
  • Also known as Lammas.
  • Northern Hemisphere: 1 Aug
Mabon
  • 21st or 22nd March
  • March Equinox - Autumn Equinox. Equal day and night.
  • Lesser Sabbat. Solar Festival.
  • A Quarter Day celebration.
  • Also known as the Autumnal Equinox.
  • Northern Hemisphere: 22/23 Sep

Weather Observances of Australian Aboriginals[edit]

Resource: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigenous_Australian_seasons

And more ... copied from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Season#Australia

In Australia, the traditional Aboriginal people defined the seasons by what was happening to the plants, animals and weather around them. This led to each separate tribal group having different seasons, some with up to eight seasons each year. However, most modern Aboriginal Australians follow either four or six meteorological seasons, as do non-Aboriginal Australians. The commonly followed dates are as follows: 1st day of March, June, September and December for the start of Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer, respectively.

Seasonal Observances around the world[edit]

Interestingly, the Sabbats fall closely to, or on the same dates, as eight points of the 24 Solar Terms in traditional lunisolar calendars that were developed independently in East Asia.



Lunar Observances[edit]

Main article: Lunar Observances



Glossary of Terms[edit]

Main article: Glossary of Terms

Neopaganism: Describes several modern spiritual movements that are influenced by ancient philosophies and cultures, in particular traditional nature-based customs and polytheistic or pantheistic beliefs of pre-Christian Europe. Neopaganism is distinguished as the modern revival or reconstruction of classical Paganism.

Paganism: The traditional nature-based philosophies and polytheistic or pantheistic religions of classical pre-Christian Europe.

Pantheisim: The belief that God and the universe are one and the same.

Polytheistic: A belief in the existence of more than one god.


Bibliography and Further Resources[edit]

Main article: Bibliography and Further Resources

What is Neopaganism?[edit]

Neopaganism in Australia[edit]

Observances and Symmetries[edit]

Seasonal Festivals[edit]