the Fairgame Archive

2009-01-12: Happy Carmentalia!
by Emily

The Carmentalia is a festival of the Nine Muses—goddesses of creativity, art, music, and poetry. Take some time today to engage in writing or drawing, or some form of creative activity. In a celebration with friends, invite participants to share music, recite poetry, or display drawings or other artwork.

A holiday after my own heart! This is from the Google Calendar of Pagan Holy Days which keeps you up to date on many feast days from the Classical pantheons and others. Check it out:

Andrew, have you thought about making links available at the listings? Can it be updated by others?

2009-01-12 22:30:18 Andrew Watt

I've thought about making links available, but I'm not sure whether to have those links go to Wikipedia entries, or to outsider's pages on the various holidays, or to my own rites.  I'm leaning toward the last; I like the idea of directing people to a set of tools for celebrating these days.  On the other hand, I don't wish to lose copy-rights to the materials I post, so it's a fine balancing act.

As far as allowing others to update them.... well, no. They can download the calendar from Google, and edit it, if they wish, rather than sourcing the calendar to theirs; but then they miss out on my periodic updates.  Or they can add this calendar to their Google or iCal calendars, and accept that what I have it say is what it will say.  It's a potential-curmudgeonly way of handling it, except that I chose these days. This is my calendar, and I'm making it publicly available because I think it may be useful to others.  The nicety of using Google Calendar is that other people can create their own calendars and track the events important to them.  I may even sign on to view some of them.

Now.... would I like to extend editorial privileges to a few people? Yes.  Part of the purpose of this calendar was to solicit interest in some sort of magical tradition/lodge group that would practice a series of ritual workings around these days, and discover some commonality of purpose in using these festae for celebration and personal reflection.  People who agreed to be part of the tradition, and to respect these days, would be welcome to add to them; but I don't want to be managing or deleting the content of Asatru, Sumerian, Chinese, Native American or Wicca practitioners.  I respect those paths, but I wanted to operate within the context of a specific pantheon that resonated with me.

Hope this answers your questions.

2009-01-13 16:50:58 Emily

Very cool. Thanks, Andrew. Other Google calendars with holidays from different traditions could overlap to create an easy way to gain a broad look at the world's sacred days. I'll have to think about which I would mark.

Are you celebrating Carmentalia this year in some specific way? It runs through the 15th, right?

2009-01-15 02:21:15 Meguey

This is very cool, Andrew! Thanks for the link Em :)

Andrew, how many of the listed days do you actually celebrate yourself? I'm always intrigued by faiths with lots of feast-days and the balance between living a more spiritually conscious life where I feel like I can observe every ritual, and living an OCD life where I feel like I *must* observe every ritual. Where do you find that balance?

2009-01-15 10:45:08 Andrew Watt

I notice quite a large number of the days, actually.  How does one define "observe"?  Many enjoy having President's Day off, but we don't go out dressed up as our favorite president, like Fat Charlie Nancy in Neil Gaiman's novel AMERICAN GODS.

Mostly I think of them as an excuse for a party ??? to get together with friends, to make a special dinner, or to sit down and do some writing or drawing (as I did for the Carmentalia).

As far as "must" and "may"... one of the potentials of following a sacred calendar is not that you must, but that you "can". Accepting a sacred calendar into your week-to-week living isn't supposed to be a burden; it's supposed to be a way to bring celebration to your life.  There's a world of difference between "I have to walk the dog" and "I get to walk the dog", and it has to do with your own attitude.  If following an elaborate calendar feels like a burden ??? then it is.  If it feels fun and enjoyable, then by all means: notice the days.

2009-01-26 02:59:38 Andrew Watt

Of course, following a private calendar risks making you flat-footed when a real holiday, like Chinese New Year, comes along.  I meant to make cookies for my dorm, and I spaced doing it.

2009-01-26 15:13:55 Meguey

I once saw a calender that had all major (big 5) religious and secular holidays - it was rare to find a day *not* special to someone somewhere.

2009-01-29 16:41:22 Emily

The Hindu holidays alone will fill a calendar. Wow, let's celebrate Holi this year.

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