January

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With winter setting in, those born in January have two birth flowers—the carnation and snowdrop. Whether they’re your “birth” flowers or not, these colorful flowers are sure to lift your spirits during these cold winter months.

Snowdrops

I’m not sure why Snowdrops are assigned to the month of January because these little flowers are  also known as “Candlemas Bells”.  February 2nd is Candlemas (Festival Day of Candles), and Imbolc.  The ancient festival marks the midpoint of winter and some recognize it as the last day of the forty day Christmas season.  In the catholic tradition, candles were brought into the church and blessed as a symbol of hope and light. In a time of no electric lights, candlelight offered great protection and comfort during the dark days of winter.

By producing their own heat, snowdrops actually melt the snow in their surroundings. Like candles, Snowdrops offer us our own light of hope in the grey of winter days. They are the emblems of friendship in adversity, harbingers of spring.

The first sight of snowdrops growing wild represents the passing of sorrow. In various religions, they are a sign from the gods that good times will come once more. According to one Christian tale, an angel turned falling snowflakes into flowers to give Adam and Eve a sign of hope after evicting them from the Garden of Eden.

The fact that snowdrops are often found, in abundance, in the old convent gardens, it was believed that this little white flower was sacred to virgins. For this reason, it was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. In some places, during the Candlemas celebration, it was customary for young women, wearing white gowns, to walk in procession carrying snowdrops in their hands.

It was often said that any one wearing a snowdrop would have only pure and lofty thoughts; and that if a young girl ate the first snowdrop she found in spring, neither sun nor wind would tan her that summer.

Carnations

Inhaling the gorgeous scent of the carnation flower will immediately enhance emotions of joy and happiness, so the addition of the essential oil is perfect for incenses and oils to dispel depression and disappointment. Brush flowers down your body to cleanse. After reaching the feet, break the stems to trap and hold the negative energy.  This flower also helps relieve the depression of winter.

Keep red carnations on the altar to increase your energy level and to create more optimism in life. Once worn by Witches to prevent untimely death on the scaffold, it is used in power incenses and placed on the altar to produce added energy.

Dry nine red carnations in the Sun, crumble them and separate from the stems. Pour one dram carnation essential oil over them, mix well and smolder on charcoal for a tremendously powerful incense. Produces tons of energy!

Used to remove hexes and negative energy, the carnation is especially good for clearing out love problems. Add white and red carnations or essential oil to bathwater to stabilize your love life. Carnation flowers attract abundance as well, either as a bouquet or in a formula.

Including carnations or carnation oil in a blend for the sickroom is perfect to aid in the mental aspects of healing. If your eyes are bothered, rub them with red carnations – it will help. This belief comes from the biblical legend in which carnations sprang up where the Mother of Jesus’s tears fell as she cried over her son’s crucifixion.

Carnations have a history of being brewed into tea to help reduce stress and restore energy. Carnation tea has also been used to reduce fever and treat stomach aches. In addition to tea, carnation oil is used in beauty products to moisturize skin, minimize wrinkles, and treat skin conditions.

Source: Magickal Ingredients

There is a lot to celebrate in January. This is a list of pretty much everything that goes on during this first month of the year. Many of these dates change from year to year. The days that change are marked with this » symbol.

Astronomical Events

Astrological Events

Depending on which astrological system you adhere to, these are the signs that show up in January of 2022. Be aware that some of these dates will vary from year to year. Unlike the Sun signs which might just shift by 1 or 2 days, the dates of the various Moon signs will vary widely from year to year. The same holds true for the Chinese Zodiac. The Celtic Tree Signs are based on an arbitrary system and stay the same from year to year.

Western Astrology

The January Sun begins in Capricorn and finishes up in Aquarius:

The January 2022 Moon cycles through the signs as follows. You will notice that the Moon might begin the day in one sign and by the end of the day may have moved into another sign, so timing matters if you are wanting to be precise:

The Celtic Tree Signs in January:
The Alternative Celtic Zodiac is as follows:
  • Apple: Dec 22 – Jan 1
  • Fir: Jan 2 – Jan 11
  • Elm: Jan 12 – Jan 22
  • Cypress: Jan 23 – Jan 31
The Chinese Calendar and Zodiac

According to the Chinese Zodiac we are currently in the Year of the Ox. Each Moon is also assigned a specific animal. Here’s what shows up in January 2022.

  • Rat: Dec 7 (2021) – Jan 4 (Chinese Zodiac)
  • Rat: Dec 4 (2021) –  Jan 2  (Lunar Calendar – 11th Lunar Month)
  • Cow: Jan 5 – Feb  2 (Chinese Zodiac)
  • Cow: Jan 3 – Feb 1 (Lunar Calendar – 12th Lunar Month)

Note: The traditional Chinese Astrology birth chart is built by the Chinese Stem Branch Calendar, not the Chinese Lunar Calendar, which I think is really confusing.  Because of a difference in time zones, the lunar months will have different pattern between China and the USA.

Lucky and Unlucky Days

You might want to plan moving, traveling, major purchases, court dates, and weddings around these dates, avoiding the unlucky days and utilizing the lucky ones.

  • These are the lucky days in January:
    1, 2, 15, 26, 27 and 28.
  • These are the unlucky days in January:
    1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 20 and 21.

Interestingly, the 1st and the 2nd are both lucky and unlucky.

Fatal Days

Of this first month the opening day
And seventh, like a sword will slay.

Quick Good Luck Chant

Bad luck turn and
Bad luck flee.
Only good fortune
Comes to Me.

Place a pinch of salt on your left shoulder.

January Lore and General Info:

Holidays and Holy Days

Many of the holidays begin on the eve of the night before and end on the eve of the day of. It’s also important to remember that the dates of archaic festivals and feast days may vary widely depending on the source. Some of these dates change from year to year because they are based on the phase of the moon or the days of the week. The days that change are marked with this » symbol.

January 1

  • 1: New Year’s Day
  • 1: Shichi Fukujin – Seven Deities of Luck Celebration
  • 1: Gantan-sai – Shinto New Year Holy Day, see also Shogatsu
  • 1: Ethics Day – Day to commit to cultivating personal honor.
  • 1: Taos Pueblo Turtle Dance
  • 1: Apple Gifting Day
  • 1: Daisy Day
  • 1: The Circumcision of Jesus
  • 1 » Ciwaratri or Siwa Ratri  (Bali) – Night of the god Shiva. A time for contemplation and purification, the Balinese do not sleep for one night.
  • 1: Feast of Fools
  • 1: Jump Up Day
  • 1 thru 3: Kalends of January
  • 1 thru 4: Tewa Turtle Dance – celebrating life and the first Creation, when Sky Father embraced Earth Mother and all life was conceived.
  •  1 thru 6: Shogatsu/Shinto New Year’s Festival – The Kami (Nature Spirits) of the four directions are honored, and prayers for happiness, good health, and prosperity are made.

January 2

January 3

January 4

January 5

January 6

January 7

  • 7: Russian Christmas
  • 7: Nativity of Christ
  • 7: Genna – Ethiopian Christmas
  • 7: Koshogatsu – Shinto rite honoring Goddess Izanami, partner of God Izanagi.
  • 7: Feast of Sekhmet – Egyptian New Year’s Day (alternative date Aug 7)

January 8

January 9

January 10

  • 10 » Bodhi Day
  • 10: Geraint’s Day (Welsh)
  • 10 » Seijin-no-hi – Coming of Age Day

January 11

January 12

January 13

  • 13 » Day of Ekadashi (Hindu)
  • 13 thru 25: Mid Winter Blot (Midvetr, Midvetrarblot, Jordblot, Thorrablot, Freyrblot) – Old Norse Mid Winter Feast.

January 14

January 15

January 16

January 17

  • 17: Good Luck Day – Festival of Felicitas
  • 17 thru 20 » Mahayana New Year – starts on the first full moon in January

January 19

January 20

January 21

January 24

January 25

January 26

January 27

  • 27 » Dakini Day (Tibetan)
  • 27 thru Feb 3: Powamu Festival (Hopi) – dates vary, an 8 day festival held around the end of January or beginning of February

January 28

January 29

  • 29: Gamelion Noumenia – Old Greek festival honoring all the Gods and Goddesses.
  • 29: Red Carnation Day

January 30

  • 30: Up Helly Aa – Scottish Viking celebration
  • 30 thru 31: Feast of the Charities – dates vary widely also listed as  Jan 17 – 18, Apr 18 – 19, May 26, Jul 9 – 10, or Oct 13.
  • 30 thru Feb. 2: Februalia

January 31

  • 31: Disfest/Disablot
  • 31 » Li Chun (Chinese New Year’s Eve)
  • 31 thru Feb 3: Old European Lunar New Year – Celebration of the Triple Goddess (Goddess of the Moon and the Seasons) being transformed from the Crone into the Virgin; celebrated with ritual bathing of divine images.
  • 31 thru Feb 6 »  Sami Week and Reindeer Race (Norway)
  • 31 thru Feb 8: Navajo Sing – Festival in preparation for the coming agricultural season; celebrated with prayer, chanting, dancing, and healing.

Saint Days

There is a surprising amount of magick associated with Saint days This is a very short list of the Saint days in January, there are many many more. As time goes by I may end up listing them all, but for now, this is what I have.

Recipes For January

Many seasonal recipes, including recipes for new and full moon ceremonies, ancient Greek and Roman holidays, Asian festivals and etc. can be found here: Seasonal Recipes.

Notes:

Any January lore, almanac, astrological, and celebration dates that have been shared after this post was published can be found by searching the January posts to see what’s new.

A lot of work went into this post. It was compiled from various sources by Shirley Twofeathers for The Pagan Calendar, you may repost and share without karmic repercussions, but only if you give me credit and a link back to this website. Blessed be.

This point in the agricultural calendar is marked by the ploughing of the soil to allow it to prepare for the seed, and any energy work performed now is all about groundwork. The surface of the earth appears barren, but the life force is stirring beneath. Ask yourself what you need to prepare in order to plant the seeds of your dreams this year.

The Celtic fire festival of Imbolc (2 February) falls in the Rowan Moon, lending this time associations with the goddess Brigid to whom the festivities are dedicated. This is the perfect time to perform initiations and for spells of power and success.

  • Dates: January 21 thru February 17
  • Celtic Name: Luis
  • Language of Flowers: Prudence
  • Qualities: protection, magical, healing, light, spring,
  • Color: White
  • Themes: Hearth and Home, Family, Personal Power, Spirituality, Success, Protection.

Known as the Bride, Brigid represents the mother of the new-born Sun and all candle energy work is sacred to her. Like the snowdrops peeking out of the ground to meet the goddess, white is a powerful symbol during this month.

During the Rowan Moon wear white to cast energy, use white candles and feast on white foods to attune to the season. Begin spring cleaning now. As the light increases, you will need to clear out your clutter with all your energy to make way for new growth. Have a Rowan Moon dinner party and ask your guests to wear white, dine by candlelight and eat seeds such as beans, pulses and nuts.

Look for the first snowdrops of the season and make a wish when you see one. Snowdrops hold the potential of spring. Tie a white ribbon on a rowan tree while saying the names of those you love. The tree will send out healing vibrations to them.

Known by the Celts as Luis (pronounced loush), the Rowan is associated with astral travel, personal power, and success. A charm carved into a bit of a Rowan twig will protect the wearer from harm. The Norsemen were known to have used Rowan branches as rune staves of protection. In some countries, Rowan is planted in graveyards to prevent the dead from lingering around too long.

Rowan the Thinker

Rowan is the philosophical sign of the Celtic zodiac. People born under this Celtic tree astrology sign tend to be keen-minded visionaries, with creative thoughts and high ideals. They tend to be aloof and often feel like other people don’t understand them. However, the Rowan signs are full of energy and devotion and are passionate when it comes to persuasion. The Rowan from the Celtic tree horoscope is compatible with the Ivy and Hawthorn signs.

The rowan tree is known for balance, clarity, vision, protection, divination, and transformation. For those who believe that the trees speak to us when we listen with complete silence, the rowan tree whispers encouragement to look deeper, look beyond the focus of your worldly eyesight to go beyond the physical world and engage with worlds beyond that which we are comfortable with.

Another amazing lesson to be found in the rowan tree comes from observing where they grow and how determined they are to survive, even at times sprouting up within other trees. Some see this as an analogy for us to find connections in unexpected places.

Rowan Magick and Lore

The beautiful rowan is one of our most beautiful and colorful trees – with frothy white blossoms in spring, delicate feathered leaves, and colorful red autumn berries. It’s also traditionally considered as one of most magical trees!

The Druids believed the rowan tree contained a spirit that had secret knowledge of immortality and personal freedom. In Norse mythical tales, it’s said that the rowan saved the life of the god Thor as he was being swept away in the river Vimur – he caught hold of a rowan tree on the bank and pulled himself to safety.

In ancient Celtic mythology, rowan was considered as the mythical ‘tree of life’ – the tree of life bears life-giving fruit each month and at the quarter of the year. The magical berries of the tree could sustain, heal, and prolong life.

Icelandic myth gives the rowan tree a connection with light – there, the rowan is a tree of the winter solstice. The frost glistening on midwinter rowan trees in moonlight fills these magical trees with tiny stars and links to ancient traditions of magical ‘moon trees’ decorated with lights (stars). The star-lights in the rowan bring the light energy of the spirit of the returning year in that important solstice moment of darkness as the year turns from darkening to lightening.

The traditions tell of a special star glowing atop the rowan tree – an ancient rite that’s surely influences our modern tradition for topping our own winter solstice trees (Christmas trees) with a star.

A Rowan Witch Cross

This protection charm represents the waxing energies of the Sun and can be hung in the home to attract good luck.

Collect together two straight sticks of rowan wood. Remember to leave an offering of thanks on a breach, such as a strand of hair, or thread or ribbon.

Hold the sticks in a cross and say,

“Spirits of this wood,
I bring you together for the good of all.”

Now bind the sticks into an equal-armed cross and secure them with red thread. As you do this visualize a powerful white light.

Hold the charm up to the Sun and say:

“Behold the Wheel of Brighid,
Blessed be.”

Sources:

St. Basil’s Day, January 1st, commemorates the day in which (it’s believed) Basil of Caesarea died. The Festival of Saint Basil is the Greek New Year.

In Greek tradition, Basil brings gifts to children every January 1. Children leave their shoes by the fireplace in hopes that St. Basil will fill them with gifts. A large feast is prepared, the larger the luckier the year will be. Pork is usually the main dish.  It is customary on his feast day to visit the homes of friends and relatives, to sing New Year’s carols, and to set an extra place at the table for Saint Basil.

Traditionally Vasilopita or Vaselopita, a special bread or cake, is baked on St. Basil’s Day Eve, and served at midnight. The cake is handed out in a particular order. The first piece is for the remembrance of St. Basil and the second is for the household. Those pieces are taken to the church to be blessed, then given to the poor. The rest of the slices are distributed from the eldest member of the household to the youngest.

A coin or trinket is hidden inside the cake, and the person who gets the piece with the hidden treasure will have luck in the coming year.

Vasilopita | St. Basil’s Bread

Make sure everyone knows a quarter is hidden in the cake so they search for it and do not choke on it.

  • 1 cup butter, unsalted
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • zest of 1 orange
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • a clean quarter

Preheat oven to 350F. Generously grease a 10-inch round cake pan. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix until mealy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, combine baking powder, baking soda, milk, lemon juice, and zests. Mix into the batter, then pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts and sugar. Bake 40-45 minutes. Gently push a quarter into the cake. Cool 10 minutes. Invert cake onto platter. Serve warm.

A Feast Day Prayer to Saint Basil

Saint Basil, O great follower of God, help all as well as me. Defender of orthodoxy, defend us too. Great follower of God, pray to him for all your people, as well as for unworthy me. Strong knight and leader of Ostrog, save us from the seen and unseen. Raised by Serbian soil to be the light in front of God, be our light and light up our road, and make the darkness disappear.

With prayer and tears you have warmed the cold cliffs of Ostrog, please warm our hearts with God’s spirit, so we can be saved. From all corners of the world to your grave come the weak and the ill, and you helped them, got rid of their demons as well as the devil, and healed their souls and bodies.

Please continue to help, the baptized and the nonbaptized, everybody and me as well. You brought peace to fighting brothers, please continue to bring peace, help the divided, make the sad happy, calm the stubborn, heal the sick. Saint Basil, O miracle worker, father of our spirit, listen and hear your children’s spirits in the name of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

About Saint Basil

Basil, being born into a wealthy family, gave away all his possessions to the poor, the underprivileged, those in need, and children. For Greeks and others in the Orthodox tradition, Basil is the saint associated with Santa Claus as opposed to the western tradition of St Nicholas

St. Basil, also called Saint Basil the Great, is one of the most distinguished Doctors of the Church and a forefather of the Greek Orthodox Church. St. Basil was born in the year 329 or 330 and died in the year 379.  He is the Patron of Russia, Cappadocia, hospital administrators, reformers, monks, education, exorcism, and liturgists.

Basil’s life changed radically after he encountered Eustathius of Sebaste, a charismatic bishop and ascetic. Abandoning his legal and teaching career, Basil devoted his life to God. In a letter he described his spiritual awakening:

I had wasted much time on follies and spent nearly all of my youth in vain labors, and devotion to the teachings of a wisdom that God had made foolish. Suddenly, I awoke as out of a deep sleep. I beheld the wonderful light of the Gospel truth, and I recognized the nothingness of the wisdom of the princes of this world. 

Hot-blooded and somewhat imperious, Basil was also generous and sympathetic. He personally organized a soup kitchen and distributed food to the poor during a famine following a drought. He gave away his personal family inheritance to benefit the poor of his diocese.

His letters show that he actively worked to reform thieves and prostitutes. They also show him encouraging his clergy not to be tempted by wealth or the comparatively easy life of a priest, and that he personally took care in selecting worthy candidates for holy orders. He also had the courage to criticize public officials who failed in their duty of administering justice. At the same time, he preached every morning and evening in his own church to large congregations.

In addition to all the above, he built a large complex just outside Caesarea, called the Basiliad,  which included a poorhouse, hospice, and hospital, and was compared by Gregory of Nazianzus to the wonders of the world.

His three hundred letters reveal a rich and observant nature, which, despite the troubles of ill-health and ecclesiastical unrest, remained optimistic, tender and even playful. His principal efforts as a reformer were directed towards the improvement of the liturgy, and the reformation of the monastic institutions of the East.

There are numerous relics of Basil throughout the world. One of the most important is his head, which is preserved to this day at the monastery of the Great Lavra on Mount Athos in Greece. The mythical sword Durandal is said to contain some of Basil’s blood.

Some Great St Basil Quotes

I really love some of these quotes. They are surprisingly applicable to modern life. Enjoy!

Alternative St Basil Feast Days

According to some sources, Basil died on January 1, and the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates his feast day together with that of the Feast of the Circumcision on that day. This was also the day on which the General Roman Calendar celebrated it at first; but in the 13th-century it was moved to June 14, a date believed to be that of his ordination as bishop, and it remained on that date until the 1969 revision of the calendar, which moved it to January 2 (rather than January 1) because the latter date is occupied by the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

On January 2 Saint Basil is celebrated together with Saint Gregory Nazianzen. Some traditionalist Catholics continue to observe pre-1970 calendars.

The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod commemorates Basil, along with Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of Nyssa on January 10.

The Church of England celebrates Saint Basil’s feast on January 2, but the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada celebrate it on June 14.

In the Byzantine Rite, January 30 is the Synaxis of the Three Holy Hierarchs, in honor of Saint Basil, Saint Gregory the Theologian and Saint John Chrysostom.

The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria celebrates the feast day of Saint Basil on the 6th of Tobi (6th of Terr on the Ethiopian calendar of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church). At present, this corresponds to January 14, January 15 during leap year.

Sources:

There is a lot to celebrate in January. This is a list of pretty much everything that goes on during this first month of the year. Many of these dates change from year to year. The days that change are marked with this » symbol.

Astronomical Events

Astrological Events

Depending on which astrological system you adhere to, these are the signs that show up in January of 2021. Be aware that some of these dates will vary from year to year. Unlike the Sun signs which might just shift by 1 or 2 days, the dates of the various Moon signs will vary widely from year to year. The same holds true for the Chinese Zodiac. The Celtic Tree Signs are based on an arbitrary system and stay the same from year to year.

Western Astrology

The January Sun begins in Capricorn and finishes up in Aquarius:

The January 2021 Moon cycles through the signs as follows. You will notice that the Moon might begin the day in one sign and by the end of the day may have moved into another sign, so timing matters if you are wanting to be precise:

The Celtic Tree Signs in January:
The Alternative Celtic Zodiac is as follows:
  • Apple: Dec 22 – Jan 1
  • Fir: Jan 2 – Jan 11
  • Elm: Jan 12 – Jan 22
  • Cypress: Jan 23 – Jan 31
The Chinese Calendar and Zodiac

According to the Chinese Zodiac we are currently in the Year of the Rat. Each Moon is also assigned a specific animal. Here’s what shows up in January 2021.

  • Rat: Dec 7 – Jan 4 (Stem Branch Calendar)
  • Rat: Dec 15 – Jan 12  (Lunar Calendar – 11th Lunar Month)
  • Cow: Jan 5 – Feb  2 (Stem Branch Calendar)
  • Cow: Jan 13 – Feb 12 (Lunar Calendar – 12th Lunar Month)

Note: The traditional Chinese Astrology birth chart is built by the Chinese Stem Branch Calendar, not the Chinese Lunar Calendar, which I think is really confusing.  Because of a difference in time zones, the lunar months will have different pattern between China and the USA.

Lucky and Unlucky Days

You might want to plan moving, traveling, major purchases, court dates, and weddings around these dates, avoiding the unlucky days and utilizing the lucky ones. Interestingly, the 1st and the 2nd are both lucky and unlucky.

  • These are the lucky days in January:
    1, 2, 15, 26, 27 and 28.
  • These are the unlucky days in January:
    1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 20 and 21.

Fatal Days

Of this first month the opening day
And seventh, like a sword will slay.

January Lore and General Info:

Holidays and Holy Days

Many of the holidays begin on the eve of the night before and end on the eve of the day of. It’s also important to remember that the dates of archaic festivals and feast days may vary widely depending on the source.

January 1

  • 1: New Year’s Day
  • 1: Shichi Fukujin – Seven Deities of Luck Celebration
  • 1: Gantan-sai – Shinto New Year Holy Day, see also Shogatsu
  • 1: Ethics Day – Day to commit to cultivating personal honor.
  • 1: Taos Pueblo Turtle Dance
  • 1: Apple Gifting Day
  • 1: Daisy Day
  • 1 thru 3: Kalends of January
  • 1 thru 4: Tewa Turtle Dance – celebrating life and the first Creation, when Sky Father embraced Earth Mother and all life was conceived.
  • 1 thru 6: Shogatsu/Shinto New Year’s Festival – The Kami (Nature Spirits) of the four directions are honored, and prayers for happiness, good health, and prosperity are made.

January 2

January 3

  • 3: Festival of Pax – alternative date Jan 30
  • 3: Snow Day

January 4

January 5

January 6

January 7

  • 7: Russian Christmas
  • 7: Nativity of Christ
  • 7: Genna – Ethiopian Christmas
  • 7: Koshogatsu – Shinto rite honoring Goddess Izanami, partner of God Izanagi.
  • 7: Feast of Sekhmet – Egyptian New Year’s Day (alternative date Aug 7)

January 8

January 9

January 10

  • 10: Geraint’s Day (Welsh)

January 11

January 12

January 13

  • 13 thru 25: Mid Winter Blot (Midvetr, Midvetrarblot, Jordblot, Thorrablot, Freyrblot) – Old Norse Mid Winter Feast.

January 14

January 15

January 16

January 17

January 19

January 20

  • 20: World Religions Day
  • 20 » Severe Cold begins (Chinese Farmer’s Calendar)
  • 20 » Bodhi Day

January 21

  • 21 thru 23: Mahayana New Year

January 22

January 24

January 25

January 27

  • 27 thru 28 » Tu B’shvat – New Year for Trees
  • 27 thru Feb 3: Powamu Festival (Hopi) – dates vary, an 8 day festival held around the end of January or beginning of February

January 28

January 29

  • 29: Gamelion Noumenia – Old Greek festival honoring all the Gods and Goddesses.
  • 29: Red Carnation Day

January 30

  • 30: Up Helly Aa – Scottish Viking celebration
  • 30 » Saraswati Day (Bali), in honor of Batari Dewi Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge. No reading or writing is allowed on this day, books are taken to the goddess to be blessed.
  • 30 thru 31: Feast of the Charities – dates vary widely also listed as  Jan 17 – 18, Apr 18 – 19, May 26, Jul 9 – 10, or Oct 13.
  • 30 thru Feb. 2: Februalia

January 31

  • 31: Disfest/Disablot
  • 31 » Banyu Pinaruh – Balinese go, at dawn, to beaches, rivers or other water sources, to pray for wisdom and to purify themselves.
  • 31 thru Feb 3: Old European Lunar New Year – Celebration of the Triple Goddess (Goddess of the Moon and the Seasons) being transformed from the Crone into the Virgin; celebrated with ritual bathing of divine images.
  • 31 thru Feb 8: Navajo Sing – Festival in preparation for the coming agricultural season; celebrated with prayer, chanting, dancing, and healing.

 

Saint Days

There is a surprising amount of magick associated with Saint days This is a very short list of the Saint days in January, there are many many more. As time goes by I may end up listing them all, but for now, this is what I have.

Recipes For January

Many seasonal recipes, including recipes for new and full moon ceremonies, ancient Greek and Roman holidays, Asian festivals and etc can be found here: Seasonal Recipes.

Notes:

Any January lore, almanac, astrological, and celebration dates that have been shared after this post was published can be found by searching the January posts to see what’s new.

A lot of work went into this post. It was compiled from various sources by Shirley Twofeathers for The Pagan Calendar, you may repost and share without karmic repercussions, but only if you give me credit and a link back to this website. Blessed be.

Feast of Fools was a celebration marked by wanton mischief and merrymaking. It took place in many parts of Europe, and particularly in France, every year during the later middle ages on or about the Feast of the Circumcision (1 Jan.). This feast day, as described by the French theologians who condemned it in 1445, sounds like a ton of fun.

This New Year’s Day celebration, they wrote, caught up high-ranking church officials in a bacchanal unworthy of their exalted positions.

“Priests and clerks may be seen wearing masks and monstrous visages at the hours of office,” the theologians recounted, presumably with a sniff of horror. “They dance in the choir dressed as women, panders or minstrels. They sing wanton songs. They eat black puddings… while the celebrant is saying mass. They play at dice… They run and leap through the church, without a blush at their own shame.”

The Feast of Fools  was celebrated by the clergy in Europe during the Middle Ages, initially in Northern France, but later more widely. During the Feast, participants would elect either a false Bishop, false Archbishop or false Pope. Ecclesiastical ritual would also be parodied and higher and lower level clergy would change places.

It was known by many names:

  • Festum
  • Fatuorum
  • Festum stultorum
  • Festum hypodiaconorum

Officially banned in the 15th century, the Feast of Fools had its origins 300 years before, in the 1100s, and continued as a tradition well into the 16th century. It was memorialized in church documents condemning its excesses and in paintings depicting streets full of merry chaos. It appears in Victor Hugo’s famous 19th century novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, when Quasimodo is swept up in the festivities and crowned King of Fools.

This rowdy revelry may never has been quite as raucous as was rumored. It started out as a much tamer liturgical celebration, which accrued an outsized reputation for subversiveness. At its heart, though, the Feast of Fools always turned power on its head—a reversal that naturally made church leaders very nervous.

But outside the church doors, concurrent celebrations were much more irreverent. In these medieval centuries, Harris writes, it became popular for students to parade through the streets with their faces blackened with mud (or even animal dung) to conceal their identities while they parodied clergy, doctors, civil officials, and rulers. These parades certainly featured cross-dressing, drinking, singing, and all manner of other mischief and behavior that usually wouldn’t be tolerated.

Wintertime celebrations like these, where the less powerful parts of society had the chance to break loose for a day, trace their roots to Roman and other European pagan festivals of role-reversal. For a modern day take on this holiday, visit this  Feast Of Fools post.

It is difficult to distinguish it from certain other similar celebrations, such as the Feast of Asses, and the Feast of the Boy Bishop. It seems to have grown out of a special “festival of the subdeacons”, which John Beleth, a liturgical writer of the twelfth century and an Englishman by birth, assigns to the day of the Circumcision.

He was among the earliest to draw attention to the fact that, as the deacons had a special celebration on St. Stephen’s day (26 Dec.), the priests on St. John the Evangelist’s day (27. Dec.), and again the choristers and mass-servers on that of Holy Innocents (28 Dec.), so the subdeacons were accustomed to hold their feast about the same time of year, but more particularly on the festival of the Circumcision.

This feast of the subdeacons afterwards developed into the feast of the lower clergy (esclaffardi), and was later taken up by certain brotherhoods or guilds of “fools” with a definite organization of their own. There can be little doubt — and medieval censors themselves freely recognized the fact — that the license and buffoonery which marked this occasion had their origin in pagan customs of very ancient date.

John Beleth, when he discusses these matters, entitles his chapter “De quadam libertate Decembrica“, and goes on to explain: “now the license which is then permitted is called Decembrian, because it was customary of old among the pagans that during this month slaves and serving-maids should have a sort of liberty given them, and should be put upon an equality with their masters, in celebrating a common festivity.” (P.L. CCII, 123).

The Feast of Fools and the almost blasphemous extravagances in some instances associated with it have constantly been made the occasion of a sweeping condemnation of the medieval Church.

There can be no question that ecclesiastical authority repeatedly condemned the license of the Feast of Fools in the strongest terms, no one being more determined in his efforts to suppress it than the great Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln. But these customs were so firmly rooted that centuries passed away before they were entirely eradicated.

In defense of the medieval Church one point must not be lost sight of. We possess hundreds, not to say thousands, of liturgical manuscripts of all countries and all descriptions. Amongst them the occurrence of anything which has to do with the Feast of Fools is extraordinarily rare. In missals and breviaries we may say that it never occurs.

In 1199, Bishop Eudes de Sully imposed regulations to check the abuses committed in the celebration of the Feast of Fools on New Year’s Day at Notre-Dame in Paris. The celebration was not entirely banned, but the part of the “Lord of Misrule” or “Precentor Stultorum” was restrained within decorous limits.

The central idea seems always to have been that of the old Saturnalia, i.e. a brief social revolution, in which power, dignity or impunity is conferred for a few hours upon those ordinarily in a subordinate position. Whether it took the form of the boy bishop or the subdeacon conducting the cathedral office, the parody must always have trembled on the brink of burlesque, if not of the profane.

We can trace the same idea at St. Gall in the tenth century, where a student, on the thirteenth of December each year, enacted the part of the abbot. It will be sufficient here to notice that the continuance of the celebration of the Feast of Fools was finally forbidden under the very severest penalties by the Council of Basle in 1435, and that this condemnation was supported by a strongly-worded document issued by the theological faculty of the University of Paris in 1444, as well as by numerous decrees of various provincial councils. In this way it seems that the abuse had practically disappeared before the time of the Council of Trent.

Sources:

The first of the 13 tree months of the Celtic calendar is the month of the Birch Moon. It begins just after Yuletide, and runs through most of January.

Starting just after the Winter Solstice – the shortest day of the year – the month of the Birch Moon marks the period of the year when the hours of daylight start to increase over the hours of darkness. Its associated color is flame red. From this comes the red candles that we burn at Yuletide. The birch is a popular Yule log, clearing the Old Year away to make way for the new.

  • Dates: December 24 thru January 20
  • Celtic Name: Beith, Beth
  • Language of Flowers: Meekness
  • Color: Red
  • Themes: New Endeavors, Creativity, Fertility, Healing, Protection.

The Birch Moon is a time of rebirth and regeneration. As the Solstice passes, it is time to look towards the light once more. When a forested area burns, Birch is the first tree to grow back. The Celtic name for this month is Beth, pronounced beh.

Workings done in this month add momentum and a bit of extra “oomph” to new endeavors. The Birch is also associated with magick done for creativity and fertility, as well as healing and protection. Tie a red ribbon around the trunk of a Birch tree to ward off negative energy. Hang Birch twigs over a cradle to protect a newborn from psychic harm. Use Birch bark as magical parchment to keep writings safe.

Beth, the Birch month, is a time of regeneration and new projects. This is the perfect time to go back to the light once more as the Sun makes a comeback. The Birch tree is the first tree to grow back after a forest fire. This month is the best for spells related to creativity, healing, protection, and fertility.

Birch the Achiever

If you were born in the month of the birch, you probably have a fresh and unusual outlook on life. People born under this Celtic tree astrology sign tend to be highly driven and are always full of zeal and ambition. They always want more and try to reach new horizons and expand their knowledge.

Some of the characteristics attributed to the Birch sign are tolerance, toughness, and leadership. The Birch signs can brighten a room with their smile and quickly charm other people. This sign of the Celtic zodiac is compatible with the Vine and Willow signs.

Throughout history the birch tree was known for it’s adaptability, sustaining itself in even the harshest of conditions. It is the first tree to sprout leaves after the winter and the first to regrow after fire or other natural disaster. Some liken it to the pioneer spirit, courageously taking root in harsh and unknown lands. It is a symbol of renewal at the highest level and demonstrates a fierce and unfailing ability to not only survive, but also to prosper and multiply.

People born under this Druid zodiac sign may exhibit many of the characteristics of the tree such as strength, tenacity, resilience, stability and perseverance.

Birch Magick and Lore

Birch is one of our most beautiful native British trees and one of the most mystical! Birch is often seen as a ‘pioneer tree.’ It was the first tree to start to recolonize the land after the last Ice Age and is, even now, often the first to start to grow on cleared lands or wastelands…

And it provides nourishment for the plants and trees that come after to allow the natural ecosystem to regrow. ​Because of this, birch is often associated with renewal and new beginnings.

In the Tartar culture, the birch tree stands at the centre of the world. The Siberian Buryat people name birch ‘the guardian of the door’ and believe that the birch can provide access to the nine great celestial realms.

The Siberian Yakut culture associate the birch with ‘Ai Toyou’ the ‘bringer of light’ who lives in a birch tree with its branches filled with nests of children.

The association of birch with light is a powerful one – the beautiful silver-white bark reflects light and appears particularly striking and ethereal by moonlight, especially on those dark winter nights when the trees stand bare of leaves.

Birch is associated with the Celtic god of light, Lugh. And legend tells that birch – ‘beith’ – was the first letter of the Celtic tree alphabet – the ogham – ever written. The letter ‘beith’ was carved seven times onto a piece of birch by the god Ogma so that he could warn the god Lugh that his wife had been taken by fairies. It also served as a protective talisman for Lugh as he sought for his wife.

In the Celtic world, birch trees are also associated with the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis – you can imagine the ethereal beauty of the scene with these dancing lights reflected in the silver birch bark – and through this association, with the Celtic goddess Arianrhod who has her throne in the ‘corona borealis’, ‘the crown of the north wind’. Celtic women are thought to have traditionally used birch to ask for Arianrhod’s assistance in childbirth (a time of new beginnings).

Simple Cold Moon ritual

Light a white candle beside a small bowl of natural spring water. Stand over the water and pray for the strength to let go of your vice. Write down your negative behavior nine times on a piece of paper. Fold up the paper, place it inside a freezer bag, and pour in some of the prayer water. Place the bag inside your icebox to ‘freeze’ your bad habits – putting them behind you forever.

Sources:

Here is a list of the pagan, religious, and secular holidays for January 2020 that have thus far been shared here on The Pagan Calendar. As you can see I have divided it into sections with the almanac and astrological dates listed separately.

Almanac:

Astrological Info – The Sun:

Astrological Info – The Moon:

Lucky and Unlucky Days:

  • January has 6 days that are lucky:
    1, 2, 15, 26, 27 and 28.
  • January has 7 days that are unlucky:
    3, 4, 6, 13, 14, 20 and 21.

January Lore and General Info:

Celebrations Around The World

Best Days:

  • Plant above ground crops: 4, 5, 9, 26 – 28, 31
  • Plant root crops: 10, 15 – 18, 21 – 23
  • Plant flowers: 9, 10, 15, 16
  • Transplant: 10, 17, 18
  • Seed beds: 9, 10, 17, 18
  • Tend hydroponics: 10, 27 – 29
  • Prune to encourage growth: 10, 15 – 18, 21 – 23
  • Prune to discourage growth: 1 – 3, 24, 25, 29, 30
  • Apply chemical fertilizer: 11, 26 – 28
  • Apply organic fertilizer: 10, 17, 18
  • Destroy weeds: 11 – 14
  • Control pests: 20, 21
  • Harvest crops: 11, 12, 19, 20
  • Wean: 19 – 28
  • Kill farm meat: 17
  • Set hens and incubators: 2 – 9
  • Castrate: 1, 2, 21 – 31

Any January lore, almanac, astrological, and celebration dates that have been shared after this post was published can be found by searching the January posts to see what’s new.

In Tabayama Village of Kitatsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture, a (a Fire Festival dedicated to the Dōsojin or the deity of pathways and roads practiced throughout Eastern Japan. The festivity called Dondoyaki, and is celebrated between 14th and 15th January.

In this festivity, the villagers gather their Mayudama Dumplings, decorative rice dumplings made for the Japanese New Year and suspended from lines or tree tweeds. These are cooked over a bonfire and then eaten. Eating those dumplings is believed to prevent cavities, while the heat from the bonfire makes the person healthy for the rest of the year. Ashes from the fire can be used as snake and disease repellent as well as fire hazard preventative.

Source: Japanese Folklore Research Center

In Voodoo, Voudoo or Voodun, Mange Loa is the feeding of the Loa (Gods). This refers to a large annual feasting of all the Loa during which they are offered drinks, syrups, cakes, birds, chickens and even bulls. Other names for this feast are “The Breaking of the Cakes” and “Jan Case Gateaux.” It is believed that the powers of all Loa increase at Earth level during these celebrations often held on January 2.

In this, the most frequently performed ritual in voodoo, food or animal sacrifices are offered up to the Loa. Literally, this is a “feeding of the Gods.” Each Loa has a taste for a particular food or drink, all the better to summon the Loa to the living world. When rituals are held outside, food and other offerings might be left at a crossroad or other place of significance

Strictly speaking, every voodoo ceremony at which offerings are presented – birds, a goat and chickens, even a bull, and always the accompanying offerings such as liquor or cakes – is a feeding of the Loa; an augmentation of their powers at earth level.

Today give offerings to your personal Loa or deity. This both gives strength and power to the Loa/deity and also strengthens the connections between you both.

Who are the Loa?

Loa (also spelled lwa) are the spirits of Haitian Vodou and Louisiana Voodoo. They are also referred to as “mystères” and “the invisibles” and are intermediaries between Bondye (from French Bon Dieu, meaning “good God”) —the Supreme Creator, who is distant from the world—and humanity.

Unlike saints or angels, however, they are not simply prayed to, they are served. They are each distinct beings with their own personal likes and dislikes, distinct sacred rhythms, songs, dances, ritual symbols, and special modes of service. Contrary to popular belief, the Loa are not deities in and of themselves; they are intermediaries for, and dependent on, the distant Bondye.

The Loa protect children from misfortune. In return the families must feed the Loa through periodic rituals in which food, drink and other gifts are offered to the spirits. Services are usually held at a sanctuary on family land.

Collected from various sources

 

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