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Southern Hemispherian Blues

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 16 Feb 2002, and now archived in the Forum Library.

kayne  16 Feb 2002 
When reading Tarotbear's thread about being Ringmaster etc it made me think... all that really doesn't apply for someone below the equator such as myself (in Australia) where Summer starts on December the first and Winter on the first of June...

Should the opposite dates simply apply? 

Kiama  17 Feb 2002 
Well, originally the festivals Tarotbear mentioned were celebreaed not by date but by weather. The Autumn Equinox was celebrated when the leaves started to fall and it started to get breezy. As the nights lengthened, the Spring Equinox would be celebrated... So, techinally, people in the Southern Hemisphere would celebrate with *their* weather, not with the Northern Hemisphere. However, the choice is up to you. It does make it diffcult now that there are so many people worldwide communicating with each other!

Hope this helps!


Butterfly  17 Feb 2002 
Hi, Kayne, I went through this a few years ago (I'm another Aussie). You have two theories or choices.
As Kiama says, they are based on seasons. So yes- you can do the exact opposite (most Aussie covens do I believe), so that it is in tune with natures energy. Technically we don't have the four seasons in Australia (I think there are six?) but that's not really important- just useless trivia.
Alternatively, some follow the Northern Hemisphere timetable as it's easier (with Chrissie/Yule and Ostara/Easter) and it's also in tune with the energy of the majority of people taking part in these rituals.
I think it comes down to what feels right for you, I guess 

Greenman  18 Feb 2002 
no no no no no!
Pagans don't observe dates. they observe seasons, and rhythms.
you CAN'T celebrate Imbolc, the Quickening, and the return of the light when the crops are ripe on the vine!
if you are in the southern hemisphere then partake in the celebrations of YOUR season, and disregard what the other half of the world is doing.
these are ancient rites, and the fact that we now have instant communication should not change the nature of these rites. it is NOT a matter of 'whatever feels right'. it is a recognition of the great cycle of nature, and to revise it is to deny it (imo). and THAT goes against everything that Paganism is about! 

Pollux  18 Feb 2002 
Hey Greenman: you sure sound determined!
But please, don't be so stiff and drastic:
("...and THAT goes against everything that Paganism is about!")

I agree with you, of course. A celebration isn't but our "ceremonial" inserting and acknowledging those cycles and rhytms.
The energy flows, and we want to follow and embrace that flow. 

jade  18 Feb 2002 
i completely agree with greenman.

the whole point of the festivals is to celebrate the earth and her cycles......

it doesn't make sense to try to correspond them to the christian holidays LOL


Butterfly  19 Feb 2002 
Thinking it through, Greenman you are right. Having said that, though, I have known people who have worked with the Northern Hemisphere "schedule" as I mentioned. Paganism is a living, shifting religion, based more on inner wisdom, than external shoulds.
Kayne, you may need to make small adjustments to fit the rituals into our climate, seasons etc.
Ooh, and Jade I certainly didn't mean that they should be fitted into the Christian timetable (though goodness knows it happened in reverse!) rather that at certain times of the year there is an abundance of symbols, products, song, celebration etc that have adopted that go against our seasons eg halloween, Easter and Christmas. I think I was trying to be practical 

Greenman  19 Feb 2002 
yeah, it is hard not to succumb to the constant bombardment of the commercial holidays (Hallmark is the enemy, mwahahaha!). and most of the books on the subject are published with a northern hemisphere slant.
but Pagan roots go back many, many thousands of years. and the people of those times weren't interested in 'religion' or 'belief systems'. what they did was all about survival. and the way they worshipped was not analyzed or thought through. it was strictly about harmonizing with their surroundings, living in sync with the often cruel world that controlled their destiny's.
so, it's my feeling that as modern day Pagans we owe them more than lip service and a 'knowing' nod to their contribution in paving the path we now walk. and that means synchronizing ourselves with OUR environment in a way that follows the natural rhythms of our world. so when it's harvest time outside your window, then it's Lammas, or Mabon, or Samhain, etc. look at the trees. they should be our reference, not 'Llewelyn's Magickal Almanac'.
in this way the Sabbats stay as markers along the wheel of the year (like Ostara), and don't become lost as some sort of cultural holiday that nobody understands (like Easter).
and i certainly hope that my previous post wasn't seen as 'hostile'. it wasn't meant to be. 

The Southern Hemispherian Blues thread was originally posted on 16 Feb 2002 in the Spirituality board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the threads in Spirituality, or read more archived threads.

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