February, the second month of the current Gregorian calendar and
the third month of Winter's rule, derives its name from Februa,
the name of a Roman purification festival held on the fifteenth
day of February in ancient times. The traditional birthstone amulet
of February is the amethyst; and the primrose and the violet are
the month's traditional flowers.
February is shared by the astrological signs of Aquarius the Water-Bearer
and Pisces the Two Fishes, and is sacred to the following pagan
deities: Aradia, Brigid, Juno Februa, and the Wiccan Goddess in
Her aspect as the Maiden. During the month of February, the Great
Solar Wheel of the year is turned to Candlemas, one of the four
Great Sabbats celebrated each year by Wiccans and modern Witches
throughout the world.
February 1Candlemas Eve
Brigit, the Celtic Earth-Mother and goddess of fire, wisdom, poetry,
and sacred wells, is honored on this day. In Ireland, offering
of yellow flowers are made to the goddess at sacred wells dedicated
to her. In ancient Greece, the three-day Lesser Eleusinian Mysteries
began each year on this day in honor of the goddesses Ceres, Demeter,
Persephone, and Proserpine.
On this day, the Candlemas Sabbat is celebrated by Wiccans and
Witches throughout the world. Candlemas (which is also known as
Imbolc, Oimelc, and Lady Day) is a fire festival that celebrates
the coming of Spring. New beginnings and spiritual growth are
represented by the "sweeping out of the old," symbolized
by the sweeping of the circle with a besom (a Witch's broom).
This is traditionally done by the High Priestess of the coven,
who wears a brilliant crown of thirteen candles on top of her
head. In ancient Europe, the Candlemas Sabbat was celebrated with
a torchlight procession to purify and fertilize the fields before
the seed-planting season, and to honor and give thanks to the
various deities and spirits associated with agriculture.
day is also known as "Groundhog's Day", for that persnickety
prognosticator and harbinger of Spring in the West.
On this date, an annual ceremony called the Blessing of the Throats
takes place to honor the healing powers of Saint Blaise and to
magickally ward off throat ailments brought on by the winter's
Throughout Japan the evil demons of winter are exorcised annually
on this day with a festival called the Setsu-bun. Beans are placed
in every corner of a family's house, and pointed branches and
sardine heads are mounted over the doors. Centuries-old purification
rites are performed by priests in all temples and shrines. Prayers
are written on slips of paper and then cast from bridges into
the rivers below.
On this date in the year 1962, the Great conjunction of the Sun,
Moon, Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn occurred in the
sign of Aquarius.
On this day, the annual Feast of Ia is celebrated in honor of,
and to invoke the power of, the Sacred Maiden of the Pagan mythos.
Throughout northern Japan, a centuries-old winter snow festival
takes place each year around this time of the month. The ancient
and beneficial spirits that bring life-sustaining water are honored
at special shrines erected in huts resembling Eskimo igloos.
A festival in honor of the love goddess Aphrodite was held each
year on this date in ancient Greece.
On this date (approximately), the annual spring fertility festival
known as Li Chum is celebrated in China. Bamboo and paper effigies
of a water buffalo (an animal which symbolizes "new life")
are carried through the streets by a temple-bound procession.
After reaching the temple, the effigies are set on fire in the
belief that prayers for prosperity will be taken up to heaven
by the rising smoke.
The annual nighttime ritual known as the Star Festival is celebrated
on this date (approximately) in China. The stars that influence
the fate of mankind are honored by the lighting of 108 small lanterns
on a special altar, and prayers are offered to the sacred stars
that governed one's birth.
In northern Norway, the Narvik Sun Pageant is held annually on
this date in honor of the ancient Pagan goddess who rules over
the Sun. The festival, which has been celebrated since pre-Christian
times, begins at sunrise and continues throughout the day until
the shadows of evening darken the sky.
An ancient African festival marking the beginning of the fishing
season and the New Year is celebrated annually on this day by
members of the Kebbawa tribe of Nigeria. The ancient gods of their
religion are honored and invoked, and traditional fish divinations
In pre-Christian times, the goddess Anaitis was honored on this
day in the country of Persia (now Iran). She was a deity who was
said to have possessed great powers over the Moon and the seas.
Each year on this date, millions of faithful men, women, and children
make a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady in Lourdes. A spring
in the village of Lourdes, France, is believed by many to possess
curative powers. The pilgrims bathe in the water in the hope that
it will heal their illnesses and disabilities.
On this date in the year 1663, the infamous clergyman Cotton Mather
was born in Boston, Massachusetts. (This is certainly one birthday
no Witch would ever celebrate!) His writings and sermons condemning
the practice of the Old Religion contributed greatly to the hysteria
of the 1692 Salem Witch-hunt. Cotton Mather died in Boston, one
day after his birthday, in the year 1728.
On this date, an annual holiday called the Parentalia was observed
in ancient Rome. It lasted until the twenty-first of February
and was a day for families to honor and commemorate their deceased
loved ones, particularly their parents. During the week of Parentalia,
all temples in Rome were closed and all wedding ceremonies forbidden.
Ancestral tombs were visited and offerings of wine and flowers
were made to family ghosts.
Saint Valentine's Day. This is a day dedicated to all lovers,
and the traditional time for Witches around the world to practice
all forms of love magick and love divination.
This day is sacred to Juno-Lupa, the she-wolf goddess of the ancient
Roman religion. In early times, she was honored annually on this
day by a women's fertility festival and the sacrifice of a female
On this date in ancient Rome, a festival known as the Lupercalia
(Feast of the Wolf) was celebrated to honor the god Lupercus and
to mark the beginning of Spring. The festival, which was a rustic
ritual of both purification and fertility magick, also included
the sacrifice of goats and dogs to the god Faunus (identified
by classical writers as the horned goat-god Pan). During the orgiastic
festival, young men would choose their sexual partners by drawing
the names of young women out of a bowl.
In the distant past, a rite called the Devil's Dance was performed
annually on this date (approximately) as part of the Tibetan New
Year festival. Monks wearing grotesque masks would dance for hours
as a village sorcerer exorcised demons and the evil influences
of the past year with various magickal incantations.
On this day, according to Hindu religion and mythology, the fearsome
goddess known as Kali was born and the world entered into the
Kali Yuga (the "Evil Age"). Kali, the destroyer-goddess,
was depicted with black skin, a hideous face, and four arms. In
ancient times, human sacrifices were made to appease her and to
satisfy her thirst for blood.
On this day, a festival of women known as the Spenta Armaiti was
held annually throughout the country of Persia. Ancient fertility
rites were performed by temple priestesses in honor of the goddess
Spandarmat, and the goddess who dwells within all women was honored
and invoked with special prayers and meditations.
On this date (approximately), the Sun enters the astrological
sign of Pisces. Persons born under the sign of the Two Fishes
are said to be telepathic, tolerant, sensitive, artistic, and
often prone to daydreaming. Pisces is a water sign and is ruled
by the planet Neptune.
According to mythology, the goddess Minerva was born on this day
(which is sacred to the Pagan deities Nammu and Nina).
On this date in the year 1882, the Society for Psychical Research
was founded in London, England, by a group of prominent philosophers
and physicists. It became Britain's leading organization for research
into the world of supernatural phenomena and the paranormal.
In ancient Rome, an All Soul's Day ceremony known as the Feralia
was held annually on this date at the close of the Parentalia
festival. Family reunions were held and Lares (ancestral guardian
spirits) were honored with prayers and offerings.
On this day in the year 1917, Sybil Leek was born in Stoke-on-Trent,
England. She achieved fame and success as a modern Witch, astrologer,
and occult author. Her psychic predictions of the Kennedy assassinations
and the election of Richard M. Nixon as president of the United
States are documented. She passed away on October 26, 1982 in
On this date, the last festival of the ancient Roman year (the
Terminalia) was celebrated annually in honor of the god Terminus,
a deity who ruled over boundaries and frontiers. During the Terminalia,
neighbors whose lands were divided and protected by Terminus would
gather together an pour libations of wine, honey, and the blood
of sacrificed pigs on their stone boundary-markers.
Shiva, the multifaceted Hindu god of destruction and renewal,
is honored annually on this date (approximately) by a day of fasting,
followed by an oil-lamp vigil known as the Shivaratri (Shiva's
Night) that takes place at shrines dedicated to him.
In many parts of the Christian world, a joyous pre-Lenten celebration
known as Carnival takes place annually on or around this date.
In ancient days, orgiastic fertility rites and sacrifices of humans
and animals to herald the arrival of Spring were common at this
time of the year in many parts of the world.
Pentagram Night. As a symbolic gesture to reaffirm your dedication
to the Craft of the Wise, dip your fingertip into a small cauldron
pot filled with Yule-log ashes and then use it to draw the sacred
symbol of the Witches' Pentagram (five pointed star within a circle)
over your heart at the first stroke of midnight.
On this day in the year 1861, famous psychic and spiritual philosopher
Rudolf Steiner was born in Kraljevic (which was part of Hungary
at that time). He possessed clairvoyant powers and communicated
often with nonphysical entities. In 1902, he was appointed general
secretary of the German Section of the Theosophical Society, and
in 1913, he established his own school for esoteric research.
He died on March 30, 1925.
In ancient times, a Chaldean Sabbat known as the Sabbatu was celebrated
each year on this date.
On this day of the year, the Earth-Goddesses Ceres, Demeter, Gaia,
Ge, and Mauri are honored by many Pagans and Wiccans around the
Also honored annually on this day is the ancient Pagan deity Zamyaz,
who was worshipped and offered sacrifices by the ancient Chaldeans
On this date in the year 1692, Abigail Williams and Ann Putnam,
two young girls from Salem Village, Massachusetts, accused three
local women of using the black arts of Witchcraft to torment and
bewitch them. On the following day, Sarah Good, Sarah Osburne,
and a West African slave named Tituba were arrested, marking the
beginning of the infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692. By the end
of the year, when the trials were finally brought to a close,
over 200 women and men had been arrested and jailed, 19 had been
hanged at Gallows Hill, and one man had been pressed to death.
According to folklore, this is a very unlucky day to have a love
letter postmarked. It will lead to the breakup of your love affair
the February-born shall find,
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If she the Amethyst will wear."
weather lore calls this month February fill-dyke, indicating a
god deal of snow or rain is to be expected:
fill the dyke,
Either with black or white,
If it's white, the better I like."
is thought that a snowy month means that the spring will be fine.
February give much snow,
A fine Summer dost foreshow."
mild and sunny February is thought to be a bad omen, presaging
and stormy Summer:
al the months in the year,
Curse a fair Februeer."
are supposed to be one of the early bird arrivals for Spring,
in Gaelic the birds are known as Gille Brighde.
Valentine's Eve, boil an egg and remove the yolk placing some
salt in the cavity. Eat prior to retiring for a sight of your
Valentine in your dreams!
first bird that you see on Valentine's morning will tell you something
of your future partner:
sparrow means a poor man, a robin a sailor, a dove money and a
goldfinch means happiness and wealth.
In Wales on the last night of February the Cwn Annwn
are to be found roaming the skies. These are the hounds of the