Beth Lynch wrote a great article about Odin, Thor, Freyr and Santa Claus: Did Odin inspire the Santa Claus legend?
Priestess and author, Isidora Forrest has a wonderful post detailing the reason why Heru-sa-Aset’s birthday is celebrated on December 25 (Hint: Look in Plutarch). Here is the article: Isis, Osiris, Horus and the Holy Day of December 25.
The Kemetic Festival dates for the birth of Heru-sa-Aset (Horus son of Isis) are different.
The celebration of Giving Birth of Aset, Mother of God is from 4 Peret days 4-21 which is in March or April depending on the Kemetic calendar (1). And the Kemetic date of the festival titled the Birthday of Heru-sa-Aset (Horus son of Isis) is not on the Winter Solstice (I can’t remember the exact date off the top of my head). And there is also a Greek/Roman festival of Aset Births Heru-sa-Aset/Isis Births Horus the Younger on 4 Peret Day 28.
(1) El-Sabban, Sherif. Temple Festival Calendars of Ancient Egypt. (Wiltshire: Liverpool University Press, 2000), 176.
From Here: Baring the Aegis by Elani Temperance
Monthly Holy Days
First Decad – Waxing Moon – Mên Histámenos
1. Noumenia – Selene, Apollon Noumenios, Zeus Herkios and Ktesios, Hestia, and the other Theoi of the Household
3. Tritomênís – Athena
Second Decad – Middle Moon – Mên Mesôn
13. (3.) Athena
Third Decad – Waning Moon – Mên Phthínôn
23. (-8) Athena
Hekatombaion (Ἑκατομϐαιών) – Creteon – July/August
16 / 15-16 – Sunoikia – community festival in Athens. Sacred to Athena. Two-day celebration every other year.
23-30 – Panathanaia – main celebration on the twenty-eighth in honor of Athena. Greater held in the third year of each Olympiad, Lesser held annually for fewer days.
Metageitnion (Μεταγειτνιών) – Diomedeon – August/September
12 – Sacrifice to Athena Polias
Boedromion (Βοηδρομιών) – Hippeon – September/October
2 – Niketeria – festival in honor of Athena
27 – Sacrifice to Athena at Atic deme of Teithras
Pyanepsion (Πυανεψιών) – Gereon – October/November
19-21? Apatouria – paternity festival. The first day (Dorpia) was celebrated with a communal feast within the brotherhood, the second day (‘Anarrhusis’) sacrifice were made to Zeus Phratrios and Athena Phratria, and the third day (‘Koureotis’) young boys admitted to their father’s brotherhood.
30 – Khalkeia – Festival in honor of Athena and Hephaestus.
Maimakterion (Μαιμακτηριών) – Hespereon – November/December
Poseideon (Ποσειδεών) – Cerbreon – December/January
Gamelion (Γαμηλιών) – Nemeaneon – January/February
9 – Sacrifice to Athena at Erchia
Anthesterion (Ἀνθεστηριών) – Lerneon – February/March
Elaphebolion (Ἑλαφηϐολιών) – Archaedeon – March/April
Mounichion (Μουνιχιών) – Erymantheon – April/May
Thargelion (Θαργηλιών) – Augeon – May/June
Between 20 and 25 – Kallunteria – spring cleaning of the Temple of Athena
25 – Plynteria – festival of washing, where the statue of Athena was removed from the city of Athens to be cleaned. Auspicious day.
Skirophorion (Σκιροφοριών) – Stymphaleon – June/July
3 – Arrephoria – festival in honor of Athena; or, Arretophoria. Ending of the priestess term at the temple of Athena, for young handmaidens
3 – Sacrifice to Athena Polias
12 – Skirophoria – festival in honor of Athena
28/29 (last day) – Sacrifice to Zeus the Savior and Athene the Savior
Tess Dawson, a Canaanite Polytheist and Priestess, has a blog post about ritual and temple etiquette within Canaanite Polytheism here:
The Deities Don’t Like Your Manky Underwear: Temple Etiquette in Natib Qadish
Here is Devo’s post on Wesir/Osiris from a devotee’s perspective: Steadfast in Eternity: aka Devo’s Guide to Figuring Out Osiris
Priestess and author, Isidora Forrest wrote a blog post about Aset/Isis’s wings. The article is here: Why Does Isis Have Wings?
I performed the Wesir Mysteries Night Vigil for the first time this year. It was a very powerful ritual, one filled with prayers and offerings over six hours. We’d start the prayer and offering at each hour and when we were done, we’d do fellowship or talk about the ritual itself like ask questions of “What does that symbolize?”
The ritual marks Wesir’s passage from death to His re-birth as King of the Ancestors. Wesir is not a God who comes back to life. He dies and then transforms into the King of the Dead. This is so we can do likewise once we die. Everyone who dies is called a Wesir (Name) for this reason.
The holiday commemorates Wesir’s death, but it is also about ours as well. Not only our death when it is time, but about the Akhu (ancestors) and about what needs to die in our own lives. What needs to die so that new growth can occur? What needs to be swept away, cleansed by Aset’s tears purifying Wesir as He transforms into the King of the Dead? What needs to be washed away?
When I was doing this ritual these things popped into my mind and heart:
*anger (anger at my family, anger at myself)
*fear (fear of everything: procrastination coming from this as well as low self-esteem)
*I kept wondering “Where are the Goddesses?” during the ritual. No mention within the liturgy was made of any Goddess, just Gods. I guess the Lamentations make up for it, but I still wanted Aset to be mentioned. (The Lamentations were not a part of this ritual, btw)
*Shame about past mistakes
*Letting go of regret and anger and things not done
*my heart needs to be cleansed and healed
And for those, who don’t click with the ancient rituals or don’t want to use them for other reasons here are things to consider: When adapting a holiday for modern times, I think it depends on many different things. What is the symbolism for the holiday? Who are the Gods and Goddesses of that holiday? Are those deities you normally worship? What is the myth behind it? What is the natural event (sunrise, sunset, night sky etc) behind it?
How can we feasibly celebrate the today without taking the original meaning from the holiday (then it wouldn’t be that holiday, it would be something else).
For the Mysteries of Wesir, I would focus on the agricultural aspects of it. Wesir’s death is the Harvest, the cutting of grain for food. And it is also about the Living surviving on the blessings of the dead and vice versa. The plants die, leaving children (seeds) behind to birth the new generation (compost helps feed the plants). So I’d make a feast of food consisting of vegetables, fruits and grains, breads or other baked goods. The baking could symbolize Wesir’s rebirth into the Duat.
I’d offer it to the Holy Family (Wesir, Aset, Nebet Het, Heru-sa-Aset; and possibly Yinepu as a possible son of Wesir and an embalming God) and eat it! I’d also offer a small portion of the feast to the Akhu.