I usually follow the Wheel of the Year, but I'd like to have a special ceremony each year honoring the death of a relative. I don't want to wait until Samhain, because the anniversary of the person's death is at a different time of year. Is this proper to do?
One of the things that draws people to Pagan spirituality is its flexibility. While there are a few common guidelines, most Pagans find that their belief and practice is a highly personalized spirituality, rather than a dogmatic one.
If there is a day that holds special significance to you, it's not so much a question of whether it's proper to other people. What's more important is, does the event or date hold a spiritual meaning to YOU?
Some days that I've seen people celebrate as part of Pagan spirituality include anniversaries of a death or a particular historical event, Earth Day, and various dates that might not mean much to other people but that have an importance to the one celebrating them.
I've also encountered people who celebrate the eight Sabbats based not upon calendar dates but on agricultural markers. For example, if you live in the Midwest, and you're in Planting Zone 5, then if you celebrate Beltane on May 1, chances are good it's still too cold to actually plant anything. But if you wait until May 15 or so, the soil is warm enough, you can put seedlings in the ground, and observe Beltane as a planting and fertility festival. Likewise, if you live in a place where the harvest is gathered at the beginning of September, why wait until September 21 to observe Mabon?
I've also met members of a coven that celebrates a blue moon as Initiation Day. Why? Because they only initiate new members on a blue moon, which means it's a big cause for celebration when one finally rolls around. I've also met a group that meets every year to do a ritual on a specific Friday night in November... because the next day is the big Ohio State-Michigan football game.
At any rate, your spirituality can be a very personal and individualized thing. If you want to celebrate something of spiritual significance in a manner that's not a traditional "Pagan holiday," then feel free.
What are some of the non-traditional holidays you observe as part of your Pagan spirituality? Share with us below, using the Readers Respond feature!