Around the Cauldron · Celebrating the Sabbats · For the Gods

Pagan Holidays in a Muggle Environment

There’s a handful of us who are able to incorporate our faith into our work – through our own business, or working in the field, or whatever our heart so chooses. When it comes to celebrating the holidays – whether we choose to follow the traditional wheel, our own wheel, or however we practice – we generally celebrate on the closest weekend or evening outside of work hours, or skip it all together if we’re too busy.

We put work first, because it’s work that pays the bills, right?

Generally I’ll celebrate the festivals on the closest weekend, or after work. Since becoming a Dedicant of Herne, I’ve put aside the Winter Solstice as a particular holiday where I take the day off work, watch the sun rise at a special location, and spend the day in his honour. I’ve been lucky as my bosses have always been understanding when I use the term, “religious observance”.

This year is the first time where it’s come up as an issue, particularly because I have a new boss with a more work-focused agenda. The day in question falls on a busy day here at work, and he’d rather me accompany him while he goes through the end-of-month processes with the engineers. Technically, that is a role for a Commercial Manager, and since I’ve fought tooth and nail to get my title changed to Project Administrator (which is the job I’ve been doing for 18 months but paid as a lower role), I’m certainly not experienced enough for the tasks being set before me.

So naturally when it comes down to spending the day in a hot/cold office analysing costs down to the cent or spending the day honouring my Patron, the choice is a simple one.

This year the astrological Winter Solstice occurs on Monday 22 June at 2.39am in Sydney, Australia. I will be awake honouring Herne as he embarks on the Wild Hunt, his candle lit and the ritual surrounding the candle as he once told me to do. As the new sun rises and the hunt concludes, the darkest night will be finished and the day will be spent welcoming in the new sun and the journey of the Wild Hunt. It is the birth of the Oak King, and Herne’s role in my life as the Oak King plays such a significant part in my wheel and my journey through the wheel.

Normally I have a bitch and moan when the Christian holidays roll around as the nation gets a day off for them whether we celebrate it or not (since not all Australians celebrate the Christian-based holidays), and case in point, I’m getting the “I’d rather you come in” talk when one of our days come up.

So why is a “nationally approved” religious holiday more special or accepted than one of ours? Is this a moment to elaborate to my boss about the significance of this day for me, or do I just take an annual leave day and say nothing?

My faith may not pay my bills, but it is what keeps me getting out of bed every day and what keeps me fighting to improve my life and how I live.

Herne is one of the few who helps me keep my head above the water.

4 thoughts on “Pagan Holidays in a Muggle Environment

  1. Because the law says so. While we have the right to freedom of religion in Australia, the privileges of that only extend to, well, religions. There are 128 recognised religions in Australia and the list doesn’t include a single Pagan path.

  2. Id take as an annual leave day. My boss can keep his or her nose out of my spiritual beliefs but then again I’m surrounded by right wing Christians who I prefer not to to discuss religion with at any time of the year.

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