Thelemic Holy Days (Holidays)
Thelemic Holy Days
The official holy days of Thelema are set forth in The Book of the Law, Ch. II, v. 36-41. The specific dates attributed to them are given in Crowley’s commentaries, and are summarized below:
- The Rituals of the Elements and Feasts of the Times are observed at the Equinoxes and Solstices.
- The Feast for the First Night of the Prophet and His Bride is observed on August 12.
- The Feast for the Three Days of the Writing of the Book of the Law is observed on April 8, 9 and 10, beginning at noon on each day.
- The Feast for the Supreme Ritual (the Invocation of Horus) is observed on March 20, and represents the opening of the Thelemic new year.
- The Feast for the Equinox of the Gods is held on the Vernal Equinox of each year to commemorate the founding of Thelema in 1904.
Three points of passage in the life of each Thelemite are observed. Birth is celebrated in a Feast for Life; puberty is celebrated in a Feast for Fire (for a boy), or a Feast for Water (for a girl); and the death of the individual is commemorated in a Greater Feast for Death.
Various other events in the career of Aleister Crowley are sometimes recognized with holidays. His birth on October 12 is “Crowleymas,” an occasion often celebrated with comical rites. 18 November was the date of his first initiation, and is therefore “Perdurabo Day.” His “Annihilation” or attainment to Mastery of the Temple was on December 3. The general feast in honor of To Mega Therion should be on the anniversary of his death, December 1.
The memories of historical individuals among the Gnostic Saints may be celebrated on the anniversaries of their deaths. Some legendary saints, such as Priapus and Tahuti, have traditional festival dates (March 24 and August 6, respectively, for these examples).
Some Thelemites celebrate the midpoints between the equinoxes and solstices as seasonal festivals, replacing the old pagan and Christian denominations for those dates. February 2 (formerly Imbolc and Candlemas) is the Feast of the Stars, with the sun in Aquarius. May 1 (former Beltane and Roodmas) is the Feast of Cattle, with the sun in Taurus. August 1 (formerly Lugnasadh and Lammas) is the Feast of the Lion-Serpent, with the sun in Leo. And October 31 (formerly Samhain and Hallowmas) is the Feast of the Dragon, with the sun inScorpio.