Witchology, the history of Wicca & Witchcraft
by Dr Leo Ruickbie
Study and learn the history of Witchcraft, Wicca, Paganism, Magic and the Occult with our courses and resources
Read Dr Ruickbie on witchcraft and magic in Paranormal magazine.
What is Witchcraft?
That's what this website is here to find out. Witchology.com is the website of WICA - the Witchcraft Information Centre and Archive - founded in 1999 by Dr Leo Ruickbie as a research and education provider specialising in the areas of Witchcraft, Wicca, Paganism, Magic (Magick) and the Occult. We have been online continuously since 2000.
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February: Imbolc to Terminalia
February is named after the ancient Roman purification festival of Februa and is a time to honour the ancestors and orgiastically invoke the powers of fertility.
Pagan Festivals and Holy Days in February
Although February is named after the ancient Roman purification festival of Februa, February is also a month sacred to the gods Mars (as Quirinus, or Romulus) and Juno, the wife of Jupiter. According to Ancient Roman tradition February is a month in which particular reverence was shown to the spirits of deceased ancestors. In a familiar cultural dichotomy in which both death and life were celebrated, this was a month devoted to fertility, both of men and women, and of the land. Many of these rites had residual agricultural overtones. It may be more than coincidence that the dead, who were either buried or considered to be in the 'underworld', and the fruits of agriculture, both relate to the earth. February was the last month in the Roman calendar, but also the beginning of spring: the first day of spring was celebrated on February 5 (the Nones). According to Ovid, the Latin word februa ('the means of purification') derived from an older Etruscan word meaning purgamentum ('purging'). It was accordingly a month of 'spring cleaning' with purifcation and fertility rituals.
The month of February is called Solmonath (meaning 'Sun month') in Anglo-Saxon and was thought to have been dedicated to the Goddess Sjofn. Solmonath notes the gradual return of light after the darkness of midwinter. In modern Asatru calendars February is known as Horning, from Horn, the turn of the year. It is celebrated as a time of purification. February is Saxon cake month, when cakes are offered to the Gods and Goddesses for prosperity and good luck.
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