Friday, January 17, 2014

Pagan Blog Project - Birthday

The first birthday I celebrated was my thirty-somethingth. I told my husband that I was really disappointed at not having a Sweet Sixteen so he got me a cake with 16 candles. Jehovah's Witnesses are quite hypocritical about birthdays. They celebrate wedding anniversaries yet the anniversary of one's birth is frowned upon. The reasons they cite have to do the Pagan trappings and the only two birthday celebrations mentioned in the bible, both of which called for beheadings. Many Christian sites tell of the Pagan origins of birthdays. Since Pagan is an umbrella term, it is difficult to tell just where these origins actually came from.

So for a long while I never cared much for my birthday. Not celebrating it was just a habit. A passage in the Satanic Bible changed my mind.
Aren’t you happier about the fact that you were born than you are about the birth of someone you have never even met? Or for that matter, aside from religious holidays, why pay higher tribute to the birthday of a president or to a date in history than we do to the day we were brought into this greatest of all worlds?
Despite the fact that some of us may not have been wanted, or at least were not particularly planned, we’re glad, even if no one else is, that we’re here! You should give yourself a pat on the back, buy yourself whatever you want, treat yourself like the king (or god) that you are, and generally celebrate your birthday with as much pomp and ceremony as possible.

Wow, how profound! Yes, it's okay to be selfish that one day out of a year. Do you, boo! 

Traditional birthdays usual consist of cake, candles, and gifts. The number of candles is equal to the age of the person. However, if Great Grand-Nana is turning 95, you may want to get number candles. After the birthday person is sung to, the candles on the cake are blown out. The birthday person makes a silent wish first. If she tells the wish or if all the candles aren't blown out on the first try, the wish may not come true.

Since we measure the tropical year by the sun, one's solar return is the correct marker to increment one's age. Solar return is when the sun appears at the same place in the sky at one's birth. This would solve the problem of when leap year babies should celebrate their birthdays.

How can you make your birthday more magical?
  • Gift yourself some jewelry with your birthstone.
  • Go to and generate a chart for your solar return.
  • Create a special ritual to use only on your birthday.
  • Every 19 years the sun and moon are in (roughly) the same place as they were at your birth. This birthday should be super special!


  1. I can't say that everything in LaVeyan Satanism rings true for me, but some of it I think is quite liberating. And yeah, those Jehova's Witnesses - I knew a lady whose grandfather died in combat but never received a flag at his funeral because his wife (a Witness) said such an observance was against her religion. His granddaughter, the lady I met, was sharing this story with a teacher who knew the folks who did the flag ceremonies at the local VFW. So they came out and presented her grandfather's flag to her instead of her grandmother. It was actually quite moving. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I'm not 100% down with LaVeyan Satanism either. But I'm not terrified of them like I was when I was JW. It's just another path that's not for me. The passage about the birthdays really made sense.

  2. I don't think I'm a queen or a god, and I don't think this is necessarily the greatest of all worlds (I've seen way too much Star Trek for that), but I do enjoy having one day a year for people to celebrate that I was born, and for me to be glad I'm here on this beautiful earth. And I love celebrating other people's birthdays--it really is a time that I pause and think how happy I am that they are here. My daughter's has an extra meaning, the anniversary of our becoming parents; that was particularly intense her first few birthdays, and I still think about her actual birth on that day, with a sense of wonder that that tiny newborn has grown so quickly into the smart, talkative, creative little person I live with now.

    Reading this is a real wake-up for someone like me, who grew up in a non-JW, birthday-celebrating home, not even knowing that there were people who frown on birthdays, to read this, complete with the basic instructions such as how many candles to use. By the way, many people use the number of years plus one more candle "for a wish" or "to grow on." (I am 45 and gave up on the number-of-years-plus-one approach a loooooooooong time ago, but of course we do it for our daughter.)

    1. My kids' birthdays remind me that time flies! I can remember the day they were born as if it were yesterday. Viewing your daughter's birthday as a parenting anniversary is a different and cool way of looking at it.

      I didn't celebrate my children's birthdays until their teen years and not even every year. Well I did throw my daughter a "starting school" party. After I got completely out of JW, I wanted to do milestone years as money permitted. If I ever have another child, we will celebrate every year but not throw a huge party. We'll save that for the milestone years.