Podcast 23 – The New Year, Anniversaries, & Birthdays



We’re back! We tell you what’s been keeping us busy and talk a little about our upcoming plans.  Then we get into our main topic: annual celebrations, including New Year’s, Anniversaries, and Birthdays.


Download:  New World Witchery – Episode 23
Witches All – Elizabeth Pepper, ed.

American Folklore: An Encyclopedia – J. H. Brunvand, ed.
Ozark Magic & Folklore – Vance Randolph
Birthstones” article on Wikipedia
Also: Open Call for Submissions from Misanthrope Press!

Promos & Music
Title music:  “Homebound,” by Jag, from Cypress Grove Blues.  From Magnatune.

Promo 1 – Druidcast
Promo 3 – Pagan Homesteader


14 thoughts on “Podcast 23 – The New Year, Anniversaries, & Birthdays”

  1. hay there i just had to comment. first off i love your show and blog. but you where talking about birthstones and as a jeweler i wanted to let you guys know that the list of birth stones by month was invented by stone cutters to increase sales of colored stones after the rise in popularity in diamonds

  2. ok so i might of been confering with the great orcal Google.. and found some things..

    about the birthday presents being bobbed on the head with said present and the saying heavy heave hangs over the head there was something here http://www.gamesmuseum.uwaterloo.ca/VirtualExhibits/Brueghel/heavy.html hmm.. curious

    also poppy day which for us in new zealand is tied up with anzac Day which is a day that we remember our solders from previous wars. it is also a tradition to put poppys on the graves of returned service men after they have passed. at my great uncles funeral there was a representative from the RSA who provided the poppy’s for everyone who was at the grave site, so that everyone could put a poppy into the grave. as an aside it is not usual for European Kiwis to be buried they are for the most part cremated, however with the Maori it is more common to be buried. umm.. yeah.. opps digression do be do

    now as to the moonstone.. see i heard that about opals.. but then the above comment says that the birthstones was invented by jewellers..hmm.. interesting… especially that customs and folklore has to come from somewhere right? *ponders this*

    well gosh.. didn’t i just have a lot to say today.. *laughs*.. you know i do believe that it was because listening to you podcast is quite like being involved in a conversation with you both, which is just lovely. *smiles*

    oh and Happy Anniversary yay 1 whole year.. congrats!!

  3. Hi guys, welcome back!
    I’m not sure if this is lore, but when I was growing up my family said that the year you turned the same age as the day of the month you were born was an especially important birthday. So if you were born June 8th, the year you turned 8 would be treated as extra special.

  4. Hi guys! I’m listening to the latest show and wishing you both luck for the new year… sounds like things have been stressful…
    Just personal stories here…
    Unity candle – We had an outdoor wedding and I was afraid of exactly the thing that happened to Laine, but really wanted a unity candle. During our honeymoon, we held a private ritual where we were able to tie our handfasting cords together (they’d been tied around our hands, but remained seperate cords at the wedding) and light our candle. We do pull it out each year and re-light it on our anniversary. I have in my head that we could pull it out for magick if it’s ever needed, but so far, it hasn’t been an issue. (shrug: Newlyweds ;))
    We didn’t save our cake, I had a coupon to get a free anniversary cake but the lady who made ours was unavailable at that time, so I just made one myself. 😉

    Oh, also, weirdly, my mother gives us anniversary presents in the annual theme. We think it’s kinda strange of her, but she enjoys it, so we don’t complain. First year we got about 10 different paper products (paper plates, paper towls, napkins etc) the next year we got a nice wooden pepper-mill (I guess she’s using a different list then you guys) and this year she got us matching leather slippers.

    1. Hi Scarlet!

      I think that’s great that your mother follows the tradition. I have to say, after discussing it on the show I really loved the idea of following the giving guidelines, and may be trying to adopt them a bit more in coming years. It’s super-sweet that your mom gives you things for your anniversary, too!

      Also, thanks for telling me about the Unity candle! I really hadn’t heard of that being a common practice, but it does make total sense. Does your hubby say sexy Scottish things to you when he lights the candle every year? 😉

      Thanks for the stories!

  5. The origin of birthstones is a little more complicated than just boosting prices, although the modern list *was* created by the Jewelers of America back in 1930. But before that, the idea grew out of Biblical references, and developed into a tradition of wearing stones associated with your birth month in order to either balance or reflect the influences of that month in your personality.

    I actually started a blog series on this, but then various things hit the fan and I haven’t finished it. I think I’ll get on that and maybe make it a podcast topic as well. But you can read the first installment of my essay here:


    And the book that I used as a primary reference, by George Frederick Kunz, is available on Google Books, and has a lengthy chapter on the history of birthstones. The book was written just after that standardized list was put forth, and Kunz was none to happy with some of the changes they made. 🙂

    1. Oops, the book title didn’t “take” for some reason. It’s The Curious Lore of Precious Stones, by George Frederick Kunz. And I don’t know why I said 1930 for the birthstone list – it was standardized in 1912. I was probably thinking of Kunz’s book coming out in 1913, and my fingers interpreted that thought as 1930. Or something like that. 😉

      Also, loved your show, as always!!

  6. Glad you are back wasn’t really expecting you guys until maybe spring. So glad your wife and the baby are doing well!
    Just wanted to throw this into the new year hat. In my family, we had sour kraut quite a bit on new year’s. Although, typical with my family, no one really had any idea why. But I do know, that my grandmother on my Ma’s side grew up in German household. They were here in the US, but while in the home the kids were not allowed to speak anything but the native language. So it seems this sour kraut tradition came from that side of the family.
    I still follow this tradition in my house. I need to research this some more to see if I can find the original meaning besides maybe a hangover remedy :>)

    1. Thanks Chet! We are doing very well at this point, and almost in the clear, baby-wise.

      The cabbage/kraut connection seems to be common across several cultures, including German, Scottish, African-American, etc. I love how something so seemingly simple can have such a strong magical connection!

      Thanks again for your good wishes and your contributions here!

  7. Hi, we have poppys in the UK for remembrance of fallen soldiers. They are from the poem “In flanders fields”. The British Legion sell the poppies to raise money to help those soldiers who need it, like veterans. We wear the poppies on remembrance sunday and in the weeks running up to it.

    1. Hi Jo-Ann!

      Thanks for the mention of the poem! I should have mentioned it in the show but somehow forgot to do so. I usually make paper poppies for that day and wear one. It clearly hasn’t caught on much in America, as I generally get questions or funny looks for wearing it, but most people think it’s neat when I tell them about it.

      Thanks again! All the best!

      1. Hi Cory,

        I remembered a “tradition” that we used to do as kids, and that was birthday bumps. Don’t know if you have them in America. But basically, the birthday person lies down and everyone else, grabs a bit of the person and then all together, everyone kinda throws the person up (but still holds on!) and down once for each year of the persons age. So, ten bumps for ten years old. You don’t actually bump them on the floor, just pretend to. I have no idea where this comes from! Usually you stop giving people bumps when they get too big!

      2. Hi Jo-Ann!

        Thank you for this! I don’t think I’ve heard anything quite like it over here, though we do have the birthday spanking, which is kind of similar. But nothing with the big group like you mention here. It’s great! Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

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