Wheel of the Year

Forums ► Wicca ► Wheel of the Year
Reply to this post oldest 1 newest Start a new thread

Pages: oldest 1 newest

Wheel of the Year
Post # 1

Yule/Winter Solstice
approximately Dec. 21
Theme: First day of Winter; Rebirth; Stillness
Type: Solstice/Solar Holiday; longest night of the Year
Night and darkness have reached their apex and the Wheel turns to restore balance. The dawn heralds the return of the sun, bringer of light, warmth, and growth. In the days following Yule, the sun?s power grows steadily, encroaching upon the night, pushing back the darkness.
The Yule tree (recognized in modern times as the ?Christmas tree?) is an ancient symbol of life, fertility and vitality. Even in the dead of Winter, the Yule tree is evergreen ... a reminder of the life-force of Nature. Trees are brought into the house and decked with lights to celebrate Life and the returning of light after the darkest night.

Yule is also a celebration of dawning potentiality. As darkness gives way to light, the Earth lies sleeping. To us, the Earth appears dead, dormant, but deep within her soil lies the slumbering seed awaiting the power of the newborn sun to activate its growth. At Yule, we look within ourselves for the sleeping seeds, and identify the situations, blessings, activities we would like to germinate and grow in the coming year. We honor the need for the regenerative stillness, the rest before the energetic growth of springtime. Yule is a time of transformation and rebirth. Rituals and personal healing work centered around rebirthing are customary at this time.

Imbolc (Candlemas)
February 1 (beginning at sundown)
Theme: Quickening, Purification; Preparation; Initiation
Type: Seasonal Holiday ~ 1st Spring Festival
Imbolc is a time of quickening. The Earth begins to stir from her long winter slumber. We sense the rising of sap in the trees, the awakening of seeds deep in the soil and the promise of the coming Spring. The seeds of personal growth, which slept within us at Yule, begin to germinate.
This holiday is a traditional time for initiations and dedicating oneself to new levels of spiritual exploration & commitment. Initiations and dedications are transformational ceremonies, which quicken new growth and invite our spirit allies to support us in in the next phase of our evolutionary journey.
Imbolc is a sacred feast of the great Celtic Goddess Brighid. In honor of the growing light (and of the Brighid?s perpetual flame) it is customary to burn candles to celebrate this feast. This is a traditional time for candlemaking; an ideal time to make &/or bless candles to be used for sacred work throughout the year. On Imbolc night, people divine for insight about the direction of spiritual exploration and work for the coming year.

Ostara/Spring Equinox
approximately March 21st
Theme: First day of Spring; Emergence; Fertility; Balance
Type: Equinox/Solar Holiday; balance of night & day
Ostara marks the first day of Spring. It is a celebration of the awakening of the Earth. All around us, the Earth reveals her vitality ... in the soft haze of first greening, in the swelling of buds, in the song of the robin. The seeds within the soil have sprouted and are pushing out into the sunlight. Likewise, within us it is time for the seeds we have nurtured since Yule to come into the light and begin to flourish. It is a time of new beginnings, the freshness of dawn. The Earth is young again and so are we. In the Greek myth, Persephone returns from the Underworld to be welcomed in joy by her mother Demeter, who decks the world in Springtime as a celebration. Now is an time for planting or for decking your home or altar with flowers. Many people bless the seeds for their gardens on this day.
Ostara is a fertility feast, both summoning and celebrating fertility. It is traditional to dye or paint eggs on this day. The egg is an ancient symbol of fertility and possibility. Eggs are often painted with symbols, images or colors to magickally evoke qualities or events which we desire in our lives. This, of course, has become a custom associated with Easter, but its origins reach far back into the indigenous traditions of Europe.
It is a time to embrace both the light and the darkness, to acknowledge the dualities within ourselves, to bring polarities into balance, and honor the balance in all things.
Traditionally, bonfires were lit on this night and cattle were driven between the fires to purify them and promote fertility. People leaped over the flames for fertility and good luck.
Ostara takes it?s name from the Teutonic Goddess Eostre or Ostre, whose name is also the origin of the Christian holiday Easter. Ostre was traditionally honored on this day, but it is appropriate to honor the Divine Feminine in all her maiden forms.

Beltane (May Day)
April 30 (beginning at sundown)
Theme: Growth; Fertility; Passion; Creativity
Type: Seasonal Holiday ~ Final Spring Festival
Beltane is the last of three Spring festivals, a celebration of Spring in its fullest expression. At this time, the Earth pulses with the energies of growth and vitality. Fertility and life are all around us. The vitality and passion of Beltane expresses itself through the flowering and pollination of plants, the fertility of animals and the loving sexual embrace of human beings. Traditionally this was a time for blessing fields and animals for fertility and abundance.
Through these rites the passion of the Earth is made manifest and the fertility of the Earth is stimulated. Beltane is still a popular time for handfastings (a non-legal bonding ceremony) or marriages.

Irrepressibly, the creative imperative bursts forth into new forms and expression. We can ride Earth's passionate wave, tapping into this powerful surge of creative energy.Joy, celebration and creativity are the hallmarks of Beltane.It is not a time for deep contemplation or meditation, but rather a time to be immediately and passionately present in the moment as we dance with the energy and rhythms of the Earth, and celebrate life and growth in all its forms -- within and without. At this time of year, we can energize projects and new life directions and honor the growing fullness of our lives.

Login or Signup to reply to this post.

Re: Wheel of the Year
Post # 2

summer/Summer Solstice
approximately June 21st
Theme: First day of Summer; Fruition; the Sun's Power
Type: Solstice/Solar Holiday; longest day of the Year
Midsummer is the counter-point to Yule on the Wheel of the Year. It is the longest day -- the triumph of the light half of the Year. When the sun has reaches its peak, the Wheel turns to restore balance. In the days that follow, the nights will grow longer and longer, the sun?s power slowly waning. Traditionally, the ancient Celts set wheels on fire (to symbolize the sun) and rolled them down the hillsides to celebrate the power of light and recognize the imminent decline of the sun. Bonfires were lighted and jumped and the ashes scattered on the fields to bless and fertilize them.
Despite the name, Midsummer actually marks the first day of Summer. It is a time of ripeness and fullness. Summer is in full bloom and the Earth is alive with abundance and the promise of the harvest to come. The energetic, passionate dance of Beltane has deepened to a rich, deep pulse... the promise of fertility maturing into abundance. Yet the knowledge that tomorrow the sun begins to wane reminds us that all things fade ... that change is inevitable ... that Nature demands balance. Here in the height of Summer, we do not mourn the passing of things, but celebrate the the fullness of our experiences.
Midsummer has long been associated with magick, bright mystery and faery realms. It is a time when the veils between the human world and the Land of Faery may be easily parted. This is a night to leave offerings of milk and bread for the Fairy Folk to honor their blessed presence in our world and promote harmony. Midsummer is a good time for magickal workings and journeying between the worlds.

July 31 (beginning at sundown)
Theme: First Harvest; Releasing; Skill; Accomplishments
Type: Seasonal Holiday ~ 1st Harvest Festival

Lammas celebrates the first harvesting of crops, the first of three harvest festivals. At this time the energies of the Earth begin to decline. Growth ebbs to completion; life loosens its passionate hold and prepares to yield up its fruits. The Earth is beginning the process of letting go, moving inexhorably toward darkness and Winter.

Corn and grains are of particular significance at this holiday. Traditionally, the newly harvested grain is made into bread to be shared with all in celebration. (The word ?Lammas? is an Old English word meaning ?Loaf Mass?). It is traditional to fashion a corn dollie from the last stalks of grain to be harvested. It was believed that these stalks contained the ?Spirit of the Corn?. The bundle of grain is formed in the shape of a woman, the Harvest or Corn Mother. Traditionally, the corn dollie was hung first in the barn to preside over the threshing of the grain, and then in the farmhouse until the planting of the new grain in Spring. Today, the dollie is placed on the altar for the Mabon celebration and then hung in the house or on the front door until Imbolc when it is burned to release the "Spirit of the Corn" to bring life and growth once more.

The Irish name for this festival is Lughnasadh; it is a holiday sacred to the Irish God Lugh. Lugh is associated with the power of sun and light, and so fires were burned in honor of Him on this day. In addition to His associations with light, Lugh is a God of Skill and Craft, a master of all human skills. On this His feast day, it is particularly appropriate that we celebrate our own abilities, skills and accomplishments.

It is a time to ask ourselves: ?What are my talents? What are my skills? How do I express my creativity? How do I use my abilities to recraft my world ... to add beauty .... color ... richness? Whatever our talents or abilities, this is a time to recognize them and honor them, and to share our recognition of the talents and abilities of others around us. If you have had an interest or urge to develop a particular skill or creative expression, now might be the time to make a pledge or commitment to pursue your interest. By offering the fruits of our labors back to the Universe we enrich both ourselves and our world.

Mabon/Autumn Equinox
approx. Sept. 21
Theme: First day of Autumn; Harvest; Thanksgiving
Type: Equinox/Solar Holiday; balance of day & night

Mabon is the counter-point to Ostara on the Wheel of the Year. It is the first day of Autumn and the second of three harvest festivals. At Mabon, the harvest is at its fullest. This is a time for of celebrating the bounty that flows to us from the generosity of Earth and Spirit. It is traditional to reflect on the many blessings in our lives. Gather with friends and family to give thanks with feasting and celebration. Through the power of appreciation and gratitude we open our our hearts and our beings to the flow of abundance on all levels.

Mabon is also a bittersweet time when the abundant Earth is pouring forth her harvest and yet Summer is fading into Autumn and signs of the dying year are all around us. Night and day are once more in equilibrium, but now light gives way to the ascendancy of darkness, and the coming of Winter. We are entering the still and introspective part of the year. Here we are invited to take stock of our lives and give thanks for all the experiences, both the joyful and the challenging, which have taught and enriched us in the past year. This honoring of all facets of our lives prepares us for Samhain when we will release those aspects of our lives which no longer serve us.

From Mabon to Ostara, we are drawn inward ... to quiet contemplation, to exploration of deep mysteries found in silence and in darkness, to laying the groundwork for future transformation and growth.

Samhain (Halloween)
October 31
Theme: New Year; Honoring the Ancestors; Letting Go
Type: Seasonal Holiday ~ Final Harvest Holiday

Samhain celebrates the final harvest. With the end of the harvest, the last yields of Summer give way to the coming Winter. Samhain reminds us that all things pass away in time. Just as the leaves fade and fall from the trees, so we must allow for loss and passages in our lives. This is a time to celebrate all the aspects of our lives that are dropping away from us ... the relationships, the situations, the pain, the emotions, the old identities that once served us ... are now passing away to make room for new growth. Samhain is an ideal time for releasing old habits and conditions in our lives that are constricting our growth and progress. Honor the lessons and experiences these situations have brought you, then bring these energies to a sacred fire and bid them farewell.

For the ancient Celts, Samhain marked the end of the old year and the start of the new. More accurately, Samhain is a space between the years -- the old year is dead and the new year has not yet begun. It is a time out of time ... a space outside of the natural order. As such, it is a time when the division between dimensions or levels of reality are thinnest. This division is referred to as ?the veil between the worlds?. Because intuition is heighted by this thinning of the veils, Samhain is an excellent time for reading tarot cards, scrying, dreamwork, and other forms of divination.

Samhain is also known as the Feast of the Dead. At this time, ancestors and departed friends are honored. Memories and stories are shared and it is customary to set out extra places at supper for departed loved ones. Since the veil between the worlds is thinnest on this night, it is believed to be the best time for dead souls to make contact with the living. People sometimes use this time to commune with those on the other side. This should be done in a spirit of love for the highest good of all. Invite the luminous spirits of the ancestors to join you on this night, and offer prayers for the souls of departed loved ones for healing and blessings on their journey

Login or Signup to reply to this post.

Re: Wheel of the Year
Post # 3
Very nice post, i love being connected with the Wheel of the year :D
Login or Signup to reply to this post.

Re: Wheel of the Year
Post # 4
I love this post! it's my favorite and thank you so much for sharing this with me. Blessed Be!
Login or Signup to reply to this post.

Re: Wheel of the Year
Post # 5

lol i wanted to know about it myself...unlike some, i go out and google it

Login or Signup to reply to this post.

Re: Wheel of the Year
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 6
It might also be useful to point out that in the Southern Hemisphere the dates of the Sabbats are reversed so that they are connected to the appropriate seasons of the year. So in the Southern Hemisphere the Sabbats would be:

Yule - June 21-23
Imboc - August 1
Oestara - September 21-23
Beltane - October 31
Midsummer/Litha - December 21-23
Mabon - February 1
Samhain - May 1

I gave a spread of days for the Solstices and the Equinoxes because the dates of the actual solstices and equinoxes varies each year.
Login or Signup to reply to this post.

Re: Wheel of the Year
Post # 7

that i did not know thanks

Login or Signup to reply to this post.

Re: Wheel of the Year
Post # 8

Kara I hope that isn't pladgirized ;) and if It is you should post the link soon, so you don't get gagged or worse. :)

Login or Signup to reply to this post.

Re: Wheel of the Year
Post # 9

im looking for the link i used...cant find it...but ill get it added soon :)

Login or Signup to reply to this post.

Reply to this post oldest 1 newest Start a new thread

Pages: oldest 1 newest