Wheel of the Year

The-Wheel-of-the-year

 

Wheel of The Year

The witches year is divided into eight seasonal festivals, which can provide a perfect space for celebrating, cooking and making things that can all enhance your day-to-day lives. Some festivals you might want to embrace fully and decorate the house your shrine or even your garden. Others might be more about a quiet time where you reflect alone with just a candle and some incense. These days I don’t go in for the big altar displays, for me it’s about an inner knowing. I like to bring into the house some seasonal foliage so that it reminds me of what’s happening outside but that’s it really. A witch knows what’s going on inside and that’s where the magic is made.

Yule / Winter Solstice – December 21st -23rd

(Southern Hemisphere – June 21st)

The Winter Solstice is the longest night, a time for merriment and cheer when we deck the halls with boughs of evergreen and illuminate the house with lights. It’s a time to celebrate with family and friends and gather close together to share food at this still point of the year. This is time when the light returns and although we have many more days of cold to come the light will always be growing stronger heralding a return to the summer ahead. It’s a time to make wishes, to think about possible plans for the future and more importantly it’s a time of rest in the depths of midwinter.

Imbolc / Candlemas  – February 1st

(Southern Hemisphere – August 1st)

 At Imbolc the first flowers of the year are pushing through the cold earth and with them we welcome the coming of spring. It’s a time of newborn lambs and the first stirrings of life to come. This is traditionally the festival of the first milk when the light is growing stronger and so it’s a time to celebrate with an abundance of candles. This Festival is also associated with the Goddess Bridget and it’s a good time to take water from healing wells and springs and keep it at home for adding to your bath water through the year. Decorate your shrine with white flowers and White candles and sit for a while in silence for this is a festival of stillness.

Ostara / Spring Equinox – March 20th -23rd

(Southern Hemisphere – September 21st)

The Spring Equinox is a time of quickening when we start sowing seeds, we can feel the days of winter now starting to soften as the warmth of the sun allows us get outdoors and be in nature. It’s a time of balance when the night and day is equal, decorate your shrine with blossom, daffodils and painted eggs that are all symbols of the sun and fertility of this time of year.

Beltane  -  April 30th / May 1st

(Southern Hemisphere – October 31st)

Beltane is a time for fun, a festival of flowers and abundance when all life is spilling forth from the hedgerows. It’s a time for feasting and celebrating the joy of life, bring May blossom indoors to represent the Goddess and Oak leaves to represent the God. This is a time of great celebration, so throw parties and invite friends over to eat and laugh. Decorate your shrine with blossoms and the abundance of flowers that are spilling forth from the hedgerows to celebrate the birth of summer.

Litha / Summer Solstice  – June 21st – 23rd

(Southern Hemisphere – December 21st)

The Summer Solstice is longest day and the shortest night and once more a time to rest and spend time in reflection and contemplation in the warm days of summer. Traditionally this is when the lord of summer gives up his crown to the lord of winter, for although we still have many warm days to come the seeds of winter have now been planted and we once more travel back into the dark.

Lughnasadh / Lammas – August 1st

(Southern Hemisphere – February 2nd)

The first harvest is a time for enjoying the fruits of our labors. It’s a time for enjoying the warm days of summer with fruitful endeavors such as baking and creating wholesome meals for family and friends. Place on your Altars bread, wheat, and grains, all to represent the abundant foods Mother Earth provides for us. Enjoy picnics outdoors and spend time in nature. This is also the first festival were death is acknowledged by the cutting of the crops, but like everything that dies we also acknowledge that everything is cyclic so in turn all will be reborn.

Mabon / Autumn Equinox – September 21st – 23rd

(Southern Hemisphere -  March 21st)

The second harvest is when the day and night is once again in perfect balance. We start to prepare for the winter months ahead by foraging in the forests and hedgerows for fruits and berries to make preserves for the colder days ahead. This is a time when we feel the seasons change and upon your altars decorate them with all the abundance of this time of year, fruits, nuts, berries and honey and offer them all as thanks for the life sustaining food Mother Earth provides us all with.

Samhain / Halloween – October 31st

(Southern Hemisphere – April 30th / May 1st)

Halloween is when the veil between this world and the other is thin; it’s a time for remembering our loved ones who have passed into the summer lands. It’s also a time for parties and spooky fun by welcoming people to our bonfires with food and drink to warm us through the winter nights ahead. Put on your altars pictures of all those relatives who have died as a way of remembrance for they are now the ancestors. Find time to celebrate and have fun, for although this is the festival of the dead if we do not laugh in the face of death, fear can come along and too often consume us. This is not a time to be afraid it’s a time to be humble and honor the precious gift of life so that we can move forward into the darker months with strength and courage.


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One Comment

  1. Maria Griffin
    Posted February 1, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Hope you have a Happy Imbolc!!I am in the Pagan Federation and have only just found out about your website and recipes. I think you all -and the recipes- are absolutely wonderful. Please keep them coming.
    I am 61 but new to Paganism only just having found ‘my way’.
    Blessings to you all.

    Maria

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