The Wheel of the Year

Wheel of the Year

wheel-of-the-year-art-print

Eight solar festivals derived from the ancient Celts and Norse commonly celebrated today.   (Northern Hemisphere)

WINTER SOLSTICE 20th, 21st or 22nd of December
Also known as Midwinter and Yule. The shortest day and the longest night.  The Holly King is the symbol of the waning year.  The Goddess gives birth to the new God, the Oak King.

IMBOLG 1st or 2nd of February
The Goddess is honoured as the bride of the returning Sun God.  Candles are lit to symbolize the return of the sun and warmth in anticipation of Spring.  Sheaves of wheat from the previous harvest are woven into grain dollies or crosses to symbolize the bride.

SPRING EQUINOX  20th, 21st, or 22nd of March
Also known as Ostara. Day and night are of equal length.  Anticipation of rebirth as the earth begins to awaken as days become longer.  The first crocus flowers emerge from the snow and new green leaves begin to adorn the trees.  The Goddess and God begin their courtship.

BELTAINE 1st of May
The Goddess and God are united in sacred marriage.  The Great Rite symbolizes the union of male and female, two halves of the Life Source which gives birth to all creation. New plant and animal life are celebrated.

SUMMER SOLSTICE 20th, 21st or 22nd of June
The longest day and the shortest night.  The earth is brimming with life.  Flowers are blooming as fruits and vegetables are ripening and almost ready for harvest.  The Goddess and God are at the peak of their power.

LUGHNASADH 1st or 2nd of August
The grain harvest festival named for the Sun God Lugh. The first of three harvest festivals. Late summer fruits and vegetable are also part of the feast.  The Goddess and God are celebrated as givers of abundance and prosperity.

AUTUMN EQUINOX 20th, 21st, or 22nd of September
Also known as Mabon, named for the Welsh God. Grapes and other vine fruits as well as apples are ready for harvest.  Apples symbolise the promise of life renewed. We honour the Goddess and God for a fruitful harvest.  The preserving and storing of food for the cold months begins.

SAMHAIN  31st of October
The third harvest festival.  In the dark of night the old God dies, awaiting rebirth at the Winter Solstice. The Crone Goddess mourns.  A time when the veil separating this world and the Otherworld is the thinnest. Ancestors are honoured. Food is offered to the spirits and candles lit to guide them on their way.

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