The Wheel of the Year

Many Witches and Pagans celebrate the wheel of the year . The wheel of the years contains eight key festivals , called sabbaths. At these sabbaths we mark the change of the seasons and sometimes listen to stories of the Gods and Goddesses. Whenever possible witches will gather together to celebrate these festivals by dancing , singing and honoring the Gods and Goddesses whilst sometimes re enacting their stories. Having said this solitary Witches and Pagans are not left out of the equations , they also can celebrate and recognize the wheel of the year. At the end of these rituals many celebrate by feasting with food and wine. Many of these sabbaths have a familiar feeling to non Witches and Pagans as they have been taken over by newer belief systems and incorporated into their calender’s.

Samhain

31st of October. Possibly the most important festival marking the start and the end of the year. The beginning of the resting of the land and a time of remembrance of those who have gone before. A feast of the Goddess as Crone and wise one.

Yule

21st of December. The winter solstice when the decreasing days give way to increasing light and life as we celebrate the rebirth of the sun.

Imbolg

2nd of February. The time when the first signs of life are seen returning to the land and the Goddess changes her robes of a crone for those of a maiden.

Oestara

21st of March. The Spring Equinox, when days and nights are equal. The festival of the Goddess Eostar, who is derived from the Goddess Astarte and whose symbols are the Egg and the Hare.

Beltane

1st of May. Possibly the second most important festival of the year, when the Goddess changes her robes of Maiden for those of the Mother and we celebrate the marriage of the Goddess and God.

Litha

21st of June. The Sumner Solstice. Here the sun is at the peak of its power; from this day onwards the days gradually grown shorter again.

Lammas

1st of August.  The festival of the first harvest. The feast of Lughand of the sacrificial king, who is these days often represented by the ginger bread man.

Madron

21st of September. The Autumn Equinox , once more the time of balance when day and night are equal. The feast of the height of the Harvest.

 

On return to Samhain the year has turned full circle , hence the term “The Wheel of the Year”.

 

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