As we journey through the seasons of the year, we witness subtle changes to nature around us, signifying the natural cycles of the Earth.
In witchcraft, these changes are important celebratory events that are marked by solstices, equinoxes and cross quarters.
|Lammas/Lughnasadh||2nd February 2020||4th Feb 2020 6.55pm|
|20th-23rd March||20th March 2020 1.50pm|
|Samhain||1st May||5th May 2020 10.49am|
|Yule||20th-23rd June||21st June 2020 7.44am|
|Imbolc||1st August||7th August 2020 11.04pm|
|Ostara||20th-23rd September||22nd September 2020 11.31pm|
8th November 2020 8.56am
|Litha||20th-23rd December||21st December 2020 8.02pm|
If you would like the link to download this hand drawn Wheel Of The Year for your personal reference, Please follow this link to Lyllith's Emporium.
Evoking Words: Harvest, reflect on summer, doing, reward, success, energy, transformation.
Lughnasadh, also known as Lammas is a festival of first fruits and grains. In ancient times, it was a time to stop all the hard work of tending to the land in order to celebrate the sweetness and sustenance of the crops.
Lughnasadh is named after Lugh, the Celtic god of light, healing, inspiration, and the sun. His consort, Rosmerta, is a goddess of nature and the earth, or Earth Mother. At this time, you can truly feel their romance as the sun (Lugh) shines his bright light on the earth (Rosmerta), bringing forth a seemingly endless bounty of sweetness and sustenance for us to enjoy.
The other name for this holiday, Lammas, is derived from “Loaf Mass,” a sacred celebration of the grains of the earth, and, of course, bread: that nourishing food we so love to make from them.
Autumn Equinox, also known as Mabon, we are moving from light to darkness, from warmth to cold. We gather the harvest of summer and preparing for the winter ahead.
The harvest is a time of thanks, and also a time of balance. While we celebrate the gifts of the earth, we also accept that the soil is dying. We have food to eat, but the crops are brown and going dormant. Warmth is behind us, cold lies ahead.
Mythology: Demeter and Her Daughter - Demeter was a goddess of grain and of the harvest in ancient Greece. Her daughter, Persephone, caught the eye of Hades, god of the underworld. When Hades abducted Persephone and took her back to the underworld, Demeter's grief caused the crops on earth to die and go dormant. By the time she finally recovered her daughter, Persephone had eaten six pomegranate seeds, and so was doomed to spend six months of the year in the underworld. These six months are the time when the earth dies, beginning at the time of the autumn equinox.
Samhain (Pronounced So-ween) marks the beginning of the Witches New Year and is commonly referred to as Halloween, Samhain is the celebration of death and rebirth.
It is a time of reflection and connection with our ancestors and all those who have departed. As we honour our loved ones and seek out their advice and insights, we can also celebrate their teachings and memories.
It is when the veil is thinnest between worlds, so our psychic/intuitive senses can be extremley hightened and activated. Use caution with any mind altering substances at this point in time.
Samhain embodies the energy of the Crone, the wisdom keeper of the spiritual world. The Crone energy is wise, respected and a grandmotherly Goddess figure. We call upon the Crone energy for higher guidance and knowledge.
Winter Solstice or Yule is the shortest day, and also the longest night of the year. We honour the rebirth of the Sun bringing back some warmth and light into the darkness of winter, and beginning the restoration and recovery process.
In the Northern Hemisphere, Yule aligns with the celebration of Christmas. These two celebrations have merged in modern times, but since we are in the Southern half of the world, we are on a 6 month polarity.
Many culures across the wold celebrated the Solstice for the natural cycle that it is, but unfortunately our modern society has phased a lot of our nature connection out.
-In South America, they made pilgrimages to sacred sites. -Ancient Romans honoured the God Saturn over a period of 3-5 days in a celebration called Saturnalia. They drank heavily and feasted, celebrating abundance.
-The Mayans held elaborate rituals which was believed to foresee the outcome of the next few months in terms of luck. -Ancient europeans tied holly to their front doors for fortune. -Pagans called upon the Gods and Goddesses Brigid, Odin, Opollo, Freja or Athena for prosperity.
Imbolc, also known as Brigids Day, is a celebration of the first light in the dark of winter.
Imbolc is the celebration of mother and child, light and water, and symbolic of the emerging energy of life from Mother Nature and the earth.
It is a time of honoring the birth of baby animals, the cycle of rebirth and growth, increased optimism and vitality, as well as reonnecting with our womb space, mothers or loved ones.
The energy is fresh, pure and innocent, much like the archetypical Maiden as we begin clearing the heaviness of Winter.
Imbolc, (Imbolg meaning “in milk”) is an ancient pagan festival celebrating the beginning of spring and the Goddess Brigid. Brigid, (Brigit) originates in Irish mythology. In the 11th Century, the Christian church incorporated some of these traditions into the church but replaced the Goddess to the Virgin Mary - also known as Candlemas (sometimes spelt Candlemass).
Ostara marks the official first day of spring, or the Spring (or Vernal) Equinox. It is symbolic of the awakening of the Maiden Goddess, the energy of renewal, growth, and regeneration. It's an occasion where we can observe new birth of wildlife and plants, and there is bountiful potential in the air.
The Goddess Ostara, or Eostre (where the name estrogen, the female hormone came from AND the celebration of Easter) is recognised for her associations with eggs, rabbits and flowers, a representation of fertility and growth.
Ancient Pagans didn't celebrate Ostara, but the Spring Equinox has been documented to be a part of cultures from Japan, to Iran and over Europe.
This revival energy that Ostara brings is akin to the youthful presence of a child. Observing surroundings, noticing the finer details, and stumbling upon new discoveries by taking the time to take part in our own connection with our surroundings.
Beltane is the spring festival of love, sensuality and fertility. It is also opposite Samhain (Halloween), so the veils between the worlds are known to be thin.
Beltane is a popular time for handfastings and declaring your love.
Sacred sensuality plays a big part in this celebration as its a union of the God and Goddess energy.
It's a great time for love spells, procreation and passionate connections.
Litha is a fire festival marked on the summer solstice. It marks the longest day of the year, and is a period of joy, warmth and fulfillment coinciding with our bountiful ripe and abundant Earth. Most of Earth's creations are at their creative peaks.
Litha is also an elemental festival, invoking the acknowledgment of the mythological dragon and faerie folk.
There is a belief that obtaining 4 leaf clovers and crushing them up into a paste and anointing oneself with it will give you the gift of faerie sight.