The Wheel of the Year
||February 2nd (Wednesday)
||March 19th (Saturday) & Full Moon
||May 1st (Sunday)
||June 21st (Tuesday)
||August 1st (Monday)
||September 22nd (Thursday)
||October 31st (Monday)
||December 21st (Wednesday)
There are 8 Sabbats throughout the year. We celebrate them on that day or as close as possible to the day. We start to gather at 6:30 PM, with the actual ritual starting closer to 7:00 PM.
Honoring the Solar or God energy
Most cultures recognize the changing energy throughout the year. Honoring the Sabbats is a way of honoring that flow. These Sabbats are set 6 weeks apart, almost to the calendar day. They are broken into two categories- Lesser and Greater, neither being better than the other. The lesser match the equinoxes and solstices. Spring and Fall Equinox (Ostara and Mabon) are a time when the days are equal with the nights and therefore are a time of balance, or reclaiming your balance. Winter and Midsummer Solstices (Yule and Litha) are a time when the days are the shortest and the longest, marking a turning point in the solar energy.
By connecting and remembering the Sabbats, balance is maintained internally to match the balance of the Universe. The importance of these holi - days is to allow the individual to recognize the natural changes that occur in his/her live and the lives of those around. the other purpose is to give us a chance to stop from our hectic lives and take a moment to look around and see what is happening, both universally, and personally. It is a time to collect ourselves. AS ABOVE. SO BELOW.
Our Year starts with Yule- Winter Solstice. ( Somewhere around December 21st.) The days are the shortest, and winter is upon us. We have been dormant since Samhain ( October 31st) and are still sleeping. Yet, this is a time when we are re-birthed, re-awakened. We symbolize this through the birth of our God who has died the previous fall. He is reborn. Christians honor this time by claiming Jesus to be born. They call it Christmas. The energy is the same- re birth. Renewal. Hope that the dormant times will end even if we do not see anything happening yet. There is faith that the sun will come back to warm our planet and ourselves. Yule is a celebration of the darkness, just before it starts to turn to light. for darkness is necessary for us to grow as individuals. Nothing can successfully grow unless it has a time of dormancy first.
February 1st is Imbolc. The sap is running in the trees. While we are still cold and deep in winter, the growing season has started. Baby animals are being born and the days are growing in length, not quite to a point of balance but to a point of realizing that the nights are not quite so long. Christians call this Candlemas. Candles are lit to symbolize the return of the sun and the return of fertility and productivity. Bridget, our goddess, is now a young maiden, pre- pubescent.
Spring equinox- around March 21st. We are finding balance in life. The days and nights are equal in length and the Sun is making a remarkable headway towards warming the earth. In our area, we are usually still deep in winter, but the chill is not so pervasive. There is a warmth to the cold. Christians celebrate Easter during this time, focusing on the death of their god for the resurrection into something greater for the good of all of us. We celebrate the balance of life, focusing on the greater good for all involved.
May 1st- The god and goddess have matured and are ready to be fertile. The focus is on growth and fertility, whether it be actual pregnancies or more abstract as in building your finances for an abundant year. The veil is the thinnest, just as it is at Samhain but now we see the beings of the growing season rather than the ancestors of the past; This ,ales the focus on faeries and plant devas. Remember the nine wood bundles you made in October? Now is the time to burn them to bring blessings into your home.
Mid Summer (Litha)
Summer Solstice- usually around June 21st. This is the longest day of the year and when the sun is in its full glory. Crops are growing, some herbs are ready to harvest. And the God- Lugh is at his strongest. From this point on, the god energy is waning as he declines into the darkness of the winter months. This is also when the goddess is in full mother mode. She is fertility as seen in the abundance of the world during it's growing season. Also called Litha, this time celebrates the Sun king's glory.
Lammas or Lughnasadh
August 1st and celebrates the first crop harvest of the year. The wheat and other grains are in full bloom and we know from the crops whether this is going to be an abundant year or not. We celebrate the abundance and work harder for the lacking. This is the time to honor all Mothers, including foster ones. Lugh has seen his gloary at Midsummer and now is honoring those who helped him become successful.
This is the second of three harvests. It is the autumn equinox. A time of balance. We have worked hard throughout the growing season and now we must acknowledge the coming of winter. This is the time of Fall, leaves changing. There is balance between Light and Dark as the days equal the nights. Balance between the god energy and the goddess energy. This is the last ritual that the god and goddess are on the same realm of existence. Soon the god crosses into the otherworld.
Dormancy is here. The Goddess has lost her consort but he is not gone, just changed. She is a Crone.This is a time to remember ancestors and the veil is thin between the worlds. So, even though the god has crossed over, there is still communication between them. This is also the meat harvest, a time when the animals who will not survive the winter are sacrificed so that they do not suffer from winter.