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The Wheel Year


The Wheel Year

I think its about time that I spoke of the Wheel Year on The Summer Goddess. I haven’t mentioned anything about the way our Wiccan Calendar Year celebrates our holidays up to this point. Most of the rituals for these sabbats in addition to more extensive background information will be posted with the specific days. I will however introduce each with a definition of the purpose of that day.

Yule
Celebrated from Dec 19-23; is a celebration of the rebirth of the Great God with the rising of the solstice sun. Christmas was adopted from this festival as the birth of Jesus. This made it easier for the Catholic church to convert the pagans once the Celts were conquered by the Roman Empire.
Candlemas (or Imbolic)
This is one of the Greater Sabbats, this one being a fire/Solar festival. It is celebrated Feb 4-5 as a celebration of the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinoxes. It is the festival of the lights because it is the celebration of the onset of spring and the lengthening of the days. Fire is important for this ritual because Brigid is Goddess of fire (in the context of passion or creativity), healing and fertility.
Ostara (or Vernal Equinox)
Ostara takes place Mar 19-23 on the spring equinox. It is the celebration of the young God reaching his maturity after his rebirth at Yule and the Goddess returning to her Maiden aspect. It is a time of new beginnings. It is a time to plant spells, spiritual ideals and projects as this is the time of new growth in all aspects as well.
Beltane
Beltane, taking place Apr 30-May 1, is another of the fire festivals. It is the Fertility Rite of life, representing the union of the Goddess and the God to conceive the sun-child. In celebration, the maypole is a phallus representation of this union. The pole itself being the phallus of the God and the ribbons (or vines) representing the womb of the Goddess. As the ribbons entwine, it is the seed of the God being planted within the womb.

Midsummer (or Summer Solstice)
This festival, celebrating the Summer Solstice is one of the four solar festivals. It is celebrated Jun19-23 and is the celebration representing the Crown of the Oak King, (the God of the waxing year) at his apex. At his crowning he falls to his darker aspect and becomes the Holly King, (God of the waning year.
Lughnasadh (pronounced loo-nah-sa)
Lughnasadh is celebrated Aug1-2 and is the first of the three harvest celebrations, this one of corn and grains. It is sometimes considered the time of transformation of the Goddess into her aspect of pregnant Earth Mother. The God is getting weaker as the days grow shorter, but his rebirth is assured as he is also present as the Goddess’s unborn child. Though the God is often thought of as dying at Samhain, there is a sacrificial aspect to Lughnasadh, with the Corn King being cut down to be transformed into the life-giving fruits of the harvest and resurrected as the new crop the following year. Deities and symbols associated with agriculture and harvest are all appropriate for Lughnasadh, and a symbolic eating of bread is often an important part of celebrations at this time of year.
Mabon
Celebrated Sep 20-24, this is the celebration of the Autumn Equinox. Obviously this is another of the harvest festivals and a thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth. It is also recognition of the need to share them to be the blessed by the Goddess and the God in the months to come.
Samhain (pronounced Sow-in)
This Sabbat, celebrated between sundown Oct 31 and sunup Nov 2, is considered by many Wiccans to be one of four Greater Sabbats that occur during the year. It is known as the time of the thin veil between the worlds. A time to celebrate those loved ones lost and to also commune with the dead whether that be through setting places for them at the feast table or through divination at the feast.
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