The Wheel of the Year
Samhuin 1st November (pronounced Sow-in);
The Wheel of the Year is seen to begin at Samhuin, which is also known as Halloween or All Hallows Eve. This is a time when the veil between the worlds of life and death stands open. Samhuin is a festival of the dead, when we honour those that have passed over during the past year, when we remember those who have gone before, and acknowledge the mystery of death.
Yule 21st December (archaic form Geola, pronounced Yula);
Yule is the time of the Winter Solstice, when the sun at its weakest point and the days at their shortest, the sun child is then reborn as the days begin drawing out.
Imbolc 2nd February;
Imbolc, also known as Candlemass or Lady Day, celebrates the awakening of the land and the growing power of the sun. Often the goddess is venerated in her aspect of the Virgin of Light, and the snowdrop is recognised as the first herald of spring.
Spring Equinox 21st March;
Now night and day stand equal. The sun grows in power and the land begins to bloom. By spring equinox the powers of the gathering year are equal to the darkness of winter and death.
For many, the youthful god with his hunting horn leads the way in dance and celebration. Others dedicate this time to Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of fertility.
Beltane 1st May;
The power of light and new life now dance and move through all creation. The Wheel continues to turn. Spring gives way to summers first bloom and pagans celebrate Beltane with maypole dances, symbolising the mystery of the sacred link between flora and fauna.
Midsummer 21st June;
At summer solstice is the festival of midsummer, when the sun is most powerful and at the height of its reign. It is a time of plenty and celebration.
Lughnasadh 1st August (pronounced Loo-nassa);
Lughnasadh or Lammas is the time of the corn harvest, when pagans reap those things they have sown, when they celebrate the fruits of the mystery of Nature and give thanks for the bounty of the land.
Autumn Equinox 21st September;
Day and night stand hand in hand as equal. As the shadows lengthen, we see the darker faces of the year, and we honour old age and the approach of winter.
Samhuin 1st November;
The Wheel turns and returns to Samhuin, the festival of the dead, when we acknowledge life in its most awesome form. This is not a time of fear, but a time to understand more deeply that life and death are part of a sacred whole.
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