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Exploring the Magic and Meaning of the Wheel of the Year

The Wheel of the Year is a series of seasonal festivals celebrating life’s cyclical nature, divided into four major Sabbats and four lesser Sabbats, aligning with solstices and equinoxes. [3 minute read]

INTRODUCTION:

The Wheel of the Year is a term used to describe the annual cycle of seasonal festivals, also known as Sabbats. These festivals mark key points in the solar year, typically based on the changing seasons. The Wheel of the Year is divided into four major Sabbats, known as the cross-quarter days, and four lesser Sabbats, which coincide with the solstices and equinoxes.

Samhain (October 31st):

Samhain marks the beginning of the Celtic new year and the end of the harvest season. It is a time to honor ancestors, remember the dead, and celebrate the thinning of the veil between the physical and spiritual worlds.

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Yule (Winter Solstice, around December 21st):

Yule celebrates the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, and the return of the sun. It symbolizes the rebirth of the sun, the lengthening of days, and the triumph of light over darkness. Many traditions incorporate evergreen decorations, feasting, and the exchange of gifts.

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Imbolc (February 1st or 2nd):

Imbolc marks the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. It celebrates the awakening of the earth and the first signs of spring. It is associated with purification, fertility, and the Celtic goddess Brigid.

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Ostara celebrates the spring equinox, when day and night are of equal length. It marks the beginning of spring and the return of life to the earth. Traditions include decorating eggs, planting seeds, and honoring the goddess Eostre.

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Beltane marks the beginning of summer and the midpoint between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. It celebrates fertility, passion, and the union of the god and goddess. Traditions include maypole dancing, bonfires, and handfasting ceremonies

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Litha celebrates the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. It honors the power of the sun at its peak and the abundance of the earth. Traditions include bonfires, outdoor rituals, and gathering herbs and flowers.

Behold the divine presence of our Hecate statue, embodying the wisdom and power of the ancient goddess, guardian of the crossroads and keeper of magic.

Lammas/Lughnasadh marks the beginning of the harvest season and the first grain harvest. It is a time to give thanks for the abundance of the earth and the fruits of labor. Traditions include baking bread, making corn dollies, and honoring the Celtic god Lugh.

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Mabon celebrates the autumn equinox, when day and night are again of equal length. It marks the second harvest and the beginning of the descent into darkness. Traditions include feasting, giving thanks, and honoring the balance of light and dark.

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CONCLUSION:

These Sabbats are often celebrated with rituals, feasts, decorations, and activities that reflect the themes and energies of each season. They provide opportunities for spiritual reflection, community connection, and communion with nature throughout the year.

Exploring the Magic and Meaning of the Wheel of the Year

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