the wheel of the year

Updated: Jan 8

the wheel of the year is a spiritually potent symbol of the 8 seasonal or religious festivals in neo-paganism and wicca. it is a beautiful way to honor nature's cycles providing us insightful opportunities to reflect, give thanks, set intention and release. it is a reflection of what is currently happening in nature, and how we can tap into that energy to create a life we love and feel aligned with.


the wheel of the year includes the following festivals:


Samhain 31 October

Winter Solstice (Yule) 21-22 December

12 Sacred Nights - 25 December - 6 January

Imbolc 2 February

Spring Equinox (Ostara) 21-22 March

Beltane 1 May

Summer Solstice (Litha) 21-22 June

Lughnasadh 1 August

Autumn Equinox (Mabon) 21-22 September






these dates correspond to the northern hemisphere. for the southern hemisphere:


Samhain 30 April

Winter Solstice (Yule) 21-22 June

Imbolc 2 August

Spring Equinox (Ostara) 21-22 September

Beltane 1 November

Summer Solstice (Litha) 21-22 December

Lughnasadh 1 February

Autumn Equinox (Mabon) 21-22 March


these dates help anchor in our energies in order to bring in a new wind of air with every transition that occurs in nature. it helps wind down energy into the moment and reflect about what was and what wasn't.


there is no indications that this wheel was used in ancient times, however became increasingly popular in the wicca movement around the 50's.


samhain


marks the beginning of the cycle in the wheel of the year. it is what we know as the new year and means summer's end. it symbolizes the end of the season of light and the beginning of the season of darkness. it holds the same date as halloween, where many rituals were originally from. it is known as a time where the veil is extremely thin between the living and the dead. rituals to honor the dead and our ancestors is a powerful way to honor this day.


winter solstice


also known as yule - a celebration to honor the shortest day of the year and longest night. during these festivities trees were honored. typcially a tree was decorated outdoors, and a bonfire to honor the rebirth of new beginnings. people gathered around the bonfire and tree to sing songs and burn holly. a piece of log was saved to start the new year's fire symbolizing continuity. gifts were offered during this time. as you might have picked up on - something we typically do in christmas traditions.


12 sacred nights


known as the darkest nights of the year. it is a mystical time to protect your home with incense and candles by the windows, as the spirit world is more active than usual. it is a time to go within, honor your home, and reflect about the past year and what you desire to manifest in the year ahead. these nights invite you to journey inward and let your dreams deliver omens to the new year. every night represents one of the 12 months. i have a mini online course to create ritual during these 12 sacred nights. make sure to subscribe below to stay in the loop!


imbolc


a celebration of fertility, rebirth and purification. it marks the mid-way point between the winter solstice and spring equinox. it holds special ties to the celtic Goddess, Brigid. a time to gather with friends around fire, engage in nature arts and crafts and visit a natural water source to complete a cleansing ritual.


spring equinox


named after the German Goddess, Eostre, this day marks the retun of the light. winter is now officially over. a major sign of fertility bringing with it a symbol of rabbits, eggs and chicks. flowers are another big symbol for this time. the new budding of life. spring cleaning, bringing in flowers into your home or altar, planting seeds, or having creative brainstorm sessions for future projects are all beautiful things you can do on this day.


beltane


now is the time to honor the Goddess within. this day marks light, fertility, sensual activities such as dance, ceremony, pleasure. it is a celebration for the season to come representing passion and desires. dancing is a major part of this day. it typically took place around a tree, which later on developed into a maypole. it is said that faireies awoke during this day.


summer solstice


this marks the longest day of the year. typically bonfires, dancing, eating honeycake were all common celebrations do undertake on this day. it was said that on this day mischief could easily happen on this day, as the fairies are more active now than ever. a self-protection ritual was something that was often done on this day. a day to spend outdoors under the sun, swimming and enjoying summer activities.


lughanasadh


also known as the harvest festival celebrating the half-way point of summer and autumn. formerly in ancient times, the first fresh fruits were offered to the gods and goddesses, while humans celebrated on the earth for the abundance that was provided to them from the earth. it is an ideal time to write down everything we are grateful for, to volunteer, go for long walks outdoors, eat nature's abundance, especially in fruit.


autumn equinox


finally, this day marks the day of giving thanks and deep reflection as our energies go inwards. we reflect on what was lost and what was gained. originally, rituals were focused around the loss of the Goddess who returned to the underworld every autumn following the cold season ahead. honor this period by bringing in fall colors to your home and altar.



all of the days combined beautiful points in time to go within, and nurture the relationship we have to our great Mother Earth. as soon as we become aware of the cycles around us, we automatically become more aware of our own personal inner cyles.


i invite you give these days an opportunity to become part of your ritual and tradition. i always like to use these days as a time to reflect on what has the season brought me so far, what were my intentions this past seaon and what is my intentions for this upcoming season?


i hope you enjoyed this blog post. i have added the book reference below from where i received a lot of the information and inspiration from.


every season i will be sharing my take on the symbolism of each season, my intentions and what came about that season when it is over. this i will share either through here or on my podcast, la luna eres tu.


thank you for reading today and do share this blog article with anyone you think this might be interesting for.


sending many blessings your way and happy ritualing,


inés kelly


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reference: Priestess by Julie Parker


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blog posts you might find interesting:


the symbolism of fall

the symbolism of winter

powerful days to create ritual





p.s. download the Wheel of the Year by subscribing here!



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