View Full Version : The Wheel of the Year and the 8 Holidays

Alizon Device
Thursday, November 17th, 2005, 02:59 PM
I've been Googling, and came across this colourful little graphic, whilst looking for pictures of the 1980s band Sabbat.

I was wondering how accurate it is... I know about Yule, Beltane, Samhain and Ostara, but what about the others.
Also, are the descriptive pictures appropriate? I know a tree is a pagan symbol for Yule, but the baubles on this tree just say "Christmas" to me. :)

Thursday, November 17th, 2005, 03:47 PM
Imbolc has its origins in Irish mythology. Originally it was a pagan Irish festival celebrated on 1 February, which began, according to Celtic custom the evening before. The name, in the Irish language, means "in the belly" (i mbolg), referring to the pregnancy of ewes, and is also a Celtic term for spring. Another name is Oimelc, meaning "ewe's milk"; also Brigid, referring to the Celtic goddess of smithcraft, to whom the day is sacred.

Litha is maybe better known as Midsummer and marked the turning point between the months of Erelitha and Afterlitha.

Lughnasadh is a Gaelic holiday celebrated on 1 August, during the time of the harvesting. Lughnasadh means "Lugh's assembly", representing the last festival of the calendar, dedicated to Lugh, the Sun God of Celtic mythology. Lughnasadh festivals lasted from 15 July until 15 August. Aside from three days of religious rituals, the celebrations were a time for contests of strength and skill. Lughnasadh is also the modern Scottish Gaelic term for the month of August.

Mabon is celebrated on the autumn equinox, which is on September 21 and is also called Harvest Home or simply Autumn Equinox. This holiday is a ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and a recognition of the need to share them to secure the blessings of the Goddess and God during the winter months.

Thursday, November 17th, 2005, 06:36 PM
Wow, it's a Wiccan thing taking the Norse Yule as its part :runaway

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008, 10:59 AM
The Earth, like all living things, has Her own rhythms and cycles. The changing seasons of the Wheel of the Year hold a foundational rhythm for life on planet Earth. The Wheel flows through an 8-point cycle:

-stillness and anticipation of deep Winter,
-quickening and first stirring of Life,
-springing of Life,
-passionate flowering,
-ebb of the growing impulse,
-storing & preparation for Winter.

8 holidays honor these sacred rhythms of the Wheel of Year. These sacred days are traditionally celebrated through sacred rites and festivals. When we celebrate these holidays, we join in partnership with the Earth, lending our energies to the turning of the Wheel.

The cycle of these 8 stages of the Wheel of the Year are found again and again in the many rhythms of our lives:

in our journey from birth to death

in the process of any endeavor from start to finish

in the 8 phases of the waxing and waning moon

in the daily movement of the sun

in inhalation and exhalation of each breath

By consciously tuning to the Wheel of the Year, we can tune deeply to this foundational cycle of life, and learn to work with the energies of Nature, rather than struggling against the natural currents of life on Mother Earth.

Below is some basic information about the 8 holidays. (You can click on a holiday on the image above to read about that holiday.) It is my hope that this info will provide a useful resource for tuning to these powerful Earth rhythms. However, the full meaning of these sacred power days can only be truly understood through personal observance & attunement to the Earth's rhythms.

Note: These sacred days bear different names in cultures all over the World. I have chosen the names that have the most resonance for me personally. I encourage you to explore other sources & traditions regarding these holidays.