What is The Wheel of The Year?
The Wheel of the Year is an annual cycle celebrating 8 turning points throughout our journey around the sun. Each one holds an accompanying seasonal energy, all playing a part in the overall cycle of birth, growth, shedding and death before reaching birth again. It is followed by people of many different spiritual paths, including Pagans, Wiccans, Witches and of course those who simply feel a connection to nature.
The Cycle begins at Samhain (pronounced Sow-een, deriving from Summers End) often known as the Witches New Year, as it marks the death of one year and start of the next. From there we descend into the darkest months of reflection and hibernation, peaking at Yule (Winter Solstice) where we experience the longest hours of darkness.
The light slowly starts to return from here as we transition around to Imbolc in early February and begin planting our seeds for the upcoming year. Ostara (Spring Equinox) is our next seasonal turn in the wheel. Here we have reached equal hours of light and dark, and we can begin seeing signs of new life emerging.
Beltane falls in early May, the trees are full of life and it is a wonderful time to celebrate fertility, growth, warmth and the increased returning of light.
We then reach the energetic peak at Litha (Summer Solstice) where the sun appears to hold still in the sky for several days and gifts us with the longest hours of daylight. From here the nights will slowly start drawing in.
Lammas follows on as we arrive in August and is the first celebration of harvest. We can gather the fruits of our labour and appreciate all that we have created.
Mabon (Autumn Equinox) hosts equal hours of light and dark. Sweeping us up in a blanket of Autumnal leaves, it encourages us to let go of what we no longer need with grace and beauty. We then complete the cycle back to Samhain.