Wheel of The Year Boxes
Presently shipping Imbolc Boxes
continue reading to learn about all 8 stations of the wheel
The Wheel of the Year is the cycle of celebrations based on the traditions of ancient Celts that follows the dance of the sun and earth throughout each year, connects us to time, nature, and the seasons, and retells the sacred cyclical narrative around the god and goddess, the divine masculine and feminine. Both experience the process of conception, birth, growth, maturation, decline, death and rebirth.
The Celts viewed a year as a wheel of time divided into four seasons measured by solstices and equinoxes with each season having a midpoint creating eight key festival days in a year; the quarter days and the cross quarter days.
The 8 Festivals (Sabbats)
Yule (Dec 20-23): Winter Solstice
Imbolc (Feb 1) Beginning of Spring
Ostara (Mar 20-23): Spring Equinox
Beltane (May 1) Beginning of Summer
Litha (June 20-23): Summer Solstice
Lughnasadh/Lammas (August 1) Beginning of Autumn,
Mabon (Sept 20-23): Autumn Equinox
Samhain (Oct 31) Beginning of Winter
Celtic reckoned time by nights, not days, beginning and ending at sunset. Hallowe’en (All Hallows Eve) is the start of the Samhain. Likewise, the Celtic year begins on the eve of Winter on Samhain with Yule being the first Solar festival of the year. Dates listed are modern equivalents.
Yule – Winter Solstice: Death and Rebirth
Yule – the longest night and shortest day – marks the point at which the sun is farthest from the earth and the earth lies cold and bleak. For three days, the sun appears to rise and set in the same place. After these three dark nights the sun is reborn just like the seeds in the earth. Although not visible yet, the sun becomes incrementally stronger each day and light and warmth return to the world. The Goddess is the Great Mother and giving birth to the young Sun God, and the Wheel turns anew
Imbolc – Emergence, infancy, new life
Imbolc means In the belly of the Mother or in the milk. Imbolc marks birth, the emergence of new shoots, and the beginning of Spring. The sun is growing in strength. The seeds of spring are beginning to show. Life is returning, the frozen waters begin to melt, the first shoots of green are visible and many herd animals are heavily pregnant or give birth to their first offspring of the year and begin to lactate to feed their young. It is the midpoint between Winter and Spring. It is a time of hope and budding life. The Goddess is a Mother, nursing the young Sun God.
Ostara – Spring Equinox: Life, growth, balance
The spring equinox – day and night are equal in length. The young God is beginning to come into his power growing stronger and warming the earth and everything on it. The air is gentle and filled with hope and light and new growth is apparent. . The God and Goddess, the divine masculine and feminine, have transformed into vibrant and hopeful youths.
Beltane – Joy, fertility, union
Beltane marks the beginning of Spring.This is the celebration of vitality, fertility and life. The earth is in full bloom, and the sun is strong. The God and Goddess are young lovers, golden and brimming with joy and energy. Youth calls to fertile youth and cannot resist the call. This is the time of the sacred marriage between the God and Goddess where their coming together in union blesses the land and lays the ground for a bountiful harvest later in the year.
Litha – Summer Solstice: Abundance, blooming, peak
Litha – the longest day and shortest night – marks the point at which the sun
is closest to the earth, and the earth is warm and rich. The sun is at the height of its power and the earth is in full bloom. The God and Goddess are at the peak of their strength and unity.
Lammas/Lughnasadh – The beginning of the harvest, review
Lughnasadh marks the beginning of the noticeable descent of the sun into the darkness of winter. The peak of summer is over and the sun’s power is beginning to wane.The fruits of the first harvest of the year emerge as a result of the connection between the divine lovers at Beltane. The God of the harvest is the Green Man. He sacrifices himself every year in order to enable human life on Earth. The God and Goddess are moving away from each other. The harvest they have co-created is almost ready and will feed and nurture their children, the people and animals of the earth.
Mabon – Autumn Equinox: Final Harvest, Store and prepare
Mabon, the Autumn Equinox, marks old life and release. Day and Night are once again equal in length, but the balance is about to shift away from the light as the sun declines. Mabon means Harvest Home. Harvested crops are gathered, prepared, and stored as people and animals prepare for the winter. The Goddess as earth takes and holds the seeds of the harvest to germinate for the next year to be ready once the wheel turns again. The union and dance of the God and Goddess have brought forth the good harvest and now they will be laid to rest.
Samhain – Decay, release, gestation
Samhain marks the death of the year. The old life is over; the sun is in decline, waning in heat and strength, the days grow shorter, and the earth is cold. Crops and vegetation die or go dormant. The Earth Goddess draws all her energy and signs of life within to nurture the seeds of new, and the God that will be reborn in the new year rests in the womb of the earth until the return of the Sun. As the great God dies to the year, his spirit is unbound and set free. It, along with other spirits roam the earth. The veil is thin. This is the Between Times, between the worlds and the years, between the old and the new. The God that will be reborn rests within the earth until it is time for him to be born and for the eternal wheel to begin again.