The Seasonal Rituals

Seasonal Rites and Rituals

     Copyright © 2002 Gray Seal

Part of the Wiccan philosophy is the eternal cycle of life. The Wheel of the Year is essentially the Wiccan calendar, and it shows the never-ending cycle.

The Wiccan year begins on the sabbat (holy day) of Yule, when the Goddess gives birth to the God. The God grows strong through spring and summer, and then in fall, the God and Goddess unite. At this time, the Goddess becomes pregnant with the new God. The old God dies on Samhain (Halloween) to be reborn at Yule. This cycle is acted out symbolically during certain rituals and is known as the Great Rite 

Wheel of the year

The wheel of the year

There are eight sabbat rituals throughout the year:

Yule: Celebrated at the Winter Solstice, Yule is the celebration of the Goddess giving birth to the God.

Imbolc: Celebrated on February 2, it is the time when the first plantings of spring crops occur. It is also considered to be a time of spiritual cleansing and renewal of vows.

Ostara: Celebrated at the Spring Equinox in March, this sabbat represents a new beginning partly because it marks the beginning of longer days and shorter nights. It also marks the union of the God and Goddess and therefore symbolizes fertility.

Beltane: Celebrated on May 1, it represents the end of the planting season and the beginning of harvesting. It also represents fertility, as the celebration often involves loosened rules for fidelity.

Litha: Celebrated at the Summer Solstice, this sabbat represents the peak of the God's strength. It may involve lighting large bonfires to ward off evil spirits.

Lughnasadh: Celebrated on August 1, this is a time when the Goddess turns over control to the God. It is a time of feasts and craft festivals.

Mabon: Celebrated at the Autumn Equinox, Mabon represents the balance between light and dark, as it is the day that nights start becoming longer than days. It is officially the Pagan day of Thanksgiving.

Samhain: Celebrated on Halloween, Samhain means the end of summer and the beginning of winter. On this night, the dead are said to be able to communicate with the living in order to be with and celebrate with their families. 

 More about the wheel of the year

Wicca - Wheel of the year magic
Wicca - Wheel of the Year Magic

     by Lisa Chamberlain

A dynamic, creative and evolving approach to connecting with divine Nature is at the heart of Wicca and other forms of modern Paganism. Wheel of the Year Magic was written in this spirit, offering insight and information that will help you to build your own unique relationship with these eight days of power. Whatever your experience level, you can build on your knowledge with the information in this guide, including:

     * The origins and development of the modern Wheel of the Year
     * The seasonal and spiritual significance of each of the eight days of power: Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Lammas, Mabon and Samhain
     * The pagan history behind each Sabbat—the myths, beliefs and customs that have inspired our modern celebrations
     * Suggestions for creating your own Sabbat celebrations, whether you’re a solitary practitioner or working with fellow Witches
     * Spells and other magical workings aligned with the seasonal and divine energies of each Sabbat

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