At Winter Solstice, we turn the Wheel of the Year to the return of the light. This is the longest night and the shortest day. After midnight, the Sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day.
Samhain (pronounced sow-in) also known as Halloween means summer’s end and is celebrated on October 31. At Samhain, we turn the Wheel of the Year to the beginning of winter. We begin to have more dark in the day than light.
Autumn Equinox is the second of two harvest festivals and is celebrated on September 22. It is also called Mabon, for Queen Mab of the Faery People (Maeve of the Celts). At Autumn Equinox, day and night are equal, in perfect balance, and we give thought to the balance and flow within our lives.
Summer Solstice marks the sun’s maximum height in the sky, making it the longest day of the year. The themes are light and warmth. In Celtic times, young people, still in the throws of the lusty month of May, leaped over the flames of bonfires at Summer Solstice.
Part of my daily routine is choosing a card from my tarot deck and reflecting on how the card may be a representation of my current state. I’m generally quite happy with the cards I choose, it’s not often that I choose a card that doesn’t speak to me. It would be nice to always choose positive cards, but sometimes a negative card finds it’s way into my hand and I must face the reality of what the card is trying to tell me.
Beltane is one of the four fire festivals in the Celtic Wheel of the Year that marks the beginning of summer. Beltane is observed on May 1. In Celtic times, it was referred to as May Day. It was celebrated by processions, wearing garlands and lighting bonfires. Many houses were decorated with green branches brought into the house on May Day morning.
For centuries, men devised the religious rituals for our civilization. Today, womyn are devising religious rituals by forming scared circles and getting together periodically. The Wheel of the Year is the perfect way to begin. The photo above clearly depicts the eight seasons/festivals in the Wheel of the Year, shown below.