Pagan Wheel of the Year by Artist Gwen Davies
This current wave sees me on a journey retracing my heritage, going back to my roots and discovering what it is that I feel we’ve been so long distanced from…
So often, as travellers, we dismiss our roots; where we grew up; our heritage. This makes no sense to me. People often answer the question, “where are you from”, with “the Earth”. Well, duh of course! And the stars! But where do your roots lay? And why are you averted to answering this?
Most travellers are uprooted and even then, grounded for sure.
Yet, it has dawned on me (when I do rise for dawn) – Aren’t we placed on this Earth, in the place you are born, with the people as your blood relations, for some reason? Surely,
I was reading Witch, by Lisa Lister and which I encourage any woman wishing to be empowered once again to be inspired by her words, as I and many others have…
And so began arising traditions that I could resonate with; ones that didn’t bow to an almighty God, yet appreciated the Sacred Feminine in it’s cyclic form as Goddesses of the seasons.
SAMHAIN (October 31st)
Annually, presents pagans with opportunity once again to celebrate the cycle of death and rebirth. This marks a chance to reconnect with and honor those who have died.
YULE (December 19th-22nd) Winter Solstice
As mid-winter arrives, Norsemen lit bonfires, told stories and drank sweet ale. The druids began the yule log tradition.
IMBOLC (February 1st)
A celebration at the end of winter and the impending light half of the year.
OSTARA (March 19th-22nd) Spring Equinox
The story goes that the Easter hare was originally a bird, changed into a quadruped by the goddess Ostara. In gratitude to this goddess, the hare exercises its original bird function to lay eggs for the goddess on her festal day.
BELTANE (May 1st)
Otherwise ‘Bright fire’, or ‘fire of bel’ (Bel being a Celtic deity). A fire festival celebrating the coming of summer and the fertility of the coming years. Such festivals usually tie in with the needs of the community.
LITHA (June 19th-22nd) Summer Solstice
To the polarity between land and sky, this time is to find a balance between fire and water. Tradition has it that large wheels were set on fire and rolled down a hill into a body of water.
LAMMAS (August 1st)
The name evolving from the Old English “hlāfmæsse” (hlāf meaning “loaf” and mæssse meaning “mass”). This originated from the fact that on the first of August every year, the early English church celebrated the harvesting of the first ripe grain by consecrating loaves made from it – hence, “loaf mass”.
MABON (September 19th-22nd) Autumn Equinox
A time of rest and celebration, after the hard work of gathering the crops. Named after Welsh God, Mabon, son of Earth Mother goddess Modron. Some pagans mark the holiday by feasts with seasonal foods like apples, pomegranates and root vegetables.