Wheel of the Year

It rests with us to make the traditions,
to set the pace for those who are to follow
and so, upon our shoulders rests a great responsibility

–Esther Voorhess Hasson, 1908
First Superintenant of the Navy Nurse Corps

I’ve never really gotten around to putting together something on the Sabbats.  In part because there is SO MUCH information out there, I really wasn’t sure where I wanted to start or what I wanted to include.  But mostly because my personal practice and our practice as a family has become something different from established traditions and the (Wiccan-derived) Pagan “norm”.  There is part of me that thinks that by excluding something (like accurate history, other POV’s) I am doing myself and anyone that stumbles across this site a disservice (it really irritates me when people make their way out to be The Way, and I just hate bad history).  But, like most people in general (and parents especially), I have this thing called life that gets in the way of seeing the ideas floating in my brain come to fruition in a timely manner (and there are tons of sites out there, they just take a little discernment to figure out how good they are (or aren’t)) (there is an excellent set of essays on The Cauldron to start off with).

But…I figured I’d work on putting together an overview of our family WotY holidays. Because we include the children as often as possible, we rarely work with a set ritual…instead we often put the pieces together as we go along working with what is best for the kiddos and their moods.  Though, as they’ve gotten older, we’ve been able to establish a few set traditions.

WotY Overview:

We celebrate the quarter days (solstices and equinoxes) as solar holidays, and the cross-quarter days as seasonal holidays.

The Longest Night (Yule)–
Role of the Sun: Rebirth of the Sun (per Sharkbait and Chickadee) Baby Sun King
Occurs: Winter Solstice
Significance: Hope, new beginnings

Candlemas (Imbolc) 
Season to Celebrate: Winter
Occurs: Feb 2
Significance: Inspiration, dreaming, oikos/the home
Deities: Hestia, Vesta, other hearth deities

First Blooming (Ostara)
Role of the Sun: Strengthening Sun (per the kids–The Sun Prince)
Occurs: Spring Equinox
Significance: Preparation, cleansing

Floralia (Beltane)
Season: Spring
Occurs: May 1
Significance: Growth, fertility, Spring
Deities: Flora and Faunus, fertility/flowering/growing deities, forest deities

The Longest Day (Litha)
Role of the Sun: Height of the Sun (per the kids–The Sun King)
Occurs: Summer Solstice
Significance: Celebration, intensity, strength, ecstasy

Pomonalia (Lughnasagh)
Season: Summer’s End/Start of autumn
Occurs: August 2
Significance: Harvest, reward,
Deities: Pomona and Vertumnus, harvest/farming deities, deities of the hunt

Harvest Home (Mabon)
Role of the Sun: Waning Sun (per Sharkbait–“Old King Sol”; per Chickadee–“Grandfather Sun”)
Occurs: Fall Equinox
Significance: Thankfulness, humility

Remembrance Eve (Samhain)
Season: Autumn
Occurs: Oct 31
Significance: Memory, reverence, endings
Deities: Persephone, deities of the underworld, transformative deities, deities of magic

(last updated 3/15/15)

3 thoughts on “Wheel of the Year”

  1. apparently, I had this post bookmarked! Just starting my research for the spring equinox (finally trying to write things onto paper after a decade – sheesh, it’s tough!)

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