Have you ever heard of the Wheel of the Year? It functions like a calendar, marking the four solar holidays (Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Fall Equinox), and the four seasonal holidays (Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, Samhain). These holidays mark special days in the year where we can take time to celebrate, step back, and fall in line with the cycles of the earth.
The Solar Holidays
The solar holidays mark the solstices and equinoxes. These include Yule (Winter Solstice), Ostara (Spring Equinox), Litha (Summer Solstice), and Mabon (Autumn Equinox). The solar holidays mark the farming patterns of early humans, when they would plant, toil, harvest and rest. In modern life, it’s easy to forget that earth guides us with her gentle rhythms. We can dance to her tune if we just tune in. Here are some ways you can align with the solar holidays:
Yule- Yule is on the Winter Solstice, marking a time of self-reflection and deep gratitude. It’s cold outside, but the fire is warm. Practice being grateful during Yule, and make time to cook a hearty meal that warms your belly and satisfies your senses. Give thanks for your many blessings.
Ostara- Ostara takes us into spring, when the trees are blooming, and life begins anew. During this season, consider what you would like to bring into your life. Consider also what you would like to let go of. If anything in your life feels out of line, bring it back into balance. Start fresh, like the new spring.
Litha- Litha, or Midsommer is the longest day of the year. This holiday is based on the Sun, so fire is a good element to include in any rituals that you do on this day. Build a fire in a safe place, and gather with friends or family. Sit together around the fire, and celebrate the season of warmth, abundance, and prosperity.
Mabon- Mabon marks the Autumn Equinox. We retreat from the warm days of summer, and enter the portal to winter. We take stock of our lives thus far, and plan for the year ahead. On this day, prepare a meal that includes grains, and harvest vegetables. Invite fresh energy into your home, and prepare for the cold season ahead.
Seasonal Holidays- These holidays mark the points between the solstices and the equinoxes. You can celebrate the essence of a season on this day, and align your rituals and spell work with the energy of the season. Here are some ways that you can harness the energy of the seasonal holidays:
Imbolc- Imbolc marks the time between Yule and Ostara. Winter is slowly fading, and spring is just around the corner. This is a time just before the new beginning, where the frosty air still chills us to the bone, but we know that spring is on the horizon. There is hope. On this day, spend time reading poetry, and engaging in the arts. Tap into your hidden potential.
Beltane- Beltane celebrates the coming of summer. During Beltane, we celebrate fertility, and honor the divine feminine and masculine. This is a good day for sex magick, and celebration of the abundance of the earth. Embody your divine masculine and femine. Engage in sensual pleasures. Fall in love with life as it is.
Lughnasadah- Lughnasadah marks the midpoint between summer and autumn. This holiday falls during the full summer. It is a good day to hike, and spend time in nature. Make time to be with the earth on this day, and give thanks for her beauty. Baking bread and eating sweets are also a common practice on this holiday.
Samhain- Samhain falls on the same day as Halloween, marking the transition from autumn to winter. It is new years eve for witches, as well as the final harvest festival. This is a good time to do some deep self-reflection, and engage in shadow work. The veil is very thin during Samhain, so it is also an optimal time for divination practice, long meditations, and connecting to the spirit realm.
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