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 Wheel of the Year

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LunarCraft
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PostSubject: Wheel of the Year   Wed Sep 05, 2007 8:43 am

I thought I would start off this board with a bit of information about the Wheel of the Year. Here goes:

Samhain
Samhain is one of the eight annual holidays, referred to as "Sabbats", observed by modern day Wiccans, and by other Neo-pagans who base their traditions on Wicca. It is considered by most Wiccans to be the most important of the four "greater Sabbats". Its date is not universally agreed upon, as many Neo-pagan movements have no binding structure upon which all agree. It is observed on October 31 in the Northern Hemisphere. Samhain is considered by most Wiccans as a celebration of death and of the dead and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died. In some rituals the spirits of the departed are invited to attend the festivities. It is seen as a festival of darkness and death, which is balanced at the opposite point of the wheel by the spring festival of Beltane, which Wiccans celebrate as a festival of life and fertility.

While the Wiccan version of Samhain is not a form of reconstruction and is largely mixed with other traditions in a form of universalism, it is influenced by the Celtic holiday from which the name was taken.

Yule
Yule was the winter solstice celebration of the Scandinavian Norse mythology and Germanic pagans. In Germanic Neo-paganism, this celebration is largely reconstructed to various extents by various groups. In Wicca, a form of the holiday is observed as one of the eight solar holidays, or sabbats, where Yule is celebrated on the winter solstice: in the northern hemisphere, circa December 21, and in the southern hemisphere, circa June 21.

"Yule" and "Yuletide" are also archaic terms for Christmas, sometimes invoked in songs to provide atmosphere. Indeed, this is the only meaning of "Yule" accepted by either the full Oxford English Dictionary or the Concise Oxford Dictionary and people unfamiliar with ancient Norse Mythology pagan traditions will not distinguish between Yule (Joul) and Christmas. This usage survives in the term "Yule log"; it may also persist in some Scottish dialects.

Imbolc
Wiccans and Wiccan-inspired Neo-pagans celebrate a variation of Imbolc as a "fire festival", one of eight holidays, or sabbats, of the wheel of the year. Some modern Pagans argue that the Christian feast of Candlemas, whose date depends upon Christmas, was a Christianisation of the feast of Imbolc. On the other hand, there is no evidence that Imbolc was celebrated in pre-Christian times anywhere other than in Ireland whereas the celebration of Candlemas began in the eastern Mediterranean.

Imbolc is often defined as a cross-quarter day midway between the winter solstice (Yule) and the spring equinox (Ostara) and the precise midpoint is half way through, or fifteen degrees of, Aquarius (in the northern hemisphere) or Leo (in the southern hemisphere). By this definition Imbolc in the northern hemisphere coincides with Lughnasadh in the southern hemisphere.


Ostara
Ostara is one of the eight major holidays, Wiccan sabbats or festivals of the Wheel of the Year, celebrated by largely Wiccan-influenced Neo-pagan groups. It is celebrated on the Spring Equinox, in the Northern hemisphere around March 21 and in the Southern hemisphere around September 23, depending upon the specific timing of the equinox. Among the Wiccan sabbats, it is preceded by Imbolc and followed by Beltane.

The name is generally not used in British Traditional Wiccan traditions such as Gardnerianism, but Ostara, Eostra or other variants on that name are the most common names for the Sabbat in other modern Pagan witchcraft traditions.

The holiday is a celebration of spring and growth, the renewal of life that appears on the earth after the winter. In the book Eight Sabbats for Witches it is characterised by the rejoining of the Mother Goddess and her lover-consort-son, who spent the winter months in death.

Beltaine
Wiccans and Wiccan-inspired Neo-pagans celebrate a variation of Beltane or as a sabbat, one of the eight solar holidays. Although the holiday may use features of the Gaelic Bealtaine, such as the bonfire, it bears more relation to the Germanic May Day festival, both in its significance (focusing on fertility) and its rituals (such as maypole dancing). Some Pagans celebrate "High Beltaine" by re-enacting intercourse between the May Lord and Lady. Gerald Gardner, one of the principal originators of the Wiccan religion, referred to the holiday as May Eve.

Among the Wiccan sabbats, Beltane is a cross-quarter day; it is celebrated in the northern hemisphere on May 1 and in the southern hemisphere on November 1. Beltane follows Ostara and precedes Midsummer (see the Wheel of the Year).

Litha
Litha is one of the eight solar holidays or sabbats of Neo-paganism, especially Wicca, though the New Forest traditions (those referred to as British Traditional Wicca) tend to use the traditional name Midsummer. It is celebrated on the Summer Solstice or close to it. The holiday is considered the turning point at which summer reaches its height and the sun shines longest, but at the same time it is said we are reminded that the days will soon begin to shorten. Among the Neo-pagan sabbats, Midsummer is preceded by Beltane and followed by Lughnasadh or Lammas.

Lughnasadh
In Wicca, Lughnasadh is one of the eight sabbats or solar festivals in the Wiccan Wheel of the Year. It is the first of the three autumn harvest festivals, the other two being Mabon and Samhain. It commemorates the sacrifice and death of the Wiccan Corn God; in its cycle of death, nurturing the people, and rebirth, the corn is considered an aspect of their Sun God. Some Neo-pagans mark the holiday by baking a figure of the god in bread and then symbolically sacrificing and eating it. These celebrations are not based on Celtic culture, despite using the Celtic name for the sabbat.

Some Wiccans and other Neo-pagans also use the name Lammas for the sabbat, taken from the Anglo-Saxon and Christian holiday which occurs at about the same time. As the name (from the Anglo-Saxon hlafmæsse "loaf-mass", "loaves festival") implies, it is an agrarian-based festival and feast of thanksgiving for grain and bread, which symbolises the first fruits of the harvest. Wiccan and other eclectic Neo-pagan rituals may incorporate elements from either festival.

Mabon
Mabon is the name used by some Wiccans and other Neo-pagans for one of the eight solar holidays or sabbats. It is celebrated on the Autumnal Equinox, which in the northern hemisphere occurs on September 23rd (occasionally the 22nd, although many celebrate on the 21st) and in the southern hemisphere is circa March 21.

Also called Harvest Home, the Feast of the Ingathering, or simply Autumn Equinox, this holiday is a ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and recognition of the need to share them to secure the blessings of the Goddess and God during the winter months. The name may derive from Mabon ap Modron, although the connection is unclear.

Among the sabbats, it is the second of the three harvest festivals, preceded by Lammas and followed by Samhain.

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Sarah
May the Goddess light your path always,
The God protect
and your heart be filled with Love!

Brightest Blessings!


http://www.the-willow-tree.co.uk/Lunarcraft/Index.htm


Last edited by on Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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Logmadr
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PostSubject: Re: Wheel of the Year   Wed Sep 05, 2007 8:51 am

I believe that this will come in useful to everyone: people who have hardly any experience in Witchcraft and Paganism, and people who know a lot, I believe this is very important information and a good way to start a thread!!

Good on you Loony!

jocolor
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PostSubject: Re: Wheel of the Year   Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:29 am

Does the group wanna meet up for the Full Moon, we could combine it with a prosperity spell for the shop, would you all wanna meet up for Mabon as well??? x
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PostSubject: Re: Wheel of the Year   Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:55 am

Yeah that sounds good, though a little hard: some of us live miles away and it would be hard to get home...me and Lizzie mostly...but we're going for a Chinese on Mabon, we decided to go for a meal, to celebrate...

jocolor
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PostSubject: Re: Wheel of the Year   Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:43 am

I am new to learning about Wicca... affraid Lots of words here that are so very foreign to me. A whole new languge it feels like to me. scratch I read this whole thread very carefully, but I doubt that I could say much, if any of it sunk in. confused
I do understand that Wicca is an OLD religion.

I will likely be needing to come back here for reference ... Witch I'll be back.
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PostSubject: Re: Wheel of the Year   Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:05 am

Evie - thank you so much for your open-ness and it has highlighted a need to create some kind of glossary of terms ... I will start working on this straightaway.

If you come across anything that doesn't add up for you, just shout and we will do our best to come up with some answers for you.

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Sarah
May the Goddess light your path always,
The God protect
and your heart be filled with Love!

Brightest Blessings!


http://www.the-willow-tree.co.uk/Lunarcraft/Index.htm


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PostSubject: Re: Wheel of the Year   Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:42 am

Evie, Wicca isn't that old...it's based on a very old style of Witchcraft, but Wicca itself is only about 60 years old...

jocolor
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PostSubject: Re: Wheel of the Year   Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:02 pm

Tomi - I am glad to see that you resisted the temptation to say that it is only a little older than me!!!! lol!

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Sarah
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Brightest Blessings!


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PostSubject: Re: Wheel of the Year   Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:41 pm

It is only a fraction older then Sarah...so yeah, you could consider it old...Ancient even....

HEHEHEHEHE!!! Dead Horse

jocolor
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PostSubject: Re: Wheel of the Year   Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:47 pm

I would say that you will get a smack ... but you'd probably enjoy it!!!!!!!!! rofl

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Sarah
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Brightest Blessings!


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PostSubject: Re: Wheel of the Year   Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:52 pm

Get your Scourge out Loony!!

p.s. I've got some information for the leaflet, I'll e-mail it to you Smile

jocolor
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PostSubject: Re: Wheel of the Year   Fri Sep 14, 2007 9:19 am

WE (as in the group) decided to go out for a meal? when is this happening? where is this happening? lol - Just tell me next time. Smile
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Logmadr
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PostSubject: Re: Wheel of the Year   Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:46 pm

We're going out on Mabon, to the Chinese in Weston, so we can celebrate in style....

jocolor
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Evie
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PostSubject: Re: Wheel of the Year   Sat Sep 15, 2007 1:15 pm

What I know for sure so far ... Wicca is older than me ... hee hee

Wicca and witchcraft are not the same.

A witch is a pagan, however a pagan is not necessarily a witch.

Hippies were also pagans.... cheers







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PostSubject: Re: Wheel of the Year   Sat Sep 15, 2007 1:32 pm

Evie, I love the witch on the broomstick ... how do you find them?

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Sarah
May the Goddess light your path always,
The God protect
and your heart be filled with Love!

Brightest Blessings!


http://www.the-willow-tree.co.uk/Lunarcraft/Index.htm
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