Samhain (sow-in or sowen) - Oct 31st
Also known as Halloween and The Feast of the Dead, is the Witches' New Year. It signifies the end of summer, honoring the dead and temporary fair well to The God until He is reborn of the Goddess again at Yule. It's a time where it is said that the veil between worlds is at it's thinnest. Candles are lit and cakes and wine are left out as an offering to the dead. Altars can be decorated with colorful fall leaves, an apple and a pomegranate (if you can find one). Pumpkins are obviously quite popular as well. It is a time for reflection. A time to look back at events that have taken place in the last turn of the wheel and how you have grown from them. After your ritual, bury your apple outside as an offering. If you cannot go outdoors, bury it in a planter of soil. Colors are red, orange and black.
Yule-Dec 19 - 22
The winter solstice celebrates renewal and rebirth during winter. It is the shortest day of the year when the Goddess gives birth to the God which marks the return of the sun. Candles and fires are lit and small potted trees are decorated to welcome it's return. As Samhain represents death this turn of the wheel celebrates rebirth. If you can't make a fire you might want to get a Yule log, carve holes and place candles in it. Take every precaution to make sure the log doesn't catch fire. Colors are green and red. * Yule is commonly celebrated on Dec 21.
Imbolc (im-BULK) - Feb 1st
Also known as Candlemas, Festival of Lights, Feast of Torches & Brigid's day marks the lengthening of days and light encouraging the renewal of the sun. It is a time of purification. It's a traditional time for initiations into covens, self dedication and renewing your dedication. Seeds for planting are placed on the altar and a ritual is performed to bless the seeds. Some place a lamp or candle in every room to encourage to return of the sun. A dish of snow along with evergreens and candles decorate the altar. Colors are white, green and white, or blue.
Spring Equinox - March 21st
Also known as Ostara (oh-STAR-ah) is the beginning of Spring. The light of day and darkness of night are equal. The Earth is charged with the fertility of the Goddess and the mating of the Goddess and God compel the wilderness to do the same (Spring fever?). It is a time for new beginnings and letting go of things holding you back. A potted plant decorates the altar and a cauldron or bonfire is lit. Mirrors are displayed. The color is white. At this time of year it is traditional to wonder through forests, gardens and the like as a celebration of nature.
Beltane - May 1st
Also known as May Day is the time of fertility when the Goddess becomes pregnant of the God. The symbol of Her fertility is celebrated in ritual and feast. Witches joyously dance and weave the May pole which along with homes can be decorated with flowers, branches and other greenery. Wearing a wreath of flowers upon your head is also traditional. Fresh flowers are placed in the cauldron. Color is white.
Summer Solstice- June 19 - 22
Also known as Litha is when the powers of nature are at their peak. A great time for magick of all kinds when the Earth is saturated with the fertility of the Goddess and God. Bonfires are lit and leaped over encouraging fertility, purification, health and love. Cauldron fires are lit and mirrors used to capture the fire or sun. Altars are decorated with a ring of flowers around the cauldron which the athame is in. The cauldron being a Goddess symbol and athame God, this is a symbol of their union. The color is white.
Lughnasadh (Loo-nassa) - Aug 1st
Also known as Lammas or Feast of Bread is the time of first harvest and a time to give thanks for the bounty that the Goddess and God have given us. The days light grows shorter as the God represented by the sun slowly begins losing His strength. In this turn of the wheel seeds, fruit and vegetables fall to the ground for us and to ensure a good harvest next year. Special breads are made to eat and pieces thrown into the fire. We celebrate the warmth of the sun and the bounty of harvest in the food given to us as summer draws to an end. Corn dollies are made in Goddess and God shapes. The colors are red and orange.
Autumn Equinox - Sept 21st
The Autumn Equinox, also known as Mabon, signifies the second harvest often the corn harvest. The days and nights are again equal and the God prepares for His temporary slumber. Nature prepares for winter. As with every turn of the wheel, it's a good time to wander through the wilderness and attune with nature. Ritual celebrations often include apple cider and corn bread. Altars are decorated with things associated with fall. Leaves in their endless varieties and colors, pine cones, acorns etc. The colors are red and brown but any color associated with Autumn are appropriate.
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