I am happy to begin this magical journey with you by introducing you The Ultimate Beginner Witches Guide to the Wheel of the Year.
The Wheel of the Year is a concept that has been around for centuries, and it is a way for pagans to connect with the natural world and the cycles of the seasons.
The Wheel of the Year is divided into eight festivals, known as sabbats.
The four greater sabbats, also known as the “cross-quarter days,” are the midpoints between the solstices and equinoxes.
- Samhain (October 31) – marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the “dark half” of the year
- Imbolc (February 1) – marking the beginning of spring and the end of the “dark half” of the year
- Beltane (May 1) – marking the beginning of summer and the height of the fertility season
- Lughnasadh (August 1) – marking the end of summer and the beginning of the harvest season
The four lesser sabbats, also known as the “quarter days,” are the solstices and equinoxes.
- Yule (December 21) – marking the winter solstice and the longest night of the year
- Ostara (March 21) – marking the spring equinox and the balance of light and dark
- Litha (June 21) – marking the summer solstice and the longest day of the year
- Mabon (September 21) – marking the autumn equinox and the balance of light and dark.
In summary, the four greater sabbats mark significant turning points in the agricultural cycle, while the four lesser sabbats mark significant turning points in the solar cycle.
A note for Witches practicing in the Southern Hemisphere:
Because the Wheel of the Year is based on European pagan ancient civilizations, the dates presented in this guide are specific to the cycle of nature in the Northern Hemisphere.
For the dates corresponding to the cycle of nature in the Southern Hemisphere, please refer to the illustration featured at the beginning of the article.
Yule is celebrated on December 21, and it marks the winter solstice and the longest night of the year.
It is a time of year when the days start to get longer and is seen as a celebration of the rebirth of the sun and the return of the light.
The festival has its roots in Germanic and Norse cultures and is associated with the god Odin and the pagan holiday of Yule. It is celebrated with feasts, gift-giving, and the burning of a Yule log.
Imbolc is a pagan festival that is celebrated on February 1 (sometimes on February 2) and marks the beginning of spring and is associated with the goddess Brigid.
It is a time for purification and renewal, and is often celebrated with rituals and ceremonies that honor the return of the light and the growing power of the sun.
Some common Imbolc traditions include lighting candles, making corn dollies, and honoring the goddess through poetry and song.
Ostara is a pagan festival that celebrates the arrival of spring and the renewal of life.
It is typically celebrated around the Vernal Equinox, which falls around March 20 or 21, depending on the year.
Ostara is associated with the eponymous goddess Ostara, also known as Eostre, who represents fertility and new beginnings.
The festival is typically celebrated with rituals and activities that honor the balance of light and dark, and the renewal of life, such as planting seeds, decorating eggs, and celebrating the return of the sun. It is a time to celebrate new beginnings, growth, and the beauty of the natural world.
Beltane (also spelled Beltaine or Beltain) is celebrated on May 1 and marks the beginning of summer.
Beltane is a time when the natural world is in full bloom. It is a time to celebrate the return of life and vitality after the dark, cold winter months.
Beltane is a time of joy, celebration, and the renewal of life.
In modern pagan traditions, it is still celebrated as a time of fertility, growth, and renewal. Many pagans will still light bonfires, perform rituals, and celebrate the natural world and the return of life after the winter.
It is also a time for couples to come together and celebrate the power of love and fertility.
Litha is celebrated on June 21, and it marks the summer solstice. This is a time for pagans to celebrate the longest day of the year and the power of the sun.
The festival is often celebrated with bonfires, feasts, and rituals that honor the sun and the abundance it brings to the earth.
It is also a time for celebrating fertility and the bountiful harvest that is to come.
Lughnasadh is celebrated on August 1 in many Celtic and Germanic traditions and marks the beginning of the harvest season.
This is a time for pagans to give thanks for the bounty of the earth and to prepare for the coming winter. It is also a time to honor the god Lugh, who was known as a god of light, craftsmanship, and abundance.
Nowadays customs associated with Lughnasadh include rituals, games, contests, and feasts. Some people also use this time to make offerings to the gods and to celebrate the natural cycles of life, death, and rebirth.
Mabon is celebrated on September 21, and marks the autumn equinox, which is the point at which the day and night are of roughly equal length.
This is a time for pagans to celebrate the balance of light and dark, and the end of the growing season. It is also a time to honor the goddess Mabon, who is associated with gratitude and abundance.
In some traditions, it is also a time for rituals of balance and harmony.
Samhain (pronounced “sow-in” or “sah-win”) is celebrated on October 31, and it marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the dark half of the year.
It is considered one of the most important holidays in the pagan calendar. It is also known as “Halloween” or “All Hallows Eve”.
It is a time when the veil between the worlds is is considered to be the thinnest, allowing for communication with the spirits of the dead. Many pagans take this opportunity to honor their ancestors and reflect on the past year and prepare for the one to come.
Traditionally, pagans would light bonfires and hold rituals and ceremonies to honor the dead. Many would also wear costumes and masks to disguise themselves and to protect themselves from any malicious spirits that might be roaming the earth during this time.
The holiday is also celebrated as a time of reflection and renewal, and as a reminder that death is a natural and essential part of the cycle of life.
I hope this Ultimate Beginner Witches Guide to the Wheel of the Year has been helpful and you’ll be able to embrace and celebrate as many as sabbats as you wish.
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