Wheel of the Year

The Magick of Lammas

Lammas (also known as Lughnasadh) marks the height of Summer and falls between the Summer Solstice (Litha) and the Autumn Equinox (Mabon) each year. The festival is typically celebrated on the 1st/2nd August, but the energy of this period can be felt from mid-July to mid-August.

Traditionally Lammas marked the beginning of the harvest. Corn, Wheat and other grains have reached maturity and stand golden in the fields awaiting their harvest. Seeds and fruits are ripening. This is a time of abundance, gathering and taking stock of the year thus far.

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Wheel of the Year

Litha

Litha, the festival celebrated at the Summer Solstice marks the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere. Light reaches its peak. The days stretch long and this can feel both productive and/or overwhelming depending on how nourished we are feeling at this time.

This year, the Summer Solstice falls on Tuesday 21st June, so this weekend is a good time to make space for some rituals to connect with your self and the earth and fill up your well, if only for a short but mindful time.

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Wheel of the Year

The Beltane Fire

The festival of Beltane is almost upon us and marks the peak of Spring in the Northern hemisphere. Beltane is a fire festival, with the word bel-tene meaning a ‘goodly fire.’ Fire has long been associated with transformation, cleansing and purification, burning the old down to make way and fertilise the new. At Beltane, Spring has reached its peak and Summer begins to emerge with a more direct and committed energy.

To connect with this, you may wish to light a fire, candle or burn incense over the weekend to help physically and symbolically clear the path for a new season. whilst observing the flame consider any or all of the following:

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Wellbeing, Wheel of the Year

Mindful Spring Practices

I don’t know about you, but I can find myself feeling pretty restless at this time of year. The transition away from Winter can be a long one. The promise of Spring feels so sweet when it arrives. Those first warm rays on the skin and the sound of bird song lift my heart so much. And just as I am about to lean right in to the new season, Winter announces she isn’t quite done as she delivers one last blast…

I have noticed over the past few years that my mind can become restless at this time of year. My mood and energy feel as mixed as the weather. One foot planted amongst the hopeful wildflowers of Spring, the other hanging back in the heavy malaise of Winter’s end.

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Wheel of the Year

The energy of Samhain

Samhain (pronouced sow-ein) is one of the eight seasonal festivals that make up the wheel of the year, an ancient way of observing the yearly cycle, and the transition of the sun and the seasons. Samhain is celebrated at the end of October/beginning of November (the origins of modern day Halloween) and marks the final harvest period of the year and the birth of the Winter. At this time of year we can observe the natural world preparing for the Winter months that stretch ahead. Trees lose their leaves, plants die back, and animals stock up and may begin to migrate or hibernate.

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Wheel of the Year

Beltane

The next festival in our Wheel of the Year journey is Beltane or May day, celebrated From the evening of April 30th to May 1st in the Northern hemisphere. Beltane is the peak of Spring, a celebration of fertility and the height of the earth’s growing energy. At this time of year we begin to see the very first signs of Summer emerging.

This is a time of abundance, union and life force. Flowers are blooming, new life is being born and the Sun’s strength is increasing. This is a fertile time in the natural world, and can help us to ignite projects, cultivate new actions and reflect on what we need in order to bloom. This increase in active energy, can leave us feeling a little worn out at times, so it is good time to ensure rest, self care and nourishment is established to balance this busy time.

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Wheel of the Year

Spring Equinox/Ostara

In astronomical terms, the Spring Equinox (also known as Ostara) marks the beginning of the Spring season in the Northern hemisphere and falls between the 20th – 23rd March each year.

The word ‘equinox’ comes from the Latin word meaning ‘equal night’ and twice a year, on both the Spring and Autumn equinoxes, night and day length are in balance. The light has slowly but surely been increasing from it’s lowest point at the Winter Solstice in December. It will now continue to expand, overtaking the hours of darkness, until it reaches its peak on our longest day at the Summer Solstice in June.

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Wheel of the Year

Imbolc

Traditionally celebrated over 1st and 2nd of February in the Northern Hemisphere, Imbolc marks the earliest signs of Spring and falls midway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. At this time, the earth is beginning to awaken from Winter’s slumber. Light is increasing, encouraging changes in the behaviour of our animal friends. Most growth is still occurring in the darkness of the Earth’s belly but some little pioneer plants bloom first, signalling the quickening of the year.

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Wheel of the Year

Winter Solstice/Yule

We have now arrived at the darkest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere. Energy and light levels are low and the earth is still in hibernation. Today, at the Winter Solstice, (also known as Yule) the sun stands still at its furthest point, before slowly returning once more with its light and warmth.

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Wheel of the Year

Samhain

Samhain is a seasonal festival that falls roughly half way between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice. It is the third harvest festival (following Lammas and Autumn Equinox) celebrating the time to collect the last of the year’s berries and nuts. Samhain is the end of the growth part of the cycle and the origin of Halloween. It can be thought of as the birth of the Winter and dark half of the year.

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