Moon

The cycles of the Moon

Each year Earth orbits around the Sun. As the Earth’s axis is tilted, different parts of its surface receive more/less direct rays from the Sun as we move around it. This creates the yearly seasonal cycle here on Earth. The variation of light, warmth and energy impacts all life and as we enter into the Winter season here in the Northern hemisphere, we observe bare, resting trees, animals hibernating and changes to our own energy, mood and focus.

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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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Foraging

Spring Greens!

Eating seasonally is one of my favourite ways of feeling more aligned with earth’s cycles and come Spring I really start craving fresher, zingier and lighter meals with lots and lots of greens. And just as if Nature intended, our gardens and woodlands are bursting full of Spring greens, that nourish and cleanse our bodies after a heavy winter.

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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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Wheel of the Year

Autumn Equinox/Mabon

Autumn Equinox, falls between September 20th and 23rd in the Northern Hemisphere. At this point each year, day and night length reaches equal balance once more as we pass through the doorway to the dark half of the year. After this point, the balance tips as hours of darkness increase and day length shortens. This heralds a time to begin slowing down, give thanks for what we harvest, release the old and turn our gaze inwards.

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Wellbeing, Wheel of the Year

Creating a space

One of my earliest indicators that Autumn is nearby is my desire to retreat. Woodland walks followed by cosy, quiet evenings, warming foods and the urge to make my space feel cosier and more relaxing.

In my previous post about transitioning to Autumn I discussed how typically this time of year can bring with it a more quiet and reflective energy that guides us inwards, as opposed to the bright and expansive days of the Spring and Summer months just ending.

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Wheel of the Year

Lammas

Lammas (also known as Lughnassadh) falls on 1st August and is the midpoint between the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox in the northern Hemisphere. By Lammas we are into the second half of the year and may refer to this time as ‘high summer.’ The days are still long and the sun’s energy is strong yet active growth is waning. The earth is abundant and many of our grain crops have ripened and await their gathering, full and golden.

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