SEASONAL CELEBRATIONS FOR THE SOUL
“The rebirth of Earth religion is a part of a broad movement that challenges domination - that seeks to connect with the root, the heart, the source of life by changing our present relationships."
HONORING EARTH, EACH OTHER, AND OUR PLACE WITHIN NATURE'S SACRED RHYTHMS.
We are being called to mend our estrangement from the web of life, to remember our belongingness to the living world, and to allow space in our lives to be re-enchanted by the song of Earth.
This is a relational and ecological embodiment practice space for those who wish to deepen their connection to themselves, each other and the earth. Together we move at natures pace and engage in meaningful practices, conversations, and rituals related to where we find ourselves in the cycle of the seasons.
Like our ancestors have done from the beginning of time, we honor the cycles and the seasons who remind us of the ever-changing flow of life that we are a part of. Ritual acts give life meaning and acknowledge the unseen web of Life that connects us all.
This is not about performance nor will it ever be a striving for perfection. This is playful co-creation.
HOW WE GATHER
Our seasonal celebrations weave together nature-connection practices; reflection, contemplation, prayer; ritual & play; eco-craft-making; music, song & movement; wild foraging; and ancestral animism. The nature of how we gather is ever-evolving and follows the changing tides of the seasons. Together, we learn to pay attention to the way that Earth speaks to us, sings to us, whispers to us.
A NOTE ON WEATHER & WHAT TO BRING
Bring your songs and your voice, your percussion instruments and sound-makers! We come together regardless of the weather unless it is unsafe to do so. We ask that you dress for the weather, bring your own blanket or folding chair, walking stick and water.
A NOTE ON COVID-19
Out of respect for one another, we ask that all attendees come prepared to honor social distancing guidelines with masks as optional.
A NOTE ON COST
Simply pay what you can afford. Payment allows for our facilitators and space holders to get paid for their effort, creativity and time. To donate, follow this PayPal link.
All are welcome and respected at Forest Temple gatherings. We strive to be diverse, intergenerational and accessible to people of all walks of life. Please contact us when you'll be attending with children or when accessibility is a concern so that we can be as accommodating as possible.
Common Ground Ecovillage in Mebane NC
June 19th: Summer Solstice
July 31st: Mid-Summer / Lughnasadh
September 18th: Autumn Equinox
October 30th: Mid-Autumn / Samhain
December 18th: Winter Solstice
January 30th: Mid-Winter / Imbolc
March 20th: Spring Equinox
May 1st: Mid-Spring / Beltaine
WHEEL OF THE YEAR
The Wheel of the Year is an annual cycle of eight festivals (also called Sabbaths) that mark seasonal turning points in the year.
Under modern capitalism, we follow the concept of linear time, however in the past, when we lived in close relationship to nature, time was perceived as cyclical. The Wheel of the Year is a calendar focused on this cyclical journey of the seasons.
Mid-Autumn / Samhain: October 31 – November 1
Winter Solstice: December 21 - January 1
Mid-Winter / Imbolc: February 1-2
Spring Equinox: March 20
Mid-Spring / Beltane: May 1
Summer Solstice: June 24
Mid-Summer / Lughnasadh (Lammas): August 1
Fall Equinox: September 21
MID-AUTUMN / SAMHAIN
Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter or "darker-half" of the year. This is a time to remember and honor your ancestors since on this night the veil is thinnest and the gates between the worlds are open. Souls of the dead are said to visit their homes at midnight. This is a good night for deep reflection, long meditation sessions, and inner work.
Winter Solstice marks the beginning Capricorn season and the moment when the north pole is tilted away from the sun, making it the shortest day and longest night of the year. The message of Winter Solstice is that hope does not come once into the world and fulfill itself. Hope and light must constantly be reborn, over and over again. They wax and wane, and must be renewed. On this day, we are given the opportunity to renew our own commitment to embodying hope and to give thanks for the darkness, which gives birth to light..
MID-WINTER / IMBOLC
Imbolc is one of the great festivals that are gateways into the seasons signaling the halfway point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. For many this time of year often feels more like Mid-Winter. It is the season where opposites meet, where fire and ice co-mingle, and it is here where we welcome the growth of the returning light and witness life's insatiable appetite for rebirth. The Gaelic name Imbolc comes from early Ireland meaning "in the belly,” as it refers to the “just-showing” pregnancy or a stirring of new life that has just begun. It is a time when the momentum shifts from death to rebirth.
Spring Equinox marks the beginning of Aries season. It is traditionally the day of equilibrium, neither harsh winter nor the merciless summer, and is a time of childish wonder. The equinox occurs when the sun crosses the celestial equator from south to north, marking the beginning of spring and Aries season. Similar to those indicating the fecundity of spring, symbols include eggs, rabbits, flowers, and seeds.
MID-SPRING / BELTANE
Beltane celebrates light, fertility, and the coming of summer. The name is thought to come from the phrase “Bel’s Fire”, a reference to Bel, the Celtic sun god but means “bright fire”.This is a holiday of Union between masculine and feminine energy. It is a time of fertility and harvests, the time for reaping the wealth from the seeds that we have sown. Celebrations may include dancing or sex magic.
Summer Solstice, also known as Midsummer, celebrates the longest day of the year and marks the beginning of Cancer season. Because this Sabbat glorifies the Sun God, fire plays a very prominent role in this festival. Most celebrate the summer solstice with bonfires on the beach and picnics.
MID-SUMMER / LUGHNASADH
Lughnasadh (named for the Celtic hero-god Lugh, associated with order and truth) is the festival of the harvest season. It’s the moment to show our infinite gratitude to Mother Earth. Walking through the woods to spend some time meditating in beautiful surroundings and making bread and sweets are both ideas to celebrate this festival.
Autumn Equinox marks the beginning of autumn and Libra season. It is a time of thanksgiving and reflection on what one has gained and lost over the year. The autumnal equinox occurs when the sun crosses the equator on its apparent journey southward, and we experience a day and a night that are of equal duration. Up until this moment, the hours of daylight have been greater than the hours from dusk to dawn. But from now on, the reverse holds true. This is the time to look back not just in the past year, but also on your life, and to plan for the future. In the rhythm of the year, the Autumn Equinox is a time of rest and celebration, after the hard work of gathering the crops.