EMBODIED CONTEMPLATION OF THE WHEEL OF THE YEAR
Online seasonal ceremonies weave together elements of meditation, reflection, journaling, somatic orienting, creative expression, conversation and sharing.
The Wheel of the Year is an annual cycle of eight Celtic Pre-Christian festivals (known as Sabbaths). It combines two different celebration cycles: the four solar festivals: Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Fall Equinox) and the four seasonal/agricultural festivals: Samhain (sow-win), Imbolc (im-ulk), Bealtaine (byel-tin-uh) and Lughnasadh (loo-nuh-suh).
Under industrial growth society, 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.
"The rhythms of nature underlie all human interaction. When these human forces betray the natural psychic pulse, people and societies get sick, nature is exploited and entire species are threatened." - Howard Clinebell
The Wheel of the Year is a circle divided into eight equal sections. It combines two different celebration cycles: the four solar festivals and the four seasonal/agricultural festivals also known as fire festivals. Fire festivals marked the beginning of seasons whereas Solar festivals mark the mid-point in the seasons.
Although this depiction is relatively new and was developed in the 1800's as part of the Neo-Pagan movement, it closely reflects the rhythmic sequence of folkloric traditions and holy days celebrated by the early Celts before Christianization.
Seasonal changes were very important to the agricultural Celts, who depended on the Wheel of the Year to dictate when to plow, sow, harvest, and rest. The turning of the Wheel represents the continuing birth, death and rebirth of nature which are the themes at the heart of our Seasonal Ceremonies.
Winter Solstice / Alban Arthan – ‘The Light of Winter’
Spring Equinox / Alban Eilir – ‘The Light of the Earth’
Summer Solstice / Alban Hefin– ‘The Light of the Shore’
Autumn Equinox / Alban Elfed – ‘The Light of the Water’
Samhain (sow-win) / Winter
Imbolc (im-ulk) / Spring
Bealtaine (byel-tin-uh) / Summer
Lughnasa (loo-nuh-suh) / Autumn