Here I will try to give an overview of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year. Whole books are out there on the subject so this is just
an introduction. If you wish to honor these holidays, I suggest that you read up on them and then develop a tradition that
feels right to you.
The Sun King
The darkest time of the year, the Sun is reborn and begins its long climb toward the Summer Solstice. We burn candles
to welcome his rebirth.
Ways to celebrate Yule-This is the time of year for burning candles! White candles are used to encourage the sun to come back
in the spring, so burn as many as you like. You can also make a yule log for your altar. You can use a real log, or sometimes
you can find a fake one that is already made to hold candles. If you prefer the real deal, just drill some holes in it to
hold three candles. Tapers or tea lights if you want to be fancy. It is usually traditional to put a white one in the middle
and a red and green one on each side. Three candles total is usually sufficient, but if you feel like being creative and want
to add colors that mean something to you, go ahead. Pine needles or cones make good decorations for the log, dont forget the
ribbon, gold would be a good choice to represent the sun. Just remember safety and make sure that the log sits securely so
it won't roll.
The light increases and the land begins to warm. At this time the virgin goddess, Brigid spreads green across the land
and the first flowers begin to bloom. White is an appropriate color at this time.
The land is waking up and preparing itself for summer. The Spring Maiden emerges full of new life. She carries a basket
of eggs symbolizing her fertility. Her messenger is the hare. She is awakening sexually and her coupling with the young god
of the land makes nature fertile.
Herne, the horned one
The land is in full bloom, the horned god, Herne rules this time of year. This was a traditional time of year for marriages.
This male spirit of nature brings exuberant sexual energy to the earth goddess.
The Sun King
The Sun King has now fully matured and stands in all his glory. At this point in the year, the day is at its longest,
nurturing the Earth.
Lugh, the god of the grain prevails over the grain harvest. The grain is ripened and it is now time to commemorate Mother
Earth as well.
Mabon-Dark god of the second harvest
The Sun and natures' energies are disappearing at the second harvest. Apples are in season so dishes prepared with them
are very appropriate.
Ceridwen-the dark mother
On this night the veil between the worlds is the thinnest, making this the best night for divination. This is Ceridwen's
domain. A very important night for witches.
Ways to Celebrate Samhain-
Those of you who know me know that I am very informal in the ways of ritual. I do what feels right to me. This is probably
why I have never joined a coven. I like to create my own rituals based upon the time of year or sabbat. A bonfire is always
appropriate at this time of year and is usually a standard at most formal rituals. Remember that you are honoring the dark
mother or crone and select things that would be appropriate to her. Contacting dead loved ones is easiest on this night, just
make sure you have protection in place in case any mischievous spirit hears your call. Samhain is also the witches' new year,
so banishing old habits is good too. I have a friend that has a party with plenty of food every year and she sets out a plate
for the spirits. If you are a fae Wiccan, this would be a good night to feed the fairies. Make Samhain your own holiday and
tradition and you will reap the rewards.