The Wheel Of The Year

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Presented at PSU\'s second meeting, this presentation briefly identifies and describes the major Pagan holidays and their relation to the seasons.

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The Wheel Of The Year

  1. 1. Pagan Holidays & Their Relation<br />to the Seasons<br />The Wheel ofthe Year<br />
  2. 2. Pagan holy days are known as Sabbats – from the same root as “Sabbath.”<br />There are four major sabbats, often classified as fire festivals: Samhain, Imbolc, Beltaine, and Lughnasadh<br />Between each of these rest four Lesser Sabbats called quarters: Yule, the winter solstice; Ostara, the spring equinox; Midsummer or Litha, the summer solstice; and Mabon, the fall equinox.<br />SABBATS<br />
  3. 3. (Sabbats con’t)<br />In addition to following the natural changes of the seasons, the sabbats also reflect the mythological cycle of the Goddess and God, two traditionally celebrated deities in Paganism.<br />
  4. 4. Wheel of the Year<br />
  5. 5. Pronounced “sow-en,” this sabbat begins the year. At this point, the god is dead and the goddess mourns her partner – however, in her belly grows the god’s child.<br />Traditionally, the final harvest was made at Samhain; no fruit or grain harvested after was thought to be fit to eat. <br />SAMHAIN<br />
  6. 6. This is the time when the veil between the worlds is thinnest and the spirits of the dead can cross over into our reality:<br />Honoring ancestors<br />Contacting the dead<br />“Dumb supper”<br />Samhain Traditions<br />
  7. 7. Colors: Black & Orange<br />Nocturnal animals: cat, owl, bat<br />Jack-O-Lantern: light inside represents white, pure energy through which fairies are seen, guiding the spirits to believers<br />Broom or Besom<br />Samhain Associations<br />
  8. 8. Celebrated on the winter solstice<br />Longest night, shortest day of the year<br />The god is reborn as the days<br />get progressively longer from<br />here<br />The goddess falls into a deep<br />slumber as she approaches her<br />old age<br />YULE<br />
  9. 9. Another story tells the battle between the Holly King and the Oak King; at Yule, the Oak King wins and rules til Midsummer.<br />Re-enacting the battle is another traditional way to honor the gods<br />Another Yule Myth<br />
  10. 10. Christmas has many Pagan roots:<br />Decorating wintergreen trees to look forward to the fruits of spring<br />Burning the Yule log to give strength to the sun<br />Hanging wreaths as a symbol of the Wheel<br />Yule Traditions<br />
  11. 11. Colors: Red, Green, Silver (color of the goddess,) Gold (color of the god)<br />What are some other obvious symbols?<br />Yule Associations<br />
  12. 12. Imbolc is a Festival of Lights, also known as Candlemas<br />The goddess has recovered from childbirth and returns to her maiden state, awakening from her slumber as the earth wakens with her<br />The god is a young, growing boy<br />“Imbolc” translates as “in the belly,” because Spring is in the earth’s womb<br />It is traditional to burn candles in every window from sunup til sundown to welcome the sun<br />IMBOLC<br />
  13. 13. Corn dollies representing the maiden goddess preparing to wed; protects crops & fertility<br />Candle making & blessing<br />Imbolc Traditions<br />
  14. 14. Colors: White - innocence & purity; goddess as maiden; snow, as snow is often still on the ground<br />Warm foods<br />Brighid – Brighid’s cross & bonfires<br />God’s role is small<br />Imbolc Associations<br />
  15. 15. Spring Equinox, official beginning of spring<br />Night & Day are of equal length – Mabon’s opposite<br />Goddess is still maiden with no ties to any man or child<br />The god still grows as the Laughing Lord of the Greenwood. Young & carefree, he maintains the wild spirit of youth & nature<br />OSTARA<br />
  16. 16. Many Easter traditions are adopted from Ostara:<br />Decorating & hunting eggs<br />Rabbits are a traditional symbol (fertility and dern’ cuteness of Spring)<br />Colors: Pastels – Blue, Yellow, Pink, Green<br />Lighting fires<br />Planting seeds<br />Lighthearted, carefree stuff!<br />Ostara Traditions/Associations<br />
  17. 17. FERTILITY FESTIVAL!<br />Lustiest holiday of the year<br />The god is a man and his courtship of the goddess has begun; the goddess conceives<br />All forms of creativity & fertility are renewed<br />Honors interconnectedness of life<br />Balance of Samhain<br />BELTAINE<br />
  18. 18. Dancing the Maypole, a phallic symbol topped with a flowered wreath to represent the goddess’ womb<br />Flower crowns & baskets<br />Colors: Red & White<br />Leaping over small fire to stimulate<br />health & fertility<br />Good ol’ fashioned love-making!<br />Handfastings<br />Beltaine Traditions/Associations<br />
  19. 19. The Summer Solstice, longest day / shortest night of the year (first day of summer)<br />God has reached the peak of his power<br />Second battle between the Holly & Oak Kings: Holly King wins! Go team! (Until Yule, anyhow.)<br />Fire Festival honoring the sun’s great power<br />MIDSUMMER (LITHA)<br />
  20. 20. MEAD-DRINKIN’!<br />Colors: Yellows, Reds, Oranges, Golds<br />Burning the wickerman, a symbol<br />of the god, with wishes stuffed<br />inside of it as a form of prayer<br />More fire leaping & handfasting<br />Contacting the fae<br />Midsummer Traditions/Associations<br />
  21. 21. “LOO-nah-sah”<br />First harvest, or Grain harvest<br />Time to honor the abundance of the earth<br />Waking of the god who died at Midsummer or Samhain, in some traditions; also, the god’s power begins to wane<br />LUGHNASADH<br />
  22. 22. Fire festivals featuring contests, races, and feasts<br />“Trial marriages”<br />Colors: Browns, Reds, Oranges<br />Grains such as barley & wheat; baked goods<br />Lughnasadh Traditions/Associations<br />
  23. 23. Autumn Equinox: day & night of equal length. Ostara’s opposite<br />Harvest season is drawing to a close<br />The god prepares for his death<br />In Greek mythology, Persephone must return to the underworld. Her mother, Demeter, brings winter to the world until her daughter’s return at Ostara<br />Named after Mabon, born on the equinox & kidnapped from his mother Modron at 3 days old<br />MABON<br />
  24. 24. “Harvest Home”<br />Honoring fruit and gathering with friends & family for a feast of thanksgiving<br />Color: Brown<br />Yarrow, wheat, apples, acorns, amber, pomegranates<br />Animals: owl & stag<br />Dionysus<br />Mabon Traditions/Associations<br />
  25. 25. This has been<br />The Wheel of the Year<br />

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