Wheel of the Year
As I write posts about each of the Sabbats I will link them here. I will also write an explanation of how I follow the wheel of the year and what it means to me over the coming weeks. Much of the way I follow the Wheel of the Year is based on training in San Francisco Bay Area as a Priestess of Place. From San Francisco Bay Area - to the North is Mount Shasta - to the East is high desert and the hot Central California - to the South is the cooler farmlands of Central California and to the West is the Pacific Ocean.
Sabbat: Samhain - October 31
Special Meaning: End of the year and Beginning of the new year.
Environment: Marshes and Lowlands
Elements: Water and Air
Process: Death and Decay
My Blogs on Samhain: 2012 2013 2014
Description: The harvest has been brought in and what was discarded or unharvested will now start turning to mulch. While some may find death and decay a negative idea, it actually is a very positive one from my perspective. Without the mulch and the decaying of what was not used and discarded, we would not have fertilizer for next years crops. You can see this in your own life. Ideas and plans that did not work out whether from mistakes or not the time or energies having to be put elsewhere can become lessons learned for the new ideas and intentions. For example in my own life, I tried to go back to school several times, each time failing in a different way - finances, time, other obligations and so forth so when I was ready to put my time and energy into making my schooling happen all of those times that it did not work out taught me how to become successful. They were the fertilizer for my seeds of intent to go back to school. I was able to have a successful harvest and reaped the rewards that grew because of my time, energy and previously discarded tries. This is a time for me to let go what did not work out this past year, enjoy the fruits of my labor that was able to be harvested and to take what I have learned and plant my new seeds of Intent for the next year. I do this by taking an apple and eating it while thinking of the past year and thinking what I want to plan for the next year. Then each of the seeds that was in that apple I name as to what the intent was and then I plant them in a planter in the back yard (so that whatever does grow there can be replanted when they grow too big). Throughout the year I will look down at the intentions that I named and work on planning, putting the plan into action, nurturing them, giving energy and then hopefully harvesting them. It is important to realize to when a seed of intent just is not going to grow or if it withers and dies not to take it personally, sometimes the environment and weather was just not right for it. Instead learn from it and use it as fertilizer for the next set up crops. Nothing is ever wasted when you follow the natural cycle of the world. This is also time when the veils between the spirit world and our world our the thinnest. This is a good time to talk to your ancestors and learn their wisdom. It is the time of the Crone. She is wise and knowledgeable about the mysteries of the sacred cauldron of life and rebirth and carries the lessons of the Mother within. She transforms them into deeper wisdom and from this place of knowing and the waters of the sacred womb that the Goddess becomes pregnant with the sun child - the God quickened and will be born at Winter Solstice (Yule).
Special Meaning: - Yule - Time of Giving - Celebration of the Sun
Environment: Mountains and Highlands
My Blogs on Yule: 2012 2013 2014
Description: The longest night is passing. Now the days will get longer and the nights shorter. We have now passed from the dark, introspective time of year to the light, outgoing time of year. We give gifts that we have made during this time of introspection during the celebration of the rebirth of the Sun (God). Facing North, I use the element of Air to help me clear my head and think wisely, connect with my ancestors and plan how to make my intentions (from my seeds of intent) become reality. Going to the top of a mountain is very helpful for meditating on particularly tough intentions. I am transforming simple thoughts to more complex ideas and beginning to visualize what must be done to make it happen and what the end result looks like. This is a time I use the fertilizer of the past to make sure my seeds will have nourishment. All of those lessons learned will help transform an idea into a realistic plan. The Goddess transformed once again from Crone to Mother, gives birth to the God. This is the promise of renewed life and the return of the Sun's warmth and sustaining energy.
Special Meaning: Ground Hog Day, Brighid or St. Brighid's Day
Environment: Winds & Desert
Elements: Air & Fire
My Blogs on Imbolc: 2013 2014 2015
Description: For some cultures this is the beginning of Spring (other's consider the 1st day of spring. For many this is one of the cross quarter festivals (Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh). It is a time to get the planting started this is when you put your plans into motion to make your intentions a reality. For me I now start putting time and energy into actively working through the plan. For example, if my intention is to become a more therapeutic mother to my daughter, then I would have previously researched what that means and what I would have to learn and do, then I would have put a plan together like taking a therapeutic parenting class, work with a therapist with my daughter, and finding the calm within myself. Now is the time I would start working with the therapist, taking the class and actually practicing the calm I need to have to be a therapeutic parent. This is a time when I take those checklists that I created and start checking off things that I need to do in order for my intention to become a reality. This is also a time I find the Goddess redirects me to allow things to happen. This year (2012), I was surprised that at the time of Imbolc I was going to court to give custody of my daughter to the courts. This seemed to go against my intention, but as hard as it is, I have had to learn to trust and I can tell you, I would later find out that I am actually becoming the therapeutic parent I need to be with the financial and legal support I have needed for so long, because of what was put in motion at Imbolc. The Goddess has now transformed into the Maiden and is becoming a symbol youth and fertility.
Special Meaning: Beginning of Spring - Celebrated like Easter
Environment: Open Desert & Stars
My Blogs on Ostara: 2013 2014 2015
Description: Spring has Sprung! Animals everywhere (including the skunks that hang out in our backyard at night - peee- eeew) are giving birth to their new creations. This is a time that our planning and effort starts to create our true intentions. Now you can start to see that they might actually become a reality. The important thing though is to keep on working and putting in energy. Even if you don't see anything happening yet - this is the time to keep putting out the energy and working diligently. Like a crop after the seedlings break ground, if you were to stop there and not nurture your crops, the crops would whither and die. Seeing the seedlings allows you to know you have created a crop and start envisioning your harvest, but definitely not the time to take a vacation and expect everything will be grown when you come back. Also remember seedlings do not look like your end result, don't be deterred that what you have created looks little like what you are hoping for, there is still time for things to mature. The Goddess continues to mature, she is now being courted by the God who has grown in strength (as we shift to days being longer than nights). They both start looking forward to their Beltane marriage.
Special Meaning: May Day
Environment: Meadows & Rolling Hills
Elements: Fire & Earth
My Blogs on Beltane: 2013 2014 2015
Description: Some cultures celebrate today as the first day of summer, but where I live most consider this the halfway point between the first day of Spring and the first day of Summer. This is another cross quarter celebration. May day festivals are common as are the Beltane fires in many celebrations. What does this time mean for me? It is the time I see the expression of all of my hard work. I have tended to the seeds of my intent, seen the grow from seedlings to small versions of what they will be. I know there is more work to be done, but I can actually see what I have accomplished this far. This helps me continue putting the energy and work into them. It helps for me to look back - I had intentions and I planned how to bring them to reality. I used the fertilizer of my past to create the plans how how to implement my intentions. I have put a lot of time and energy and passion and have watched them start to become reality. I can see it happening and know I just have to push forward to reap the benefits. If there are things that are not working out, I know I can later use that knowledge as fertilizer for next years' intentions. At this time the Goddess and the God are married and lay together as one in a sacred bond.
Special Meaning: Beginning of Summer
Environment: Crops & Farmlands
My Blogs on Litha: 2013 2014 2015
Description: The longest day will give away to the lengthening nights. We now start our slow decent into the darker half of the year. This is a time of manifestation. We have now seen the manifestation of our intentions. We will often find that our manifestations do not look how we imagined and planned our intentions to be. This is because our intentions often follow the path of the Goddess and she will often influence the full manifestation of our intentions. For example, I never imagined that to be a good therapeutic mother and help my daughter heal the best I could, would mean I would give custody of my daughter to the court system this year (2012). Just a few days after Litha this year, the courts found a very therapeutic placement for my daughter out of state. A place that I would never have had the funding or resources to send her. The manifestation of my intentions did not look like what I thought they would but the Goddess blessed me with the right path for my daughter and I. The Goddess is pregnant and about to give birth and The God has fully matured and is ready to become a father and provide for his family.
Sabbat: Lughnasadh - August 1st - Lammas
Special Meaning: 1st Harvest
Environment: Earth and Sea
Elements: Earth and Water
My Blogs on Lughnasadh: 2012 2013 2014 2015
Description: It is the time of the first harvest. This is also one of the cross quarter celebrations - a time to celebrate as we work to bring in the harvest. Fresh food is bountiful and everyone comes together to help in the harvest. Time to start "reaping the fruits of our labor". During this time of reception, we will find that we receive the good (delicious healthy crops of what we planted) and the "not so good" (crops that were damaged by insects, weather, poor environment, lack of proper attention, or for whatever reason they did not grow). Remember though that what you feel is "not so good" is actually part of life and important. Without these crops we would not have fertilizer for future crops. We learn from our "failures". If the crops withered because of hot, direct sun, possibly planting them in another area next year in more shade would be more fruitful, or perhaps we need to consider a crop that could grow in direct sun. It is important at this time of year to really start looking at ALL of the harvest so we can keep learning and growing. We must be thankful of ALL of our harvest and the lessons we have learned. If we were to just accept without learning we would never grow and we would keep repeating the same mistakes. The Goddess has now become the Mother and the God has become a wise sage. He has provided for his family and soon will have to sacrifice himself to nourish his family through the cold months ahead and so the sun can again be reborn.
Special Meaning: 1st day of fall - 2nd Harvest
Environment: Waters and Underlands
My Blogs on Mabon: 2012 2013 2014
Description: Day and Night have become equal for a moment. It is the time of the 2nd harvest. In reality it just means you are harvesting something else because you never really stop harvesting until all of the crops are done. Besides harvesting we are now preparing the fruits of our harvest for use throughout the next year. This is also a time we take the parts that we did not use and start making mulch and fertilizer. We continue to learn from what we had to discard. Some people call it waste, but really there is no such thing as waste if we choose to use it in other ways. It is important to learn from successes and mistakes and to use everything. We must start preserving what we can for the cold and isolated months ahead. As we continue on the dark part of the year, we look deeper inside at what we have learned this past year and what we will do for the next year. The year is moving closer to the end and soon a new year will begin. The Goddess, a widow, morns the loss of her consort, The God and she enters the time of The Crone. The God has become part of the natural world and will be reborn in the cycle of life.