What is the Wiccan Wheel of the Year?

May 08, 2019

In Wicca and many other Pagan faiths, festivals and events throughout the year are seasonal. They are based on the position of the earth around the sun, and the seasons of the year that that creates. For Wiccans in particular, the timing of the festivals revolves around what is referred to as the wheel of the year.

The Pagan year starts at the end of October with the Sabbat of Samhain. From there, the wheel turns, and we have Yule in December and Imbolc in February. The wheel keeps turning through all of the other Sabbats throughout the year, (there are eight in total), and finally we end up back where we started at Samhain. When you think logically about the concept of the Wheel turning throughout the Year, it makes a lot of sense.

As I mentioned before, there are eight yearly Sabbats in Wicca. Those eight Sabbats are:

- Samhain, which falls on the 31st of October, the same day as Halloween, or All Hallows’ Eve.

- Yule, which falls on  or around the 21st of December (it depends on the date of the winter solstice that year), and is actually very similar to Christmas in more ways than just the time of year.

- Imbolc, which is on the 2nd of February.

- Ostara, which falls between the 19th and 20th of March, depending on the Spring Equinox that year. That one is quite similar to Easter.

- After that, we have Beltane on the 1st of May.

- Litha then falls on or around the 21st of June, reliant on the Summer Solstice. That’s a midsummer celebration.

- Lammas is on the 1st of August, and is similar to many cultures’ harvest festivals.

- And the final Sabbat before we get back to (Sow-wain) Samhain is Mabon, which happens on or around the 21st of September, and is a similar celebration to American Thanksgiving.

It’s worth noting that those dates are for the Northern Hemisphere, and people who live in the Southern Hemisphere will have their festivals six months out of those dates so that they coincide with their own seasons.

When you plot those festivals on a calendar, you see that they align with major solar events of the year, mainly the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes, and the Summer and Winter Solstices. If you saw my YouTube video about the basic beliefs of Wicca, you’ll know that many Wiccans believe in the Sun God, and the Sabbats through the year follow the life cycle of that God. And we also track the lunar cycle each month, which links to the Moon Goddess. And it all connects and links together!

So this post was a brief introduction to the Wiccan Wheel of the Year

Have a lovely day, and Blessed Be.

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