Turning of The Year
One of the most important ancient traditions we follow, by attuning to the seasons of the year we work towards attuning to the universe. These festivals and their celebrations are more than simply acknowledging the seasons, they acknowledge the cycles of life.
We divide our year into two halves the dark and the light acknowledging the cycle of the four seasons the lunar phases and the winter solstice, celebrating our spirituality and the worship of the divine. We follow a belief system that allows us to work with the deities but not be bound by them. Our intentions are of living in harmony and through this achieving balance with all things.
Ancient Fire Festivals
We celebrate four fire festivals in total these mark the changing of the seasons. Two of these are, Samhain which forms the start of our year and Beltane, these were traditionally regarded as male, and Imbolc and Lammas (Lammas being the end of our year) female creating balance within the seasons. Each festival would have been celebrated for three days – A day before the event, a day during the festival and the day after.
Samhain - Feast of The Dying Sun (31st October)
“Samhain" meaning Summer's end marks the first day of winter, a time when nights start becoming longer. A time when the veil between the worlds grow thin and the spirits of the dead, and mortals can move freely between worlds. This is a very magical time when the future is most easily predicted a time of release and letting go of fears. Just as the trees let go of their leaves. So the lives of men parallel the sacred cycles of nature.
Imbolc - The Festival of Lights (1st February)
Derived from the old pagan custom of lighting torches in honour of the winter goddess. Imbolc marks the coming of spring, awakening of the land and the growing power of the Sun. This is a time for driving out the spirit of the old year a time of fertility, birth, purification and initiation.
Beltane – Reawakening of The Earth (1st May)
The word "Beltaine" literally means "bright" or "brilliant fire,". A celebration of the return of life and fertility to the world which marks the beginning of summer. Beltane, and its counterpart Samhain, divide the year into its two primary seasons, Winter and Summer. At Beltane, the Horned One dies or is taken by the Goddess, only to be reborn as her son.
Lammas - Marks The Beginning of Autumn (1st August)
The word 'Lammas' is derived from 'loaf mass' the Feast of Bread and is a time that marks the beginning of the harvest season and the decline of Summer into Winter. The Goddess is in her aspect of Grain Mother and represents the ripe corn of this year's harvest, heavily pregnant she carries the seed of the new year's Sun God within her.
Winter Solstice - Yule (21st December) This is a time of peace which marks the celebration of both the shortest day, and the longest darkest night of the year. We honour the re-birth of the Sun child and great mother Goddess by burning the Yule log and raising the Wassail bowl.