Samhain We start our story with Samhain; Halloween to the uninitiated and to those who cannot accept its Pagan history. We have reaped our last harvest. The gourds are hung out to dry for our dance rattles. The pumpkins, apples, and late corn are now picked and stored away for the upcoming winter. The Horned God has begun the preparations for the hard times to come. The cattle, sheep, and deer have been fattened and the weaklings have been weeded out. When the spring comes, only the strongest will breed to ensure the herd for next year. On this night, at the time of the end, and the beginning of our New Year, the Veil between our world and the next has been thinned. The Otherworlds, Fairies, and Spirits alike, can be seen, heard, and felt near. Drawn by our rituals and celebrations, they come to join us. Gladly, we welcome our ancestors and our kin. Places are set at our feast tables, offering them friendship, and, in return, they Bless and Guide us. Our Lady Mother is full in Her pregnancy, and with this fullness, we know that the Sun will be reborn at Yule. So we cheer the Old Sun as it descends into the West, preparing for that rebirth. Initiations and Rites of Passage are done at this time, for what better way to start the New Year then to start a new way of life or a new phase of it! Yule With this we come to Yule. The Goddess is asleep, waiting for the Sun God to awaken Her in the Spring. The Horned God is a proud and vigilant Protector.. His spear is ever ready to defend the animals of field and wood, keeping them strong for Spring. The Sun God has died and is reborn, gaining strength with each passing day. We exchange gifts to celebrate the return of the Sun and to help each other through the remaining Cold-Time. We know, however, that it is half- over so our gatherings are gay and bright. The King and Queen of our year have slipped off from their thrones and in their absence, the Jester wears the Crown. Our Lord of Misrule is his name. When the King and Queen realize this, they return to claim their thrones and with this, we end our Yule Sabbat.
Imbolc When Imbolc arrives, we find that the Horned God is tired. He has seen to His duties, but He has no more strength to light the signal Fires. So we go forth in the cold and light the Fires. The Fires that lead the Sun God back to Gaia so that she can wake fully from Her sleep. We plant our Fires within Her body, warming Her and waking Her, and welcoming Her return in a glorious fashion. Even though the Horned God is tired, He does His best to protect the animals, but only the strongest and healthiest can survive the last months of cold, trying to survive until Ostara. Ostara Thus we live until Ostara. Our Mother is fully awake now and surveys the damages of winter. She sees how tired the Horned God is and feels sympathy for Him. She tells Him He has done well and in return, She will return His strength and youth. Yet, He must promise to help with the planting and growing times. He gladly accepts Her offer and enters into the Cave of Rebirth as She bids Him to do. Within, it is dark, quiet, and warm. He gently drifts off to sleep, dreaming of Himself being Young and full of energy again. When He awakens and crawls forth from the Cave, He finds that His antlers have been shed and He now wears a crown and cloak of leaves. Green things grow from His touch and vines twine and sprout from His beard. He is the Green Man. As promised, He is young and strength has returned to His once weary limbs. He bounds forth, happy to replace His spear for the plough, and begins His task of fertilization of the fields. Beltane The year turns and soon Beltane arrives. The Earth is alive, writhing with green life. The Green Man has been very busy, enjoying His youth and virility. The Great Mother calls Him to Her, for it is time for the Great Marriage between them. They are married, and in the Great Rite that follows, She is once more impregnated for the following Spring. We have planted our fields and put our animals to pasture. Now is the time to rest and enjoy Life before the Harvest begins. We come together and Honour the Union of our Lord and Lady. Singing and dancing, our festivals last far into the night and with the coming morning some of us have found partners as well. Midsummer With Midsummer, we find that our Mother is indeed pregnant. With this fact, the Green Man is given free rein on this night. He has reached the zenith of His powers and He travels the fields and groves searching for "victims". He delights in playing harmless, if not annoying, tricks on His people. With the height of His powers, we sing and dance with Him, trying to avoid His pranks, but still enjoying life at its easiest and fullest. Lughnasadh/Lammas The first Harvest arrives with Lughnasadh. The Green Man and the Goddess reap what they have sown, and thus we do too. We see that the Green Mans' foliage is beginning to change colours and the horned animals are drawing near to Him. At the Festivals, our Mother serves us of Her first harvest and we eat and drink heartily, knowing that, with the portents, winter is coming, and the time of the Horned God is near. We begin our preparations for the upcoming Cold-Time, making bread from our grains and storing the fruits of our labours to dry. Mabon We continue on to Mabon. Once more, the Goddess, our Mother, calls to the Green Man. It is time to prepare for Winter. She instructs Him to withdraw into the Cave of Transformation. He does as He is bade, and when He arises from His sleep, He is strong and healthy once more. Upon His crown, he wears a stately set of antlers. He calls to Him the horned ones of field and forest, and the year travels on to begin again.