The Wheel of the Year

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! 

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.
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Post a Comment