The eight Wicca celebrations of the year make up what is symbolically known as the eight-spoke wagon wheel. Each of the wheels spoke stand for one of the eight regular rites. The celebrations are also called the Sabbats., with each of the Sabbat ritual being built on the legend or myth of deities that each season is related with. The eigtht celebrations are Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Laughnasadh and mabon (Grimassi 42).
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Samhain marks the beginning of the year on October. It is the period before the birth of the god. The myth of the ritual is that the goddess in this period is mourning the death of the god who sacrificed himself so that people can enjoy a bountiful harvest of the grain. She prepares herself to give birth to the Child of the God.
Yule is celebrated mostly on December 21. It marks birth of the new light, which is birth of the god and he symbolizes the new sun for years to come. The idea is that of rebirth and renewal. Belief associated with this day is that it is the shortest in the year. From this day, the days become longer and lighter.
The new sun comes to save the earth from the darkness. This is because the god symbolizes the daylight, and just like how the daylight uncovers everything for us to see. It is associated with things that are common, practical and tangible (Grimassi 47).
Imbolc on the other hand takes place in the month of February. It marks time for preparation and purification. In this period, the born sun is held back by winter. The goddess is introduced here as the flame that starts to melt and attract the god. Goddess is actually the night in this mythos of light and shadows.
She is associated with hidden magic and secret, just like the night hides things from being seen. Today, this festival that in the past used to be celebrated on the eve of February takes place either exactly on second of February or before this.
Ostara follows suit in the month of March. It is also known as spring Equinox. It involves fertility stirring and awakening of the seed. The Goddess becomes young again due to underworld mortal realm and she rekindles the promise of renewed life.
From this, they celebrate Beltane in the month of May. The ritual involves mating between male and female forces, which is nature impregnation. It is the period when the God begins courtship with the Goddess. Together with Samhain, these two are celebrated at night.
Litha or Summer Solstice on June follows Beltane. It is a period of nature being filled with abundance. This period is celebrated as the period when the two come together or get married.
In the month of August, people enjoy the abundance and celebrate it in the ritual called Lughnasadh. This timing for this celebration has changed to daytime on first august in the modern era (Grimassi 47). This harvesting period is celebrated the world over with some parts of it involving offering thanksgiving during the period. In ancient times, it was marked by pagans as a period of hope and fear.
Finally on September, they celebrate Mabon or Autum Equinox. In this period, there is decline of powers of life as God disappears into shadow. The Sun God dies in this period and Goddess go down to the underworld to get back her lover. The God is said to sacrifice himself for the sake of the people.
Grimassi, Raven. Crafting Wiccan Traditions: Creating a Foundation for Your Spiritual Beliefs & Practices. Woodbury: Llewellyn. 2008. Print.