you ever wondered why we feel full of energy in the summer
but slow down and want to stay-in in the winter? And why does
Nature burst with life in the spring yet start to 'go to sleep'
in the autumn?
It's because we are all responding to the changing energies
of the different seasons and our Celtic ancestors were exquisitely
aware of this.
followed this seasonal flow of energy around a 'Wheel of the
Year', honouring the changes with celebrations that kept them
in touch with heaven and earth.
are eight key points in the year - four Quarter days that
mark changes in the sky, and four Cross-quarter days that
celebrate changes in the land.
Wheel of the Year
find it helps to think of the year as a clock face with mid-winter,
the first Quarter day, at 12 'o clock.
is the Winter Solstice
(Dec 20th-23rd), which is also known as the shortest day and
is the darkest point of the year. The Solstices are when the
sun seems to 'stand still' in the sky.
this at 6 'o' clock is the Summer
Solstice (June 20th-23rd) - the longest day of
the year and the point of highest energy.
3 'o clock is the Spring Equinox
(March 20th-23rd) and, at 9 'o clock, the Autumn
Equinox (Sept 20th-23rd).
equinox is when night and day are of equal length.
These are like the edges of winter and often take a hard toll
on our bodies.
between these 'sky points' are the Cross-quarter days which
mark 'gear shifts' in the energy of the earth. These times
are also important agriculturally.
Imbolc (Beginning of February)
is when the first lambs are born and ewe's milk is available
again after the long winter. The year is beginning to stir
Beltane (Beginning of
May) is the transition from spring to summer when Nature is
pumping with life-force and fertility.
Lammas (Beginning of August)
is the time of ripeness and when the earth starts to give
up her harvest.
Samhain (Beginning of
November) is the end/beginning of the Celtic year. It
is a time when the veil between the worlds is thinnest and
it is possible to commune with the ancestors.
is great joy in being aware of the seasons in this way and
celebrating them in simple ways.
the year unfolds, we will look in detail at the eight energy-points
of the year and the ways in which they affect us.
will also look at how these festivals have been celebrated
in Wiltshire, both past and present.
The Winter Solstice -
click here to learn
click here to learn more.
The Spring Equinox
- click here to
- click here to learn more.