The Wheel of the Year is the set up of the sabbats in the Wiccan year. Sabbats are celebrations of the life stages of the God and Goddess as the year and seasons progress.
Yule or the Winter Solstice is the celebration of the rebirth of the God. Yule is generally celebrated with a feast, music, putting up wreaths and evergreen trees as well as many other activities.
Imbolc or Candlemas is a celebration of the coming of spring. The Goddess is recovering from giving birth to the God, the days are getting longer and the cold weather is coming to an end. Imbolc is a good time to initiate into Wicca – it’s a time for new beginnings. Some ways to celebrate Imbolc include, making brigid crosses or dolls and planting seeds.
Ostara or the Spring Equinox is a celebration of balance and the beginning of spring. The days have gone back to normal and many more seeds can be planted now. Some ways to celebrate Ostara are to paint eggs, plant seeds, bake hot cross buns and go for walks.
Beltane is the festival of fertility, love, sex and fire. The God and Goddess have copulated so that the God can be reborn again at Yule. Ways to celebrate Beltane include May pole dancing, lighting bonfires and jumping over fires to increase fertility (mandatory fire safety warning – do not try this at home unless in an extremely safe and controlled environment).
Midsummer or the Summer Solstice is a celebration of sunlight and warmth. The God and Goddess are at the peak of their power and it’s the longest day of the year. Ways to celebrate Midsummer include making flower headdresses/crowns, lighting bonfires and dancing around them, picnics and making protection charms.
Lammas or Lughnasadh is the celebration of the first harvest. The days are starting to become shorter as the God’s power is beginning to decrease. Ways to celebrate Lammas include harvesting, cooking, feasting and offering bread.
Mabon or the Autumn Equinox is a celebration of balance and the second harvest. Nature is preparing for winter and the God is starting to make his way into the afterlife. Ways to celebrate Mabon are very similar to Lammas.
Samhain is not so much a celebration, but a respectful gathering. Samhain is a sabbat of death and to some the third harvest. The God has died and made his way into the afterlife and the Goddess is in mourning. The “walls” between the spirit and physical world are thinner and so it is easier to do divination. Some activities include carving squash (such as pumpkins), divination, respecting and remembering loved ones whom have passed away and holding a feast.
Pagan Spoonie Image of Wheel of the Year [accessed online] Available from: http://paganspoonie.blogspot.co.uk/p/wheel-of-year-20122013.html