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Wheel of The Year Altar Plates

The Wheel of the Year is an annual cycle of seasonal festivals, consisting of the year's solar events (solstices and equinoxes) and the midpoints between them. While names for each festival vary among diverse traditions, there are four solar events aka "quarter days" and the four midpoint events aka "cross-quarter days", particularly in Wicca.

Observing the cycle of the seasons has been important to many people, both ancient and modern. Contemporary Pagan festivals that rely on the Wheel are based to varying degrees on folk traditions, regardless of actual historical pagan practices. Among Wiccans, each festival is also referred to as a sabbat, the term was passed down from the Middle Ages, when the terminology for Jewish Shabbat was commingled with that of other celebrations.

Contemporary conceptions of the Wheel of the Year calendar were largely influenced by mid-20th century British Paganism.

So we are currently in Yule, the Winter Solstice. Yule or Yuletide ("Yule time" or "Yule season") is a festival historically observed by the Germans & peoples of norse religions. Yule underwent Christianised reformulation, resulting in the term Christmastide. Some present-day Christmas customs and traditions such as the Yule log, Yule goat, Yule boar, Yule singing, and others may have connections to older pagan Yule traditions.

Imbolic (Candlemas Brigid) marks the beginning of the lambing season, signals the beginning of Spring, its the 'quickening of the year'. The original word Imbolg means 'in the belly'. It is the promise of renewal, of hidden potential, of earth awakening, life-force stirring, welcoming the growth of the returning light and witness Life's insatiable appetite for rebirth.

Ostara (Spring Equinox): A point of perfect balance on the journey through the Wheel of the Year. Night and day are of equal length and in perfect equilibrium - dark and light, masculine and feminine, inner and outer, in balance. But the year is now waxing and at this moment light defeats the dark. Ostara marks the vernal equinox, as the natural world is coming alive, the Sun is gaining in strength and the days are becoming longer and warmer.

Beltane (May Eve Walpurgis): is celebrated as a festival of light and fertility. This festival recognizes the power of life in its fullness, the greening of the world, youthfulness and flourishing & is commonly referred to as May Day.

Litha (Summer Solstice): Midsummer is the period of time in the middle of the summer. The exact dates vary among different cultures. The celebration predates Christianity, and existed under different names and traditions around the world.

Lughnasadh (Lammas Aug Eve): Marks the beginning of the harvest season. Traditionally it is held on 1 August, or about halfway between the summer solstice and autumn equinox. But, in recent centuries some of the celebrations shifted to the Sundays nearest this date.

Mabon (Fall Equinox) The holiday of the autumnal equinox, is a ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and a recognition of the need to share them to secure the blessings of the Goddess and the God during the coming winter months.

Samhain (Hallow’s Eve): Samhain is considered by some as a time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets, and other loved ones who have died. Aligned with the contemporary observance of Halloween and Day of the Dead. In some rituals the spirits of the departed are invited to attend the festivities, as the veil between this world and the afterlife is at its thinnest point of the whole year, making it easier to communicate with those who have left this world.

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