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Wicca for Beginners: Wheel of the Year Resource Guide

Updated on August 12, 2017
WiccanSage profile image

Sage has been celebrating the Wheel of the Year with her family for 25 years as a Wiccan; she's like the NeoPagan Martha Stewart.

Wiccan Sabbats

Gather 'round ye all

Hark, the horn is blaring

Loudly with the call

To the Sabbat rite...

Wiccan Sabbats are not just a time for fun and revelry (though we certainly do plenty of that!); they actually contain deep and significant meaning, teaching us lessons about the cycles of nature, and how they are reflected in the cycles of our lives.

I've recently written the Hub Wicca for Beginners: Free Online Wicca Lessons, which is meant to be a convenient directory to all my articles on Wicca. It's glaringly obvious, however, that one big lessons is missing: teachings on the Wheel of the Year. I felt that to do this particular set of lessons justice required an entirely new directory and here it is.


And if you already know what the Wheel of the Year is all about, think of this as your quick and easy Sabbat guide-- I don't just provide links to tell you what the Sabbats are about; you'll also find links to rituals, activities, crafts and even recipes. If you're looking to plan your celebration and are looking for ideas, you'll find them here-- and more always coming!

Most Recent Update: August 2016

The Wiccan Wheel of the Year

Source

Like My Articles? You'll Love My Book!

13 Moons to Becoming Wiccan: How to Make the Transition from Theory to Practice
13 Moons to Becoming Wiccan: How to Make the Transition from Theory to Practice

Not another Wicca 101 book-- 13 Moons to Becoming Wiccan is for those who have already read the introductory materials and are ready to take the plunge, making Wicca a way of life. This book guides you through your first 13 moon cycles (that year-and-a-day-ish training) with exercises and activities to help you make the conversion.

Available in Kindle or paperback!

Look for more of my books, workshops, articles and classes at wicclit.com.

 

Understanding Wiccan Holy Days

To really appreciate the Wiccan Wheel of the Year, you have to look at it as a whole in context. It's called a Wheel because it's a circular cycle that tells and overarching story. There are many layers of meaning infused in each 'stop' on the Wheel.

Check out my hub:

An Overview of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year

It will give you a richer understanding of the cycle in context.

Here You WIll Find My Growing Collection Of:

Sabbat info
Correspondences
Rituals - for solitaries and groups
Spells and magic
Crafts
Decorations
Food
Music
Activities

Solstice Night - Blessed Night

Source

The Winter Solstice - Yule

The Wiccan Yule falls on the Winter Solstice. In the Northern Hemisphere that's around December 21st, and in the Southern hemisphere it's around June 21st.

The Winter Solstice is the height of Winter on the Wiccan calender (rather than the beginning of Winter, as on the secular calender). It's the longest night of the year, and the shortest day. In fact, there are parts of the world that don't even get any daylight at all at this time.

What do we celebrate?

  • the rebirth of the Sun Lord
  • rest and regeneration
  • transitions
  • the turning point that will bring us back to the season of life
  • the fact that even in the darkest hour there is always a spark of light


Spring is Coming

Source

Imbolc - the Feast of Waxing Light

The Wiccan Sabbat Imbolc is generally celebrated on February 1st (generally beginning on the eve before at sunset) in the Northern Hemisphere, and for Wiccans in the Southern Hemisphere it's on August 1st.

The seed of light planted by the Sun Lord's birth has been growing. The Goddess, slumbering after her long labor, begins to rise. Now, the earliest stirrings of Spring begin.

What do we celebrate?

  • the growing Sun Lord and re-emergence of the Goddess
  • the lengthening and warming of days
  • growing fertility - of the land, and of the mind
  • hearth and home
  • a time for cleansing and purification

Celebrate Spring Awakening

Source

Ostara - The Spring Equinox

The Wiccan Ostara is based on an old Germanic holiday honoring the Goddess of Spring. It falls around March 21st for Northern Hemisphere Wiccans, and September 21st for Southern Hemisphere Wiccans.

Ostara is the zenith of springtime, and the second of three fertility festivals. It's when night and day are perfectly equal, but we now enter the light half of the year. The young maiden Goddess returns to us, the young God in his growing strength notices her, and love is in the air.

What do we celebrate?

  • maiden Goddess and young, virile gods
  • springtime - the thawing of the land
  • the season of planting (both literally and figuratively)
  • new beginnings
  • finding balance


A Joyous Occasion

public domain image
public domain image | Source

Beltane - A Wiccan May Day

Beltane is celebrated by Wiccans in the Northern Hemisphere on May 1st (often starting on the eve before at sunset), and in the Southern Hemisphere it is celebrated on October 31st.

It is the third and final fertility festival. It's a time for the greening of the land, and the beginning of Summer. The God and Goddess come together at this time and unite in love, and his seed is planted within her and she becomes pregnant.

  • the union of the divine forces, from which all life springs
  • sex as the generative force in nature
  • the beginning of the summer season
  • personal growth
  • relationships

Bask in the Season

Source

Litha - Midsummer Celebration

Litha is the celebration of Midsummer-- the height of the season of life and the light half of the year. Northern Hemisphere Wiccans celebrate around June 21st, and Southern Hemisphere Wiccans celebrate around December 21st.

Litha is a time of pause between planting and harvesting. It's a time to revel in the very glory of being alive. It is the longest day of the year and the shortest night-- some say it's one of the most magical nights of the year. The Sun Lord reaches his height of power, but we know from this point on his strength shall wane.

What we celebrate:

  • honor the Sun Lord at his peak
  • things in their prime
  • rest and relaxation
  • overcoming difficulties
  • the height of the season of life

Reaping Our Rewards

Source

Lughnasadh - The First Harvest

The Wiccan Sabbat Lughnasadh is the first harvest season of the year and the beginning of Autumn on the Wiccan Wheel. Wiccans in the Northern Hemisphere celebrate Lughnasadh on August 1st (usually starting the eve before), and Southern Hemisphere Wiccans celebrate February 2nd.

This Sabbat is named after the Celtic God Lugh, the many-skilled God. It marks the beginning of the harvest season. The days are every so slowly shortening, and instincts stir that tell us to prepare for the darkness ahead.

What we celebrate:

  • The first harvest - the harvest of the grain
  • skills and effort
  • the earth's bounty
  • the nature of sacrifice

Nature's Bounty

Source

Mabon - the Autumn Equinox

This is the second equinox of the year. It is celebrated by Northern Hemisphere Wiccans on September 21st, and in the Southern Hemisphere on March 21st.

Once again we reach a point of balance, but at this point the dark half of the year -- the season of death -- takes over the light. We bid goodbye to the summer and prepare for the journey inward-- both indoors into our homes, and into ourselves.

  • the second harvest - the harvest of the fruits
  • a feast of Thanksgiving
  • balance
  • the dark half of the year
  • a time for reflection - you reap what you sow

Thus the Cycle Continues

Source

Samhain - the Season of Death

Samhain is probably the most well known and the most misunderstood Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year. It's often confused with the American secular Halloween. Northern Hemisphere Wiccans celebrate Samhain on October 31st (usually starting the eve before) and in the Southern Hemisphere, Wiccans celebrate on May 1st.

During Samhain, we acknowledge death as a part of the life cycle. The Sun God falls under the sickle of the Crone Goddess, who brings him to the underworld to help him prepare for rebirth. The Mother Goddess knows that the child growing in her womb will make way for his return. Therein lies the secrets of life and death-- the eternal cycle. At this time of year, we honor our ancestors and dig deep within ourselves to see what kind of transitions we need to make as we withdraw for the winter season.

What we celebrate:

  • the death of the God
  • the third and final harvest
  • the ancestors
  • the start of the dark days
  • death, endings, transitions

Tell Me About You

What kind of Sabbat articles do you enjoy?

See results

The Wheel Never Stops Turning

The Wheel of the Year never stops turning, and I'm nowhere near done with my articles to celebrate these Sabbats I hold so dear. Please keep checking back whenever you need a little inspiration for your holiday festivities.

Also feel free to ask questions or check out my hub on:

Wicca for Beginners: Free Online Wicca Lessons

Bright blessings to you on your path!

A Brief Educational Overview

© 2014 Mackenzie Sage Wright

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      Christina Steffens 5 months ago

      Thanks so much for this post! as a new Pegan/Wiccan this was very informative as far as learning about the Sabbat holidays. I now have it bookmarked for later referance:D

    • WiccanSage profile image
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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 7 months ago

      Let me double check on that later this week, not sure what's happened there! Thanks for the heads up ;0)

    • FaerieGrrl profile image

      Luna Faeriegrrl 7 months ago from Joshua Tree, CA

      Thank you for all of this great information! One question though, I was looking for Imbolc correspondences but it is a link to Yule correspondences. Is there a link to Imbolc correspondences and I am not seeing it, or does it not exist?

    • WiccanSage profile image
      Author

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 12 months ago

      Hi Dmitri, I am starting one again in January and just opened up the applications, I got yours already-- for anyone else, it's at http://wicclit.com/classes-workshops/

    • profile image

      Dmitri Romanov 17 months ago

      Thank you very much for your writings on Wicca and the Craft! It's been helping me a lot!

      I would like to ask when are you going to open a new course of Wicca -like you did last year- again? This year, maybe? *crosses fingers*

    • WiccanSage profile image
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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 years ago

      Thanks for the info Aralys, I'd never heard of 'the day of the witches'. That's interesting!

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      Aralys 2 years ago

      Just a curiosity... I'm from South america and well we have at less in my country something called "La noche de San Juan" (The night of saint John) it's the saint of the day (Catholic country), and it's celebrated in June 23rd, sometimes falls in the Winter Solstice and Yule, the curious part it's that also it's called "the day of the witches", and it's common for that day (mostly night) to be focused in magic, divination, etc, it's almost like you could say the same atmosphere of Halloween but more serious not for kids.... and yes here peoples celebrates Halloween.

    • WiccanSage profile image
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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 years ago

      Thanks Sparrowlet! I'm kind of a big holiday fan, lol. The domestic diva in me loves to decorate, cook & entertain. I appreciate your comments and am glad you found my guide useful here.

    • Sparrowlet profile image

      Katharine L Sparrow 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      This is a wealth of information! I am bookmarking it for my reference, as I like to mark some of the pagan holidays. Very well written and full of great stuff! Nice work.

    • WiccanSage profile image
      Author

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Thank you BNadyn, glad you find it useful. I was hoping by organizing the info this way it would be more helpful. Have a happy Beltane!

    • BNadyn profile image

      Bernadyn 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

      Interesting hub and very informative; I definitely learned something new here since I never heard about Wheel of the Year! It's nice that you provided all the links to reference and so readers can continue to learn more, nice job.