Souther Hemisphere Wheel of the Year Dates
The Pagan Wheel of the Year turns through many significant dates and festivals.
There are eight seasonal Sabbat & thirteen Esbats (full moon).
The Sabbats are divided into two groups.
The Greater Sabbats (cross quarter days); Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lammas, fall on dates that represent high energy in the season.
The Lesser Sabbats; Yule, Ostara, Litha and Mabon, fall on the equinoxes and solstices, the dates of which vary slightly from year to year, and they mark the changes of the four seasons.
This seasonal cycle is one of the key ways in which we see the processes of birth, growth, death, and rebirth play themselves out, and the myth of the Wheel of the Year was created to illustrate this cycle. Although this varies between different Pagan Traditions the underlying theme is the same.
Rituals of the Sabbats
- In midwinter, the Goddess gives birth to a son, the God, who grows to adolescence by spring.
- In spring, the Goddess appears to the God in a youthful form. She falls pregnant to him and grows in beauty through summer and autumn.
- Over the same time, the God ages and slowly dies, symbolizing winter.
- In the darkest time, when the days are at their shortest, the Goddess gives birth to her son, the God.
- She will again take as a lover in spring, continuing the life cycle or spiral.
- The changing aspects of Maiden, Mother, and Crone.
- The God brings forth the force of projective energy, the Spark of Life, and also the withdrawing and destructive energy of Death.
- The Goddess absorbs, reflects and transforms these energies.
- The Goddess and God are viewed as immortal and imperishable; they are the Duality of the Divine.
- Their different aspects are a symbolic shifting of cycles, ones we discover within ourselves, our World and throughout our own lives.
- This is the process that produces balance; within and without, above and below.
We are still dependent upon the forces of nature, and contemporary Witches observe the Sabbats to establish and maintain a balance with nature. Sabbats are also a time for the Witch to look within, to reassess the life-path taken so far, and to reaffirm the directions she or he wishes to take in the future.
There are many other versions of these myths that can be found across different mediums including books, web sites & folk lore.