Wheel of the Year

The Wheel of the Year is all the Pagan holidays or High Days and Cross quarter days  celebrated in a year. There are four High Days and 4 Cross quarter days making a total of eight celebrations. This is a new pagan tradition started in the 20th century.

Not all ancient cultures celebrated all eight festivals. There was certain ones that were important to them. Remember that the growing season was their life and their survival depended on it. The sun and the length of days held importance. Celebrating the coming back of the sun was a joyous time when the colder months meant the lack of it.

Each turn of the wheel of the sun holds meaning; and marks certain traditions and customs to be performed in that particular time frame. There is a season and a time for everything and certain preparations need to be done so that everything gets done. This prepares your mind and body and internal clock to be set for the growing season. Which is your life.

Think of the ‘wheel” as a wagon wheel with eight spokes. Each spoke represents a festival and as the wheel turns each spoke or festival gets it’s turn. A High Day is the Equinox’s and the Solstice’s. A Cross Quarter Day is the festival celebrated in between the High Day’s.

The High Days and Cross Quarter days are as follows:

Winter Solstice / Yule (High Day)

Imbolc (Cross Quarter Day)

Spring Equinox / Ostara (High Day)

Beltaine (Cross Quarter Day)

Summer Solstice / Midsummer (High Day)

Lughnassadh (Cross Quarter Day)

Autumn Equinox (High Day)

Samhain (Cross Quarter Day)

Each festival has it’s meaning and customs and helps prepare you physically and mentally for each season. Getting your body and mind in sync with the earth will help with all kinds of ailments that we modern people suffer with.




Autumn Equinox Ritual 2017

This was my first Autumn Equinox Ritual and it was held at the yoga center in Adams, NY on September 30th. We always gather an hour before the ritual starts to give us time to talk, settle down, prepare, and do a little group craft.

Our group craft this year was drawing our own personal wheel of the year on a piece of paper and drawing symbols or pictures of what that time of the year means to us. Next year, we will do one as a grove.

After the group craft, chatting, and letting our food for the feasting heat up, we had our pre-ritual and last minute ritual parts were assigned. We sang our processional song down to the stone circle. We sang Come We Now as a People. This walk always prepares my mind for the sacredness of the situation. Upon reaching the stone circle we gathered in a circle clockwise. The outsiders were given their offerings.

I had the privilege of being assigned to sprinkle the ritual space with water for the purification. This was followed by the incense. The bard and gatekeeper, Lady Brighid, were honored.

The earth mother was honored next and I had offered to call to her. This was followed by singing The River is Flowing. The Three Hollows was next. This consisted of singing the Portal Song while 3 volunteers made an offering of silver to the well, whiskey to the fire,  and holy water for the tree. I volunteered to offer the silver to the well.

Our ritual leader lead us into the grove attunement. Our grove does the Two Powers Meditation. 

Next up was the calling and offerings to the Nature Spirits, Ancestors, and Shinning Ones. I made an offering of whiskey for the Ancestors. I choose this because they most likely miss drinking spirits while they were alive.

The main deity of the occasion was actually several deities. Our grove choose to honor earth mothers of many pantheons because the good harvest was due to them. We choose Tailtiu, Gaia, Danu, Frigga, Prithvi, and Macha. Each person called to their earth mother and told a little about them and made their offering. I had the part of Danu. I was nervous but toward the end, the words were just flowing out of my mouth, thanks to her help. I gave her an offering of water from our local river, the Oswegatchie, which I added fresh healing herbs from my garden this summer. I felt that our Mother really needed healing because of the neglect all this centuries. I feel that the people of the planet need to turn their attention to the earth mother and start forming a relationship with her and give her offerings of thanks. Perhaps, we as a people will become more caring towards each other.

Our grove next made our individual offerings to our personal deities or spirit guides. Our seer drew the omens from her oracle card deck. The omens were good. We called for the blessings and hollowing of the waters, followed by our toast and boast. It was good to hear what was going on in our grove member’s lives.

Our magical working consisted of candle magic. I made soy candles for the grove and we did a little mediation while holding them and infusing healing magic inside.

Then it was time to reverse things. We thanked the Beings of the Occasion and the Kindreds. Our ritual leader closed the gates. We were led out of the Two Powers Meditation, and I thanked the earth mother.

Our rite was ended and we sang the recessional chant, Now the Rite is at an End. 

I am very happy to be taking part in the rituals now that I am a member of the Northern Rivers Grove.

Photo Credit: Michele O’Donnell

Danu – Mother of the Gods

Danu is the great mother of Ireland. The mother of the gods. The first tribe in Ireland, the Tuatha De Danann – otherwise known as the people of the goddess Danu, was named after her.

As an earth goddess, she is associated with rivers, agriculture, cultivation, nurturing the land, fertility, growth, and abundance. In fact, her name is said to mean “the flowing one” of which all things flow. The land, mountains, rivers, all life springs from her. Several rivers and hills in Ireland are named after her.

Since, all life or creation comes from her, she possesses the knowledge, wisdom, and magic in which to create. In fact, legend says, the Tuatha De Danann attributed their unusual skill with Danu bestowing them with these gifts. I encourage you to look into the myth and legend of the battles of the Tuatha De Danann on your own. It’s quite interesting. Due to Danu helping in battle, she is also considered a warrior goddess. Which is not hard to believe when you think about how a mother will protect her offspring.

It’s true, not much is known about Danu, but you can be sure that since she provides us with land, water, food, and shelter she is very nurturing. All you have to do is look. Look out at the land and see for yourself all that she offers. Everything is there for us to not only survive, but to live a happy, satisfying, creative life grounded in her loving arms. All she asks in return is for you to treat her in kind.

So whenever you need strength, perseverance, nurturing, wisdom, abundance, or magic, call on her and she will instill in you those attributes.

Manifesting with the New Moon

What is the New Moon? A new moon is the Dark Moon: meaning the moon is not visible at this time. The Moon has just went from being full to waning which means that the illumination has decreased until it is no more. Then the process of the moons illumination begins again and is called waxing.

It is said that this cycle of the moon going from dark to full again holds a power of manifesting.

A new moon symbolizes new beginnings, new ideas, new intentions, new projects or just giving life back into an old idea. Therefore, this is an excellent time to use the moons power for our manifesting.

To take advantage of this moon’s power, one can do a simple manifestation. Make a list of what you want to flow into your life. A wish? A new intention? What do you want more of?

Hand write this on a piece of paper using strong positive language as if you already had it. Go outside and read your note out loud to the moon and then thank the universe. Store your note for future reference or make a journal entry if you like. Pay attention to thoughts, ideas, dreams, and opportunities. When they present themselves in the coming days; act on them. You will not regret it.

If you like, you can also use seeds and plant them after the ritual. You can also use birdseed and let the birds eat them afterwards.

State your wishes or intentions and then imagine them going into the seeds and your desires growing and growing.

For an example:

I will go outside to my special place in my yard and smudge. Light a candle and thank the earth mother, father sky, my spirit guides, the land spirits, ancestors, and others for all they do. I will state my intentions and desires and infuse them into the seeds. I will sit awhile and feel the power of the earth and moon and my helpers helping me with my desires and that it is already here. I will thank them all again. Offer my seeds to the land and blow my candle out.

You can make it simple or elaborate and make it your own. The note idea came from the internet. It is everywhere. And the seed idea came directly from Steven Farmer’s book, Sacred Ceremony.

The ritual/ceremony above is my idea for my simple ritual.

Another great idea, is simply to write down things that make you happy and that you want more of in your life. Keep the list with you and jot down anything in these next two weeks. The idea is to build up the ideas with manifesting power. And then on the full moon, burn this note or list. Thus releasing it with the power of the full moon. You can read this idea from this great blog.

Are you confused yet? Don’t worry, pretty soon this will make perfect sense.

Have you ever tried manifestations? Comment below with your experience or questions.