Celebrate the Seasons of the Year and Reconnect with Nature
In every culture throughout the world there are traditional celebrations associated with different seasons of the year, often corresponding to harvest cycles, solstices, equinoxes, sun cycles, and phases of the moon.
In the neopagan tradition, these seasonal celebrations are referred to as the Wheel of the Year. They are generally based upon traditional European, Celtic, Greco-Roman and Germanic pagan holidays although this is not always the case, depending on the tradition. In fact, many of our western holidays are actually based upon these older, more ancient traditions, which have simply become assimilated into our culture and our prevailing belief systems.
Celebrating the seasons of the year and connecting with the natural cycles of nature can be a wonderful tool for personal and spiritual transformation and growth. It can also be a way to become more deeply aware of how interconnected we are to the planet and to our natural surroundings. The mythology of the pagan Wheel of the Year offers a metaphorical illustration of the deeper truths inherent in the natural cycles of the seasons.
Our lives revolve around cycles. The changing of the seasons and the wheel of the year correspond to processes which occur in human life as well as in nature.
We can observe them in the circadian rhythms of the human biological clock, day and night and the rising and setting of the sun, the phases of the moon, times of planting and harvesting, women’s menstrual cycles, and the cycle of breath and oxygen throughout the body. There are also cycles of human and animal life from birth and maturity to old age and death.
On an even larger scale, there are eras of human evolution and history, the geological cycles of the earth and solar system and even the cosmic cycles of the universe. Cycles seem to be fundamental to physical existence, and to be intimately tied to our perceptions of time (whether or not these perceptions are accurate!)
Yet due to our increasingly technological and urbanized way of life in the west, we have become disconnected from an awareness of these natural cycles. Unlike our ancestors who lived close to the land, we don’t live our lives according to the laws of nature, but according to the artificial laws of “society”.
To reconnect with these cycles can help us to become more aware of the interconnectedness between all life forms and help us to see that we are also connected to nature and to the planet upon which we live in a very intimate way. The practice of observing the seasonal changes and celebrations of the Wheel of the Year can be a beautiful way of doing this, and can help us to see that the same process of life that is happening in the natural world around us is also happening within us.
Spring is an auspicious time of new beginnings. The Spring Equinox and Beltane are the major seasonal festivals for this time of year. Learn about these spring celebrations here.
Celebrating the Summer Solstice is a wonderful way to enjoy the abundance of the summer season. Learn about the summer solstice here along with information about Lughnasadh, the other major summer festival on the wheel of the year.
As fall leaves change colors, the Wheel of the Year turns to the Autumn Equinox and Samhain. Click here to find out more about the celebrations for this season of transformation.
Amidst the peace and stillness of winter, there is ongoing activity. With Winter Solstice celebrations and Imbolc, another cycle on the Wheel of the Year begins. Find out more here.
Nature has been the muse of countless poets and thinkers throughout the ages. Be inspired and enjoy our selection of stunning photos and nature quotes from around the world here.
A beautiful place to celebrate wheel of the year festivals is High Valley. Please visit their
calendar of events
at highvalley.org for more information.
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