Hey there! Today I would like to share with you, a wonderful way, actually 8 ways to connect with nature.
Now, this isn’t your average list that starts with ‘go for a walk’. This is much different, and exciting too! Well at least I think so, and I’m hoping you will do too!
The Year is a Cycle
If we look at the year as a cycle, spring, summer autumn winter and back through to spring again, we have 4 prominent points. The midpoints between them are also marked with a festival. Each of these points in the year are most likely already very well known to you, and without realising they are ancient Celtic festivals.
They take you by the hand through the cycle of the year, allowing you to observe and celebrate the changes in the life around you. Also to see a bigger picture of how each one is significant in your own life.
Connect with nature in The Wheel of the Year
The cycle of Solstices and Equinoxes and the mid-points between them are inspiring festivals marking prominent changes during the year and are incredible ways to connect with nature.
So, what and when are they?
I’m, going to start with a very well known one, as it marks the Celtic New Year…
*Note – dates are given for the Northern Hemisphere
Samhain (pronounced Sow-ain) on the 31st October
Also known as Halloween, this is a festival that marks the last harvest of the year.
Before the land begins the part of the cycle of going within, winter, this is a time of celebration, honouring ancestors and
Next comes Yule – the Mid-Winter Solstice around 21st December
This is actually where many of our Christmas traditions come from (mostly down to Queen Victoria re-popularizing them) It’s the shortest day of the year, and longest night. It’s a celebration that life still exists even at the darkest part of the year.
Then we have Imbolc on 2nd February
This is often celebrated in modern days as Candlemass. It is about knowing there is still light and life in the dormant world of winter, and celebrating the returning sun and longer days.
Next up is Ostara, the Spring Equinox around 20th March
This is the first day of Spring, and a time of new growth and the fertility of life. It is now celebrated as Easter, with common symbols of eggs, flowers and hares (rabbits!)
Beltaine AKA May Day on the 1st May
Beltaine is a fire festival. It is the peak of Spring and the land is overflowing with fertility and bursting into life – the hopes and dreams of the dark winter are coming into fruition.
The mid-Summer Solstice falls around the 20th June
This is the longest day and shortest night of the year. The sun is at it’s height of giving life.
Often celebrated with fires to represent the sun, and people would stay up all night, dancing, to welcome the sunrise. The ashes of the fire would be scattered over the fields to bring a good harvest.
The first harvest of the year is called Lughnasadh, on 1st August
Summer is now at it’s peak, the first harvests are being brought in from the land. Often called Lammas (Loafmass) as the first harvests are grain. Bread is baked and celebrated as the first produce of the harvest.
The Autumn Equinox and last festival is Mabon, around 20th September
Mabon is the second and biggest harvest of the season. We celebrate the fullness and abundance of the earth as the last grains are cut.
The night and day are now, again, of equal length, and the nights will now grow longer. The cycle is now coming to it’s completion.
How can you Celebrate?
Join me as we travel through the Wheel of the Year, and together we will delve deeper into each festival as it approaches.
I will be telling you about the meanings and traditions specific to each one, and the ways to connect with nature. For each festival, I will also publish traditional recipes and a video tutorial of crafts that you can make to celebrate each special point in the year.
Make sure that you are receiving my newsletters to be notified as each festival approaches, and I will see you at the next one!