Wheel of the Year

Starting July 27, 2013 Salem’s Moon will provide a Wheel of the Year on its blog site, for your convenience, with appropriate festivals listed. Please check our right hand sidebar on the home page for upcoming festival dates…

The Wheel of the Year celebrates the changing seasons of the year, and the continuous cycle of life itself: birth, death and rebirth.

In design, the Wheel has eight spokes designating the eight sabbats that represent the solstices, equinoxes, and in some traditions, the cross quarters. The eight-spoke wheel is thought by many to be a Celtic symbol; however, it appeared in Greek symbolism as early as 600 BC,over two hundred years prior to the Aegean/Mediterranean contact with the Celts.

There are 8 Sabbats each year: 4 major Sabbats and 4 minor Sabbats. The major Sabbats are: Imbolc/Candlemas, Beltane, lammas2411 Lughnasadh/Lammas and Samhain.The minor Sabbats are: Spring Equinox/Ostara, Summer Solstice/Midsummer/Litha, Autumn Equinox/Mabon and the Winter Solstice/Yule. In the Celtic tradition, the major Sabbats are on the “Cross Quarters”, Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh andSamhain; also known as Fire Festivals. Traditions based upon a more agricultural setting will consider  Sabbats to be on the two solstices and two equinoxes, Ostara, Litha, Mabon and Yule.

Modern religious holidays are based on the older Pagan holidays. Samhain has become Halloween, Yule has become Christmas and Chanukah, Imbolc has become Groundhog Day, Ostara has become Easter, Beltane has become May day, and Mabon has become Thanksgiving.

“Many religions were practiced in Europe prior to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. All were grounded in Nature and its rhythms, and all espoused ethical conduct. The holidays of these religions are generically referred to as Pagan holidays, Old European holidays, and Old Religion holidays.

Most Old Greek holidays (ancient Greek holidays or Hellenic holidays) in this calendar are based on the ancient Macedonian Greek calendar, a lunar calendar (also referred to as the ancient Greek calendar or Hellenic calendar). The Old Greek months began at the first visibility of the New Moon. (This calendar uses U.S. Eastern Time as the point of reference for the lunar Greek dates in this calendar.) A few Old Greek holidays are based on the fixed ancient Roman calendar.

All Old Roman holidays (ancient Roman holidays) and Romano-Egyptian holidays in this calendar are based on the ancient Roman calendar. Roman calendar dates do not change.

The Old Celtic holidays (Druid holidays or Wiccan holidays) and Old Slavic holidays (ancient Slavic holidays, Old Russian holidays, or Old Polish holidays) are based on the traditional 8-part solar year. (This is also referred to as the Celtic calendar or Wiccan calendar.) Holidays were celebrated at the Winter Solstice, Summer Solstice, Spring Equinox, Fall Equinox, and the 4 cross-quarter days that fell at the midpoint between them.

The Old Norse holidays (Asatru holidays or Heathen holidays) are based on the 2-part Norse/Icelandic year. (This is referred to as the Norse calendar or Heathen calendar.) The onset of the Norse Summer and Winter were celebrated as well as Mid-Summer and Mid-Winter.)…The Norse dates are fixed dates based on the Primstav–the Norse stick calendar/clog almanac. The Icelandic dates are shifting dates based on Icelandic law, and have been adjusted for the Gregorian calendar. The Old Icelandic dates reflect the Julian calendar. The Old Anglo-Teutonic holidays (Anglo-Saxon holidays) are the primary feasts in the 6-part German year. (Each part is a 60-day tide.)

mabon The Old European holidays of the Triple Goddess are based on the traditional 3-season lunisolar year. And the Old European holidays of the Vegetation God are based on the traditional 4-part solar year (divided at the solstices and equinoxes).

The Old Religions of Europe are currently being practiced as: Old European religion, Old European Spirituality, Paganism, Pagan religion, Pagan Spirituality, Gaia religion, Pantheism, Panentheism, Nature Spirituality, Nature-based Spirituality, Earth-Centered Spirituality, Goddess religion, Goddess Spirituality, Women’s Spirituality, Feminist Spirituality, Eco-Feminist Spirituality, Wicca, Wiccan religion, Wiccan Spirituality, Celtic religion, Celtic Spirituality, Celtic Paganism, Fairy faith, Druidism, Druid religion, Norse religion, Norse Spirituality, Norse Paganism, Anglo-Saxon religion, Anglo-Saxon Spirituality, Anglo-Saxon Paganism, Anglo-Teutonic religion, Anglo-Teutonic Spirituality, Anglo-Teutonic Paganism, Asatru, Norse Heathenism, Heathen religion, ancient Greek religion, Old Greek religion, Greek Spirituality, Greek Paganism, Hellenic religion, Hellenic Spirituality, Hellenic Paganism, Hellenic faith, Hellenism, Hellenismos, ancient Roman religion, Old Roman religion, Religio Romana, Roma Nova, Roman Spirituality, Roman Paganism, Old Slavic religion, Slavic Spirituality, Slavic Paganism, Old Russian religion, Russian Paganism, Old Polish religion, and Polish Paganism.

The Pagan calendar is also called the Nature Spirituality calendar, the Nature-based Spirituality calendar, the Earth-centered Spirituality calendar, and the Women’s Spirituality calendar. – Permission to use and distribute these excerpts is granted for non-commercial purposes, provided the following information is included:”

Excerpted from
A Multifaith Calendar Reflecting Eco-Egalitarian Spirituality
© 2012 Marija Miovski

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