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Thursday 17th August -


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Beltane May 1st/May Day
Beltane is the second most important celebration after Samhain. Bel is the name of the welsh sky God and Tan (means fire). Hence, this is known as the celebration of the fire in the sky.

Beltane is a time for union between goddess and god, and many Wiccan couples will perform the ritual of hand fasting on this day. Hand fasting is the union, as equals, of a male and female witch and is presided over by a Wiccan priestess - though the couple write their own vows and make their promises directly to each other. They have three choices of duration: a year and a day, a life time, or for all time - which means they will meet in the next life time and so on. The couple’s hands are tied together with a small rope or ribbon, and at the end of the ceremony they leap over a broomstick or besom into their union. This is where the saying ‘tying the knot’ originates.

May is a good time for outdoor celebrations such as may pole dancing, so you could try to find a local fair or carnival to visit, then invite your friends home, and sit under the stars surrounded by the people you love.

Litha 21st June/Summer Solstice
This is the longest day and the shortest night of the year and from this point, the days will get shorter and the dark hours longer. The goddess is still in her robes of Mother but the ever changing God now takes his place as the Father Sun.

This is a time of reflection - so try to rise with the sun on this day and greet the dawn, spending a few moments in thought. Divide your celebrations for today the between light and dark hours. Take a walk in the park and look at the world before the night starts to draw in and spend time watching the sun go down.

This is a good time of year to have your altar outside for evening rituals, as the weather should still be warm in the evenings. On this day, have a picnic with your friends and try to help them in some way - whether it be going to see them more often or by performing a little magic with their consent.

Meditate on what your choices will be for the second half of the year and on projects that you may be presently undertaking, acknowledge whether or not they are working and decide on appropriate action. This is very much a time of light and dark, and as all witches know, this doesn't mean good or evil - it actually represents day and night. So, when someone tells you a witch works on the dark or light side maybe it’s just because she works more at night or during the day!

Lammas 1st August/Lughnasadh
This is the festival commemorating the death and resurrection of the Celtic sun god Lugh and is pronounced [loo-nass-uh or loo-nass-ar]. The goddess - still the mother - is sad, as the Sun God’s power is now waning, though he lives inside of her as her child, thus maintaining the cycle of life. In the past, some of the remains of the first harvest would be kept and made into small cakes, bread or biscuits in the shape of men, and this is the origin of the ginger bread man. They were then eaten in sacrifice to the land to repay it for what it had given.

Lammas is a time to count our blessings, and to give back to the earth to cover what we have received. We can do this by giving our own ginger bread men to family and friends to celebrate our own personal harvest. We must make some sacrifices now for the coming year, so decide one altruistic thing you would like to do in the next year, and commit yourself to this. The lesson for Lammas is to be patient in the face of uncertain outcomes.

Mabon 21st September/Autumn Equinox (Harvest Festival)
Mabon is pronounced [ma’-bon] meaning “great sun”. By some it is called the “Witches Thanksgiving”, the second harvest as the rest of the grain is stored for winter. Once again, a time of balance when days and nights are equal. As with the other equinoxes and solstices, the date may move slightly from year to year.

Mabon is the feast of the bringer of justice and the release of prisoners. In years gone by, most prisoners would be returned to their families at this time of year as people would be preparing for the winter months when food was scarce. They would know exactly how much food they had to last them for the winter and how many mouths they could feed. Any old or infirm live stock would be slaughtered so as not to waste food also.

Mabon is a good time then to let go of old arguments, pay debts before the snow comes and let go of any regrets - keeping then alive helps to feed no-one. The Autumn Equinox is also a great time of healing, so put mistakes behind you and move forward. < Previous

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