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Witches Rites in the year circle, we celebrate eight annual festivals that symbolize the cycle of becoming and passing in nature.
Both the year of the witches and the Celtic year traditionally begin on the 1st of November. When we celebrate Samhain / Halloween on the 31st of October, we'll get into the new Year of witches.
The days are getting shorter, the nights colder. And soon there will be time for the Feast of Yule. Also known as Winter Solstice or Midwinter, it is celebrated when the day is shortest and the night is the longest. Because from now on it's uphill again. The days are getting longer, the sun returns.
The Yule was ousted by the Christian Christmas. But it has lost nothing in importance for us. We are celebrating it around the 21st of December, as a sign of our joy that now the light is returning. Of course you can celebrate the yule with your family at Christmas. Because even in ancient times it was customary to bring evergreen plants, such as fir or holly into the house, and to decorate them. They were once considered to be particularly magical, because they believed that because they remained green even in winter, they could defeat death.
Next we celebrate Imbolc, also called the Festival of Light of Witches. It is about January 31st to the 1st or 2nd of February. This is the feast in honor of Brighid, the threefold goddess responsible for fertility. Imbolc is Gaelic and means in the belly. Just as Mother Earth prepares everything for the coming growth. Now we celebrate the time in which Thor slays the ice giants and the light wins. Before or after your Imbolc ritual, you can light candles to cleanse and banish darkness, and also burn incense. We are preparing for the coming spring, awaiting the awakening of nature and celebrating the return of the light, the rising sun.
Ostara, or even the spring day and night equals (equinox) we celebrate is March 20 or 21st. We celebrate the awakening life, the end of winter and the arrival of spring. Day and night are the same length now. It is the beginning of the active phase of the humans and the nature.
Ostara, better known to us as Easter, is an old Moon Festival, which is celebrated at the beginning of spring. We celebrate the feast of the goddess Ostara on March 21st at the spring equinox or on the first full moon thereafter. With Ostara the sun, the life, the warmth and new growth come back and the rebirth in the nature.
Then we celebrate Beltane on April 30 through May 1, also known as Valpurgis Night. The feast of sexual maturity, the flowing energies and the ascending forces in nature; the arrival of the summer. It is The feast of the mystical union of the goddess and god, the divine wedding of Odin with the goddess Freya.
On 20./21. June we celebrate Litha, or the summer solstice.
The next annual festival is Lughnasadh, which will be celebrated from July 31 to August 1. Also called Lammas, harvest festival or grain festival.
Mabon or even the autumn day and night equals (autumn equinox) we celebrate between 19 and 23 September.
The annual festival Samhain Halloween, is celebrated on October 31st. With Samhain ends the Celtic year and also the witch year. All Hallows' Eve, as it is called, is one of the most important witch-festivals in the Circle of the Year.
the feast of sexual maturity, the flowing energies and the ascending forces in nature; the arrival of the summer.