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Celebrating the Seasons

Lore and Rituals by Selena Fox

The Solstices, Equinoxes, and mid-points between - - also known as the Cross Quarters - - have been celebrated by a variety of Nature peoples around the world and across the ages. Today, Wiccans and other Pagans often blend together ancient as well as contemporary approaches to celebrating these seasonal festivals. For each of these holidays, I give a brief overview and share some associated customs. I have had direct experience with all of these. The Sabbat cycle I describe here reflects the climate zone in the Northern hemisphere where I live as well as my own multi-cultural, spiritual approach with a Wiccan emphasis. Feel free to adapt these customs to reflect your own environment and spiritual path.


  • Also called: Candlemas, Oimelc, Brigid's Day; merged with Lupercalia/Valentines Day
  • dates: February 2, early February
  • colors: white, red
  • tools: candles, seeds, Brigid wheel, milk
  • energy: conception, initiation, inspiration
  • goddesses: Brigid, Maiden
  • gods: Groundhog, other creatures emerging from hibernation; young Sun
  • rituals: creative inspiration, purification, initiation, candle work, house & temple blessings
  • customs: lighting candles, seeking omens of Spring, cleaning house, welcoming Brigid

ostaraSpring Equinox

  • Also called: Ostara, Vernal Equinox
  • dates: around March 21 (northern hemisphere)
  • related holidays: Easter
  • colors: green, yellow
  • tools: eggs, basket, green clothes
  • energy: birthing, sprouting, greening
  • goddesses: Ostara, Kore, Maiden
  • gods: Hare, Green Man, Dionysus
  • rituals: breakthrough, new growth, new projects, seed blessings
  • customs: wearing green, egg games, new clothes, egg baskets

DSC 2542-smallBeltane

  • Also called: May Eve, May Day, Walpurgis Night
  • dates: April 30, early May
  • colors: rainbow spectrum, blue, green, pastels, all colors
  • tools: Maypole & ribbons, flower crowns, fires, bowers, fields
  • energy: youthful play, exuberance, sensuality, pleasure
  • goddesses: May Queen, Flora
  • gods: May King, Jack in the Green
  • rituals: love, romance, fertility, crop blessings, creativity endeavors
  • customs: dancing Maypole, jumping fire, mating, flower baskets

DSC 3266-smallSummer Solstice

  • Also called: Midsummer, Litha, St. John's Day
  • dates: around June 21
  • colors: yellow, gold, rainbow colors
  • tools: bonfires, Sun wheel, Earth circles of stone energy: partnership
  • goddesses: Mother Earth, Mother Nature
  • gods: Father Sun/Sky, Oak King
  • rituals: community, career, relationships, Nature Spirit communion, planetary wellness
  • customs: bonfires, processions, all night vigil, singing, feasting, celebrating with others

IMG 7943Lughnasadh

  • Also called: Lammas
  • dates: August 2, early August
  • colors: orange, yellow, brown, green
  • tools: sacred loaf of bread, harvested herbs, bonfires
  • energy: fruitfulness, reaping prosperity
  • goddesses: Demeter, Ceres, Corn Mother
  • gods: Grain God, Lugh, John Barleycorn
  • rituals: prosperity, generosity, continued success
  • customs: offering of first fruits/grains, games, country fairs

DSCF9452Fall Equinox

  • Also called: Mabon, Michaelmas
  • dates: around September 21
  • colors: orange, red, brown, purple, blue
  • tools: cornucopia, corn, harvested crops
  • energy: appreciation & harvest
  • goddesses: Bona Dea, Land Mother
  • gods: Mabon, Sky Father
  • rituals: thanksgiving, harvest, introspection
  • customs: offerings to land, preparing for cold weather, bringing in harvest

DSC 1191Samhain

  • Also called: Halloween, All Hallows Eve, All Saints & All Souls, Day of the Dead
  • dates: October 31, early November
  • colors: black, orange, indigo
  • tools: votive candles, magic mirror, cauldron, pumpkins, divination tools
  • energy: death & transformation; Wiccan new year
  • goddesses: Crone, Hecate
  • gods: Horned Hunter, Cernnunos, Anubis
  • rituals: honoring ancestors, releasing old, foreseeing future, understanding death and rebirth
  • customs: jack-o-lanterns, spirit plate, ancestor altar, divination, costumes

DSCF3399Winter Solstice

  • Also called: Yule, Jul, Saturnalia, Christmas, solar/secular New Year
  • dates: around December 21 colors: red, green, white
  • tools: mistletoe, evergreen wreath, lights, gifts, holly, Yule log, Yule tree
  • energy: regeneration & renewal
  • goddesses: Great Mother, Isis, Mary, Tonazin, Lucina, Bona Dea
  • gods: Sun Child, Horus, Jesus, Mithras, Santa/Odin, Saturn, Holly King
  • rituals: personal renewal, world peace, honoring family & friends
  • customs: wreaths, lights, gift-giving, singing, feasting, resolutions

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