"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."
15th Day of the Second Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Gaia
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
9th Day of the Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
Moon Phase: Gibbous
Moon sets: 6:58AM EST
Moon rises: 5:11PM EST
Moon enters the Fixed Fire
Sign of Leo at 9:10AM EST
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The treasures of winter.
Sun in Aquarius
Sunrise: 7:32AM EST
Sunset: 5:33PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "Which fear is keeping
you in prison?"
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year
January 29th, 2010
Freya's Day - Venus Day, Day of Sharing and Relationships - there is Major magickal energies today for Romance... The Moon will be in the Fixed Fire Sign of Leo - so passion will certainly be strong today.
The Seasonal Wheel of the Year
The four solar festivals, the quarter days that divide the wheel, fall on the solstices and the equinoxes. These provide astronomical marker points of the high and lows and stable points of cosmic and earth energies, in spirte of their variation by a day or two caused by the tilt of the earth. They must have been significant becdause builders of passages, graves and stone circles from the 4th millennia BCE aligned entrances and marker stones with the rising and setting of the sun on these days.
But in terms of magick and ritual, the cross-quarter days, the midway between each of these solar festivals, the found annual great fire festivals, form the major rites in the Wiccan and Neo-pagan calendar. In Japan the traditional lunar calendar uses the cross-quarter days as markers for the seasons so that, for example, the first day of spring, called Risshun, fell on the cross-quarter day of the year 3rd or 4th of February. Once this festival marked the beginning of the new year.
In modern Druidry, witchcraft, Neo-paganism and personal forms of spirituality, these eight change points, occurring every six weeks, have become the focal point for magickal celebrations, both personally for tapping into the prevailing energies and symbolically, as in earlier times, to assist the wheel to turn. Wherever you live in the world you may find it helpful to work with the magickal eightfold wheel of the year (moved around six months for southern hemisphere). However, you can just easily adapt the wheel to your own climate, using the weather conditions and plants to mark out your own journey through the year.
The Deities of the Wheel
Some people get very confused by the mythological circle of the wheel of the year - and with good reason because there are two separate factors/myth cycles in an operation that sometimes overlap. The light/darkness cycle is represented by an ongoing battle for supremacy between two brothers, a light and a dark twin, called in the Celtic tradition Lugh or Llew (the Welsh form) and Gornwy. They are not strictly twins since they were born six months apart, though they are often called this since each is the alter ego of the other.
In an even older tree myth saga they are the oak king (the light brother) who ruled from midwinter to midsummer and the holly king whose reign was from midsummer to midwinter. In Christianity these two were mirrored in Christ who was born at midwinter and John the Baptist, his cousin, who was born around the midsummer solstice and whose name was adopted for the Christian midsummer (St. John's Day on 24th of June).
Neither of these times was bad, for the dark quiet times, when the land lies fallow and people are also supposed to rest more, are as essential as the bright, active times.
There is also the god]/goddess progression through the year, with each taking predominance at different festivals or coming together as a scred dance. This cycle mirrors the agricultural year and also the older hunter traditions when the god of winter died at the start of the hunting season, still around the autumn equinox in many lands. Occasionally the two cycles overlap, for example at Lughnassadh at the beginning of August when Lugh or Llew as sun king and barley king is cut down in the last sheaf of grain at the first harvest.
In the annual celebrations of Europe and Scandinavia, women from the village or town, or, in earlier times, the priestesses, would represent the goddess in her different forms. For it was believed that she was present in spirit and might be seen leading the processions, by those with clairvoyant sight, children or virgins.
The goddess also appears in different aspects as the maiden, the mother and the wise old grandmother of winter, linking us with the moon goddess, and often the four cross-quarter days are attributed to lunar influences, as for example Lughnassadh at Silbury Hill taking place when the harvest full moon shone on the water.
Moving Through the Year
It is not always possible to celebrate a seasonal festival on its day(s) because of work or travel commitments. Whenever you are though, do try to take a few minutes to acknowledge the change points in your own life, however, hectic it may be. You can celebrate at the weekend or on the next free day afterwards and by this time the energies will be settled. For the powers of the new season start to build up in the days before it and remain strong for at least a week afterward.
The cross days are traditionally three days from sunset to sunset when the Celtic and other ancient days began. You can allow the same three-day period for the solar festivals, though the eve and the day itself are the most potent. Purists who try to keep to a strict six-week pattern use the day upon which the sun enters the 15 degrees of Scorpio (end of October/beginning of November; 15 degrees of Aquarius for Imbolc (end of January/beginning February); 15 degrees of Taurus for Beltaine (end of April/beginning of May); and 15 degrees of Leo for Lughnassadh (end of July/beginning of August).
In yet another tradition, the festivals are celebrated at the first full moon of the four star sign periods. Or you can adapt them to Christianized festivals, such as Christmas instead of midwinter solstice and Easter instead of Ostara and bring fresh energies to the commercial festivals. You can of course move your Christmas and Easter to older daes (Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox) and especially if you have to divide family celebrations with a partner who does not live you or you want your own nature-based celebrations after maybe a tense family get-together on the recognized days.
[Excerpts from Cassandra Easons' "Complete Book of Natural Magick"]