Seasonal Festivals

All Pagan traditions are founded upon a vision of Deity manifest in Nature. Drawing upon the traditions of our Pagan ancestors, many Pagans celebrate this vision in seasonal festivals. Nature is the key stone of an understanding of the seasonal rites, which are times of joy and celebration and deep communion with the powers of natural forces.

The turning pattern of the seasons is seen as a wheel. Each aspect of seasonal change is understood as a mystery of the Divine. As the wheel turns, so Nature reveals the many faces of the Gods. Pagans shape rituals to express what they see and feel in Nature. In doing so, they share in the mystery of the turning cycle and join more closely with the vision of their Gods.

Paganism sees humanity and the seasons as part of a single whole. Paganism teaches that true well-being for ourselves and for the world in which we live can only be achieved by understanding our relationship with Nature. The rape of the Earth's resources, the devastation of the rain forests, the exploitation of the Earth's natural wealth - these to Pagans are acts of madness.

In their seasonal rites, Pagans pass on a deep vision of human life as part of the natural cycle. Pagans take delight in their vision and reach out to embrace ever more deeply that whole of which they are a part.

Just as Nature is both male and female, so the seasonal celebrations describe the dance between Goddess and God throughout the Wheel of the Year. Paganism celebrates what is natural. Birth, life and death are a pattern of which all are a part. Just as great empires rise and fall, just as Spring gives way to Summer, so men and women are born then die. So the wheel turns, a dance of light and dark and of God and Goddess throughout the wheel of the seasons.

Pagans celebrate the cycles of sowing and reaping, the passage from Winter to Spring then to Summer and Autumn. Pagans learn to accept that there are times of growth, but also times of old age and death. In all things, there are wisdoms to be learned, not just in what is bright and new: there is also deep knowledge and vision in those things old and dark.

The seasonal festivals are mysteries, yet they are so simple a child might understand. They are times when Pagans remember the cycle of life of which they are a part and touch a simple Pagan truth that humanity and the world are one - part of a whole bound in love.

The The Wheel of The Year is celebrated in a myriad of forms in the different Pagan traditions. Most Pagans celebrate eight seasonal festivals each year, but there are variations between traditions and between geographical regions with different climatic conditions.


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