Wheel of the Year: The 8 Wiccan Holiday Festivals

For the Northern Hemisphere

For the Southern Hemisphere

In Wicca, we make it a point to honor both feminine and masculine energies, lunar and solar cycles. When we’re practicing our craft according to the lunar cycles, we honor the Moon Goddess with esbats. However, we also have eight solar festivals throughout the year, which are represented by the Wiccan Wheel of the Year.

The Wheel of the Year is a physical representation of the eight pagan festivals that celebrate nature’s life cycles. These eight Sabbats include four solar events — two solstices and two equinoxes — and four cross-quarter events. But how did this calendar come about in the first place?

The Origin of the Wheel of the Year Calendar

Many historians postulate that ancient pagans marked the passing of time by celebrating certain solar events. On top of that, some of their celebrations were a way to mark events that had agricultural significance. Even so, we can’t say that the seasonal festivals we’re about to discuss ever existed in their current forms. So how did we get to the Wheel of the Year we observe today?

Well, believe it or not, the Wiccan Sabbats are a result of decades, if not centuries, of modern interpretations of ancient rites. In fact, some pretty famous scholars unknowingly participated in the…

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