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Monday, 26 July 2010

Wicca Sacred Time

Wicca Sacred Time Cover Sacred time within wicca is established by the cycles of the sun and the moon. Lunar cycles occur every 29 to 30 days, while a solar cycle occurs over the course of a year. The key events in a lunar cycle include the new moon and the full moon. Many wiccan solitaries and groups perform rituals on the nights of the new and full moons, seeing those dates as particularly propitious for venerating the goddess as identified with the moon. Because the duration of menstrual cycles often is equivalent to the lunar month, many wiccans understand the phases of the moon as symbolically attuned to the "phases" of the menstrual cycle. Thus, the full moon represents ovulation, and signifies a time of fecundity, creativity, and active engagement with the world; the new moon represents menstruation, and therefore is associated with rest and withdrawal from worldly activities for a time of reflection and renewal. Wiccan ceremonies can take these associations into account, with new moon rituals being more contemplative and full moon ceremonies more ecstatic or celebratory.

The solar cycle as observed by many Wiccan groups involves eight holidays, collectively known as "the Wheel of the Year." These holidays include the solstices, the equinoxes, and four seasonal agricultural festivals with roots in British and Irish mythology. The wheel of the year includes these festivals:

* Samhain, traditionally celebrated on or near October 31
* Yule, the winter solstice
* Imbolc, traditionally celebrated on or near February 1
* Ostara, the spring equinox
* Beltane, traditionally celebrated on or near May 1
* Litha, the summer solstice
* Lughnasadh, traditionally celebrated on or near August 1
* Mabon, the fall equinox

Several of these festivals have alternative names, sometimes from folkloric or even Christian sources: thus Samhain is also known as Hallowmas or Hallowe'en; Imbolc as Candlemas; Lughnasadh as Lammas; and Mabon as Michaelmas.

Like the lunar cycle, the wheel of year is rich with symbolism and mythology. Some traditions weave throughout the eight holidays a running narrative about the birth, life, and eventual death of the goddess, who over the course of the year is impregnated by her consort and gives birth to a sacred child. Another narrative associated with the wheel of the year involves a never-ending cycle of conflict between two mythic kings - the Oak King and the Holly King - who continually defeat each other at each solstice, the Oak King triumphing in the summer while the Holly King emerges victorious each winter.

Books You Might Enjoy:

John Dee - The Rosie Crucian Secrets
Michael Sharp - The Great Awakening
Frater Achad - Liber 31
Stephen William Hawking - Space And Time Warps
Aj Drew - Wicca Spellcraft For Men