Last day of the light half of the year
Today is the last day of the light half of the year and with tomorrow’s 11th new moon in 2021 we are going to start into the darker half. Tomorrow we celebrate Samhain and with this, we are going to prepare ourselves for the cold. This is reason enough to look at a few cold pictures from recent years to start getting an idea of what’s coming. It’s the time of the year of the cold mornings with breathtaking light as well as colorful sunsets. It’s the period of retreat, relaxation, and peace.
There are eight major Celtic festivals split into four moons and four sun festivals. In modern times all of the below festivals have a calendar date pre-assigned. However, my wife and I understand that the moon festivals have been associated with the moon phases whereas the sun festivals with the astronomical phenomena are driven by the sun.
The four moon festivals are:
- Samhain – Mid Fall – 11th new moon of the year
- Imbolc – Mid Winter – 2nd full moon after the winter solstice
- Beltane – Mid Spring – 5th full moon after the winter solstice
- Lughnasad – Mid Summer – 8th full moon after the winter solstice
The four sun festivals are:
- Yule – Winter Solstice – between 20th and 23rd of December
- Ostara – Spring Equinox – between 20th and 23rd of March
- Litha – Summer Solstice – between 20th and 23rd of June
- Mabon – Fall Equinox – between 20th and 23rd of September
Samhain marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the darker half of the year. People believing in the old religions celebrate Samhain at the day halfway between autumn equinox and winter solstice (wheel of the year) which usually falls somewhere between October 31st and November 1st. However, my wife and I follow the cycles of the moon as calendar days in the old religions didn’t exist back then. During Samhain, the veil is thinning between the worlds allowing spirits to travel between the realms. The animals associated with Samhain are the wolf and the raven (page 183). If you would like to read more about ravens you can do so here and here.
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