Eight Phases/Eight Seasons

Monday, April 4, 2022
Sunday, August 1st, 2021
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I’m slowly processing through this idea that the eight Celtic festivals from the pagan Wheel of the Year correspond with the eight phases of the monthly cycle. I’ve been familiar with the solstices and equinoxes for years but have recently been learning more about the transitional festivals, lesser sabbats that mark the midpoint between a solstice and equinox. These festivals, or holydays, celebrate the cycles of life: birth, death and rebirth. Just as seasons have a cyclical rhythm, a peak and decline of energy, so does this monthly hormonal cycle. Every festival contains an invitation to collaborate with nature. We create altars and rituals that symbolize the transitions felt through the constant shifts in nature, and within ourselves. Each sabbat celebration brings up memories of the season before it. We remember last year, and the year before that, slowly creating a narrative of humans existing in nature. We mark the changing seasons with stories of our own personal changes, allowing these celebrations to act as metaphors for our own internal shifts.

As I navigate life with a uterus, and the many shifts that come with a monthly cycle, I find the same phenomenon occurring. I collaborate with nature (my body) through ritual, ceremony, and surrender. Each cycle builds upon the last, and the one before that, and I am slowly accumulating experiences with my period pain, with my ovulation highs, with the complicated transitions. I am creating through the act of remembering. My cycle invites me to witness the internal shifts, the seasonality of my endocrine system, the ways in which my hormones are fighting every single month for the potential that life might emerge. My body plants and sustains and destroys and renews, just like the world around me. In the coming months, I plan on exploring the themes and ceremonies of each festival and how they correlate with each phase of the monthly cycle. For now, here is a simple outline of the sabbats and their adjacent phases:

Samhain/Bleeding

Yule/Early Follicular

Imbolc/Mid Follicular

Ostara - Late Follicular

Beltane - Ovulation

Litha - Early Luteal

Lammas - Mid Luteal

Mabon - Late Luteal

Stay Moody