Surely you’ve already heard of the neopagan wheel of the year, whether it’s wikka, sabbah, paganism or Neo-paganism.
In this short article I will try to summarize in a nutshell what are the history and origins of the Wheel of the year !
As I explained in my article, “What is the wheel of the year”; The Wheel of the Year identifies a solar and/or lunisolar cyclical calendar observed in many forms of neo-paganism, in which 8 seasonal festivals nominated by author Gerald Gardner, Sabbah, appear, following the term “Shabbat” commonly associated with any heretical religious practice to Catholicism in the period of the St. Inquisition.
Although many texts, they would like to attribute a Celtic origin to the calendar the historical ancient and modern sources disprove this thesis, although the calendar is inspired by European folk traditions.
The Celtic people, also evolving from a social and technological point of view (from hunting and harvesting to some advanced forms of agriculture in Britain) have consequently evolved their system of consideration of the “time”, starting from a more simple (summer-winter) until evolving a system with 4 main holidays Samhain,Imbolc,Beltane,Lammas, in a lunisolar system.
Unfortunately, however, the lack of a unitary tradition within the Celtic peoples has not allowed the identification of a defined system of cults, deities or holidays.
However, the differences are supposed to be contextual to the 3 macro areas of Celtic expansion (cisalpina, transpalpina, British) due to the climate, the territory and the associated indigenous populations.
Today (unfortunately) there remains only one reliable historical record that testifies to the ancient Celtic system: the Coligny calendar.
The wheel of the year, widespread in the environments of modern magic and neopaganism, originates its oldest origins in the ancient traditions of Persia and India; In fact, in the Indian text Srimad Bavaghatam dated between the VI and the X dc, we find a clear reference to the wheel of the year with 8 main holidays arranged similarly to the “new” wheel of the year. This ancient system has come to us thanks to the enormous success that the Indian tradition has enjoyed in the Western world over the last 2 centuries, thanks to the East Indian Company, which is in the next phase thanks to the forbidden text “kamasutra” (widely spread in the Victorian salons), with a third revival especially in the esoteric field thanks to the famous A.Crowley and in the modern era thanks to the Hippies movements and the subsequent new age, tradition that has influenced the modern esoteric-spiritual landscape and is might venture to say mother of neo-paganism, for the aptitude to mix traditions or worse in some cases to invent them…
In the modern era, in 1950, the wikka club “Bricket Wood coven” and the druid club “OBOD” commonly adopted the wheel of the year to align the celebrations between these two important orders…
From a symbolic point of view the wheel is useful in some important intellectual speculations, in particular in the magical-philosophical consideration of the cyclical passage of time, or on the very non-existence of time, however it is necessary to understand that the wheel is a first “simple” cog (however very incomplete at cuasa of lack of considerations on the moon) useful to understand the finer and thinmost mechanics of the universe that mathematics has proven to repeat schematically in the universe… remembering, however, that it is often better not to get caught in the wheels that among the Celts were a symbol of death…
The 8 holidays of the neopagan wheel are:
October 31/November 1
(Winter Solstice) December 20 or 21
(Spring Equinox) between 20 and 23 March
April 30 and May 1
(Summer Solstice) June 21 or 22
July 31 and August 1
(Autumn Equinox) September 20 or 21
in the article the 8 sabbaths of the wheel of the year I deepen and explain the origins of the sabbath, explaining how the derogatory term sabbath has become synonymous with sacredness…