Wheel of the Year is an annual cycle of seasonal festivals, observed by many modern Pagans. Within the year, The Sun (The Sun God) lives the life from birth to death to rebirth. The maturity of the Sun (The Sun God) is linked to the strength of the sunlight on the Earth in the given hemisphere. The maturity of the Earth is linked to the life stages of the Goddess (Triple Goddess) who is in close connection with the Moon. The concept of duality and continuous universal progression is further reflected in equal division of the year period into Light and Dark halfes depending on the dominance of Masculine (The Sun) or the Faminine (fertility of the Mother Earth) principle.
Wheel of the Year regards 8 major festivals. Those celebrations are related to the 8 nordal places in time that depict the position of the Earth concerning its rotation around the sun. Those dates mark and celebrate celestial events that reflect innate cycle of the planet Earth whether from geographical, astronomical or esoteric perspective.
4 Quarter dates are the ones that are celebrated pretty much universally: Winter and Summer Solstice and Spring / Autumn Vernox. Within the context of Pagan Europe, these festivals were predominantly celebrated by Germanic people and people of Old Norse. The dates of celebration are somewhat flexible.
4 Cross- Quarter Dates are celebrated within the context of Pagan Europe and Celtic / Anglo Saxon tradition in particular: Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, Samhain.
The contemporary, eightfold, Wheel of the Year is a modern innovation. Many historical pagan and polytheist traditions celebrated various equinoxes, solstices, and the days approximately midway between them for their seasonal and agricultural significance. Generally speaking, European cultural communities observed four main celebrations a year, sometimes with smaller, more local festivals as well. That said, none were known to have held all eight as seen in the modern, culturally syncretic “wheel” that is popular among modern pagans.
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