THE WAXING YEAR

 SACRED WHEEL DANCING

I love to dance around the wheel as every season changes 
For Days of Power mark the ways that Nature re-arranges, 
Every season mirrors our lives in one way or another,
Bringing times to celebrate with sisters, friends & others...

  Winter Solstice starts us off near blinking X-mas trees  
to welcome Sun's returning light with friends and family, 
Singing Carols near mistletoe brings rebirth and renewal 
while eggnog pours & kids adore the famous tales of Yule...

Imbolc mirrors our inner light, time of the rising flame...
When we take our sacred vows or claim our magic names,
Inspiration fills the air and self-love lights the spark...
While sharing soulful promises & longings of the heart...

Spring Equinox mirrors beauty in children old and young
Rituals of enchantment bring laughter, play and fun, 
As Gaia resurrects new life we sing & dance with glee 
Chanting rhymes & fairy tales to set our spirits free...

 May Day mirrors ecstasy and deep orgasmic pleasure
 Prancing 'round the 
Maypole and beating drums together,  
Lo
vers swoon & passion blooms with heat & sweet desire   

Sacred rites bring sheer delight near flaming Beltane fires ...

Summer Solstice turns the wheel to days of warm delight
as we play in creeks & forests and gaze the stars at night,  
We honor great abundance as the Sun shines on the flowers
Blessing all on Mother Earth with golden rays of power

When it comes to harvest time & fruit is ripe upon the vine
We give our praises to the earth in gratitude for life divine, 
We count our many blessings and the graces that sustain
While healing beams of energy bring life to corn & grain...

Fall Equinox brings grapes and nuts as golden leaves appear, 
Autumn sunsets paint the skies as restful times draw near,  
We offer thanks for all we have and steep in deep reflection
while honoring our Elders for their many gifts of wisdom...

When crystal balls on Halloween reflect a mystic glow, 
   We honor dear departed souls of those we came to know...    
Shadows cloak our sacred earth while seeds gestate below,  
Goddess rests in quiet repose while magic claims the soul...

    I love to dance around the wheel as every season traces
a deep reflection of our lives to mirror our many faces,
And when our journey's over, we'll take the seeds we've sown
along with wisdom gathered, to future paths unknown...

~ Silverwitch ~

THE WHEEL OF LIFE

Recovering & Reclaiming Ancient Ways to Heal our Lives

       In the Recovering & Reclaiming Traditions of The Sacred Circle....  we celebrate the Sacred Wheel of life. This brings greater awareness
t
o our lives in recovery as well as a conscious connection with
powers-greater-than-ourselves which govern all life on the earth.

In the Circle we honor the Sacred Wheel of Life as part of our
recovery process. This brings greater awareness to our lives while
realigning us with forces of Nature to help us live more consciously. 

The deep severance of our souls from Earth and Spirit sits at the root of all addictions. In the wilds of Nature, away from all worldly distractions, we can actually feel ourselves becoming more relaxed and peaceful. This is because our bodies and souls resonate with the vibrational frequencies of the Natural world, not with the chaotic energy of the Man-made world. The man-made world causes soul-fragmentation and a deep neurosis which leads to many diseases and addictions... but the magical world of Mother Nature brings us back into harmonious alignment with body, mind, emotions and soul because we are ONE with her living powers as well as the vibrational energies of the cosmos.

Since our body and soul are one with Nature and Spirit, the real powers of life, it’s important to connect, flow and align ourselves with Nature's cycles if we want to live healthy and harmonious lives as women in recovery. There are multiple dysfunctions in the world today because we are unaware of who we are. We've been swayed by powerful forces pushing false beliefs and misconceptions that continue keeping us in a world of illusion. Besides giving our power away to these dysfunctional systems, we continue following false beliefs while ingesting harmful foods and chemicals and this doesn't change simply by being in a recovery program.

Those of us in recovery know that living by self-will based on illusions of the mind doesn't work, because when we do we are always in collision with something or somebody even though our motives are good. We are forever trying to manage and control things and people around us to suit our needs. But others have their own ideas, beliefs and convictions which often conflict with ours and this creates many negative emotions that eventually make us sick and dysfunctional on many levels. 

Living by self-will based and the false beliefs of a patriarchal world only causes conflict and disharmony... but embracing the Spirit of the universe and living by the laws and cycles of Mother Nature helps us stay in balance with some degree of contentment and health. 

Those of us in THE SACRED CIRCLE know we must detach from the dysfunctional ways of the world in order to recreate our lives. We do this by being active in own recovery and aligning ourselves with the forces of Nature so we can flow through life in an easier, softer way while enjoying the magic of life around us.

Living from season to season brings richer meaning and deeper understanding to our lives too. Dancing around the wheel and honoring the seasons in ritual and ceremony also brings opportunities to heal and reclaim ourselves on deeper levels. This is because the seasons mirror our life energies as well as life cycles and bring new opportunities to see ourselves differently. Embracing the energy of each season also helps us reclaim the fragments of our soul lost to us in Patriarchy. Since we move around the wheel again and again, season after season, the opportunity to recover and reclaim ourselves at the deepest levels is always available if we desire.

The Sacred Wheel tracks the Sun's journey through the heavens and marks 8 Days of Power on the Earth. Winter & Summer Solstice; Spring and Fall Equinox; and the cross-quarter days in between. These days-of-power or Feast Days are charged with great energy and mark the way the waxing and waning light of the Sun interacts with Mother Earth. Whenever there is a change in Mother Nature's energies, there is a shift in our energies, because we are one with her.

Day's of Power on the sacred wheel also mirror our unique mysteries as women so aligning ourselves with these energies helps us reclaim a deeper understanding of ourselves as we move through the cycles of our life, from cradle to grave. Our ancestors lived this way for thousands of years and for good reason. When we are not aligned with the true powers of life, with the energies of the earth and the cosmos we fall back into self-will and false beliefs which only brings unhappiness and disharmony to our lives. The good news is that the choice is ours. -- Blessed Be.

THE SOLAR HOLIDAYS FOR THE WAXING YEAR ARE LISTED BELOW

WINTER SOLSTICE:  Time of Returning Light

Winter Solstice is the first day of Winter, when the sun enters the constellation of Capricorn. This is the longest night of the year... a pivotal point which marks the return of the Sun's waxing light; when days begin growing longer and winter graces us with brighter days to lift our spirits through the colder months ahead. It is a time of hope, promise, rebirth and renewal.

The festivities for this holiday actually start way before the actual turning of the wheel on the Solstice. From Halloween to Winter Solstice, we move into the shadows as nights grow long and shadows cloak the Earth. During this time we begin unwinding, reflecting, introspecting and releasing as we too enter the shadows. During this time everything begins to change or die. The leaves turn to deep colors, then fall from the trees as compost for the Earth. Seeds from the fall harvest enter the womb of the Earth Goddess to prepare for rebirth in the spring. This is a good time to reflect on what we have harvested in our own lives as well, while preparing for the festive holidays that lie ahead.

The Yule Season is a magical time of the year, when hope abounds and spirits still reign... for even after honoring our ancestral spirits at Halloween, they seem to follow us into the Yule Season. Remember the spirit of Saint Nick or Father Christmas? The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future in the famous tale of Scrooge by Dickens? The Fairy Snow Queen who suddenly shows up on her magic sled to take us on a journey to mystical realms beyond this one? This is truly a magical season that offers hope and promise in the days ahead, and that's why so many people celebrate this time of year.

After Thanksgiving, people in towns and cities everywhere start illuminating the dark nights of December. Twinkling lights begin lining the streets in snow or rain covered neighborhoods. Flickering candles grace our tables and yule altars. Incense fills the room near floral arrangements of bayberry, pine and poinsettias. Glazed nuts, dried fruits, even eggnog with nutmeg delights the taste buds. Evergreen trees, a symbol of everlasting life, are decorated with glowing lights, sparkling tinsel and shining ornaments near wreaths of holly, berries, pine cones and dried flowers. Mistletoe hangs in the doorways inviting the sweet kiss of friendship while hearth fires burn with crackling cedar, oak, pine or eucalyptus, filling the crisp chilling air with sweet, lingering aromas that uplift our hearts and souls. ---- 

During the colder months of Winter, seeds from the Fall harvest germinate within the womb of the Earth Goddess as she dreams. It is a magical time, filled with hope, promise, expectancy, potential, renewal and joy. It is also a time for us to nurture the seeds of potential within ourselves, to dream new dreams, to let them brew within us. 

In Yule rituals and ceremonies we sing Carols and celebrate the return of the sun's light, because it will bring warmth to our lives and new growth in the Spring.  We also light our candles in the darkness, and share the dreams stirring with us at this time, dreams of potential, dreams of hope, dreams that manifest when the time is right.  

Winter Solstice is perhaps the only holy day that brings people of every major religion into alignment at the same time. In ancient times, our ancestors in every part of the world honored the birth of the SUN and light of the world at this time, for without it nothing could live. This also led to familiar myths and stories in almost every religion about the birth of a divine child who brings hope, light and salvation to the world.

In the circle, we see this divine child as every child born into the world, as you and me, for doesn't each child bring hope, light and redemption to each new generation? Yes, we are truly the saviors we've been waiting for, we just forgot. So we honor our dreams and hopes at this time, along with the new babes coming into the world.

There have been many Sun Gods honored at this time throughout the ages... Enki, Ra, Osiris, Horace, Bacchus, Tammuz, Dionysus, Mithra, Buddha, Krishna, Jesus and others... and all these gods were born to a virgin mother at the Winter Solstice. We also remember the great Sun Goddesses from every culture around the world... Lucina, Amaterasu, Hestia, Brigid and others along with Virgin-Mothers like Nut, Isis, Mary, Maya, Mari, Demeter and others, even our own mothers who brought us into the world.

The Yule Season marks the mystery of Regeneration, Renewal and Rebirth, when we come from the darkness into the light, from the unseen world to the seen.... from immortality to mortality... when we are born from a woman once again, into the realm of time and space, It is a time to rest and renew our bodies, minds and spirits, and to give thanks for our gift of life in the flesh. -- Blessed Be.

IMBOLC: Time of Inspiration and Self-Love

Imbolc is a mid-winter Holy Day which falls between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, when the sun enters 15 degrees of Aquarius. It is usually celebrated on the 1st of February right next to Groundhog's Day, when this sweet little creature emerges from his winter home to remind us that spring is only 6 weeks away.

Other names for this holy day are Candlemas; Feast of the Sacred Flame or Return of Inner Light. In Women's Mystery Traditions we celebrate the triple Goddess of Maiden, Mother and Crone because it marks the time when women of all ages are welcomed into the Circle. It is also called Brigid's Day, to honor the Irish Goddess of Muse and Poetry. Since it mirrors a time of inner knowing... a time of self-recognition... we also acknowledge female Avatars like Aradia, daughter of roman goddess Diana; White Buffalo Calf Woman, Native American teacher who brought the sacred pipe to her people; Kwan Yin, Chinese Goddess of compassion who mirrors enlightenment to the world. Many female avatars as well as male avatars like Buddha, Krishna, Jesus and others carried magical teachings and sacred knowledge of Earth and Spirit to their people to alleviate suffering and self-bondage, while awakening humanity to the true power and magic within us all.  The message is always the same. It is merely said in different ways to reach as many ears as possible.

This time on the Great Wheel celebrates the Mystery of Quickening, when earth begins warming and flames of deep desire begin stirring within us, desires that will turn to actions in the spring. It is a time of inspiration, when the harshness of winter begins to thaw, melt, and merge with warmer solar energies. It signals a time when Mother Nature fans the fragile flame of the life force born at Winter Solstice, when the powers of fire within the earth and within ourselves begin rising up our spines bringing new sparks and vitality to our minds and bodies. 

On our Life Cycle, Imbolc corresponds to us as innocent toddlers, still nursing on mother’s breast, gaining nourishment, building strength. On deeper levels, it mirrors a time of soul recognition or age of reason, when we began seeing ourselves as individuals with our own thoughts and feelings.

On the great wheel, winter is now turning toward spring... so it reflects a time of freshness and cleansing, of washing away winter's decay. The sting of winter now begins retreating from its reign of dormancy and Mother Nature replaces it with a solemn affirmation of things to come. Days now lengthen as hope and desire grows in our hearts for the warmth of spring. It marks a perfect time for new vows, promises, commitments and self blessings. 

In The Sacred Circle, we hold ceremonies of dedication, initiation, and ordination at this time. We share our inspirations, vows and promises of self-love. We express the deepest desires of our heart and acknowledge the longings of our soul. It is a time of recognition, when we voice who we are in the presence of others. --- 

Since this time on the wheel marks the age of reason in ones life, it is also a time when we recognize ourselves as spiritual beings going through a human experience; unique individuals who carry certain genetic knowledge, wisdom, power and magic within our soul and body. Therefore, our rituals center around ourselves as individuals and what is desired to bring joy, fulfillment or deeper purpose to our lives. 

Since it is a time of purification, when the harshness of winter is being dispelled and replaced with inspiration, meaning, confirmation and dedication, some sisters will claim a magical name that better describes their true spiritual essence. At this time we acknowledge those who are entering recovery, initiates who are committing to the Goddess Path or stepping into roles of Minister or Priestess. Sometimes we acknowledge sisters who provided special services or contributions to the circle.

As the Return of Inner Light touches us, it gives us opportunity to come together in sacred space, to share our vows; to honor our divinity; to commit to our true purpose in the world.  It is truly a time to remember who we are and to recognize why we are here. Along with the promise of spring.... may this sacred time bring each and every one the gentle grace of self-love and divine recognition! --- Blessed Be...

 SPRING EQUINOX: Time of Resurrection

Spring mirrors the mystery of resurrection, rebirth and fertility, when Mother Earth is bursting forth once again in growing splendor, when buds and blossoms are opening to the warming energy of the sun. The Vernal Equinox, also called Ostara, is the first day of spring, when dark and light, day and night, hang in perfect balance. The German goddess of fertility and agriculture, Eostre, was also honored at this time, and that's how Easter got it's name.

Babies appear everywhere in creation, and the hum of birds and bees start vibrating though the budding trees with increasing sounds of waking life. The Goddess is alive and magic is afoot in the land once more! All are reborn! 

The fragile light of the spirit born at Winter Solstice and the sacred flame of divine recognition at Imbolc now pushes forward in full force, bringing new life. Daughters and Sons of the Earth emerge playful and inquisitive, running together in playgrounds or fields of green as rainbows grace the skies. Gentle rainfalls and rushing streams of melting snow are now washing away winter’s decay. Children are running free and playing together once again. The maiden returns to her mother. Young lads frolic in the lap of the Goddess. All rise from the tomb of the earth with new life, growth and wonder. It is a perfect time to sing, dance, feast, make merry, and welcome brighter days ahead. 

Many ancient traditions are celebrated at this time, like the Easter Bunny, a creature of fertility, or the Easter egg, which once symbolized the great cosmic egg of the Goddess opened by her sacred serpent. Since spring brings resurrection, growth and sprouting, it also brings enchantment, when the world begins waking up and the power of life is evident, when the assured promise of returning life is fulfilled. 

In The Sacred Circle, we honor the changing seasons because when nature changes, we change. On the Spring Equinox, we honor ourselves as her daughters and sons, wild and free, for Spring evokes the child within and mirrors a time of youthful folly, innocence, playfulness, and joy… when life was simple or less complicated. Spring reflects a time when our young hearts were light, when we felt our oneness with Nature in every cell, when we became intoxicated by her sweet sounds and fragrances. It brings back a time when we laid under the sun in soft grasses with little bugs scampering around us; a time when we played on the beach or waded in creeks with the fairies and elemental beings; a time when we still heard the voices of ancestral spirits in quiet groves and gardens… when life was a healthy adventure and the world still seemed a friendly place… when we were enraptured by the beauty and pleasure of our own flesh and befriended every living creature around us.

Yes… spring is the perfect time to connect with the child within, to evoke our magical essence once again… to unleash our powerful imagination and open the door to realms of fantasy that once held our fascination as children… to connect with our youthful spirit… to heal old wounds… to reconnect with the spirit of the Maiden, SHE who is whole unto herself, SHE who let’s no one else define her… SHE who is wild and free… SHE who runs through the woods and dances under the moon and stars, without fear…. or HE who finds his greatest treasures in the forest or comfort in her caves and caverns… HE who hears her voice in the winds and laughter in a babbling brook; HE who sleeps peacefully in her lap under the starry skies; HE & SHE who befriends all critters of life...

Some women in recovery avoid spring rituals because they don’t have pleasant memories of childhood and have fear of re-opening that door. I understand. It took me a long time to dance freely around the circle with my fairy wings and magic wand, to unleash the innocent child locked away inside of me. She was buried for many years, under layers of self protection that I created, behind shields that kept everyone and everything away from this fragile soul that didn’t want to be exploited or hurt ever again, and many women can relate to that… but the wild Amazon within finally took charge and came to her rescue. She assured my inner child that she was safe, that she would be taken care of if she was willing to take the chance. She did, and she’s never been sorry.

Yes, spring rituals and celebrations are important, not only for young children but for ourselves, because they allow deeper healing to take place, and we all need deeper healing. Spring rituals also replace sad memories with happier ones, drudgery with fun; seriousness with laughter, deep sadness with the joy that many of us lost along the way. So weather we celebrate the Equinox in our circles, alone, or with family; whether we light a prayer candle on our altar or bask in our fellowships, let the returning spirit of the Earth Goddess wrap you in her magical essence this springtime, and embrace you as her loving child once again.

Let’s remember… When we heal, the Earth Heals! Blessed Be

MAY DAY: Time of Sacred Love & Unification

May Day is celebrated on May 1st, but it actually falls in 15 degrees of Taurus, a fixed earth sign. It reflects the flowering time of late spring, when the Earth soaks in the solar rays of the Sun and grows green and rich with the lavish fragrance of flowers. The birds and bees are in full swing... and the sweet smell of romance is in the air as well.

On the Sacred Wheel of Life, Beltane marks the time of puberty and our flowering as sexual beings. Ritual themes correspond to love, sexual desire, courtship, unification, sensuality, rapture, ecstasy, passion and pleasure. Just as the Sun sparks the Earth with new life and power at this time, the magic of love and attraction also spark the fires of human love and the sacred unions that bring richness and joy to our lives.

Delight is enhanced now. In our sacred myths on the life wheel, the playful children of Spring Equinox have now grown into young ladies and lads discovering their budding sexuality... so this mirrors a time when juices are flowing between the sexes and the sensual dance of courtship begins... when we are swept away by the power of orgasmic pleasure that reassures with certainty, time after time, the continuance of life on Earth.

The Great Rite or Sacred Marriage can also signify this time. In many ancient traditions our ancestors honored this time in rituals that celebrated the life force. They also enacted the sacred unification between the sexes in sky clad rituals around glowing fires. Some made love in fields at night to bring fertility to budding plants and grain. In other rituals they were found jumping over fires with wishes for the future... or dancing around the Maypole... to symbolize the unification of the sexes and the continuation of life. The pole represented the male phallus, and the ribbons the flowing juices of the fertile female... entwining and uniting in pleasure and delight.

In Women's Mystery Traditions, Beltane honors Menarche, time of first blood, when a young maiden makes the transition from adolescence to womanhood. This time mirrors the magic of the female and the mystery of menstruation, for women bleed with the cycles of the moon yet we do not die. Women's blood creates the world... and it was greatly honored in ancient times, in holy places and altars. In many indigenous traditions, young women were known to dance in the fields allowing their blood to flow on the earth to nurture the growing plants. Another powerful ritual is sitting on the ground during our Moon-Time and offering our blood to the mother earth in gratitude for all she gives us.

Beltane is also time to honor the Virgin Huntress, She who is whole unto herself... who gives her spirit to no one. Since this Holy Day honors a time of sacred love, it also celebrates the matriarchies of old and the love of women for women. It can also mirror the time of all great lovers, no matter what their sexual preferences. Whether we honor the Lady of the Flowers or the Lord of the Dance.... we are honoring the masculine and feminine forces of life that pulsate, yearn, burn, and create life, generation after generation.

Beltane celebrates the ecstasy of sensual delight and fulfillment along with the creative force that brings all life into manifestation. So, feel free to make this a special day with your lover... or join us in the Circle as we feast, dance, sing, make merry and celebrate all the eternal lovers and partners in the great erotic dance of life!  Blessed Be

FOR THE WANING YEAR GO TO DANCING THRU THE SEASONS 2