Ritual celebration of the eight seasonal feasts of the annual cycle
Connecting to the energy and traditions of these eight points of the year can be a powerful grounding, healing and balancing practice for the self. It can strengthen the sense of community if celebrated collectively, and can create a deeper sense of unity and bond with the natural cycles.
The eight festivals are connected to the main solar events (solstices and equinoxes) and the midpoints between them. In every tradition and many parts of the world they consist of symbolic acts, foods, rituals, stories, medicines that characterize the time of the year to which they refer.
For Oestara, for instance, the symbol of eggs and seeds is really common.
For Litha fires and flowers are always present, and so on. This is an invitation to explore and learn how in your own place and culture these events are and have been celebrated over time. Syncretism is possible too.
It can be a very private, intimate, one-person celebration consisting of a single, simple act or prayer.
It can be a circle of a dozen people, with an altar and exchanged gifts and shared rituals, or even a big festival. It can be celebrated in an indoor urban environment or in remote natural places in contact with the natural elements.
There can be a thread woven throughout the whole year, if the group is a permanent one (journaling, visual documentation, art creation…).
The celebrations can happen during an online conference, enriched by hints and traditions from many different places of the world.
The ceremony can be carefully planned in order to avoid boring and lengthy explicative moments. Paying attention to creating a dynamic rhythm, symbols and simple acts with interactive elements; these are effective and involve all kinds of people, sometimes more than a long meditation. It is good to make it sacred and ceremonial, yet at the same time it can lose meaning if it is mainly focused on formal aspects. Choose the amount and length carefully.
Once you get used to these celebrations you might not want to do without them anymore!
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.