Category Archives: The Wheel of The Year
Imbolc marks the first day of Spring in the Celtic Calendar and separates the light part of the year from the dark. So time to shake off the blues by putting a glide in your stride and a pep in your step. Stop hiding in the dark and turn to the growing light of the sun instead. Let it brighten your soul and fire your passion. To prepare for the brighter and longer days ahead, you have much work to do now both at home and outside. Personal growth and renewal of resolve or determination is focused upon. Get active, get busy and release the Fire Energy within. Get going with any projects and plans for the year ahead as it is a fertile time for growth and expansion. Get stuck into those New Year resolutions with renewed fervor. Let the light banish any darkness, obstacles, or challenges you may have encountered or perceived in the past, and forge ahead with positivity and optimism. Leave any depressing feelings or attitudes behind and allow healing to enter unconditionally into your life. Let the Spring breeze cleanse the cobwebs of your mind, and the growing sun thaw any ice or snow from the heart. Everything is up for grabs now as inspiration and creativity rush in an abundant flow of endless opportunities. The natural world is starting to wake up to new life again. Don’t get left behind in the dreariness of the old, be a part of this rebirth and renewal. Venture outdoors to witness the miracle of nature around you. The most wonderful things are happening right now as Brigid walks among us. We bow in respect to her life-giving powerful presence.
Imbolc is a great time for divination so your Tarot Cards can be put to good use. We can look to the Tarot for inspiration and guidance on how we can incorporate Imbolc, Brigid and the Powerful Energy of Fire into our life for the year ahead.
Wands are strongly connected to Spring with their Fire Energy breathing life, passion, creativity and inspiration into everything they touch. To access the energy of the growing Fire of the young Sun as it gradually begins to lengthen the days and warm the air about us, we can call on The Wands Suit of The Tarot for guidance. Below I have compiled a very brief snapshot of what the individual Wands might have to say to us as we celebrate the Fire Festival of Imbolc, and the Triple Goddess in her maiden form.
Ignition – The Fire has been lit. It is only a small flame so it must be carefully attended or it will blow out. You will need more than this flame to reach your goal but it is the first spark that sets the wheels in motion. This is the eternal flame, the original combustion of energy that refuses to die in each and every one of us. All the great and powerful who have gone before us started with this very same emanation. What will you do with it?
Not paying attention to the Fire. Your mind is on another Fire. Decide once and for all which Fire means more to you or both will fizzle out. Don’t stand forever at the crossroads. Make a decision and then act upon it.
Turning from any darkness in the past to bring Fire into your future. Positive action and purpose. Looking forward to the year ahead and feeling encouraged to initiate change. Three brings growth and expansion for Fire. Get behind your projects with renewed enthusiasm and conviction.
Let Fire into your home. Maybe it is time for a make-over. Freshen, renew, repaint, re-do and reclaim. Clear clutter indoors and outdoors. Open the windows and let some fresh air in. Feel energised and motivated into making your home an uplifting and welcoming place to be, then show it off to family and friends. Maybe you need a personal make-over too. Time to start thinking about vacation destinations.
Use the energy of Fire to enthusiastically throw yourself out of your comfort zone and into the challenges of new experience. Embrace change by responding to it positively. Battle your way through any obstacles instead of sidestepping them. It is better to join the game rather than stand on the sidelines. Participate in what excites you. Push your body into activity. Jump into the mayhem of the new and unknown. It will waken you up very quickly. Remember, if you are not in, you can’t win.
Don’t just think or hope you will succeed. Believe and know you will succeed. Work with Fire to strengthen your resolve and it will reward those who do not quit. Follow through on promises you have made to your yourself and to others.
Breathe in the heat of Fire into your belly and stand up for what you believe in. Be assertive in your dealings with those who would seek to dis-empower you. You shall overcome. There are no problems, only challenges. Instead of can’t say I’ll try. Replace ‘impossible’ with ‘I’ll find a way’. Remove the negatives that aim to quash Fire.
Maintaining and sustaining a strong Fire within will create the momentum you need to reach your goals. Others will be impressed by what you are achieving with Fire and will be eager to join in. The power of Fire is magnificent once it is harnessed and channeled in the right direction. Set goals that are achievable yet force you to go the extra mile. It is in this extra mile you will see the magic begin to manifest.
Fire has taught you some hard lessons in the past. Don’t allow yourself to make the same mistakes this time. Increasing your understanding of the nature of Fire will lessen the risk of getting your fingers burned.
Seek not the new Ace of Wands until you are sure you can handle it. Deal with the Fire you are carrying before adding more to your load. Too much of anything, even Fire, can be a bad thing. If your hands are burning, or the heat from the Fire is unbearable, then something is wrong. Make sure you have the time and energy to complete anything you start or take on.
You are the embodiment of Fire and are ready to fully embrace the possibilities and potential of the year ahead. Reborn, refreshed and renewed, you are all set for an adventurous journey. Expect to be surprised and amazed by what you discover. Fire is working its magic on you and has your full attention. You can do anything and go anywhere you please under this energy. New interests, new looks and new places are highly encouraged.
The explorer bursts forth out of Fire and is ready to conquer the world. You will have to take action as Fire refuses to be held back any longer. This is what you have been waiting for. Energy begets Energy. The more you do, the more you will be able to do. You are in a position to use Fire to take your life to any level you so wish. Remember the gift and power of Fire, and the respect you must have for it. Rise to any challenge you encounter and keep smiling. Get ready to enter new territory.
Fire bestows on you its many blessings. You become radiant in its fiery glow. Its heat warms and nourishes you, allowing you to generously share with all, the love and joy of the new life that bursts forth. You refuse to be anything other than optimistic about the year ahead and have many plans, ideas, and goals to put into action or work towards. Energy is high and health is wonderful. You believe in life, love, happiness and fun and are totally open to anything that comes your way. You are channeling Brigid, the seer, as you re-calibrate your energy with that of the natural world around you.
You must learn to master Fire for productive purposes. If you want to lead instead of follow, to be in control of your destiny instead of leaving it up to the fates, then you must work with Fire to empower you. Fire at this level must be channeled in a mature manner. The gift of Fire will assist your influence over others, but it will also allow you to control others. Before you open yourself to this formidable energy you must question your conscience. What sort of power do you seek from Fire? Once you have found your perfect balance of Fire, keep it topped up or stoked. You must maintain your position. Rest not on former glories.
Lá Féile Bríde
Happy Winter Solstice From Ireland,
I have updated the content on my Winter Solstice Page. Hope you enjoy the accompanying video. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much luck with a clear sky for the Winter Solstice Celebrations at Newgrange in Ireland this morning. No Sun to light up the passageway and inner chamber. I am sure our ancient ancestors were not strangers to this problem. It is Ireland after all!
(Click on Image Below for Video)
Merry Meet to all on this fair May Day Morn,
Happy Bealtaine – First Day of Summer
Today, May 1st, brings back so many memories of my young school days. May was an exciting month in school in Ireland as there was much ritual and colour associated with it. In my young innocent days, all tradition in school revolved around the Catholic Religion, and for this month I do believe the nuns came into their own. May was devoted to Our Lady, Mary, mother of God and therefore, even though the nuns of my childhood days, those virgin brides of Jesus, bore no resemblance whatsoever to women, or were remotely feminine, somewhere deep down inside, buried under the layers of their heavy, dark, floor-length habits, hard rigid wimples and grim reaper like veils, beat the instinctual cellular memory of their gender. Beaten out of them by a patriarchal religion and powerful male catholic hierarchical system, women rarely got a look in other than to dress the altar, polish the brass candlesticks and provide free tea and lunches to their Parish Priest. Women followed the rules and regulations laid down for them by the Priest who pontificated from the pulpit each Sunday. These Priests in turn following the laws carved in stone by the Vatican with its heartless and soulless Popes, more concerned with their own self-importance and egos than the genuine interests and needs of their flock, absolutely believed that they were the voices of a God who placed the male as King and the female as his servant or slave.
A typical Nun’s attire of the Past
Nuns did the Priests’ and Bishops’ bidding and were expected to fuss, stress and panic whenever one visited the school or their adjoining Abbey. The nun’s usual terse, cantankerous and bitter stance towards us, and life in general, soared to new heights of rigidity and aggression when either of the above were due to pay a call. As children we were conditioned and programmed in the preceding days to be on our best behaviour (as if we ever had the nerve or courage to be anything else). The fear of God was put into us with threats of beatings and even worse should we show them up in front of some pompous white-collared or pointy-hatted representation of the Lord himself.
Statue of Our Lady
But with the approach of May, the nuns became girlish like, even skittish at times and were sometimes seen to break their thin and tight, frigid lips into the weakest of smiles. Such un-nunly like behaviour was immediately taken advantage of by us young girls. We would relax and even dare to walk on the wrong side of the corridor, or worse still, run past a nun who would not notice this blatant breach and defiance of school rules. So intent were they on arranging the May Day Procession and May Altar in the main lobby area that they barely took notice of us. This was the one time of the year they had a legitimate chance to vaguely express their womanly selves; to think of colour, style, what sort of flower arrangement would look best, which vase would suit? Unable to do likewise for their own dress, hairstyle and colour, shoe height or hem-length, they threw the little that was left of their femininity into preparing for the glorious occasion of Bealtaine, The Feast of our Lady.
Copyright © 2006-2014 Vivien Ní Dhuinn
The Wheel of The Year
Greetings to all,
I am thrilled to announce the addition of a New Section on The Main Menu called The Wheel of The Year. I have been working very hard on putting this together and intend it to be an ongoing project as we work our way through the remainder of the Year and all its Seasons.
Here is an Excerpt from this New Section and I hope you will find the reading of it contains something to interest you. As each Seasonal Festival comes upon us, I will be adding Information about it along with some relevant Meditations and Tarot Spreads.
Work will continue as normal on completing the re-working of the rest of the Course and Cards.
The Wheel of The Year
The Wheel of The Year represents the annual cycle of the Seasons and their Midpoints. It is traditionally associated with Paganism but has its origins stretch very far back into Celtic Society where the coming and going of the Seasons, the shortening and lengthening of daylight hours impacted strongly on this agricultural race.
The Wheel itself is divided into either Four or Eight Points. When divided by Four each Point is referred to as a Quarter Day and it is these that mark the Two Solstices at Mid-Winter and Mid-Summer. Mid-Winter sits at the most Northerly Point on The Wheel, while Mid-Summersits at the most Southerly Point. The other Two Quarter Days are Equinoxes; Spring/Vernal Equinox known as Ostara and Autumnal Equinoxknown as Mabon. The Vernal Equinox’s Point lies exactly mid-way between the The Winter and Summer Solstice and is positioned to theEast of The Wheel. The Autumnal Equinox’s Point is positioned to the West of the Wheel mid-way between Summer Solstice (Litha) and Winter Solstice (Yule).
When divided into Eight, the Mid-Points between the Quarter Days are included and recognised. So we have the Mid-Point between Winter Solstice and Ostara known as Imbolc, the Mid-Point between Ostara and Summer Solstice known as Bealtaine, the Mid-Point betweenSummer Solstice and Mabon known as Lugnasagdh and the Mid-Point between Mabon and Winter Solstice known as Samhain. These days are referred to as Cross Quarter Days.
Pagan traditions vary, some celebrating the Four Quarter Days while others, both Quarter and Cross Quarter Days. Dates and associated names also vary. Regardless of tradition, whether acknowledging Four or all Eight, each of these Days are celebrated and feasted.
The Four Seasons are celebrated as Solar Festivals while the Cross Quarter Days are celebrated as Fire Festivals.
Other Links Imbolc Imbolc Meditations, Imbolc Tarot Readings
Copyright © 2006-2014 Vivien Ní Dhuinn
Happy Winter Solstice To All,
Winter Solstice, also known as Yule, Alban and Midwinter represents the darkest and shortest day of the year. The Sun is at its lowest point shortening our daylight hours. As I sit here at my desk on this very special date, 21st of December, it is but 2.00pm in the afternoon and already the darkness is beginning to fall. I have just put the lights on in the room so that I find my way around. The heavy dark sky and torrential rain cover my environment like a wet sodden grey wool cloak. The Sun has sunk to its lowest point, is weak and lacks warmth. Ancient Pagans believed that on this night, The Holly King went into headlong battle with the Oak King to retain his Reign over the Waning part of the Year. The Holly King battled the same Oak King on the eve of 21st of June, Midsummer’s Eve and prevailed, becoming Champion and ruler of The Natural World since then. However, as December 21st began to draw near, The Holly King could feel his powers and strength increasing. He would begin the day as the Supreme Ruler but just like The Wheel of Fortune in The Tarot reminds us that once the Wheel has reached it highest point of its rotation, it must by the laws of Nature and the Universe, begin once more its downward turn. As the Holly King would reach the upper most point, The Sun would reach its lowest.
The Holly King today finds himself in this exalted position but he knows the cycle of things, and must revel in this day for he has reached the ultimate point of his power. The Wheel, The Cycle of the Year is forever turning, never standing still and sure enough, as night follows day, the Wheel will make that very important move that will topple the Holly King from his Throne. Regardless of his ancient knowledge, The Holly King will relentlessly endeavour to retain his Reign by going into mortal battle with The Oak King, The Lord of the Waxing part of the year. The Battle happens every year on the 21st, and this eve, The Holly King will lose, just like he loses every year. The Oak King will Slay him just as he does every year. It is now time for The Lord of The waxing year to Reign, but to do so, The Holly King must die. To the ancient Celts, this was a constant reminder of the cyclical nature of all things. After Death, comes Rebirth.
As The Oak King stands victorious over the slain Holly King, the slumbering Goddess in the underworld gives birth to a new son, the Sun, and hope returns to the land with the promise of growth and abundance once more. The nights remain dark and cold but the Sun, still young and weak, gains strength with each passing day, stretching the daylight hours minute by minute until suddenly we notice a real difference as darkness and nightfall come later and later. The Waxing Sun and the Goddess breathe life back into the Earth, and soon we shall see the first signs of growth once more. The Wheel is turning and The Oak King sits proud on its upward turn. He too knows that his Reign will come to an end, but he accepts that is how the laws of nature work. He will enjoy his time on the bright side of The Wheel and all around will hail and welcome his return to power. He has much work to do during his Reign: trees to bud, grass to grow, crops to flourish, fruit to ripen, bodies to heat. He will struggle during his early Reign to protect the ewes during the lambing season from the harshness of snow and driving winds. It will take time for the newborn Sun to be fully effective, but all now look towards the sky and salute it as it rises higher and higher and the first signs of growth become noticeable once more. There is much to rejoice at this time of the year. Yes, there are still hard days to come but from here on in the days will become brighter and longer, lifting our mood and re-energising our spirit. The darkest days are over and it is a time to let go of anything negative in our lives so that we can move positively forward into the light with a renewed faith and strengthened resolve.
Winter Solstice is symbolised by Wreaths, Yule Logs, Holly and Evergreen Trees (Christmas trees)
A little Winter Solstice Ritual
(This involves candles so please take every precaution necessary to ensure safety. This is a great ritual for all the family to take part in)
Take some time today to write down a list of all the things you wish to leave behind in the dark, waning part of the year and your life. Write a second list of all the good things you are determined to work towards in the coming Spring and year. Have two candles prepared, one dark in colour, black would be good, and the other a pale colour, especially white. Now light the black candle and set it in a fireproof container. Meditate on those things that you wish to leave behind for a few minutes. When you are ready, take the list of all the negative things you wish to let go of and hold it in the flame until it catches fire. Now set it down in the fireproof container or throw it into the fireplace. Blow out the Black Candle which will represent The Death of The Holly King. Watch the list burn,setting the intention that as it burns, so too do all the negative things you wish to release. Sit for a moment and meditate on this.
Now take your pale coloured candle and light it. This represents the new-born Sun and the Victory of Light over Darkness with the Reign of The Oak King. Place your list of the positive things you wish to achieve beside it. Meditate on its contents and set the intention that it is done. Roll up the list neatly and taking the candle drip some wax onto the edge of the paper. Let it cool and set. Your list is now sealed with your intention. Leave the candle burning in a safe place for the evening but do not leave it unattended. Place the sealed list in a place that is close to where you sleep.
On next Winter Solstice you can break the seal and read your list which will now be a year old. Compare it to how the year has turned out for you. Did you hold hard and fast to your intentions, or did you let some of the old negativity back into your life? There is always time to start again.
Newgrange in Ireland was constructed over 5,000 years ago. It was built during the Neolithic period in the Boyne Valley of Ireland. Newgrange is a passage tomb and temple which has strong astrological and spiritual associations. Very special spiritual and religious ceremonies were held there, but there is something very important about Newgrange. At dawn, from the 19th to the 23rd of December each year, the rising sun enters the passage way and illuminates the inner-chamber. Just above the entrance to the passage way is a small opening and it appears to have been specially built to allow the rising sun to enter on the shortest day of the year. As the sun rises, the rays push further into the inner chamber and dramatically light its interior. This only last a matter of minutes but for the ancient peoples of the time it must have been very spectacular and of immense importance. It meant that all was in Divine Order and the Universe was working as it should. The range of dates from the 19th to the 23rd show us that their calculations were not exact and precise but they knew that it would be within that time frame. For them it would have marked the rebirth of life after death.
Hundreds gather every year to witness this spectacular event. They stand in the darkness and wait for the sun to rise. The feeling must be incredible as the inner chamber becomes alive, and for those lucky people who are allowed access on this special day, they must be aware of the spirits of all those who have stood there before them so long ago ,waiting as they did today for the sign from the Gods that the Sun had been reborn once more.
Here is a link to one of our National TV Stations RTE who covered the wonderful event at Newgrange this morning.
The Goddess has given birth to the New Sun. Let us all rejoice,
Winter Solstice Blessings to All,
Vivien (your Tarot Teacher)
Copyright © 2006-2013 Vivien Ní Dhuinn