The 8 Festivals of Druidry
Central to Druidry is the observance of the 8 festivals of the wheel of the year.
These celebrations can acknowledged through ritual, meditation or just through the breaking of bread and the sharing of wine with friends.
Within the cycle is the journey of he God. Born at Midwinter as the Child of Light, the Mabon as a youth at Beltane he mate with the maiden, within this conception is sealed the birth of the child of light for the following season. As a man, the God lays down his strength at Lughnasadh, as the God descending at Samhain he is led by the Elder into the otherworld where he becomes guardian and protector.
We also see the journey of the Goddess. As maiden/virgin she births the child of light at Mid Winter. Her footsteps bring forth spring, till at Beltane she mates with the God at the crossing of the ford. Now she is the virgin mother, awaiting the birth of her child again at Midwinter. We also see her in the triple aspect as maid, mother and elder/ dark mother.
Innocence, abundance and wisdom.
Of the moon...
We see the same cycle mirrored in the phases of the moon. Traditionally seen as a representation of the divine feminine. The moon shows us, through her phases a fundamental belief of Druidry. That out of the darkness comes light.
From the dark sky the moon is born new, she grows to fullness, and wains, returning to darkness.
Ourselves with the wheel
We also see the ages of human life, mirrored within the wheel. We are born, we grow, we live, we die. It is the microcosm and macrocosm.
This turning wheel can show us the best time to start new projects, or be a reflection, an inner map of where we are on our personal journey through life.
"Corn and grain, corn and grain,
All that dies shall rise again."
This lines from a chant remind us of the cycle that the wheel shows us. All things pass, nothing stays the same. But, out of the death of one moment something new is born.
In fact, within every second that we observe, the universe as we know it dies and is reformed. Otherwise we would be able to walk about through time. Yet I cannot show you yesterday, nor lead you by the hand to tomorrow. For one is no more the other yet to be born.
In the same way that the journey of the Child of light, is one in which he is born of the darkness, reaches his strength and then descends into the darkness at the end of the year.