The Old England (pagan) Wheel of the Year divides the year into eight different celebrations linked to seasonal change. The Wheel that I follow encompasses rituals roughly dating from the Anglo-Saxon years, right through the Middle Ages to countryside customs which were still acknowledged the late Victorian era. Modern Wiccans follow a similar wheel, but the eight distinct phases of the natural year listed on this website have been given some different names. These are the terms which intuitively feel correct to me. There is some Christian overlay, because paganism and Christianity were comfortably intermingled by medieval peasant folk.
OLD ENGLISH WHEEL OF THE YEAR
Candlemas (February 2) – Return of the light, candle blessings, weather predictions, St Brigid, dairy and eggs, Pancake Day, the Feast of Lovers.
Ostara (March 9-22) – Spring Equinox, fertility, rebirth, baby animals, painted eggs, daffodils, hot cross buns, cowslip wine, blossoms, Damson Day, cuckoos, St George.
May Day (May 1) – Maypoles, morris dancers, hobby horses, love, the return of the Green Man in the flowering woods, balefires, May Queen, Whitsuntide, May Wine.
Midsummer (June 19-23) – Summer Solstice, Oak King, fairies, magic, roses, Robin Hood, longest day and shortest night, St Swithin’s Day, bonfires, well dressing.
Lammas (August 1) – ‘loaf mass’, baking bread, corn/wheat/grain harvest, corn dolls, harvest king, John Barleycorn.
Harvest (September 21-24) – Autumn Equinox, cornucopia, Michaelmas, vegetables, nuts, berries, apples, Holy Rood Day, wine-making, hunting, scarecrows, thanksgiving, St Luke’s Little Summer.
Hallowtide (October 31) – The Witches’ New Year, falling leaves, return of the dead, Dumb Supper, bonfires, goblins, demons, apple magic, jack-o-lanterns, St Cecilia, Martinmas, soul cakes, Stir-Up Sunday.
Yule (20-23 December) – Winter Solstice, Holly King, Yule Fire, mulled wine, evergreens, feasting, Twelfth Night, wassail, St Agnes Eve, posset, shortest day and longest night.
OLD ENGLISH MOON ALMANAC
January – Old Moon
February – Snow Moon, Wolf Moon
March – Worm Moon
April – Rain Moon, Hare Moon
May – Flower Moon
June – Strawberry Moon
July – Blessing Moon, Hay Moon, Wort Moon, Mead Moon
August – Barley Moon
September – Corn Moon
October – Hunter’s Moon, Harvest Moon, Blood Moon, Moon of Falling Leaves
November – Frost Moon
December – Cold Moon, Oak Moon, Long Night Moon