This is an ongoing project of creating an illustration and pattern for each of the eight holidays from the Wiccan wheel of the year: Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Lughnassad, Mabon and Samhain. While discovering the meaning of these events I'm including elements and symbols from other cultures which prove to be global as these beliefs revolve around the changing of seasons, nature and the movement of celestial bodies. Working on this series is also bringing me closer to nature and helping to accept the rules, laws and energies of the always changing river we all swim in.
This one is YULE for the Winter solstice which is the shortest day and the longest night in the year. It can be called also Yalda, Saturnalia, Karachun, Kwanzaa and there are a lot of myths around it, but basically it's the death of the old Sun and the birth of the new one.
It's also the time of looking inside and contemplating, embracing and forgiving to our dark side, and getting ready for the new light and resurrection.
I chose several symbols connected to this time of the year, like the White Goddess, the newborn, the fish, the fire of the Yule log, the sickle, Sun and Moon, and mistletoe.
IMBOLC is marking the beginning of the Spring, light, purification and fertility, traditionally the time of the lactating sheep. It's also called Oimelc, Brigid's Day, Candlemas, Feast of Pan or Lupercalia. Brigid is the Goddess of Healing, Poetry, Midwifery and Smithcraft. Winter is mostly gone, the first signs of Spring appear and the Goddess changes from Crone to Maiden. The God is still a young boy, but his increasing power can be felt as the days get longer.
OSTARA or Ēostre is at the Spring Equinox and everything is about renewal (flowers, water) fertility (egg, rabbit) and hope (lamb). As a folk tradition we paint on eggs and boys pour water on girls they like. It's the time of admiring the first flowers and planting seeds while the weather is finally getting warmer.
BELTANE is around the first of May and represents the beginning of the Summer. It is the last of the three spring fertility festivals and is about honouring life and light. Bonfires are lit and maypoles are set. The veil between this world and the otherworld gets thinner so faeries can enter freely and the Goddess takes the God's hand.
SAMHAIN is the time of death. The nature is going to sleep, and the spirit world is yet again coming closer to the material world. It's time to light a candle and remember our ancestors and deceased loved ones, also letting the Old go and making space for the New. The Goddess is turning into the Crone while the God is having his fully developed antlers as a symbol of the hunted deer.