Both Paganism and Evolutionary Spirituality draw inspiration from the natural world around us. Scientific discoveries have greatly illuminated how our natural world works, while Paganism has strengthened our connection to nature for millennia. The Pagan Wheel of the Year celebrates the interaction of the earth and sun, while providing structure to Evolutionary Spirituality. The Wheel of the Year not only can guide when to celebrate different aspects of the Great Story throughout the year, but can also provide metaphors for our geographic place in the world, for Deep Time, for the annual death and rebirth of life, and for the human lifespan.
Overall, the year is composed of the important points in the cycle of the year. The tilt of the earth causes the sunlight to wax and wane throughout the year – making a longest day (Litha) and a shortest day (Yule). This cycle also means that there are two times when the light is balanced with the dark, these being Ostara and Mabon. Of course, thermal mass requires that the earth heats up or cools down slowly, so the coldest time of the year is not the same as the darkest time, but rather is about 6 weeks later, depending on local geography. Thus, this gives another superimposed cycle, with a coldest time (Imbolc), a warmest time (Lammas), and two times when the hot and cold are balanced (Beltane and Samhain).
All of the Sabbats can be celebrated as a special holiday – that means no chores, no work – just time with loved ones or other fulfilling and fun activities. For all the Sabbats, cookies are fun to make. For some (such as sugar cookies), they can be colored and decorated to match the celebration.
The Sabbats are symmetric. For instance, Imbolc is the coldest time of the year, but is then the warmth begins to return. It is also the time when it starts getting rapidly lighter, and celebrates the hidden life both of the earth and of the human lifespan. It’s opposite is Lammas, which is the hottest time of the year, but is then the cold begins to return. It is also the time when it starts getting rapidly darker, and celebrates the powerful open life both of the earth and of the human lifespan.
Details on each of the 8 Sabbats (Holidays):
Rituals can be held in your own Stone Circle.
- "The Universe Story as Unfolding of the Triple Goddess and Her Seasonal Celebration", by Glenys Livingstone, is a moving personal and visionary essay about how evolutionary spirituality might enrich the goddess pagan tradition. It is one of many "metareligious essays" available on The Great Story website.
- CLICK TO RETURN TO Evolutionary Spirituality Theory and Practice to see how a sacred understanding of evolution is enriching other religious and philosophical worldviews.