Genesis 1:14 “And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,”
God gave us seasons and times for change. Those were all part of his grand design. By observing nature we can recognize the changing of the times.
There is lore about the spiritual battle between day and night and light and dark. God separated the light from the dark. Now they battle to take control. As they seasons change for half the year the light (summer/ spring) rules and for the other half dark (winter/fall) rules. There are also old Irish folklore about the two fairy Courts. The Unseelie Court, the vicious and bloodthirsty fairies. Also called the Winter Court. and the Seelie Court, the more reasonable, but still mischievous fairies (nature spirits) also called the Summer court.
Summer Solstice The longest day of the year. By that i mean the day with the most hours of daylight. If you have a lot to get done this is the best day to do it. After this day the days will begin to get shorter and nights will get longer. They wont be much noticeable until closer to the next equinox.
Easterly winds from May 19 to the 21 indicate a dry summer.
If there are many falling stars during a clear summer evening, expect thunder. If there are none, expect fine weather.
Half way between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice is the festival of Bel-fire. This signifies the changing of the time of Earth to the time of Fire. From this day to the Summer Solstice the elements are overlapping and is a time when the p-brain between the spiritual dimensions are thinned.
Winter Solstice The first day of winter. The day of the longest night and shortest day. This is the darkest and coldest part of the year. On this day, Day begins to win the age old battle and beating back Night. From this point the amount of daylight will start to increase and the amount of darkness will start to shorten until the spring equinox and the day and night are about equal again. By now all the grass is dead and turned brown and the trees are all bare. However this season is not without it’s beauty. We all love to see the snow and ice. When the white blanket covers the ground and makes all things look pure and clean. Many cultures view winter as the end, but also a new beginning. As one year ends an new year begins with the coming of spring.
Winter is the time of year when the earth rests from it’s work. The planting and harvesting time is over and families lived off of what they stored up the rest of the year. Things are a little different now with all our modern technology, most people don’t even think about it anymore, but this was a dangerous time for many. There is a lot of superstition about this time of year. It is called the Darkest days, not just because of night being longer. If you didn’t store up enough you wouldn’t have enough to feed your families. This could drive some to desperation including attacking others to steal what you need or just starving. So proper planning was important to surviving the harshness of winter.
Halfway between the Fall Equinox and the Winter solstice is the day of Samhain known better as Halloween. It is celebrated by lighting large bonfires believed to be protective. People would set out food for the spirits of their departed loved ones who were thought to come back to visit on this day. A good celebration was thought to ensure a good harvest and livestock season. This day was thought to be a good day for divination as the mystical energies were strongest. I will do more about Halloween separately.
There’s an old weather proverb that states, “If autumn leaves are slow to fall, prepare for a cold winter.”
Trees snapping and cracking in the autumn indicate dry weather.
Of autumn’s wine, now drink your fill; the frost’s on the pumpkin, and snow’s on the hill.
–The Old Farmer’s Almanac, 1993
It is the summer’s great last heat,
It is the fall’s first chill: They meet.
–Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt
Half way between the Summer Solstice and the Fall Equinox is the day of Lammas. This marks the ending of the time of fire and the time of air. The days between are a time of overlapping. This is a festival of the first harvest. Usually celebrated with competitions of strength and skill. Two groups would spar off and build a tower and top it with a flag. At the appointed time the two groups would compete in a capture the flag sort of event. Also a time for matchmaking if you know a yenta.
Vernal (Spring) Equinox This marks the first day of spring. Day and night are almost equal again. From here the days will start to get Longer and the night will get shorter until the Summer solstice the longest day of the year. This is the time for new birth. The flowers start popping up and birds start showing up with their songs. Furry critters come out of hibernation. Even worms start coming up out of the ground. This is the time for planting.
There is an old folklore that you can stand a raw egg on it’s end during the equinox.
Spanning from March to June, that is from the Spring Equinox to the summer solstice, the Spring period is the Earth period. When growth is most abundant. This is the time of Earth.
Candlemas is the halfway point between the Winter solstice and the Spring Equinox. The Spring Equinox is the official end of the time of Water and the Start of the Time of Earth. The Winter solstice is when Night is strongest and Day is weakest. Candlemas is the point at which Day starts getting stronger again. Taking back the daylight hours and at the equinox Day and Night are about equal and then Day starts winning until the Summer solstice when it is at it’s strongest the longest day of the year. So from the time of Candlemas to the Spring Equinox is a period of overlapping elements. Water and Earth overlap and this is the time when you will see the most storms and weather changes.
So what is Candlemas. It is a day for celebrating the home and family basically. As the weather tries to change between winter and spring there comes with it rainy and sometimes stormy weather. The earth is being baptized in a way. The end of the old year and beginning of the new. This is a great time for getting baptized yourself if you haven’t’ been. At this point you have been cooped up inside mostly and the weather should be getting better and winter is ending. Now is a time to start getting your home life in order. If you are a homesteader then now is the time to get ready to plant. On Candlemas you start your Spring Cleaning. You light a fire in the fireplace or hearth and light candles in every room and ask God for blessings for your home and family. Sprinkle holy water around in each room. Hang a Brigid Cross over your entry way for protection of your home and family. Since the coming season will bring with it lots of rain and storms. Change out your bed clothes and fresh sheets. Time to start anew. Clean home and soul.
Candlemas also signifies the beginning of the Time of Water and Time of Earth overlap. This is a dangerous time spiritually. This is a time when the P-brain (membrane between dimensions) is weak and it is believed that spirits can cross over more easily. Both good and bad ones. It is a time when loved ones can visit the living, but also demons or evil spirits can take advantage of divinations to cross over and attach to people. You must be careful and pray to God for protection to cleanse you and your home from lingering spirits. Make sure by the end of the Spring Equinox to sweep them out the door and pray to God to seal your home and protect it from any coming back. (well the bad ones anyway)
The Green man is a common spiritual symbol for this time of year. He is a protector spirit of nature. Old Christians have a problem believing in such spirits, but i don’t see it as a problem. I don’t see why we can’t believe in nature spirits and such. God created all things and as long as we aren’t worshiping them as gods, this doesn’t go against any beliefs or practices. He is often seen on historic buildings and decorations on old churches. If you have ever visited any you probably have seen a few. He is depicted as a man or face with a body made of vines or leaves. Sometimes the vines are coming out of his nose or mouth. My witchy friend has a green shirt that has his face on it and wears it during the spring when we celebrate Spring.