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Green Diary Events - April 2014

Imbolc - Festival of Awakening

Our ancestors celebrated 8 points in the year using them as a framework for their lives. The "Wheel of the Year" combines the astronomical cycle of the solstices and equinoxes, with the turning points of each season, marked by the Celts with the 4 Cross Quarter festivals, formerly known as the 4 Great Fire Festivals; Imbolc, Beltain, Lammas and Samhain. In the past huge community bonfires were lit on hilltops, uniting communities in common focus and celebration of their lives and the earth.

Imbolc falls between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox and celebrates the beginning of Spring. The earth is no longer still but stirring. What has been curled up begins to unfurl. It is time to move forward and become active once again.

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This is a regular yearly event - next three dates are:
20Mar

Spring Equinox - Festival of Balance & Potential

Our ancestors celebrated 8 points in the year using them as a framework for their lives. The "Wheel of the Year" combines the astronomical cycle of the solstices and equinoxes, with the turning points of each season, marked by the Celts with the 4 Cross Quarter festivals, formerly known as the 4 Great Fire Festivals; Imbolc, Beltain, Lammas and Samhain. In the past huge community bonfires were lit on hilltops, uniting communities in common focus and celebration of their lives and the earth.

The Spring Equinox [23.21 GMT] marks the first balance point of the year, when night and day reach equal length. All of nature is stirring now and showing signs of activity after the Winter sleep. Buds are bursting on the trees, Spring flowers are coming out and seeds are germinating. he powere of the Sun is increasing, the days are lengthening and the nights are shortening. We begin to feel empowered to reach out for what we want and to take risks, strike out on our own, go for walks and connect to the earth again.

30Apr

Beltain - Festival of Fertility and Union

Our ancestors celebrated 8 points in the year using them as a framework for their lives. The "Wheel of the Year" combines the astronomical cycle of the solstices and equinoxes, with the turning points of each season, marked by the Celts with the 4 Cross Quarter festivals, formerly known as the 4 Great Fire Festivals; Imbolc, Beltain, Lammas and Samhain. In the past huge community bonfires were lit on hilltops, uniting communities in common focus and celebration of their lives and the earth.

Beltain falls between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice and celebrates the beginning of Summer. All of life is bursting with fertility, sap is rising, birdsong fills the air and growth is everywhere.

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21Jun

Summer Solstice - Festival of Achievement

Our ancestors celebrated 8 points in the year using them as a framework for their lives. The "Wheel of the Year" combines the astronomical cycle of the solstices and equinoxes, with the turning points of each season, marked by the Celts with the 4 Cross Quarter festivals, formerly known as the 4 Great Fire Festivals; Imbolc, Beltain, Lammas and Samhain. In the past huge community bonfires were lit on hilltops, uniting communities in common focus and celebration of their lives and the earth.

The Summer Solstice [18.16 BST] is the longest day of the year, with the greatest amount of daylight and the shortest night. Here we celebrate the completion of the cycle that began at the Winter Solstice.

Solstice means, 'standing of the sun'  and we can connect to this great turning point by taking a moment to stop, be still and look back at our unique journey since the Winter Solstice. It is a time to count our blessings, celebrate our achievements and our expansive, expressive selves. It is a time to celebrate eachother, to pass on the Spirit of generosity and goodwill in ever-widening circles of positive energy.

31Jul

Lammas - Festival of Gratitude and First Seeds

Our ancestors celebrated 8 points in the year using them as a framework for their lives. The "Wheel of the Year" combines the astronomical cycle of the solstices and equinoxes, with the turning points of each season, marked by the Celts with the 4 Cross Quarter festivals, formerly known as the 4 Great Fire Festivals; Imbolc, Beltain, Lammas and Samhain. In the past huge community bonfires were lit on hilltops, uniting communities in common focus and celebration of their lives and the earth.

Lammas falls between the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox and celebrates the beginning of Autumn. It is the time of the grain harvest, providing the basic food that will sustain us throughout the winter. It is important to recognise that this grain is also the seed that becomes next years harvest,the seed that lives on and completes the cycle.

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23Sep

Autumn Equinox - Festival of Harvest and Gratitude

Our ancestors celebrated 8 points in the year using them as a framework for their lives. The "Wheel of the Year" combines the astronomical cycle of the solstices and equinoxes, with the turning points of each season, marked by the Celts with the 4 Cross Quarter festivals, formerly known as the 4 Great Fire Festivals; Imbolc, Beltain, Lammas and Samhain. In the past huge community bonfires were lit on hilltops, uniting communities in common focus and celebration of their lives and the earth.

The Autumn Equinox [10:04 BST] is the 2nd balance point of the year when day and night are of equal length. This is a good time to release the past and move forward with clarity as we begin to prepare for the coming Winter.

This is a time of ripening fruits, nuts, berries, mushrooms and seeds. Trees and plants are letting their energy fall back down into their roots. Leaves are dropping to the Earth to make compost, rich in nutrition and goodness, providing the best conditions for future new growth. This is a time for long-term planning and nurturing as the seeds we plant now will re-emerge in the Spring.

31Oct

Samhain - Festival of the Year's End

Our ancestors celebrated 8 points in the year using them as a framework for their lives. The "Wheel of the Year" combines the astronomical cycle of the solstices and equinoxes, with the turning points of each season, marked by the Celts with the 4 Cross Quarter festivals, formerly known as the 4 Great Fire Festivals; Imbolc, Beltain, Lammas and Samhain. In the past huge community bonfires were lit on hilltops, uniting communities in common focus and celebration of their lives and the earth.

Samhain falls between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice and celebrates the beginning of the Winter and the end and beginning of the Celtic Year. All of life is drawing inside itself now. This is not a time for action but a time to rest.

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21Dec

Winter Solstice - Festival of Rebirth

Our ancestors celebrated 8 points in the year using them as a framework for their lives. The "Wheel of the Year" combines the astronomical cycle of the solstices and equinoxes, with the turning points of each season, marked by the Celts with the 4 Cross Quarter festivals, formerly known as the 4 Great Fire Festivals; Imbolc, Beltain, Lammas and Samhain. In the past huge community bonfires were lit on hilltops, uniting communities in common focus and celebration of their lives and the earth.

The Winter Solstice [5:30 GMT] is the shortest day of the year and the longest night. At this time the darkness has reached its height and the waning cycle of the Sun stops. From now on the days will begin to lengthen and warmth and outer growth will return to us and to the Earth.

The Winter Solstice is an opportunity to come out of hibernation, to be loving and generous, to reconnect and celebrate friendships, family and the warmth of community.