by Fredrick Adams
The Love Round of the Year is the everlasting religion of Nature. The Supernal Lovers are the Goddess of Nature and containment and the God of purpose and penetration. Their Celestial Thrones are the Moon and the Sun. They are Artemis and Dionysos, or Nimue and Merlin, or Parvati and Shiva. The majestic courtship of the divine pair is perennial sacrament.
The Love Round of the Sacred year is both a cycle of continuous celebration and a mandala of mystery initiations. The possible meanings and enactments are beyond count. Each landscape composes a unique version of the ageless seasonal love poem. True celebrants continually chant this poem from the specific nature-inscriptions of their own beloved region. Each love mime of nature and art mixes a magical blend of season, region and urge. Thus the reams of the devoted and the spirits of Wilderness unite to form the pageantry of Faerieland. And every celebrant rediscovers her/his own timing in the timeless Dance of the Seasons. Blessed Be.
1. Ostara - Spring Equinox - March 21
This Festival of Rising Sap, plunging roots, and bare buds heralds the natural beginning of the Sacred Year. The days grow longer than the nights. The Goddess of Nature gives birth to the God of the year. Delivery changes the Goddess into a Maiden. She and the God exchange the dainties of Childhood.
2. Beltane - May 1
The Festival of Full Flowering. Sex crown the Holy Nakedness of Blossoming Flesh. By sex the two are divided only to be molded closer in Bliss. All glistening, dewy and hot, the holy pair announce their engagement.
3. Midsummer - Summer Solstice - June 21
The Festival of Pollination and Green Leaves. On the eve of this longest day of the Year, the Royal Pair celebrate their wedding Feast. They race into the Greenwood and mate in streaming clouds of Pollen.
4. Lugnasadh - August 1
The Festival of Fruiting and Beginning of Harvest. The meanderings of the Honeymoon. As fruits in scented groves ripen, the Breasts of the Goddess swell.
5. Harvest Home - Autumnal Equinox - September 23
The Festival of Homecoming and Release. The nights grow longer than the days. The Divine Lovers pluck and store the finished fruits. Nectars and ciders are danced out under juice-stained feet. The belly of the Goddess swells like a New Moon. She makes Annunciation. Their work-play of the year completed, the Holy Pair freely roam the cooling hillsides. They loosen all their burdens in the raining gold of Autumn Leaves.
6. Samhain - November 1
The Festival of Sinking to Soil and Prophecy. The Divine Lovers make all Life snug for the long Winter sleep. As seeds and litter settle to Earth, dreams and All Souls rise from the dense, rooted Underground to soften and fuse them. In the Faerie Twilight of the year, the dread Doors between Worlds swing open. The Shining Lovers descend to their Bedchamber of living loam.
7. Repose - from Samhain through December 21
The Festival of Emptiness and Return to the Raw Elements. Under gathering Quilts of Crystal, The Goddess sleeps alone. Completely enfolded within Her now, the God summons strength for His new birth. The vast throng of the Stars bestows upon Earth the Communion Kiss of All in All.
8. Yule - Winter Solstice - December 22
The Festival of First Awakening. From within the Womb of the Year's longest night, the Holy Infant thrusts lustily. The Goddess awakens in gloom of numbed Earth. As the Sun turns North once more, Life jubilantly strikes its new spark from the naked Elements.
9. Oimelc - February 1
The Festival of Enscaled Buds on Bare Branches, and also of First Shoots. Torchlit Processions lead the Goddess out of the Underworld. Her Belly is fully stretched. The Head of the Holy Infant drops for delivery. Slush from snows thawing off the heights, and mud from new Rains signal the bursting of the Water Sack.
The Goddess joyously delivers the Infant God at the Vernal Equinox. The Magic Circle is closed and a New Arc begun. Nesting recommences; The Glain Egg is hunted and hatched. The Goddess and the God, children again, mount the seasonal steps of the New Year to the Summer Summit of Love. In Wonder they proceed forever to Celebrate the Wild Wedding of the Great Trees.