Marking the Seasons


A lot of Pagans use the festivals to mark the seasons. The problem I have with this is that they insist that the start of the Summer is Beltane. In Britain where I live Beltane is often cold and wet and we may not see a period of sunshine (I define a period as roughly a week) until June or maybe July, which is not when Summer is supposed to start.

I’ve always felt that Beltane is the end of Spring and celebrate midsummer as the end of the light days and beginning of the dark days, so for me it is really the Summer solstice.

The Irish did at some point mark various points as seasons, but the seasons themselves may have changed.

In Irish myth Imbolc is marked as the start of the light half of the year and Samhain as the dark half. I have calculated out the days and the period Imbolc to Samhain is 273 days, while Samhain to Imbolc is 120 days which makes it roughly Imbolc to Samhain is the light two-thirds of the year while Samhain to Imbolc is the dark one-third of the year.
So instead of marking the seasons at the festivals, I mark the weather.

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1 Comment

  1. December 4, 2014 at 5:07 am

    It’s like that in Michigan too. It’s still coat and mud boots weather. I have been known to push my celebration out to the next full moon after a festival day. I let the planet set my schedule as much as possible. If it isn’t summer yet, it just isn’t.


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