Season and Spirit: Magickal Adventures Around the Wheel of the Year

The Wheel of the Year is the engine that drives NeoPagan practice. Explore thw magick of the season beyond the Eight Great Sabbats.

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Signs of Spring

The week of the Spring Equinox, we got snow, lots of it: almost 2 feet feel in 12 hours, with a biting wind turning it into a full blown spring blizzard. Schools and offices were closed for 2 days, the roads were an icy mess, and it was really cold. It was hard, then, to start spring-cleaning or open the windows to invite in a freshening breeze. While snow poured into my flowerbeds, it didn’t feel appropriate to charge seeds, bless tools or prepare an offering to be left in swirl of icy snowflakes. Celebrating Ostara, regardless of what the calendar said, was the last thing on my mind.

Then, a few mornings later, I went outside, and things were...different. Yes it was cold, and the snow lingered on the lawn and had hardened into frozen slush in the street. But the cold air was not as sharp as I expected. In fact, there was a softness to it despite the chill. I could smell something too—something like soil or pollen, something almost floral. And unlike the stony silence of deep winter, with only the wind and traffic sounds in the air, I heard birds, I could hear several different trills and twees, and I noticed a froth of activity in my neighbors' cedar tree, as it was literally shaking with dozens of tiny gray wrens hopping in and out of its branches.

Driving that morning, in the thin morning light, with the sun veiled in thick clouds, the world was white everywhere, as it has been for so many weeks in January. But I noticed a difference—the trees were no longer dull grey scratches against the white. Every tree was still bare of leaves, but in the branches there was a haze—green or taupe or mauve—denoting the buds that were covering each branch and twig. A few very warm days later, and all the snow melted—and the grass that had been dead and brownish was suddenly green again, deeply brilliantly green. When the sun broke thru the fading mist, and illuminated everything, it was as if the whole world woke up. The grass shone like neon, the trees looked alive for the first time since Autumn.


In the Wiccan tradition I was first trained in, we talk about the Red Fire and the Green Fire, the ways in which the primal energies of our world manifest throughout the Wheel of the Year. In the waning part of the Year, in Autumn and Winter, we focus on the Red Fire of blood, of the hunt, of the animals and our own will, and of course actual fire, in order to survive as the life retreats from the darkening Earth. In Spring, as life returns to the land, we become aware of the Green Fire, the energy of the vegetative world awakening and signaling a time of growth and expansion for all things that live. The Green Fire is photosynthesis, it is the seed's drive to open and sprout and climb towards the Sun. It is evident in all the processes of life, germination, procreation, birth and growth exploding in an unmatched array, all at the same time. If Spring feels like a hectic moment, it is no accident. There is no more pressing business than getting on with it.

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Leni Hester is a Witch and writer from Denver, Colorado. Her work appears in the Immanion anthologies "Pop Culture Grimoire," "Women's Voices in Magick" and "Manifesting Prosperity". She is a frequent contributor to Witches and Pagans and Sagewoman Magazines.


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