Thursday, August 25, 2011

Paths in the Year Wheel

Many people look at the Wheel of the Year only in terms of a calendar. You move around the circle from one Sabbat to the next, making note of the Deities, Totems, tools, etc. that correspond to each holiday. Frankly, our Year Wheel is packed with plenty of information, and working with it in a strictly cyclical, calendrical manner makes good sense as you are first beginning to learn this Tradition.

The Wheel of the Year should also have some other correspondences and correlations among its many parts. At least, that is what Glaux and I believed when we sat down to hammer out our Wheel. We must admit, though, that there are only a few items that we consciously placed in such a way to satisfy our mutual need for symbolic aesthetics. Most of what is discernible as profound within the Wheel (and therefore within the Trad) is/was as much of a discovery for us as it is for you.

One thing that we noticed right away was the manner in which each Deity (and His/Her respective Sabbat, Gate/Castle, set of Totems, etc) related to the Deity on the opposite side of the Wheel. Each is connected my a wheel-spoke -- or a Path -- as you can see in the graphic below.

This particular depiction of the Paths needs to be updated, as it still bears some names we were using early in our work. The Sabbats listed as Vernalia and Autumnalia should be Eilir and Elfed, respectively. The God Tautes (at Yule), should instead be Janicot; and "1734" should instead say Kolyo.

You will notice that there are 4 paths:

  • Path of the Kings -- which connects the Horned Lords of Summer and Winter, Cernunnos and Janicot. They are the Oak King and Holly King, keepers of the Stone Castle and the Glass Castle, guardians of the Stone Bowl and the Glass Orb.
  • Path of the Queens -- which connects the Light and Dark Ladies of Spring and Fall, Hulda and Cerridwen. They are the keepers of the Castle of Revelry and the Castle Perilous, guardians of the Golden Lantern and the Silver Cup. They are also very strongly associated with the Mysteries of the Broom and the Cauldron.
  • Path of Tubal Cain -- which is the path of the sun itself, the line from East to West. This Path can be viewed symbolically as the Red Thread, connecting us to life (Beltaine) and death (Samhain).
  • Path of the Wagon -- which connects the Black and White Goddesses. The "wagon" is a glyph that we use to represent Them together -- a black gypsy-style vardo, painted with the red and white roses of the Goddesses, drawn by one black horse and one white.


  1. I like that you're using an old graphic here, as it shows how the Tradition has adapted and grown as we discover new aspects of it.

    My favorite change is Janicot in place of Tautes. I've been in love with the black goat Lord for years.

    Honestly, I don't just LOVE "Eiler and Elfed" as the Equinoxes, but I can't stand "Mabon", and nothing has presented itself as a better alternative. I am open to suggestions.

  2. I actually still like Autumnalia and Vernalia. I don't have nearly as much trouble remembering which is which, unlike with Elfed and Eilir. =) Plus the Celtic naming convention seems "off" since we've really adapted an AMERICAN folkloric witchcraft bent.

    Of course, the Latin names seem a little more sterile, even if they are clear.

  3. this is a thing i have never thought of thanks for sharing these with us. Black magic love spell


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