I’m always excited to see other people share their festival calendars, especially since mine is so standard. Both at home and in the Grove, we follow the Wheel of the Year, though this year we’re adding a few more rituals. Here’s our calendar for February through April.
- Imbolc (February 1). Honouring Brighid, but especially Brighid as Hearth Goddess. Laying out the brat Bhríde the night before to receive her blessings. First and foremost, Brighid is the hearth goddess, but also is a foster-mother. We see Brighid as multifacted, but as a mother would be — she can do a lot of things, but isn’t necessarily an expert at them.
- The Wednesday after Imbolc (February 5). In the Táin, Cúchulainn does not sleep from Samhain until the Wednesday after Imbolc, the night on which his divine father Lugh comes to him and heals his wounds. We will be observing this for the first time this year, which will lead into further worship of Cúchulainn.
- During February, I also start collecting onion skins for dying eggs at Vernal Equinox. I put out my jar today!
- Purple Woods Maple Syrup Festival (mid-March). Yes, we count this as a spiritual event! Here, we buy our maple syrup for the year.
- Cúchulainn’s Hero-Feast (March 17). We’ll be adopting this feast into our calendar as suggested by P. Sufenas Virius Lupus.
- Indo-European Creation Myth Ritual (circa March 20). A ritual re-enacting the first sacrifice that created the world, with Tzopilotl.
- Latha na Cailliche (March 25). Our Grove has spent the last few years getting to know our local Cailleach. She is very old and is tied to the land, especially the Oak Ridges Moraine, which is a very important landform in Southern Ontario. Whether our Cailleach’s influence expands over the entirety of the Moraine, or whether she is local to Durham, I’m not really sure. She receives offerings from us from Samhain through to the Equinox, and a Grove member hosts her in their home on behalf of our tribe. At this High Day, we invite her to reside in a stone cairn built for her for the summer.
- This year for Latha na Cailliche, we’ll be making spring baskets and having them blessed at the ritual. I’m borrowing this from Slavic Pascha traditions, and we’ll be making some traditional foods, but also including our maple syrup bought at the festival. The onion skins collected from Imbolc until the Equinox will be used to dye eggs for the baskets.
- Earth Day (April 22). Our Grove will be holding a public Earth Day rite this year, and surprisingly, we’ve not done one before.
- Tree Planting (circa April 22). We join our local conservation authority to plant trees or do other work at conservation areas as part of our community service and commitment to the Earth Mother.
We also have a household ritual once a week on Sundays (which needs tweaking), I tend Brighid’s flame every twenty days, and have my ADF Clergy devotional once per lunar month.