Earth Honoring Traditions
Beltane Ceremony and Explanation, presented by Debbie Ward and Dennis Strain, May 3, 2015
EARTH HONORING TRADITIONS GROUP
Unitarian Universalism draws its faith from many sources, including the spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions that celebrate the sacred circle of life and inspire us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature. At the Unitarian Society of Germantown, the Earth Honoring Traditions Group celebrates the seasons of the year and the spirits of the earth with dancing, chanting, rituals and meditations, drawing on Native American, Celtic, and Northern European traditions.
Finding Our Roots: Monthly Meeting
On the first Monday of various months (excepting Feb, May, Aug & Nov), the group meets to explore earth honoring traditions. After a presentation by one of the members, the group plans the next celebration. All are welcome to attend.
Winter Solstice: The longest night of the year marks the beginning of winter, a time of gestation and reflection. The return of the sun promises that winter will end and brighter days will come. We celebrate the Winter Solstice on the Sunday evening closest to December 21.
Imbolc: This is the feast of the waxing light. It is the time of initiation, of beginning, when seeds that will later sprout and grow begin to stir from their dark sleep. We meet to share the light of inspiration, which will grow in the coming year. We celebrate Imbolc on the Sunday evening closest to February 1.
Vernal Equinox: This is the time of spring’s return: the joyful time, the seed time, when life bursts forth from the earth and the chains of winter are broken. Light and dark are equal. It is a time of balance, when all the elements within us must be brought into a new harmony. We celebrate the Vernal Equinox on the Sunday evening closest to March 21.
Beltane: The lusty month of May has been honored for millennia. It is a time of cleansing, of opening the windows and doors to the warmth of the sun, and of celebrating the earth’s fertility. We celebrate Beltane on the Sunday evening closest to May 1.
Midsummer: At the summer solstice, the sun pauses in the heavens, holding its northern most position before returning south. This is midsummer, the time of balance and healing. Before the darkness returns, we need to make the best use of the remaining light. We celebrate Midsummer on the Sunday evening closest to June 21.
Lughnasadh: This was the first harvest festival for the ancient Celts. Berries were on the vines but the grain fields needed attention before they could be harvested. It is a time for taking stock and redirecting energies. We celebrate Lughnasadh on the Sunday evening closest to August 1.
Mabon: This is the time of the harvest, of thanksgiving and joy, of leave-taking and sorrow. The seeds we have planted have blossomed; the stalks have been cut and only stubble remains. It is a time of change and transformation. We celebrate Mabon on the Sunday evening closest to September 21.
Samhain: This is the Celtic celebration of the end of summer and the beginning of the dark season. It is a time for facing our shadow side and for breaking away from the habits and practices that hold us back. We celebrate Samhain on the Sunday evening closest to November 1.