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Peeking in the Shadows: Crafting a Book of Shadows and Light


We begin a journey through the Witch’s Wheel of the Year for 2022!


The Witch’s Wheel of the Year



What is the Wheel of the Year?

The Wheel of the Year marks the Sun’s journey across the sky, the solstices, equinoxes and the Earth’s changing seasons. Each spoke of the wheel marks an important moment of progression and change in the Earth and in accord with that progression a celebratory festival is aligned. These celebrations are called Sabbats.

The Wheel of the Year is also a reflection of the recurring cycles of the Natural world. Traditionally, these celebrations were very closely tied to the cycles of the agrarian culture of Western Europe and were marked by those specific seasonal rites of celebration. There are eight festivals or celebrations that mark the turning of the Wheel, the never-ending movement of time and the changing of the seasons and tides of nature.


The Cycles of the Wheel

The cycles represent birth, death and eventual rebirth and are symbolized through the continuum of life held within the mythos of the God and Goddess. The cycle of the God is one of sacrifice, moving from his birth at the Winter Solstice in the form of the return of the light (Sun) to his claiming of manhood and fecundity at Beltane to the sacrificial God of the Harvests at Lammas. The Goddess moves through her forms of triplicity- Maiden – Mother and Crone and remains as the undying one.


The Sabbats

Four of the Sabbats are known as the “cross-quarter” or Greater Sabbat celebrations, and include Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas and Samhain. The remaining four, or Lesser Sabbats mark specific astronomical positions of the sun. These are the Winter and Summer Solstices and the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes.


Origins of the Festivals

The four Greater Sabbats are Imbolc, Beltaine, Lughnasadh and Samhain. These cross-quarter festivals were more relevant to herding people and were all marked by Fire festivals; usually very large and held of sacred importance to encourage and renew the continuance of the Sun, and, therefore, their survival. The equinoxes and solstices or the Lesser Sabbats are more closely attuned to the growing of crops and the cycle of planting and harvesting.

The dying and rebirthing aspect of the crops became associated with the persona of the God (and thus, Solar energies) as the sun was very much needed to perpetuate this cycle. The Goddess became the representation of that which was necessary to contain, grow within, harvest and replant the very essence of survival and life… namely food. Just as food nourishes, heals, sustains and aids in giving life, so did the Goddess move through the wheel in the form of Maiden (the promise of new life), Mother (the sustainer and nurturer of life) and Crone (keeper of the wisdom and death, with the promise of rebirth).


A Turn of the Wheel

The symbology of a wheel is one that is used to represent the belief that all of life moves in accord with a natural cycle of change. Additionally, if we think of the function of a wheel, its purpose is that of movement; of stirring up momentum to propel or carry whatever it is attached to from a place of being stationary and stagnant. If all of life were simply to pause and cease to move, there would be no growth. If there was not the revolution of the sun’s light in the course of a day, there would be perpetual darkness where it’s rays did not reach and blinding light and unbearable heat where its energy was focused. At a deeper level of understanding, the Wheel of the Year and the celebrations and cycles that each “turn”, or movement towards the next Sabbat brings, offers the potential for greater understanding of our place within this planet we call home and the tides and changes that occur within its natural domain.


The Act of Celebration

Each of the Sabbats has multiple correspondences, Deities, cultural preferences and intent that are associated with its celebration. Additionally, because there is the astronomical component to this cycle there will be differing celebrations dependent on whether you live in the Northern or the Southern Hemisphere. The dates that we will work with correspond to the Northern Hemisphere (since this is where I live), but I will give reminder of the celebration honored in the Southern Hemisphere.

The ecstatic nature of the Wiccan Path is held in its celebrations. We weave our magick of spell working and sit in practice of devotion to our Gods and Goddesses. But, the raising of energy specific towards celebration, the invocation of the carefully selected Deity (ies), cakes, ale and community are what enliven us as we chant, dance and revel in being alive and surrounded by the Divine. Even in the quiet space of solitary celebration, the unseen join as witness to the act of designating time and energy to mark the passing of the seasons. This is the ultimate goal of the Witch- attunement with all of life and knowledge of Nature, the Earth and the Cosmos in all of its glory.


We Begin Our Journey during Imbolc-February 1-2.2022



This turn of the Greater Wheel moves us towards a place of newness and the quickening of what was brought to light at Yule, the Winter Solstice. We stand at the mid-mark between the act of revealing (Winter Solstice) the fertility that lay dormant from the triple harvest and the action of sowing and planting (Spring Equinox) what we hope will prove viable and grow to its fullest potential. This is the time of quickening and enlivening the hidden seeds of transition and preparation of what will wither and die and what will germinate a become viable product.

A traditional focus of Imbolc is often infused with the gifts of the Celtic Goddess, Brighid. Many will craft candles, infusing them with HER healing properties. In coven workings, some will make oath and re-dedicate to the quickening of our minds and hearts, laying the space of ground to awaken what can blossom in the months ahead. Many will call upon her creativity to inspire us as we move forward towards the next turn of the Wheel.

For most, the first encounter with this fiery Goddess is one associated with her triune nature. She is Maiden, Mother and Crone holding the keys to creativity, inspiration and deep healing. She is also the Triple Flame, acting as central catalyst of the purpose intended and initiator of those who willingly cross the threshold of transformation. As the patroness of poets, divination and prophecy she is the Fire of Inspiration. In her role of patroness of healers and Goddess of fertility, she is the Fire of the Hearth and childbirth. And, as patroness of smiths, craftsmen and the forge, she is the Fire of the Forge, burning brightly and transforming and transmuting all that enter the heat of the flame.

This is just a very small sampling of how we can honor the turning of the wheel and Imbolc’s gifts. Using this as a starter for your own practice, think on how you will celebrate this Sabbat. Use the template below to guide your celebration, knowing that there is no right or wrong way to celebrate if intention, heart and mind are holding the highest service to Deity, yourself and community. Blessings of the Sabbat…



Date: February 1 – 2.2022



What have I learned about Imbolc?


How did I celebrate Imbolc?


How did I feel after my celebration?


What would I change-What would I add to make Imbolc more meaningful to me?


So Mote It Be!

Sign Your Magickal Name Here


About the author:

Robin Fennelly is an Elder within The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition and serves as High Priestess of Coven of the Mystic Path, the 12th Coven within the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition. She teaches and facilitates classes for the Pagan Experience Study Group that serves as foundation for membership within Coven of the Mystic Path.  

Her spiritual journey is strongly rooted in both Eastern philosophy and the Western Magickal systems from which she has formed a core foundation that is diverse in knowledge and rich in spiritual practice.  A life-long learner, her practice has evolved from the classical and philosophical teachings of books, practical experience and enrichment of this knowledge base by attending workshops of various spiritual traditions presented by master teachers.

Robin formally came to the Wiccan path in 1994. Following a practice as a solitary for 2 years, she dedicated to Oak and Willow Coven of The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition in November of 1996. She received her 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th (Elder) degrees within the Assembly Tradition and has served as High Priestess of two ASW covens since Samhain of 2001 and the Winter Solstice of 2015.

As a teacher of esoteric and magickal studies she uses Energetic Anatomy, Tarot, Astrology, Hermetic Qabala, Eastern Philosophy, and Numerology as the foundations of her diverse selection of workshops and writings for more than 25 years. Exploration of varied energetic protocol has been the focus of her work for some time now and the information gained through direct experience informs all of her magickal and spiritual work.

Robin’s writings have been featured online, and in print Internationally.  She has authored several books incorporating her unique style of writing making use of poetry, prose and pathworking to enhance the concepts presented.  She has taught extensively throughout the Pagan community, including Sacred Space Conference, Spring Magick, Between the Worlds Interfaith Conference and Free Spirit Gathering Festival. Her most recent projects include a channel on youtube: A Journey to the Inner Chamber. She also shares audio pathworkings and ritual on her bandcamp site: Teachings on the Path with Robin.

Robin is the owner of Holistic Embrace providing services for mind, body and spirit such as Tarot readings, Astrology reports, Spiritual Guidance and other related offerings.  She lives in Eastern Pennsylvania and her life is blessed by a 40+- year marriage, five children and the opportunity to work in the field of public education.


Coven of the Mystic Path,

Her books can be found on Amazon or purchased directly through her website:

For more info

The Inner Chamber, Vol. 1 It’s Written in the Stars-Astrology

The Inner Chamber, Vol. 2 Poetry of the Spheres-Qabalah

The Inner Chamber, Vol. 3 Awakening the Paths-Qabalah

The Light of SELF: Consciousness, Spiritual Practice and Learning to Breathe

Magickal Verse: A Collection of Poetry and Prose

A Year of Gaia: The Eternal Cord

The Elemental Year: Aligning the Elements of SELF

Temple of the Sun and Moon: Luminous Devotions

Sleeping with the Goddess: Nights of Devotion

A Weekly Reflection: Musings for the Year

The Magickal Pen: A Collection of Esoteric Writings

The Enchanted Gate: Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

The Temple of the Sun: An Astrological Solar Year

Writings in the Shadow: An Exploration of the Shadow Nature