The central figure on the Southern Hemisphere Wheel of the Year Calendar is the High Priestess, raising her hand to show her pentacle ring. The High Priestess represents the hidden knowledge of the inner workings of the universe. Her ring, a five-pointed star or pentagram enclosed within a circle, represents the cycle of life.
In ancient Celtic culture, time was circular, not linear and segmented. Time was a fluid element and as much a part of the natural world as the forests and the mountains, the rivers and the seas.
The original Celts observed four seasonal festivals evenly spaced throughout the year – Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh. These are referred to as ‘cross quarter days’ as they are approximately midway between each of the equinoxes and solstices.
The equinoxes and solstices make up the other four celebrations - Yule, Ostara, Litha, and Mabon. These are known as ‘quarter days’ and are solar festivals as their timing is based on the transition of the Sun.
The quarter days are loosely based on or named after the Germanic pagan festivals and the cross-quarter days are similarly inspired by the Gaelic fire festivals. It is thought that no pre-Christian people celebrated all eight festivals. Instead, these yearly festivals, or sabbats, became the modern-day Wheel of the Year through the popularity of contemporary Pagan and Wiccan religious movements in the early 1950s.
Wiccan celebrations can also encompass full and dark moons, and are events known as an esbat.
Combined, these seasonal subdivisions make up eight spokes of a wheel. 2022 astrological festival dates for Australia AEST and AEDT are shown on the Southern Hemisphere Wheel of the Year Calendar. Time zone adjustments for other areas of Australia are listed on the product information page.
More information about each of the festivals, including simple ways to celebrate are outlined in the Southern Hemisphere Wheel of the Year Companion Guide.
The High Priestess
Original artwork by Lisa Mitchell
15° of Aquarius - 4 February 2022
Traditional date 1 February
0° of Aries - 21 March 2022 (WA 20 March)
15° of Taurus - 5 May 2022
Traditional date 30 April
0° of Cancer - 21 June 2022
15° of Leo - 7 August 2022
Traditional date 1 August
0° of Libra - 23 September 2022
15° of Scorpio - 7 November 2022
Traditional date 31 October
0° of Capricorn - 22 December 2022