The Winter Solstice
The shortest day of the year, when it was believed that the Sun stood still in the sky... 
…then the next day continued on his way, and the days began to lengthen!


… I knew
winter was in store for every leaf
on every tree on that road.
Was inescapable for each one we passed.
And for me.
It is winter
and the stars are hidden.

"The Pomegranate" ~ Eavan Boland

Winter Lake

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That's how the light gets in.

            “Anthem”~Leonard Cohen

Stonehenge Solstice
“Let the sun shine in.
Open up your heart and let it shine on in.”

            “Hair” ~ James Rado

UAB M105 pg.9


Also called All Hallow's Eve, Ancestor Night.  It is the most important of the four "greater Sabbats".  The third and last of the three pagan autumn harvest festivals. Observance begins at sundown on October 31.

We are no more than magical shadow‑shapes that dance, limned by the Sun‑filled lantern held at midnight by the Mistress Moon...
LXVIII Rubaiyat
Shadow Shapes
O sister of sorrowful gaze! ...
You move in another dominion
And hang o'er the historied stone:
Unpruned in your beautiful pinion
Who wander and whisper alone.
Fairy Pendant
W. B. Yeats

Saying Good-bye


Autumnal Equinox
One of the four solar holidays; the second of the three pagan autumn harvest festivals.

“Ceres went to hell
with no sense of time.
When she looked back
all that she could see was
the arteries of silver in the rock,
the diligence of rivers always at one level,
wheat at one height,
leaves of a single color,
the same distance in the usual light;
a seasonless, unscarred earth.”
The Making Of An Irish Goddess
Eavan Boland



Summer Solstice - Midsummer
One of the four solar holidays; the turning point at which summer reaches its height and the sun shines longest.

“I... stayed in the heat looking out at
the garden in its last definition,
freshening and stirring. A suggestion,
behind it all, of darkness: in the shadow,
beside the laurel hedge, its gesture.”
Daphne Heard with Horror
Eavan Boland

Muntins .1. Series I

Muntins .5. Series I

“...Evening has fallen.  A rim of the young moon cleft the pale waste of skyline, the rim of a silver hoop embedded in grey sand; and the tide was flowing in fast to the land with a low whisper of her waves, islanding a few last figures in distant pools.” 
Portrait of an Artist
James Joyce

Nantasket 58 III


May Day
One of the four "fire festivals" or "greater sabbats".  Its significance focuses on fertility.  In Ireland, the hawthorn tree flowers from May to early June; it is known as the May Tree.

 “All wanted then was to fill my arms
with sharp flowers,
to seem, from a distance, to be part of
that ivory, downhill rush. 
But I knew,
…the custom was
not to touch hawthorn.
… So I left it
stirring on those hills
with a fluency
only water has.
… in
the unmarked lights of a May dusk --“
White Hawthorn in the West of Ireland
Evan Boland

Never give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everything that's lovely is
But a brief, dreamy, kind delight.
O never give the heart outright,
For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost. 
Never give all the Heart
W.B. Yeats



One of the four solar holidays marking the beginning of spring.  The rejoining of the Mother Goddess and her lover-consort-son, who spent the winter months in death; or the Goddess returning to her Maiden aspect (e.g., Persephone returning from the Underworld.)

I fell asleep
oblivious to
the planets clouding over in the skies,
the slow decline of the spring moon, the songs crying out their ironies.
Achill Woman, Boland

Woman on a Hill
Mixed Media

a celebration of the lengthening days and the early signs of spring. Lighting of candles and fires represents the return of warmth and the increasing power of the Sun

The sound of the rain or sound
Of every wind that blows;
A grey stone fireplace with an open hearth,
A candle and written page.
In My House/“Meditations…” W. B. Yeats