The wheel of the year

is a powerful tool, that can help us to find orientation in both the inner and the outer world. It combines the cyclical patterns of time as found in day and night or the four seasons, with orientation in space represented by the four directions and the center. More details about the symbols on the wheel can be found further down below.




At the end of my first year of Druid College training, I created a wheel of the year design, based on what I have learned, the research I have done, my personal experience and what works for me. I follow a creative approach to the subject and I don’t claim to represent a particular tradition. In different cultures around the world we find that the elements, animals, trees, … are associated with different directions. That makes sense, because depending on where you live the East, for example, might feel more like fire, then like air. It’s about our personal relationship to the landscape.

The wheel of the year is a mandala of life, that speaks in symbols and images to the deepest parts of our consciousness. It can be used in many different ways. Printed on a piece of cotton I use it as a portable altar, that helps me to focus when I set up a sacred space for a ritual. I also place different objects on the cloth, so that it becomes even more alive.

Order a print

If you would like to get  a copy of this wheel of the year, you have two options:

  1. Order a photographic print, pillow, poster, notebook or postcard via my online shop: gray or colour.
  2. Order a gray or colour 60 x 60 cm print on organic cotton with waterproof ecofriendly colours (see picture above) via my contact form or a message on facebook. The cost is 40 £ including shipping in the UK. Because this is not a big production I collect the orders first and it might take some weeks before you get it. 

If you use a different version of the Wheel of the Year and if you would like to get your own version illustrated in a similar way, feel free to contact me.

The different parts of the wheel

My aim is to give an overview and not to explain every aspect of the picture. I think it’s more fun to discover it and weave in your own connections anyway.


The four directions and the four elements

The air element in the east – stands for the morning star, sunrise, birth, spring, childhood, new inspiration, the sky, the mental body.

The fire element in the south – stands for the sun, midday, summer, teenage years and adolescence, passion, sexuality, summer, our will and motivation.

The water element in the west – stands for the sunset, the moon, the time of parenthood and maturity, autumn, the emotional body.

The earth element in the north – stands for midnight, winter, the earth, our physical body, darkness, old age, death and the ancestors.



The eight festivals of the year and the twelve star signs

On the outer part of the wheel the twelve symbols for the star signs are included.

If you would like to know more about the eight festivals of the year, have a look on the OBOD website.






Eight animal spirits

Starting from the top turning clockwise you see a buzzard, stag, snake, dolphin, owl, badger, wolf and bear.

It was a difficult decision, because every animal is so unique and special, that it would be great to have them all included. Every one of these eight animals is on his position on the wheel for a particular reason.

For example the bear is placed at the time of early spring, when he comes out of hibernation and starts to look for the first fresh plants. The bear can also be seen as the young sun God, who accompanies the Goddess of spring.



Eight tree spirits

The trees I have chosen are birch in the east and then turning clockwise  hawthorn, oak, beech, hazel, yew, holly and fir. They also correspond to the seasons. The oak is placed at midsummer and the holly at midwinter. I placed the yew tree at Samhain, the time inbetween life and death, the gateway to the realm of the ancestors.





Two tree languages – the Runes and the Ogham

I decided to include both of these tree languages into the illustration because I feel connected to both nordic and celtic mythology. For many people the Runes seem to be “dark”. I think that’s mainly because of the way they have been abused in the last century. Personally I feel strongly that it’s time to reclaim these beautiful magical glyphs. The Runes are channels of light and wisdom, they can all be found in the flower of life and represent universal principles like balance, love and transformation. Just like in a tarot deck some some Runes represent destructive forces, but that doesn’t mean the are bad, because destruction can be a vital part of a creative or healing process.

A basic introduction to the Ogham can be found on Wikipedia.












The center – the worldtree and the gateway to the inner forest

Yggdrasil, the worldtree is represented in the center. He connects the upperworld, the middleworld and the underworld.This is the vertical axis, the axis mundi, or the spine of the universe. We can use the worldtree, to journey shamanically.

The door leads to the inner dimesion, to the inner forest, our sanctuary or medicine place.

Two guides are standing in the center. They are representatives of God and Goddess inside of us. The dragon is the guardian of the inner forest. Biting his own tail, he represents oneness and unity of all creation.


If you have any questions about my wheel of the year illustration, please contact me.

Yannick Dubois