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Author Topic: Times of resting  (Read 3808 times)

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Times of resting
« on: January 09, 2020, 07:21:21 pm »
I recently heard a remark from someone who doesn't make New Year's resolutions because she considers winter a season to rest, not to start new things. And that got me thinking.

Christianity and Judaism have sabbaths, but offhand I don't know of any Pagan practices that set aside specific times for resting. Maybe that's just because it isn't discussed much; our culture (in North America at least) frowns on 'laziness' and even our personal time is supposed to be used for exercise or self-improvement.

Does anyone set aside specific times for resting in their practice? How often/how long are they?

And what counts as 'resting'? There are some forms of Judaism where they don't press light switches on the Sabbath, but I think that would be on the far end of the scale.

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Re: Times of resting
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2020, 06:47:01 am »
And what counts as 'resting'? There are some forms of Judaism where they don't press light switches on the Sabbath, but I think that would be on the far end of the scale.

To see where the logical extreme of this attitude leads:

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Re: Times of resting
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2020, 08:35:56 am »
Christianity and Judaism have sabbaths, but offhand I don't know of any Pagan practices that set aside specific times for resting. Maybe that's just because it isn't discussed much; our culture (in North America at least) frowns on 'laziness' and even our personal time is supposed to be used for exercise or self-improvement.

I know several strands of religious witchcraft (including mine) for which the season from Samhain to Yule specifically is a time of rest, not starting new things. And a number of trads won't do initiations (or sometimes initiations and elevations) from Samhain to Imbolc for the same reasons.

That said, taking that period as a rest is *really* hard in our society, especially if you've got kids or a lot of family commitments.

I am really lousy at complete rest, but I do set aside time every week (usually Sunday mornings, which is when I have a chunk of open time) and do my weekly offering ritual and hang out in my living room doing some Pagan-related study (currently on the project of the year, which is getting more solid on astrology.)
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Re: Times of resting
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2020, 09:30:27 am »
I recently heard a remark from someone who doesn't make New Year's resolutions because she considers winter a season to rest, not to start new things. And that got me thinking.

Christianity and Judaism have sabbaths, but offhand I don't know of any Pagan practices that set aside specific times for resting. Maybe that's just because it isn't discussed much; our culture (in North America at least) frowns on 'laziness' and even our personal time is supposed to be used for exercise or self-improvement.

Does anyone set aside specific times for resting in their practice? How often/how long are they?

And what counts as 'resting'? There are some forms of Judaism where they don't press light switches on the Sabbath, but I think that would be on the far end of the scale.
I think i would really enjoy grand, sacral rituals, but I do not follow a set magical tradition.
Yet.....

I would probably think of a way to outdo the last one. (I think)

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Re: Times of resting
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2020, 05:40:40 pm »
I recently heard a remark from someone who doesn't make New Year's resolutions because she considers winter a season to rest, not to start new things. And that got me thinking.

Christianity and Judaism have sabbaths, but offhand I don't know of any Pagan practices that set aside specific times for resting. Maybe that's just because it isn't discussed much; our culture (in North America at least) frowns on 'laziness' and even our personal time is supposed to be used for exercise or self-improvement.

Does anyone set aside specific times for resting in their practice? How often/how long are they?

And what counts as 'resting'? There are some forms of Judaism where they don't press light switches on the Sabbath, but I think that would be on the far end of the scale.

When I do regular moon cycle work, I take the threeish days at the end of the cycle (Balsamic phase) to rest and dream.  It's the ending of the cycle for me, so kind of that time to let things settle, to take those deep breaths once you are finished with something...before you start something new.

I actually kind of view Yule as a rest time too.  I do tend to start a big thing for the coming year at New Years (but it's a whole year project, so while things do start in January, it's not like a rush to get stuff finished by the end of the month).  And yeah, holidays are hectic, and the time around Yule is almost always busy in a multitude of ways...which I think is why my honoring of Yule is almost always very low-key, very "Okay, let's just take some time out and just BE...and celebrate what we have and where we are right now," kind of thing.

Also, I schedule rest time based on how my personal cycle/energy is going.  There are days where I just can't, and if I am feeling that in the morning, when I play my day, I'll make 'rest' or 'relax' or 'self-care' a task for my day.  If I noticed sometime in the middle that I'm just done for the day, I'll shift whatever I can (and I may add in a rest reminder to my planner, just to make it official).  I do find that clearly stating that I am resting, and that it is important enough to be written in my planner, helps me honor those rest times (instead of just trying to push through until I am worn down, or feeling bad about being slower or doing less in a day). 

One thing I am wanting to start this year (but forgot until earlier this week) was dedicated self-care checkin times.  My planner has a blank page every week, so I am going to use part of that to draw a card from one of my decks (I have a couple that are self-care kind of decks) and see what I can add to that week to make sure I'm taking care of my self.
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Re: Times of resting
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2020, 06:15:52 pm »
I think i would really enjoy grand, sacral rituals, but I do not follow a set magical tradition.
Yet.....

I would probably think of a way to outdo the last one. (I think)

Could you elaborate on how this relates to the idea of resting?

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Re: Times of resting
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2020, 06:22:06 pm »
That said, taking that period as a rest is *really* hard in our society, especially if you've got kids or a lot of family commitments.

I think this rests ( ::) ) on the definition of resting. I mean, even a person living alone needs to buy and prepare food, keep their living space clean, and so on. So I suppose it's worth considering what we are resting *from*, exactly.

I can't take much time off work, or skimp on chores, but 'resting' for me would involve no heavy studying and no major art projects (I've been working on some UFOs). Also, writing is something I need to manage in work/rest cycles or I end up not finishing projects.

Anon100

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Re: Times of resting
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2020, 08:19:42 pm »
I think this rests ( ::) ) on the definition of resting. I mean, even a person living alone needs to buy and prepare food, keep their living space clean, and so on. So I suppose it's worth considering what we are resting *from*, exactly.

I'd say it's time when you don't focus on greater responsibilities or future events ( so no work, or worry about the future, no panic about getting the children to school or world problems ). It really is hard because you feel like you're letting yourself or others down by resting.

I can see how focusing on ritual could be meditative and restful for some.

I think I'm booked up to start taking time to rest some time the second half of the year.. possibly ;) . Seriously, even Christmas isn't so much a rest as more paced different work. But we all need some rest, and more regularly than one season a year ( I think rest and growth is a rhythm that should be on a shorter time cycle; weekly; monthly; lunarly? )

I think of this winter time as the period you start clearing space and making plans ready for the growth to come.

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Re: Times of resting
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2020, 09:32:07 pm »
I know several strands of religious witchcraft (including mine) for which the season from Samhain to Yule specifically is a time of rest, not starting new things. And a number of trads won't do initiations (or sometimes initiations and elevations) from Samhain to Imbolc for the same reasons.

 Our trad follows that same principle. We don't do Rites of Passage from Samhain to Imbolc because it's not right seasonally- if Nature isn't doing any (visible) growth, then neither should you.

However that being said, I put in the "visible growth" caveat because there's still changes being made, they're just internal and not external. So that time period for me isn't so much one of rest which implies doing nothing, but rather of personal contemplation and recuperation. A Rite of Passage is a very community-oriented activity, which is why it's inappropriate to do during the time when you're supposed to be figuring out your own shit and clearing the way for the growth that needs to start after Imbolc.

From that perspective, of course, it means that Yule and onwards is a perfectly good time to start thinking and planning about what changes need to be made, even if you don't act on them until later.



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Re: Times of resting
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2020, 04:48:57 am »
Could you elaborate on how this relates to the idea of resting?
I mean I would use the resting time to think of a good way to make the next ritual even better.  :)

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Re: Times of resting
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2020, 09:19:21 am »
I know several strands of religious witchcraft (including mine) for which the season from Samhain to Yule specifically is a time of rest, not starting new things. And a number of trads won't do initiations (or sometimes initiations and elevations) from Samhain to Imbolc for the same reasons.



My trad follows this pattern. Dark times until Yule and even then it's still low key until  Candlemass as the start of the ritual year.  That's not to say that things aren't done but the nature of the work changes.

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Re: Times of resting
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2020, 12:31:23 pm »
I recently heard a remark from someone who doesn't make New Year's resolutions because she considers winter a season to rest, not to start new things. And that got me thinking.

Christianity and Judaism have sabbaths, but offhand I don't know of any Pagan practices that set aside specific times for resting. Maybe that's just because it isn't discussed much; our culture (in North America at least) frowns on 'laziness' and even our personal time is supposed to be used for exercise or self-improvement.

Does anyone set aside specific times for resting in their practice? How often/how long are they?

And what counts as 'resting'? There are some forms of Judaism where they don't press light switches on the Sabbath, but I think that would be on the far end of the scale.

As I was reading a thread about planets, I was honestly thinking about this very topic - glad I did a search on the forums!  8)

To answer your questions, I've noticed over the past several months that I haven't done any spiritual or magical workings, and as I reflected a bit deeper on this (notably the why and how long has this been a thing), I noticed that my rest periods are somewhat reflective of the seasons, with the time from the end of Mabon-tide (which I define as from the Autumn Equinox to Samhain), through Samhain-tide (Samhain through Yule), and until about the end of Yule-tide (Yule through my birthday, February 2).

Yes, that is a long time (134 days to be exact), however, when I say rest, I don't mean that I completely stop what I am doing magically or spiritually; instead, I've found that I wind down what I'm doing and do one last hurrah on Samhain, which is when  I'll ask Dionysos to help with my Divinations/Tarot Readings that I do for my friends at an annual party that I attend. After October 31, I find that I have less of a pull to Them, and simply carry on with my life - though I try to make sure to keep their shrine looking nice (I say this as there is a lot of dust on the shrine and needs to be cleaned up). Right around the end of Yule-tide, I usually get this urge to clean up, rearrange things, get seeds and plants ready in Imbolc-tide (from Feb 2 to Spring Equinox), and have them ready for the main part of the year (which is not as clearly defined as it should be in my practice).

As I was typing this, I realized that this is a long time to be doing "nothing," however, as I reflect, I don't see this as doing nothing; in fact, I see it more as a resting period for my magical & spiritual practice so that I don't burn out. It's less of a time of me being lazy or unproductive - it's me being purposeful with where I'm investing my energy. During this part of the year (from Fall Equinox to Spring Equinox), I basically have a lot of demands on myself, particularly as a school teacher: I have to get to know my new students, get my curriculum ready, make sure I don't get sick, and work on various projects related to my professional life. At the same time, I also have various goals in my personal life that I'm working towards, which mainly can only be accomplished from the income I derive from my job. Lastly, I work with two deities - Dionysos and Persephone - who, I can argue, are plant-based deities (to a degree), and therefore, during the winter months, they're also resting (I'm simplifying it here, and there is more to it than that, but I'm not going to go deeper in this post). Therefore, I need to wind down what I'm doing spiritually and magically to accommodate what I'm taking on in the other spheres of my life, and slowly wind it back up as appropriate.

Now, your post refers to the Sabbath of the Abrahamic religions and if I have those in my practice. Honestly, I do not know because I'm still building it up. It seems that after typing up this post, I have my "resting" phase of the year figured out (which, honestly, I never quite realized I had it built up until I typed it all out), and now I need to figure out my "growing" phase of the year. Maybe that will be my goal these coming years :-)
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Re: Times of resting
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2020, 05:01:19 am »
make sure I don't get sick

This is important, and sometimes too easily overlooked for some of us.
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Re: Times of resting
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2020, 07:38:45 pm »
Now, your post refers to the Sabbath of the Abrahamic religions and if I have those in my practice. Honestly, I do not know because I'm still building it up. It seems that after typing up this post, I have my "resting" phase of the year figured out (which, honestly, I never quite realized I had it built up until I typed it all out), and now I need to figure out my "growing" phase of the year. Maybe that will be my goal these coming years :-)

It's interesting that an annual/seasonal rest cycle seems to be more common among Pagans than a week/day cycle like the Sabbath. Maybe it's because most of us live in places with a secular weekend? Personally I think both a long and a short rest cycle can be useful in different ways.

This is probably why I do my weekly ritual on a work day; when I used to do it on the weekend, there was too much of a sense of 'this is a day for Not Doing stuff.'

Going back to the seasonal cycle, most of the discussion has been about winter, but I realised I've heard of at least one (albeit pop-cultural) example of the opposite. In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, summer is the less-active season; with the apparent reason that it's the time when the powers of Good are at their height, thus requiring less effort in defending the world from Evil. That this lines up with the scheduling of TV seasons is a coincidence, I'm sure  ;D but I like that it's an entirely different take on the subject.

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