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Author Topic: Wheel of the year (or equivalent in your path, if there is one): does it work for you  (Read 3639 times)

Sobekemiti

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Quote from: Darkhawk;175842
I'd note that "the place you live" is also not ... hrr.  It's not just location.

One of the exercises my teacher sets early students is to work through what she called "your personal wheelyear" and figure things out.  Which means things like "What time of year are you prone to depression", "What time of year do you start new projects", "do you tend to fall in love in a particular season", that sort of thing?

My personal wheelyear fits really, really well with the Egyptian calendar.  Which has been useful to me as an exercise, because I can go into the Egyptian calendar and go, "Yes.  The height of summer is the harrowing time.  Now you know how to use that energy and bring it through, the flood is coming, hang in there."  Or whatever else.

 
Hmm, I'd never quite thought of it that way, but that is a good point to consider, particularly if you want to do more than simply mark the passage of the seasons. I certainly feel like the rhythm of the Wheel resonates with me more than the Kemetic calendar does. I may have to dig a bit deeper into that, just to satisfy my own curiosity.
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Darkhawk

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Quote from: Sobekemiti;175844
Hmm, I'd never quite thought of it that way, but that is a good point to consider, particularly if you want to do more than simply mark the passage of the seasons. I certainly feel like the rhythm of the Wheel resonates with me more than the Kemetic calendar does. I may have to dig a bit deeper into that, just to satisfy my own curiosity.

 
It's a really nifty exercise!  It looks so superficially simple and then the larger patterns show up and whoa.

(It also cemented my obsession with six-eight time.  I should really rebuild that playlist.  Speaking of rhythm patterns.  Turns out parsing my personal rhythms as four seasons rather than three (divided into halves) actually reinforces some of my dysfunctions.)
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as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Kylara

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Quote from: juniper.;175792

1. Is the Wheel of the Year (or the equivalent in your path) important to your practise? Why or why not?
   
If yes:
2. Does the Wheel of the Year (or the equivalent in your path) work for you? Why or why not?
3. If not, what was your solution, if any?

 
The Wheel of the Year is one of those things that was the core of what I learned and still has a special place in my heart because of that.  I love all things ritual, and the very routine nature of the WoY appeals to the part of me that likes things orderly and regimented.

However, in my actual day-to-day practice, I don't celebrate all of the 8 Sabbats each year.  I am primarily solitary, though I have a local group that I meet with (we try to get together weekly, though that is mainly social and often chanty, but we also do try to do spiritual stuff as we can).  I am also part of a larger Pagan group in my area.  We are a pretty eclectic group (both the local and the larger groups are), so we end up with interesting rituals sometimes.

There is an annual Day of the Dead ritual that I have attended for all four years it has happened.  The local group typically hosts an All Snakes Day and we almost always do something for Yule.  We have done other Sabbats over the years, it really ends up being a matter of how everyone's schedules line up.

For me, another factor in my own personal Year cycle is my husband's work schedule.  Another bit of syncronicity, he works 6 weeks on day shift, then 6 weeks on night shift, and that pattern continues through the year.  So my family life is already chopped up into 8 sections.  His shift changes don't line up with the Sabbats though, which is actually good because when I do have a ritual that I am invited to, it's not on the one weekend where we are typically in transition at home.

I tend to look at the Sabbats and the 'idealized' seasonal change as a way to honor the turning of the year, irregardless of the local weather.  We have had some very wacky weather over the past couple of years, what was once normal seasonal change time has varied quite a lot, and it is very common for us to have snow, then shorts weather, then more snow in the course of a week.  I guess I take the juxtaposition into account.  I may think of the wheel as being a guideline, and then look out my window and see where the world actually is.

Of course all of this is highly influenced by the fact that I am a housewife, and often have no car, so I spend the vast majority of my days inside.  Our house is the same temperature year round, so the seasonal changes aren't as big of an impact in my day to day life.
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Jenett

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Quote from: Darkhawk;175842

One of the exercises my teacher sets early students is to work through what she called "your personal wheelyear" and figure things out.  Which means things like "What time of year are you prone to depression", "What time of year do you start new projects", "do you tend to fall in love in a particular season", that sort of thing?

 
Oh, that reminds me of another thing I wanted to mention. I have spent basically my entire life on the academic calendar (with the exception of the year I was unemployed, and even then it affected when jobs I wanted would get posted.) My father was a professor, my own education, and everything since then I've either been in school, working on a 10 month academic contract, or working at a  university (or now a school) on a full-year contract, but with things ebbing and flowing around the academic year.

There are ways this fits problematically into the standard Wheel model - for a long time, things at work would be at their busiest when the standard Wheel says 'you should be resting and seeding things for the spring' and then have a vast round of harvests (big projects due, graduation and all the things that go with it)  in the spring and very early summer.
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Queen of Swords

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Quote from: Darkhawk;175842
I'd note that "the place you live" is also not ... hrr.  It's not just location.

One of the exercises my teacher sets early students is to work through what she called "your personal wheelyear" and figure things out.  Which means things like "What time of year are you prone to depression", "What time of year do you start new projects", "do you tend to fall in love in a particular season", that sort of thing?

 
This is kind of what I'm working on this year. I'm learning about my home environment and figuring out what my own rhythms are and how they match up (or don't). I'm finding that, as an exercise, it pairs really well with mythology studies!

Yei

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Quote from: Mellee;175834
Ha, yep, even if you switch 'em by six months like lots of people suggest, many parts of Australia still don't sync up with the seasonal or mythical aspects of the Wheel. I've been reading "Dancing the Sacred Wheel" by Frances Billinghurst which goes over this in more detail - and I recommend it to Aussies interested in adapting the Wheel of the Year.

I'm a Kiwi so I too had to wrestle the Wheel into submission. ;)

I really enjoyed reading the rest of your post, Sobekemiti. You've obviously put a lot of thought and effort into creating seasonal celebrations that work for you! It was beautiful to read.

 
I obviously do not use the 'Wheel of the Year', I have my own ritual calendar. However, by strange coincidence, it adheres very closely to the seasons in Australia. Even the rain season is at just about the right time. It is surprisingly helpful.

StagTracker

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Quote from: juniper.;175792
Based on Louisvillian's observation in another thread that they found they were not attuned to the wheel of the year, I wondered for how many of us it does work.

1. Is the Wheel of the Year (or the equivalent in your path) important to your practise? Why or why not?
   
If yes:
2. Does the Wheel of the Year (or the equivalent in your path) work for you? Why or why not?
3. If not, what was your solution, if any?

 
This touches on some things I'm sorting through right now, but one topic is better suited as a thread unto itself.  Suffice it to say I'm working with such questions at the moment.  I'm part of an ADF protogrove and questioning whether or not I feel I can lead ritual from a place of authenticity within the confines of the ADF format.  I'm working on my own personal connections to the wheel of the year at present, and for the most part the general associations work.

The thing that I'm having a hard time with is working in Kindreds (ADF's collective term for ancestors, nature spirits, and deities) of note... the "guests of honor"... for a high day that I have no real connection to.  I have a handful of deities I interact with.  The most prominent are Herne and Elen of the Ways.  Then there's a bit of work with Bast, Sekhmet, and Ganesha thrown in because they have helped me at various times in life.  For myself, there's usually something going on with Herne and Elen and various spirits of the natural world that can reflect some aspect of any given high day for my home rituals.  But the norm in our grove is to look up pertinent gods and goddesses related to a certain high day from different ADF-approved pantheons and honor the deities of note for that time.  It usually goes back and forth between Norse and Celtic.  

For myself, I don't feel right shoehorning in a deity I've never interacted with for the sake of having someone appropriate to name in relation to a high day.  It feels kind of like the old sitcom routine of trying to find a date for Valentine's Day just so you have **someone** to call "your valentine."  It can be a good way to learn about that deity, and I'm not opposed to honoring a being I don't work with for all of the stuff they do for others in the group.  But picking one or two out of a list of names of beings associated with a certain high day just for the sake of naming specific deities feels disingenuous.  

I suppose that's just the practical pitfall of leading a public ritual.  Sometimes you have to fake it a bit because that's what a group at large expects rather than what resonates with you personally.  Fortunately, I'm not really responsible for leading the rituals.  We have a senior druid that does that most of the time, but sometimes it's nice to let her sit back and relax rather than doing the bulk of the work.

So, in terms of solutions, I'm working in the direction of a few.  The first is to recognize that I am definitely not ADF material.  I stay with the group and as a member because I really like the people.  But I don't really grok to the organization as a whole.  The second is to work out which high days best align to beings I can call out as Kindreds of Honor for that day while still feeling I am coming from a place of authenticity and volunteer to lead on those days while just helping with the others.  The third part of the solution is to hold rituals at home so that I can enjoy the group rituals and the great folks but then have my own rituals to align to what that time in the wheel of the year means to me.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2015, 04:36:00 am by StagTracker »

RecycledBenedict

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Quote from: juniper.;175792
1. Is the Wheel of the Year (or the equivalent in your path) important to your practise? Why or why not?

Yes it is. I must have begun to celebrate the eight festivals ten years before I definitely left Christianity. The seasons are important, regardless of which religion anyone adhere to.

For me it fill the purpose to heighten awareness of the seasons just as they are in my own type of climate. The year is darkest (but certainly not coldest) at Winter solstice. Candlemass/Imbolc is the culmination of winter, and usually the coldest time of the year (minus 10-20 Centrigrades some years, although some years are considerably milder). At Spring Equinox snowdrops are seen. It may snow at Walpurgisnacht/Beltane some years, but most years it is the real start of spring, and crocus and daffodils are seen. Spring ends and summer begins at Midsummer/Summer solstice, and summer heat often culminates shortly before Lughnasadh. Autumn Equinox serves the purpose of harvest thanksgiving, and is the beginning of autumn. All saints/Samhain is a time to remember the departed regardless of anyone's religion where I live, and is certainly not a religious identity marker: Almost everyone do it.
   
Quote from: juniper.;175792
If yes:
2. Does the Wheel of the Year (or the equivalent in your path) work for you? Why or why not?

Yes it does, but of course not with the Wiccan myth, and I have described how our weather conditions are not the weather conditions of Ireland or Southern Britain.

My inspiration comes from Meso-Druidry, so I focus on eight themes instead:
Light in darkness (physical, social, artistical, intellectual, divine/'inner')
Foremothers and inventors
Planting (beginning projects for us modern urban people) and Balance
Fruitfulness and the Nature spirits
Joy and Divination
Self-sacrifice, willingness to stand up for convictions
Gratitude and Balance
The Departed
« Last Edit: July 16, 2015, 04:51:41 pm by RecycledBenedict »

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