I believe Imbolc is the next celebration right?
I'm also looking for a kind of alternative time for new years resolutions, planning year ahead and that sort of thing (Jan 1st is too cold and dark for that for me)
Is imbolc a time for that? Or maybe the spring equinox? (Or maybe all year round in the pagan calendar... Like harvest is actually 'new year' I think?)
@neil "New Year" is a little fuzzy and probably depends on which particular culture you're pulling from and historians are still bickering about whether the Celts really did use Samhain as the start of the year as a lot of neopagans do, but... the spirit of New Year's resolutions and planning is a little easier! (1/x)
@neil There's some fun precedent around Yule (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heitstrenging) that similarly violates your need for light, but a lot of the pagan year is deeply tied to agriculture/animal husbandry. Food is the most visceral (ha) connection we have to natural rhythms, and the important equivalent thing to planning is sowing. The thing is that there's about a billion times that correspond to that because of different climates and crops, even in fall (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_wheat) (2/x)
@neil The two things that you can work backward from are whether the stuff you're planning has any natural yearly rhythms (all of my job's pain is dominated by the lead up to stuff in December, so that's really harvest time whether I like it Or Not) and your local conditions (if they aren't obvious, something like https://www.almanac.com/gardening/frostdates can help situate it). (3/x)
@neil While New Year's is used as a very generic turnover time, different festivals can hold that role for different things. A new approach to romance belongs at Beltane; ending a period of mourning after Samhain might fit; etc. etc. There are divinatory rituals that pop up in various cultures at various times of year that will deal with e.g. getting married "in the next year", and it's more about the rhythm between that celebration and the next year's than a full clean calendar wipe. (4/x)
@neil Imbolc has a lot to do with dairy, since in your peasant life your food stores are looking sketchy at that time, and while it's still too early to have calves, you can time your sheep breeding to arrange for lambs to be born (and thus sheep milked) since sheep can do better on the more meager pastures of this time of year. This may or may not be relevant to what you want to pick out from it, but in my head it's the butter holiday :D (5/5)
@maya Thanks so much for this!
So beyond what initially piqued me of wheel of the year (about paying attention to rhythms of nature more), also looks like it makes you think about rhythms of agriculture/food production on top too.
Which makes sense. I feel totally ignorant of where food *actually* comes from and how. A little more attention to that too would be good.
Do you like that aspect of it?
I think I also am very syncretic (if I'm using that right?- taking the parts of things most relevant to current context, avoiding dogmatism to things from another time/context)
What I wish to attain at the mo I think is something which brings back due reverence for nature and its ecologies in a time of terribly advanced technology, technology that makes it entirely possible to ignore nature on one level but deeply problematic and destructive to do so at a grand scale.
@maya Thanks again for sharing your deep thoughts on this. Your website is excellent! Will be exploring more of the links. And asking more questions no doubt.
The Conventicle of the Lesser Occult Institute