What days of the year are most important to you? Are you making a place for them in your practice, or are you by-passing them altogether? What makes your year go’ round? These are important points to consider when finding your life rhythm and setting a sacred schedule for your own Wheel of the Year.
All too frequently, new practitioners approach this path and feel they must absorb a whole new system directed by a book. That includes celebrating the Wheel of the Year down to the letter, even if it doesn’t make sense for your location, background, beliefs, myths, real life experiences, and so on. This approach can leave you feeling out of touch with what’s happening around you or even make you wonder if you’re doing witchery all wrong.
But there are very few hard and fast rules in Witchcraft — instead, they’re are many suggestions and recommended guidelines. The Wheel of the Year model, as it appears in most books over the last fifty years, is a relatively new construction pieced together from different traditions, I’m not pointing out this fact to knock the system — it does work well for many people. Yet it can be all to easy to forget that the Wheel of the Year is a guideline, not a rule to be adhered to religiously or exclusively. The intention behind its information is to give modern Pagans a cycle they can connect with. How you mark or celebrate the seasons, mythic changes, and important dates will depend heavily on the foundation of your personal practice.
Take into consideration that the popular version of the Wheel of the Year is heavily steeped in Celtic myth. What if you wish to delve into your Slavic, Japanese, or Brazilian heritage? Every culture has its own vibrant collection of myths and sacred days. Sometimes they overlap with the eight sabbats, similarly landing on solstices, equinoxes, or the cross-quarter days, but sometimes they don’t. For example, the Slavic/Russian sun-oriented fest of Kupala occurs in early July while Obon, a Japanese festival that honors the dead falls in mid-August.
There’s also the problematic trappings of culture that insists on separating the sacred from the secular. Big festivals and fest days help bring a community together, but that doesn’t mean they are more special or powerful than days that have a deep personal meaning in your own life. When we are able to see the correlations between the big moments and our day-to-day lives, we enhance our ability to connect with the world around us. The more we can honor and celebrate the seawsons in our own lives, the deeper our practic becomes.
Copyright by Laura Tempst Zakroof Llewellyn;s Witches’ Datebook 2020 Pages 20 to 23