Season and Spirit: Magickal Adventures Around the Wheel of the Year

The Wheel of the Year is the engine that drives NeoPagan practice. Explore thw magick of the season beyond the Eight Great Sabbats.

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Leni Hester

Leni Hester

Leni Hester is a Witch and writer from Denver, Colorado. Her work appears in the Immanion anthologies "Pop Culture Grimoire," "Women's Voices in Magick" and "Manifesting Prosperity". She is a frequent contributor to Witches and Pagans and Sagewoman Magazines.
Pagan Dharma 3: Love and Pleasure, and the Absence of Both

For the first time in 4 years, my rose bush is blooming.

After years of not blooming, I was pretty shocked, one morning in late May, to go into the back yard and notice that the rose bush was covered in hundreds of tight green buds. A few weeks later, the roses—small red ones—began to open, just a few at first, then more every day, until the whole thing is livid with scarlet petals and crawling with bees. Every few days, I cut off some of open blooms, and put them in water, but there are always more every morning. Every morning the cool air in the garden smells of roses, the apple trees and cottonwoods are damp with dew, birds are trilling and flitting between the branches. It's sweet and luscious, this moment as the day is beginning, in those sweet weeks as Spring ebbs into Summer. The world is beautiful, the weather is beautiful, the world is throbbing with life. Every cell is full of pleasure and joy, the world vibrates with it.

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Pagan Dharma 2: BioRegionalism and Pagan Consciousness

For many of us who were not raised in Pagan traditions, but who came into our Pagan identity later, there is often a catalyzing moment that births us onto our path. Perhaps it's a ritual we attended, or something we read, or maybe it grows out of environmental activism. For me it began in an ice storm.

I moved to North Carolina, to that central part known as the Piedmont, to attend graduate school. I rented an old Sears prefab house (“It was a shotgun shack and you know it, “ my mother's ghost chides me), tucked into the pine woods bordering dairy pastures. The house itself was so far below code the landlord couldn't advertise it. One side of the foundation was shored up with flooring tiles and a mallet; half the electric outlets did not work; there was not a right angle to be found in any corner. Wolf spiders the size of puppies would creep out of the shadows at night and even get in the bed. The well would freeze in the Winter and pump out weak ice tea colored water that reeked of iron in Summer. And I loved it.

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New Moon in Taurus: Moon of Luxury

All that you have is your soul.

Tracy Chapman

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Full in Scorpio: Moon of Flowering Branches

 

As the Sun transits from Aries into Taurus, we shift from I am into I have. The Spring is unfolding, and we are moving from an inquiry into who we are, into our identity, to an inquiry about what we have, what we need, our resources. Aries' Fire, kicking off the zodiacal year with its urgency, its confidence and its drive to move forward, has ignited us, given energy to our goals, our desires, and our passions. Now that initiating Fire has to transform into something more sustaining and sustainable, or its initial force will just burn itself out into nothing,

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Signs of Spring

The week of the Spring Equinox, we got snow, lots of it: almost 2 feet feel in 12 hours, with a biting wind turning it into a full blown spring blizzard. Schools and offices were closed for 2 days, the roads were an icy mess, and it was really cold. It was hard, then, to start spring-cleaning or open the windows to invite in a freshening breeze. While snow poured into my flowerbeds, it didn’t feel appropriate to charge seeds, bless tools or prepare an offering to be left in swirl of icy snowflakes. Celebrating Ostara, regardless of what the calendar said, was the last thing on my mind.

Then, a few mornings later, I went outside, and things were...different. Yes it was cold, and the snow lingered on the lawn and had hardened into frozen slush in the street. But the cold air was not as sharp as I expected. In fact, there was a softness to it despite the chill. I could smell something too—something like soil or pollen, something almost floral. And unlike the stony silence of deep winter, with only the wind and traffic sounds in the air, I heard birds, I could hear several different trills and twees, and I noticed a froth of activity in my neighbors' cedar tree, as it was literally shaking with dozens of tiny gray wrens hopping in and out of its branches.

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New Moon in Pisces: the Waters of Return

 

Today is the New Moon in Pisces, the final sign of the zodiac, where we are dissolved, finally, in deep, starry waters. We are closing out the zodiacal year in the sign of the deep ocean, the sign of imagination, dreams, fantasies, secrets, a lacuna of magick and myth and desire as personal as our blood type. With the Sun, Moon, and Pisces' ruling planet Neptune all swimming in Pisces' mystic ocean, it is easy to get pulled under, into the tide of our emotions, our dreams, our longings. We float into the swells, buoyed up or engulfed by waves. It's easy to feel lost, without a compass or map.

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First

The first of March is always a day of evaluating how close we are to Spring. The adage about lions and lambs comes into play, but because February has been so warm in my part of the world (record setting!), March First celebrates a number of untimely firsts.

I've already seen the first flower. It's a tiny little purple thing, smaller than a pea, that only grows on the dark, damp Eastern side of the house. This flower, which I have not been able to identify, is always the first flower on my land, often the first flower of any kind that I see in late Winter. Sometimes I find it while there is still snow on front lawn. Sometimes, I find it on a surprisingly warm and bright Winter day, like I did last week, when I'm out working in the yard. In either case, I usually don't find it til later on, this is the earliest I have seen this flower blossom.

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