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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First of the Season

Last weekend, the first pumpkins showed up at the farmer's market.

The first pumpkins, scarecrows and Halloween decorations appeared in the neighborhood.

Last week was the first time we needed raincoats and boots, the first night I needed to turn on the heat, the first night extra blankets were put on the beds. The first flannel sheets, the first hoodie needed for the walk to school.

The Celtic tribes called Samhain their New Year, and as we count down the weeks to this movable feast, the air snaps with energy, with an excitement that is childlike and playful as well as solemn, ancient and familiar at the same time. The days may still be sunny and warm, but the year is winding down, and every 'first of the season' reminds us that we are fully in the Descent now. The Autumn Equinox has passed, the days are markedly shorter and cooler. Gray overcast days and rainy chill nights reveal a landscape that is painted in red, rust and gold. We are winding down towards Samhain, towards the Winter beyond. The Veil thins a little more each day.

And we make the first apple pie, the first cup of hot chocolate. We light our first fire in the hearth, and contemplate how we will mark the day fast approaching.

Samhaintide is its own season, not just a day. My children have claimed most of October 31st for their own, and their twilight walk with friends through the neighborhood has become a local party for the grownups as well. I cook and feed my Ancestors the following night, and sit with them in silence. I go to rituals in my community to honor the Last Harvest, and to revel in the Turning of the Wheel. And I find myself turning within more and more. Every night gets dark earlier, especially after the time switch of Daylight Savings, so every night I go to bed earlier. I sit at my altar more, just listening. All of these 'firsts' signal to us that we're in a time of change and transformation, and it's not just the weather and he landscape that's being effected. We ourselves are being touched very deeply, inside, the weather and decreasing light bringing us dreams and memories and gnosis from the Underworld. All these hints and clues lead us to dark of the Year, and to the brand new Year to come.

 

Blessed be!

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Tagged in: autumn Samhain
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.

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