Alternative Wheel: Other seasonal cycle stories

When this column started, it was all about exploring different ways of thinking about the wheel of the year, reflecting on aspects of the natural world to provide Pagans alternatives to the usual solar stories. It's still very much an alternative wheel, but there's a developing emphasis on what we can celebrate as the seasons turn. Faced with environmental crisis, and an uncertain future, celebration is a powerful soul restoring antidote that will help us all keep going, stay hopeful and dream up better ways of being.

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Celebrating Collaboration

It’s getting towards the end of the harvest season – quite a sensible time to be thinking about collaboration. For most of settled human history, harvesting was a big job that required the work of entire communities. Before that, survival for our ancestors certainly depended on working together. Modern technology has ‘liberated’ us from the apparent need to fit in and work alongside others, but the truth is that our ‘freedom’ also means loneliness and isolation for many people.

Any Pagan ritual or celebration is an opportunity to come together and make something. One of the reasons I especially like improvised ritual is that it creates the scope for everyone to be equal participants, crafting something in the moment.

At the moment, collaboration is something that I have a lot of reasons to personally celebrate. I’ve just committed to being a bit more involved in an ongoing way with Contemplative Druid events in Stroud. I’ve also taken the plunge and got myself a lot more involved in local bardic events and group celebrations, and I feel very inspired and optimistic about all of that. This month’s image is also a collaboration. In the last year I’ve become a colourist for my husband, which means our working lives are more closely intertwined. This piece is for a setting we co-created.

There’s a lot of romance attached to the idea of the solitary genius – be that the lone crazy inventor, the poet in the high tower, the single hero or whoever it is. In practice, most of the best things humans do we do in teams, not as individuals. Even when it looks like it was all down to one person (as with a novel) there’s usually a tribe involved in there somewhere.


Lone heroics might look like the makings of a good story, but they aren’t the makings of much of a life. If there are people with whom you can do good things, celebrate them.

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Nimue Brown is the author of Druidry and Meditation, Druidry and the Ancestors. Pagan Dreaming, When a Pagan Prays and Spirituality without Structure. She also writes the graphic novel series Hopeless Maine, and other speculative fiction. OBOD trained, but a tad feral, she is particularly interested in Bardic Druidry and green living.


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