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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2021: Year to Come

Beginning on New Year’s Eve, I begin to take note of the various divinations that are being made about the year to come.

The one I follow most closely comes from Havana, Cuba and is issued by priests of La Regla de Ocha, an Ifa-based AfroCuban religion, known more popularly as Santeria, my hearth tradition. Over the New Year holiday, these priests gather to divine on every aspect of the year to come: politics, war, technology, the environment, personal behavior and opportunities for luck. Devotees of Ocha, these predictions are the foundation of many of the decisions we make for the year to come. They guide our behavior so as to avoid the inevitable challenges and hardships of the year to come, and to maximize our luck, safety and success. Here is a link to an excellent article, in English, on the Letra del Ano (Letter of the Year) for 2021:

In addition to waiting eagerly for the Letra, I also do my own divinations, via Tarot and other oracles, both alone and in conjunction with other Witches. This year I did divination with the priestess of the Mount Shasta Goddess Temple in Dunsmuir, CA, as well as alone. Here are my predictions for the year to come, based on these sources.

First and foremost, this is a year when WATER will be a prime mover. In the Letra, the year is ruled by the powerful ocean deity, Olokun. Mysterious and elusive, Olokun rules the deepest parts of the ocean, and represents the sea at its fiercest and most deadly. He brings the blessings of stable foundation, success, and material evolution, and can be deeply transformative. He is accompanied by the lovely river deity, Oshun, the Orisa who governs love, sexuality, and fresh water, so the powers, blessings and challenges of water will be paramount in 2021. This could include water-borne diseases, floods, and controversies over water rights. For the first time, water futures are publicly traded commodities on the stock exchange, at the same time that indigenous communities are fighting against the privatization of water resources. Water issues are at the heart of many environmental and social justice controversies from Flint, Michigan to the Keystone Pipeline. Water—its quality, use and accessibility—will be the center of many conflicts this year.

While many of these battles and controversies are raging beyond our personal spheres of influence, there is so much that Pagans and Witches can do to support the water part of our planet. It would be an excellent idea to do ceremonies and rituals for water spirits and for sacred water sites. Pouring offerings in rivers, chanting for the oceans, praying above streams and reservoirs, are all ways we can connect with the sacred dimension of water and its powers. We can honor, protect and connect to the spirits of Water, through devotional work and prayer, and through direct action like participating in stream clean-ups or serving on public water advisory boards. We can also deepen our personal relationships with water, by being more conscious of our interactions with and dependence on clean water. We can do this through taking conscious showers or baths, through blessing our water before we drink it or cook with it. The recent calamity of the Suez canal being blocked...and the disruption to global trade that it threatened...shows eloquently water’s vital role in our lives, beyond its most basic functions

This focus on water highlights the planetary need for all the blessings water brings: of harmony, peace and sustenance.  With so many dangerous and frightening things happening every day--the global; pandemic which is only starting to abate, the persistent threats of global warming, the perennial threats of famine and warfare, mass shootings--harmony and peace are as important as they are elusive. Striving to find ways to manage our own anxiety and frustration, so that we don't spill it onto others, will be among the most compassionate things we can do going forward.  In the unexpected changes brought by the Coronavirus, all of us have had to re-prioritize all aspects of our lives, including relationships.  Protecting ourselves and our loved ones now involves balancing greater risk with fewer resources, but the drive to protect and support what we love most has never been more pressing.


In general, 2021 will not be the “return to normal” that so many of us fantasized  about when the pandemic bagen. Rather it will be about starting to create consciously a new normal that is sustainable and sustaining, and that gives us all the opportunity to repair and heal the damage done by isolation, fear, depression, and economic hardship. In this we are all able to help create a better, if fragile, world. There is a strong mandate for us, all of us, to make secular life as sacred as possible. Saying or saying singing prayers, making offerings (of water, smoke, food, or spirits), and bringing compassionate witness are all ways to re-enchant the world and bring ourselves into the most sacred alignment we can.  And that brings blessings that ripple out far beyond our own personal lives.

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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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