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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in wheel of the year

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Standing at the Center of Time

Imagine that you're standing in the middle of a clock-face, facing 3.

Stretch out your right arm towards 5 and your left towards 1.

Now face East and hold your arms out in the same way. Extend the angle of your arms all the way out to the horizon.

Here where I live (44.9778° N), that's how far the Sun travels from one Sunstead (Solstice) to the next. Same with the Western horizon.

Due East and West, of course, mark the Sun's rising and setting positions at the Evendays (Equinoxes).

The midway points between the Sunstead and Evenday risings and settings mark the Cross-farthing points: Samhain-Imbolc (southerly) and Bealtaine-Lunasa (northerly). From wherever you live, you should be able to point out these places on your own horizon. If you're not paying attention, you're not pagan.

Having lived in the same house for almost 30 years now, I know these “Stations of the Sun” very well indeed. I'm nonetheless always astounded at how quickly the Sun moves along the horizon. The rising point now is well past the Imbolc mark, well on the way to Ostara/Easter, and we have the dawn skies to prove it.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza says #
    YAAAAASSSSS!!!
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    We worship some ancient god out of a book and think that that's paganism. That's not paganism; that's a cartoon of paganism. Full
  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza says #
    I needed this today. Thank you. And "if you're not paying attention, you're not Pagan" ....yes yes yes...
The Minoan Sacred Year: A Modern Pagan Calendar

Most modern Pagans are familiar with the eightfold Wheel of the Year: the solstices and equinoxes and the points halfway in between. But that's a modern construct. It also doesn't match the unique seasons of the Mediterranean region, where Crete is (and where the Minoans lived).

So in Modern Minoan Paganism, we've worked out a sacred calendar based on the Mediterranean seasonal cycle. We've combined information from Minoan artifacts and ruins, archaeoastronomy, the few fragments of myth that made it down to us via the Greeks, and a bunch of shared gnosis. That gives us a set of festivals that work for us as modern Pagans but that still reflect what we think went on among the Minoans in Bronze Age Crete.

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Stillness and Strength: A Runic Reflection at Imbolc

Images and memes traditionally associated with Imbolc are showing up on social media now, as they do every year. I enjoy seeing the hearty crocus push through the snow, the candle illuminating a frozen landscape, and the dormant seed waiting underground to burst forth into life. All of these symbols and motifs encourage the weary heart that the cold, dark days are ending.   

It’s not exactly how I experience Imbolc, though. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Wheel Dance

At the very heart of our Yule each year turns the Great Dance of the Wheel, the dance of the Sun's Rebirth.

Listen while I tell of it.

Wearing holly, the circle of men faces outward. Wearing ivy, enclosing, the circle of women faces in.

The two circles take four steps toward each other, then four steps back.

Then the circles wheel. One moves sunwise, the other, widdershins.

(There's a metaphor to be savored here, but that's for later.)

Again the concentric circles expand and contract. Once again they wheel, reversing direction.

Then repeat.

The song that accompanies the dance tells the seasons of the Sun's life: winter, spring, summer, fall, and back again to winter. In one infinite instant, the Sun is begotten, born, begets, and dies. Like the dance, the song wheels, returning again to its own beginning. In the end, it becomes a round, turning and turning on itself.

In this way, we work our magic.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Good question, Ian. I would think that what you wanted to wear and where you wanted to dance would be up to you. Tradition is fixe
  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes says #
    What would you do if a non-binary person (like myself) wanted to dance?

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Signs of Spring

It’s December, and here in the UK that means grey skies, dampness, cold conditions, bare branches... it would seem like madness to be talking about signs of spring.

Except that I can see them.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Meredith Everwhite
    Meredith Everwhite says #
    Very well put, Nimue...thank you for so beautifully sharing a technically obvious but very frequently overlooked and unconsidered

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
A carpet of leaves

For anyone who sees trees as part of their spiritual landscape, it’s important to think about trees specifically and not generically. It can be tempting to approach any aspect of nature as an archetype or an idea, but that means we can end up engaging with our ideas about nature, and not what’s really going on around us.

The process of deciduous trees losing their leaves is a slow one if you track it carefully, and this year I am tracking it carefully. I observed the first significant changes of colour in leaves a couple of weeks ago. Clearly different species of trees turn and shed at a different rate while the weather conditions and temperature affects how long leaves stay on trees. From what I recall of previous years, I think it likely that oak will be the last to go, while horse chestnut turned first and ash followed.

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