Reinventing The Wheel… Notes

Dear Friends,

Since folks are encouraging this project idea… I figured a few notes on Reinventing the Wheel were in order.

As I mentioned in my last post I am feeling the continuing need to realign myself with the natural world around me and figure out ways of honoring that relationship in my celebrations as a Pagan and Polytheist.   For my U.U. and non-Pagan literate readers, here’s some info about The Wheel of The Year.  It isn’t the only sacred Calendar used within Contemporary Paganism, there are many faiths and philosophies involved after all, but it is one of the more widespread and the one that I relate too.

I am starting with the Solstices and Equinoxes, as they are there wherever you are.  Indeed as a Wicca influenced Witch and Pagan in the 90’s and early Aughts living in Anchorage Alaska USA I was often struck by how it seemed silly to look at the Solstices and Equionoxes as Lesser Sabbats when they were such a dominant part of the natural cycle up there!  Then too the fact that the Cross-Quarters (the other 4 Holidays in the Wiccan and Neo-Pagan Wheel of The Year) were not in alignment with the local seasons…  It wasn’t until 2005 on a road-trip from Florida to Wisconsin that I got to experience Samhain as a harvest time for example.

So the Solstices and Equinoxes are in.  As are Full Moon’s for my Wicca-inspired worship, and 3 days from the astrological new moon… 1st day- for Hecate (dark of the moon) and Ancestor stuff, 2nd day- for The Noumenia (honoring the Hellenic Gods and Household Gods), and 3rd day- for the Agathos Daemon or Good Spirit that watches over us.

(Daemon is an old Greek word meaning ‘Spirit’, almost anything can have a Spirit and in the ancient view there were good spirits and bad spirits, early Christianity demonized the Spirits … except where they co-opted them by turning some of them into Guardian Angels….)

The Civic Holidays are in, and the services at my U.U. Church, and Samhain… hrm… time to get a wall callendar…


8 thoughts on “Reinventing The Wheel… Notes

    1. Pax

      Hey Diana!

      Always good to hear from you. Well, as I understand it, there are basically two Calendar patterns in Contemporary Paganism… The Neo-Pagan/Wiccan Wheel of the Year construct, and what I think of as the Reconstruction Mode … with various groups and faiths using one or the other or an mix of both as they feel moved.

      The Recon Mode, is where one is trying to observe the ancient Festivals of the particular Recon path one is on. This can be tricky depending on the level of information that has come down to us, the ever growing body of scholarship and translation for some paths, how well the seasonal associations of the festival jibe with the seasons where the worshiper is…

      For example Anthestria is a festival that some modern Hellenic’s outside of Greece move further along in the year (it traditionally happened in mid to late January as I recall) so as to be able to celebrate it in the Spring which is when it took place, and some of the traditional rites and offerings were related to that.

      The other thing I’ve found inspiring or interesting is the idea of creating festivals/Holy Days to honor the Holy Powers and the Seasons where one lives. There are some interesting articles and pieces by Sannion and Dver on the topic although they are not the only ones up to such shenanigans…

      1. Cat R.

        We all walk our paths — over here I have to mash the zone 9b garden wheel to the Wheel of the Year, to the Catholic liturgical year to some chinese/panamanian bits I still want to keep. And like you experience with Alaska climate… some things want to place nice and other things want to be something else! It’s ok. We all manage. I feel the important thing is to TEND to your path. Like in gardening, sometimes things run a bit out of bounds of the beds or hybrid, but on the flip…, sometimes you get volunteer plants that are really neat. I truly believe it’s all about the journey. Not so much the destination.

  1. Enjoy the work! Sounds like a fun project.. but I’m a little weird like that 🙂 My blog is my evolving Wheel of the Year project, based strongly on Annette Hinshaw’s book Earth Time, Moon Time. I am influenced by the Wicca Great Story and sabbat celebrations, traditional European traditions, Waldorf/Anthroposophy philosophy and my own nature observations. Here in temperate Western Oregon the cross quarters do a pretty good job of falling right at the doorways to the seasons. It’s fun to adjust it to your personal philosophy, interests and emphasis. I look forward to hearing more as you go!

  2. This is a great project and I encourage everyone to do this. You should see my calendar! It’s all over the place. It includes the Wiccan Wheel of the Year, which, in my case, is generally inspired by the Celtic pantheon. The lunar cycle and other days are generally devoted to Greco-Roman gods. Mondays belong to the warriors (Santeria) and then there are random feast days here and there .

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