My Wheel of the Year
I spend a lot of time in my head. However, as one following a nature-based spiritual path, it is essential that I come back to Earth from time to time. To that end, I have developed a system to make sure that I do so with some regularity.
Even though High Day rituals help to notify me of major seasonal changes before I miss them (and miss them I have before I began celebrating High Days with regularity), I miss the subtle phenological changes that occur over the course of a season. Those rare moments when I naturally tune in to my environment are some of the most magical, and they breath new life into my internal daydream world. Each time this happens, I ask myself why I don’t do this more often, so I came up with a solution.
As I was setting up my bullet journal for 2018, I discovered the 24 solar terms of the Chinese calendar and was inspired to create my own 24-season calendar. Because I have a hard time disassociating Gregorian month boundaries from seasons and solar-terms, I arranged my 24 seasons such that each begins on the 1st or the 16th of a month (or 15th, in the case of February). I then adapted my current ritual practices and patron dedications to my new calendar. Since February, I have been holding a full ADF COoR at the start of each mini-season in addition to the usual High Days. When I choose to celebrate a Cross-Quarter day on the 1st of the month, I will combine the workings for both into a single ritual.
In my bullet journal, I create a page for each season which includes seasonal inspiration (quotes, poems, images, etc), ritual notes and reflection, and a section for taking notes on my phenological observations. With only two weeks between seasons, it’s nearly impossible to miss small changes in my environment. Even if I forget to take notes for the entire season, I will inevitably return to my journal for the next season and hence be reminded to take notes about whatever I can recall about the previous two weeks or, at the very least, take a quick walk outside and record notes about the present day.
In the image below, you will see that I have named the new and full moons in addition to the seasons themselves. What name goes to which moon phase will vary from year to year. I give the name to the full or new moon closest to the beginning of the season. When there is a 13th full or new moon in a year, I name it a ‘gypsy moon’ (my version of a blue moon). The gypsy moon is the extra new or full moon farthest from any of the seasonal boundaries.
After having worked with my new system for almost 4 months now, I can safely say I have found something that works. I wanted to share my new calendar as soon as I created it (and indeed I did on my private facebook account), but I thought it best to try it out for a while before blogging about it.