Friday, December 19, 2008
"The year is a dancing woman"
...It's a Dianic saying, as the Dianic wheel of the year relates to the stages of a woman's life. This is because the seasons affect a woman in the same way that they affect Earth Herself. If one embraces and harmonizes her psyche with the seasons, along with the moon, She is able to do some incredible self healing and self knowing.
Much like I've been doing.
Here is how the wheel of the year works for me:
Hallows- Death. Winter approaches and many parts of the Earth pull it's energy within, under the soil. Time to let go of the past. Just let it all fall to the ground and turn to compost. Time to prepare for dreaming. Arrange time for self nurturing, solitude and stillness. Begin to lessen outward commitments. Let yourself sleep in.
The time between Hallows and Winter Solstice - This is the "time out of time". This is the dream time, where one can dwell in the dark womb of pure potential. Pay extra attention driving and stuff, it's easy to just slip over to the other side. The veil is thinnist so this is the time to honor and even invoke your beloved dead. It's also much easier to communicate with spirit guides and angels during this time. Meditation can take you places you never imagined. Society speeds up during this time. You might feel shitty because of that and get sick. This is your body telling you to slow down.
This year I used this time to cocoon. I wanted to just go and hide in a cave but because I live in the city and am a busy student and mother, I did it by abstaining. I let all of the ugly hang out so that it could be transformed. It did feel like death and I did travel to the underworld. I used the Innana/Erishkegal myth as my guide for this deep work.
Winter Solstice/Yule- This is the moment of conception, when the spirit (or light) begins to dwell on Earth. "The sun is born on the darkest night" I'm sure that hope of light kept many alive during the darkest, coldest months of winter which is why so many religions celebrate some type of "light" during this period.
Imbolc/Brighid- "mother's milk" or "lamb milk". This is the time of the infant. You plant your seeds of intention for the year and tend to them carefully, as you would a small child.
Spring Equinox- celebration of the maiden. The world is in balance as day=night. The maiden is like the fool card of the tarot, full of joy, innocence and potential. Every woman can celebrate and revive the maiden within her during this time. Have some fun! Your garden, whether planted in real or metaphorical soil, should be sprouting and looking oh so lovely.
Beltane- this is the powerful, young, autonomous woman. First bloods are celebrated and it's a good time to honor those young women who have crossed the threshold and began their journey into the blood mysteries. The Virgin is celebrated, but not in the sense of having sex. The virgin is the snake who eats herself, the autonomous, self sufficient womyn in her prime. The princess Artemis or the Goddess Diana are good archetypes of the Virgin.
Summer Solstice- The longest day. It's hot and it's in the middle of summer but we honor the dark as this is the day that the sun begins to wane again and spin towards death. Our sexuality and sensuality is celebrated as is the pregnant woman, who ripens like the sweet berries on the vine.
My favorite summer solstice chant is from "Circle Round" written by Starhawk among others.
We dance the Gift of the summer sun in flight
We turn the wheel to the passing of the light
Into the dark
Into the dark
Lammas-Summer fun is ending and our minds must turn towards our gardens (remember those?). Much work is needed to bring in a good harvest and we must choose which crops to nurture and which to let die. We must sacrifice - in the sense of to make sacred- and toil in the fields.
This last year I let my dream of living with Reny and Bell in Portland die and put my energy elsewhere. It was painful and difficult but the right thing to do.
Autumn Equinox - This is harvest time and we are tired but grateful for what we have reaped. We look at our harvest for this cycle and muse about which seeds grew and which didn't. Even the crops that died serve as compost for the future seeds, nothing is ever wasted. We share our harvest and celebrate our work. This is the working mother. The harvest Goddess who, like the Earth, gives of her own body to feed her children. Like they Earth, we are abundant but can become barren if pillaged. All we have to do now is prepare for the winter and our work is finished. We are about to go into menopause and become crones.
Hallows - and now we are back, in the realm of the crone, the one who holds her power within. Again, the Earth draws her warmth deep within and finds warmth not from the sun, but from her core. This is the witch's most holy time. Darkness is the source, the beginning. As the Hindus contemplated the concept of zero, they discovered, "everything came from nothing." We embody the dark, we embody death and the void. As women, we create from our dark womb space. We have the power to create life out of death, to shed lives, or skins - like a snake. We have the power birth hope out of desperation. We are the space that holds all things at once. Love, sorrow, death, fear, life, pain, joy, culture, community and eternity. This is what it means to be the human embodiment of the Divine. Knowing this is the magick of being a witch.