The four seasons. The long progression from birth to youth to maturity to retirement to death to rebirth. The relationship between rest, planting, tending, and harvest. A trip around the sun. A pain in the ass. The Wheel of the Year is, of course, all of these things at once. As the Template and Theme for our entire experience on this planet, it applies to nearly everything we will ever encounter, and so much more.
Master this great cycle and you master life itself.
Celebrate – It’s not ALL Terrible
Even if you kind of hate Christmas (a sentiment I understand, having spent several years living it out), the absolute worst thing you can do during this season is fail to celebrate. Whether this failure is due to an embrace of the spirit of Scrooge or simply to our tendencies to go through the motions without looking around and taking it in matters very little. To deny the spirit the release of sincere celebration is only to cheat… Continue Reading
Don’t Let Spring Club You Over the Head
Ever heard of the holiday “Imbolc”? Probably definitely not. For starters, it’s really boring. It’s almost certainly ill-timed, and it’s arguably unnecessary. Seriously, I think the even pagans, who ostensibly observe it, are bored to tears by it. Everybody knows about the “quarter days” of the solar calendar—the beginnings of winter and summer at the solstices and the beginnings of spring and fall at the equinoxes—but most people ignore or forget the fact that there are four other holidays that lie exactly between the quarter days. Imbolc is… Continue Reading
Let’s Toast to Better Days
It is told in the old tales of a god who came to rule the land for a time. He arrived from places unknown, not with glory but instead as a fugitive. Instead of taking out his mysterious frustrations on the people through oppression, he gathered them together, binding them in perfect peace and unity and equality, and presided over the most prosperous Golden Age of which the tales have any knowledge. His wife Rhea was a goddess in her own right, and she embodied spiritually the wealthy, lusty bounty of the earth, and all the people loved her as much as they loved him. But he had another wife… Continue Reading
Winter is our Gestation, and We’re About to be Born
There’s only twelve weeks – one season – between each major holiday. On February 1, which is known as “Imbolc,” it seems like we just finished celebrating the winter solstice, Christmas, and New Year’s. I love celebrating as much as the next guy, but until we find ourselves in a society that permits more time and energy be spent on the spiritual, sacred, and familial, we all have a lot to get done in between big seasonal… Continue Reading
The Sun is a Hero – and so was Jesus
It is accurate to state that the date of the birth of the Christ was (artificially) set in the wake of the winter solstice to coincide with both the Roman celebration of Saturnalia (which was awesome) as well as the many pagan celebrations centered around the same time. It is correct to point to the supreme political and cultural expedience associated with such a decision. Really smart move… Continue Reading
I Don’t Hate New Hampshire After All
It’s during this time of the year in particular, early to mid-spring, I think back to my days as a kid in a quiet and rural town in north-central Massachusetts. I always liked to climb trees, scrambling much higher than my mother ever liked–on those rare occasions when she could see me. But there was just something about this time of year that made climbing these tall old vegetative creatures just a little more magical. It wasn’t just that it was finally spring and it was good to be outside. I was much, much better… Continue Reading
Celebrate the Fresh Green
What a special Saturday morning tomorrow will be. Go outside and take a deep breath of what hits you. Buds bursting everywhere, temperatures sparking upward, the fresh young sun just beginning to bake that dank post-winter earth. It’s a special day, it’s a special time of year, and it’s time to… Continue Reading
Let the Games Begin
Here we are, at long last: the Spring Equinox.
Winter is over.
Let’s all take a big breath – in, out, whooo – in honor of that… Continue Reading
Triumphal Entryism: A Secular Christian Sermon
“And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. He was teaching and saying, ‘Is it not written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all… Continue Reading
The Bells of the Heavens Toll – It’s Midsummer
Did you see the waxing gibbous moon last night? It shone so bright it may as well have been full. That should give you some idea of what we’re in for.
I don’t know how else to tell you, but this weekend is actually magical, and it starts… Continue Reading
It’s a Holiday and I Don’t Like It
Actually, the title here is a little bit misleading. If I were truly a good professional wizard, I would have warned you at least two weeks ago that August 1 was Lammas, one of the eight holiest days of the solar calendar. In fact, I would have devised an entire scheme of celebration and ritual like I managed to do for the solstice back in June. Oh, well. There’s always next year. I hope you’ll forgive… Continue Reading
No Moderation for the Wizard
The superficial nature and general ineffectiveness of the omnipresent New Years’ Resolutions thing should be taken as a given. Obviously, such vows, almost always health-related, as though there were nothing more to think about than muscle tone and caloric intake, are often taken in a mixture of bad faith and blind optimism and the desire to think the most of our potential selves. We rarely take into consideration… Continue Reading
Michael Brown was Murdered and We’re all Screwed
“Probably it was Chicago – that brain-raping week in August of ’68. I went to the Democratic Convention as a journalist, and returned a raving beast. For me, that week in Chicago was far worse than the worst bad acid trip I’d even heard rumors about. It permanently altered my brain chemistry, and my first new idea – when I finally calmed down – was an absolute conviction there was no possibility for any personal truce, for me, in a nation… Continue Reading
Don’t Show Up Early to be Dead
The summer solstice should be a time to cast away stones – and why that’s a good thing…. Continue Reading
Happy Equinox – Another Season Come Round at Last
A few nights ago, in the midst of a boisterous crowd around a fire, a friend of mine kept stopping me midsentence: “Wait, wait, hold on, just a second,” he’d say, holding up his hands out palms forward, fingers to the sky. “Just hold on and look at all this. Look how perfect all this is.” He was right, and still is… Continue Reading
The Wizard’s Homecoming
I wonder if the fact that the high school and college concept of “homecoming” takes place during this time of year is related to the fact that autumn is the season of decay and death. Is this tradition rooted in a head-nod to the final homecoming awaiting… Continue Reading
To Seeds Planted Long Ago – A Simple Prayer
That we reap what we sow is neither good nor bad.
It just is.
Let us accept that,
Let us breathe that,
Let it become part of us – and us of it…. Continue Reading
It is the Season of Death – Let us Celebrate Together
Summer is gone. Long gone. It’s over. The light is getting low. We haven’t even ended daylight savings time yet, and already it’s dark at what seems an impossibly early hour. The light is getting weak… Continue Reading
It’s OK to Talk to Dead People if you Want
October is the month in which we bear witness to the precise opposite of spring. Some years, like this one, we see this made manifest in brilliant and awe-inspiring fashion, but whether the deciduous leaves delight us for weeks with tons of fire or skip stubbornly right from green to brown, then straight to the ground, the implication is clear: we’ve come round once again to the season of death. We saw the life come and now we’re seeing it… Continue Reading