Season and Spirit: Magickal Adventures Around the Wheel of the Year
The Wheel of the Year is the engine that drives NeoPagan practice. Explore thw magick of the season beyond the Eight Great Sabbats.
The Nameless Day
Years ago I read about the so-called Nameless Day, an intercalary day that marks between the last, darkest day of the dying Year and the first, brighter day of the newly born one. It's a movable feast. I usually mark it on the last night of the lunation after Winter Solstice, before the New Moon in Capricorn. This year, it fell on New Year's Eve, with the New Moon on New year's Day itself. It's not always that such delicious synchronicity brings such auspicious days together, the cultural and the magical aligned so beautifully. Such a purity of intention is rare. As an occasion of bidding farewell to a year that had taken such a toll on me, I was delighted to spend the cold sunny light of the Nameless Day in contemplation, reflection and release.
Everything about that day lent itself to letting go and wrapping things up. A brisk wind all morning felt bracing and clear, the clouds of the afternoon felt renewed, reassuring and gentle. I found I had come to the very last page of my to-do notebook, and had to literally decide which events and tasks to move into the new year, and which to just discard. Just that simple act compelled me to declare my priorities. I learned that two of my teachers were closing down or changing their classes. I decided that I wanted to pull my energy back from certain things, and put it towards other projects. It was a quiet, subdued day, followed by a sleepy evening. Just before bed, I cast circle and read cards for the year.
New Year's Day felt clean and clear. I could feel lightness and space, where the burdens of 2013 had been. I had good solid clues as to what 2014 would hold, and what to start working on. It felt so fortunate to be able to set intentions for the upcoming year on New Years's Day itself, which the support of the Sun, Moon and planets in the strong, prosperous sign of Capricorn. All of that felt strong and stable and present in a very quiet way. My clues and intentions felt like sleeping seeds. They were the first hints of what was to unfold, not yet the blossom or fruit. I felt in hurry to rush them along, but I am so curious to see how they grow.
I never make New Year's resolutions. The way these faux-attempts are usually framed, doom them to failure. I like using the energy of New Year's to divine or set intentions, which seem like resolutions, but the push to change everything, to start throwing massive amounts of busy energy around in pursuit of these putative “improvements, has always annoyed me. Yes the new Sun has risen, the New Year is here, but it's still Winter. We are still in the dark and the cold, and our bodies long to hibernate yet. We're still incubating those dreams and hopes we brought down with us in the Autumn. It's not time for those to sprout yet. We have weeks to come of storm and wind. We have weeks to come to sink into the quiet gentle knowing of our bodies and our deepest selves, to be still and present and really listen to what our Gods and Allies are telling us.
Soon, very soon, the wire-bare branches will begin to swell up with buds, and the growing light will coax life back into the land. But in Winter we learn that there are many treasures buried in the cold Earth, waiting for the right moment to be drawn, blinking, into the light.
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