As we near the new year, I’m thinking again about how to structure my Pagan Wheel. I follow the Neo-Pagan Wheel of the Year, but usually with some modifications.
Jan 1: New Year’s Day
Feb 4: “Mid-Winter”/Winter Thermistice/”Brigid” (Imbolc) In 2016, the astronomical mid-point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox falls on this date. Our family celebration focuses on the Triple Goddess motif.
Feb 4 — Mar 27: We observe the ascent of the maiden goddess with her lover from the underworld by lighting one additional candle every week for seven weeks until the spring equinox.
Feb 10: Lent begins. For how a Pagan observes Lent, see “Borrowing Lent for Pagans: Creating Space”.
Feb 12-15: Pantheacon. Unfortunately, we won’t be going this year, but it’s been a special trip for my wife and I in the past (as it is for about 2000 other Pagans).
Mar 13: Daylight Savings begins. The beginning and end of daylight savings, while artificial, has almost as profound an effect on my psyche as the natural changing of the seasons. Coincides closely with the spring equinox.
Mar 19/20: “Viriditas”/”Lord and Lady Day”/Spring Equinox (Ostara)
Mar 24: Lent ends
Mar 27: Easter. For why a Pagan would celebrate Easter, see “How James Frazer (inadvertently) saved Easter for Neo-Pagans” and “Travails of a Pagan in a Dual Faith Household”. Also check out this “Christo-Pagan Eucharist”.
Apr 21: John Muir’s birthday. Plan spring hiking/camping trip.
Apr 22: Earth Day. I’ll be looking for some new forms of Earth activism to engage in.
Apr 25: Arbor Day. Plant a tree.
May 2: Pagan Coming Out Day.
May 4: “Mid-Spring”/Spring Equitherm (Beltane) In 2016, the astronomical mid-point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice falls on this date. For my family, mid-spring is the time we celebrate a Christo-Pagan Hierogamos.
May 30: Memorial Day. The kids will be getting out of school soon and summer unofficial begins.
Aug 6: “First Fruits”/”Mid-Summer”/Summer Thermistice (Lughnasadh) In 2016, the astronomical mid-point between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox falls on this date. Also coincides with Hiroshima Remembrance Day.Aug 25: God is Dead Day. The day Nietzsche died. I going to celebrate my experience of the death of the Christian God (which gave birth to the Pagan gods). I might re-perform the “apolytrosis”, my ritual divorce from the Christian God.
Sept 5: Labor Day. The kids have just returned to school and summer unofficially ends.
Sept 9: Transcendentalism Day (Emerson publishes his essay “Nature”, unofficial beginning of Transcendentalism). Plan fall hiking/camping trip.
Sept 22 — Oct 31: We observe the descent of the goddess to the underworld following her lover by lighting seven candles and extinguishing one each week until All Hallows. (Because Oct. 31 isn’t the astronomical mid-point, there’s only 5 1/2 weeks, so we have to squeeze them in.)
Oct 31: “All Hallows”/”Mid-Autumn” (Samhain) Although the astronomical mid-point between the autumn equinox and winter solstice falls on November 7, we will observe “All Hallows” on the date of the secular Halloween, because the meanings of the two dates overlap for us (more here).
Nov 6: Daylight Savings ends. The beginning and end of daylight savings, while artificial, has almost as profound an effect on my psyche as the natural changing of the seasons. Coincides closely with the autumn equitherm.
Nov 7: Autumn Equitherm observed. (In 2016, the astronomical mid-point between the autumn equinox and winter solstice falls on this date.)
Nov 24: Thanksgiving
Dec 21: Yule/Winter Solstice
Dec 24: Christmas Eve. Unitarian Universalist Vespers service (and possible midnight mass at a Christian church)
Dec 25: Christmas. My 12-day Yuletide observance begins with the winter solstice, includes Christmas, and culminates on New Year’s Day.
Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve. My family will observe a Cosmic Calendar Countdown in Big Bang Theory intro song fashion.
I recently followed a link to this list of 2015 Pagan/Wiccan holidays, which had some interesting additions to the traditional Wheel of the Year.
What does your Pagan Calendar look like? What special days do you observe in addition to the traditional Wheel of the Year?