I have studied and contemplated various different spiritual calendars over the decades. Seeing the various micro and macro patterns and cycles within them. Different labels, names, and ways of viewing the rhythms, yet the core energies and cycles can be seen in them.
This is the primary one most people are familiar with. It goes by several different names now – The Celtic Wheel, The Witches Wheel, The Wheel of the Year, and so forth.
It has 8 specific points of time on it that are generally celebrated as a Sabbath (sacred day), and generally celebrated as a single day or a group of 3 days. Each one is aligned with a seasonal time and symbols that correlate with that seasonal time. Often when dealing with a pantheon of a cultures – Different Deities are associated and preside over each of those points of time.
The Celtic Wheel became the model for so many magical users beyond Celtic traditions due to the resurgence of Druidry in the 18th Century. Due to its popularity and connection to seasons, it became the base model for others. Adopting the rhythm and sometimes changing the names, yet always the Celtic Wheel underneath.
The Celtic model I feel is a good starting point for understanding the cycles of seasons – seasons of time. Not just a point in time, such as a single day, but seeing the natural season and cycles within it. Bringing forth that connection with nature. To see and experience the cycles of nature both within our living world and within ourselves.
What once had correlations to moon phases and the micro cycles of the season though, gave way to the macro cycle of the sun. Edging it closer and closer to a more fixed calendar like the Gregorian to align better with societies calendar.
Moon calendars were more focused on the micro cycles. The moon moving through all the seasons of time within each full cycle – New Moon to New Moon. Representing more of the rhythm and cycle within ourselves and daily lives.
Each New Moon starting within a macro energy, or core energy that is at the forefront of the entire cycle. Then moving through each individual energies of the full cycle. Seeing how each one worked and moved within that core energy.
A New Moon that starts in Sagittarius encompasses the core energy of imagination, possibilities, creativity – the spark to light the flame within us. So as the Moon moves through each of the other energies (signs), for this moon cycle, it is all about how they relate to that particular core energy. Capricorn is about structures, order, plans – so it would be the creation/ creative aspect of those.
Whereas a New Moon in Scorpio is about transformation, closing one chapter and preparing for the next. So as it enters Capricorn that energy is going to be more reflective of getting rid of anything that does not serve where we are going next. Structures and Foundations that have evolved, and perhaps making space for the new evolution of that structure to take root.
Same Signs, different energies, different applications of those energies.
Two Time Keepers
We have two main time keepers when it comes to the rhythm and cycles in nature, ourselves, and beyond – The Sun and The Moon.
The Sun represents the larger scale of time, the macro energies. Not just in years, but long time as well – decades, generations, centuries, and the large 25,000 year Great Cycle.
One rotation, starting and ending in the middle of the Milky way, marks one year of time. The Sun passes through every constellation, thus every stage of the pattern’s cycle, over the course of a year (12 month period).
In the Sun’s 100 year cycle it ticks backwards 4 degrees in a sign.
Over a 2,100 year period the Sun shifts backwards an entire sign.
The Great Year is the most macro cycle of them all and takes about 25,000 years to complete. This is the time it takes for the sun to make the complete rotation of the 2,100 yr cycles and end up back at its starting point.
In conjunction with the Sun, the moon helps to marks days in micro time.
The movement of the moon through a constellation on the ecliptic marks its macro time keeping through each individual core energy. It does not denote a specific month the way the Gregorian calendar does, as each constellation varies in size and time to move through it.
In each of its full rotations, from New Moon to New Moon it passes through every constellation on the ecliptic. Thus the cycle outlined above.
The Mayan Calendar
Although I feel just at the beginning of understanding the depths of the Mayan calendar as it pertains to the core energies, it aligns with my long standing views, beliefs, and research of time and the time keepers as a whole. Two calendars – one Sun, one Moon – yet working in harmony together to see the greater pattern and rhythms of nature, life, humanity, and ourselves as individuals.
Each core energy represented in the form of a Deity, animal, plant, etc. Giving each of those core energies symbolism that we can see, understand, and learn from. To open our eyes to larger patterns, the cycles and flow of energy, all around us and within us. Not just a clock, but something that helps us to see all the interconnections, embrace them, and to become harmonious within them. In the end becoming harmonious between each other and within ourselves.
As we near closer to Winter Solstice – the time where the sun, the macro keep of time – crosses the Milky Way, The Well of Death and Rebirth, an end and a beginning, my thoughts reflect on all of this. It happens every year, because every year a new understanding comes to light within this idea of calendars and time. I have learned something, experienced something, and each time it takes me closer and closer to the core understandings of this.
It is not easy, and took quite a bit of time to shift my mind into living in my spiritual wheel and just tracking the Gregorian calendar for society purposes. The experience and process though has deeply changed core aspects of my spiritualism and accelerated my own personal growth. It has brought me closer to nature, people, and understanding the true world around me, not just the society constructed one.
I am writing this to share some different perspectives of this. To hopefully get people to pause, take a breath, and look at the current Wheel they are following. Is it reflective of you and how you are experiencing time? Does it hold meaning to you and something that helps you in your living? Is it something you just follow because it is what you learned and other people have told you? Do you feel the energies and changes? How do you use the knowledge of it, the energies, the rhythms, in your spiritual and physical life?