Learning the Wheel of the Year and the cycle of the year is one of the core teachings in many Wiccan and Witchcraft traditions. As a person learns and practices their path, they may find themselves becoming more and more attuned to nature. They may notice they behave differently during certain seasons, or are more affected by things at other times of the year.
When I was newer to my path, I began to notice these changes happening in myself. In the Spring, just as things started to green and bloom, I would begin to feel restless. In the dark half of the year, as we move into fall and winter, I find myself feeling as if I have less responsibilities – even though that is not my reality. But with the sun setting earlier and earlier every night, it’s dark here by 5:30 PM now, it makes me feel like I should not be working after dark.
Over the years I have learned to honor and accept the cycles I see in my life and my path. The seasonal ones are a little easier to see now, and I have come to expect them. We are each the Universe in microcosm, which means we each have cycles in our lives that are unique to us too. If we take a step back and look at our lives from a bigger perspective, we may begin to notice there are cycles or patterns that our lives follow. These patterns may be dictated by work or school. They may be more influenced by family and traditions, or they may be all your own. Most people’s cycles are some combination of all of these.
I own a metaphysical store and a ghost tour company. My patterns and cycles often reflect the busy seasons of my businesses, with most of my down time happening in January and February. This time of year, September through December, are our busiest months and there is no rest for the Wiccan until the new year.
We have more than just physical, busy cycles. Our mundane work and school life have their own flow. But our spiritual practice and our emotional lives also have their own patterns. Sometimes all these cycles align, but usually they do not. Which means we are often living in different cycles all at the same time. Perhaps that is part of the beauty of life.
Getting Out of Sync
There are going to be times in your life when your spiritual practice is the first thing you do when you get out of bed. I applaud all of you who have created daily routines and habits that incorporate prayers, rituals and devotional time. But there may be times when you don’t even think to pray all week. I get it, I’ve been in both places on my path.
Try not to beat yourself up about missing your spiritual routine if it happens. Our spiritual lives often work in cycles just like our mundane ones. There are times when my gods and guides are very active and close, and it gets very noisy in my head. Then there will be times when it’s completely quiet and I wonder if I’m alone in the universe. I’m not, I don’t really believe that but at those times it does feel like all of spirit team is off doing other things.
Sometimes when it’s very quiet, I reach out to see what is happening on the astral plane. Lately when I do this, I get the impression that everyone is busy, doing other things just slightly out of my reach. It can be annoying, but I understand. The gods, ancestors and guides all have many things to do and many people to see, not just me. The gods might feel like you are were you need to be and therefore do not need their constant attention at the moment. Something might have happened to one of their other devotees that they need to attend to. The gods are mighty beings with incomparable skills, but they cannot be everywhere at once.
A Lot is Happening in the World
We are living in Tower Times. There are things happening in both the astral world and the mundane world that are bigger than all of us. The gods are at war, much like Neil Gaiman depicted in his book American Gods. We are in the middle of multiple wars, although I don’t mean just the ones happening in Ukraine and Gaza. We are fighting for the very planet we live on with climate change. We are fighting patriarchy, racism, fascism, nationalism, xenophobia and my favorite combination – white Christian nationalism.
So it’s no surprise when the gods are quiet with us. They are busy trying to save themselves and us from what is happening. But sometimes we are the ones who are quiet. It has been quiet in my head lately, so I reached out to Odin to see what was going on. In fact, I told him that he had been quiet lately. His response was, “so have you.” Touché.
Things happen in our lives that cause us to focus more on the physical world and less on the spiritual. It’s okay. As I say, life happens. If you are working on a big project in your life, or have a lot going on, it’s natural to put off what you feel like doesn’t have to get done. Yet I know many of us will feel guilty for skipping out on visiting our altars or doing our regular meditation practice.
Get Back on that Spiritual “Horse”
Every spiritual teacher, including myself, will tell you that the best way to grow your relationship with your gods and guides is to create a regular practice. Spirituality is something we learn by doing, just like tarot and divination or any other skill we want to acquire. But when we fall off our routine wagon, we have to learn to accept it and get back on, without guilt and without fear.
Most likely, your gods, guides and ancestors will understand. You might feel as if they are not as active as they were before when you were doing things regularly. But they will come around. Again, they might be busy but once you restart your routine with them, it will bring their attention back to you. Because the gods can see a much bigger picture than we can, I find them to be generally understanding when we miss parts of our spiritual routine. Forgive yourself, ask your gods to forgive your absence, and then get back to it. We flow in cycles like all of nature, but being part of a cycle means that we have to be flexible, including picking up the work we left off.