Celebrating the wheel of the year has many advantages. Marking the astronomical positions of the sun helps us keep track of time and tradition. We can honor some of the holidays our agrarian ancestors might’ve celebrated. And even if our ancestors didn’t celebrate Lughnasa, it’s likely that there was a first harvest festival, celebration, or dinner. After all, our ancestors were directly tied to farming the earth for sustenance and life.
However, I’ve realized over the years that I’m just not into solar energy. It’s too intense, too direct. Just too much. As someone with a lot of northern European genes, my skin just doesn’t get along well with the sun when temps are greater than 74 F. That is, unless I want to get a sunburn. Likewise, my pale blue eyes are blinded by the sun most of the year.
My feelings about the intensity of the sun relate to the wheel of the year as well. Yes, I think midsummer is cool, but not because of the intense solar energy. It’s because of the good fae, the festivals, and the sunlight that lasts long into the night.
I skipped Lughnasa this year because I’ve started celebrating and honoring my own cycles. These align to the moon more than anything else. Checking in with myself honors where I am at that moment, not where the sun is in the sky and what kind of celebration I should be having. It’s a much more intuitive process, and it’s rewarding to me.
I practice daily, and with the moon cycles, and with my own energy flow. It’s a solitary practice most of the time, which means I don’t have to wait for someone else to arrive, or be on the same page, or have the same needs. I do what I need when I need it, and as such, I feel way more in touch with myself than ever before. This more intuitive practice has become empowering and enlightening.
It’s funny because I think of those people’s energies are more constant, or maybe with longer variations, like the sun. Maybe their energies don’t wax and wane as often as mine do. To those people, I’d say, “you honor your path, and I’ll honor mine. There’s no harm in doing what feels right.”
I’m starting to wonder if I’m becoming less of a pagan and more of a practitioner of intuitive witchcraft. If that’s the case, I welcome it. It has been built on a platform of many years of energy sensitivity, study, and practice, and it’s well-balanced. I’ve found new insights here that are good for me.
This isn’t to say that people can’t celebrate both the wheel and their own cycles. But for me, moving away from the solar wheel of the year feels right. My practice feels less like it’s tied to the wheel, and more like it’s tethered to an aerial hoop. There are no rungs telling me what to do or when to do it. I move to my own music, and my practice unfolds like an art. I rely on my strength, flexibility, and experience. Changes will come, and I will rise to meet them, gracefully, with an open heart. This is the spiritual evolution I need — beyond the wheel of the year and into my own space.
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