This was just going to be about Samhain, but it occurred to me I have a different relationship with Samhain and Hallowe’en than many American Pagans, and how I approach the holiday might be seen to be completely different because of that. I also want to explore a little bit about the seasons here in Australia, and how it makes for a different relationship with the Wheel.
That, and I don’t really have enough to talk about if I just focussed on Samhain. Because I rarely celebrate it enough to have anything of substance to talk about. So, we will discuss it, along with other things. I know I’ve talked about some of these Wheel and seasonal things before, but I’ll try not to repeat myself.
I feel like I haven’t particularly talked about this topic at any great length yet, so in lieu of a post on ritual, this is what’s on my mind lately. Well. I did cover some of this in my Crossroads post, but that was back in, what, Feburary? A helluva lot has happened since then, let me tell you.
I’ve rebuilt my path a few times since I became pagan at 16. I think I’m always going to have something of an eclectic streak, but it’s not as great as it once was, and I sometimes think I was just going through a period of intense experimentation as I tried lots of things to see what worked and what resonated with me. At the same time, though, I’m not sure if I had much of a choice in it, because of how one thing has necessarily led to another and it hasn’t always made sense until after the journey’s been completed. I think it’s always been some sort of syncretic though, in its own sort of way. But not as syncretic as this current path is. This is taking syncretism to another level and trying to make a cohesive whole from a whole host of fragmented pieces.
Okay, so I thought I’d posted this somewhere – either here or Dreamwidth/LJ, but apparently not. Because I apparently got as far as writing it up, and then not sharing it with people. I know I meant to do that though. My approach to the Wheel was both finding a cycle that works for my particular path, and then a more generally and better adaptable queer version for public consumption for those who like using the Wheel as a festival calendar. If anyone has any input or thoughts, I’d love to hear them, and feel free to pass this on to anyone you think might be interested.
To make a tl;dr post shorter, I’ve been reading over the Sabbats, and trying to figure out possible themes to work with for each one that aren’t dependent on heteronormative biological reproduction. I wanted them to be more abstract and inclusive, as well as adaptable for different paths or for people who work with different Deities. I wanted it to be asexual-friendly as well as queer-friendly, because I think the traditional Wiccan Wheel doesn’t do a good job of catering to those two camps.
Also, fyi, I am using ‘queer’ here as a shorthand umbrella term for transgender, genderqueer, and other gender diverse people to save me writing that out every time. It’s meant to be for anyone not interested in a binary gender narrative, or one based in biological heteronormative reproduction and fertility, like the traditional Wheel. So that’s where I’m coming from and what I’m trying to address.
This is also just a draft of my thoughts for each of the Sabbats. I’m open to tweaking or changing anything that doesn’t quite work, as well as any suggestions for what else could be included. Because I don’t want it to be path-specific or pantheon-specific, I don’t want to assign Gods to each one either; if I did, it might only ever be as a suggestion for who to work with? Does that sound like a good idea? I have the Horned Goddess down for Beltaine, but that’s the only association so far, and I’m happy for that to be a personal association more than anything else.
I thought it was about time I posted about this, because I feel it’s settled into what it wants to be for the moment, and there’s no point in trying to tweak it. It’s light on Greek and Roman festivals, if only because I still haven’t figured out which ones I want to mark, so that’s more of an addition for later when I’ve had time to properly research those things. But the basic structure is there now.
It’s a fixed calendar, too, if only because it’s easier to integrate it with the Wheel than calculating it every year. I’ve also got a leap year version that adds in an extra day. I think I just added in another extra day leading up to Wep Ronpet, so the months were (mostly) in sync. I’ll still probably check it every year, just to make sure it’s still working. I chose Wep Ronpet as my starting point and gave it a fixed date in order to calculate the rest of the calendar from there. Somehow it’s all managed to work out really well.
There are no moons integrated into the main calendar here, though, if only because I’m just going to set those in every year because the dates change. That’s about all the additions I plan to do though, bar any tweaking I need to do. For me, my path is easier to manage using a perpetual calendar, because I don’t want to spend days calculating a new calendar every year. I’d rather do things this way.
I’ll also state my base Kemetic calendar is based on the Kemetic Orthodox one, if only because I already had those notes I could use to compile a complete year-long calendar. I’ve only included the festivals I plan to mark. I’m also making something of a daily prayer book, where I want to list every festival, so I can use it as a devotional aid for my daily practice.It’s my compromise between keeping track of the whole calendar without feeling obliged to celebrate every festival.
Because obviously yesterday was the best day ever to finally get me some Wheel of the Year inspiration happening. I’ve at least pinned down which Gods I might want to mostly focus on for each, but I haven’t got any overarching narrative structure yet. IDK if I’ll get that far, and this isn’t even a particularly queer version either. I think there’s more work to do on a deliberately queer Wheel that I’m not quite at yet, because I think that one will need and overarching narrative that I’m still piecing together, so that’s for later. But having a Wheel I can personally work with does help in getting to that point. It’s like, I need to know the rules before I break them, so I want to understand what each Sabbat is about in order to help figure out how to queer it properly in a manner that makes sense.
This is part of me figuring out how to structure my path, too. Knowing what my yearly calendar will be like, I can go down to a seasonal and then a monthly level, and then figure out what to do each day. It’s harder to build from the day to the year, so I do it the other way around. Knowing who I want to honour on each of the Sabbats makes it easier to pin down the rest of my yearly festival calendar.