Old Samhain

We know there are eight festivals over the wheel of the year.

Imbolc, The Vernal Equinox, Beltane, Litha/Summer Solstice, Lammas, Mabon/Autumn Equinox, Samhain and Yule/Winter Solstice.

Four of these are at fixed points in the year, both equinoxes when day and night are of equal length, and the two solstices when day and night are at their maximum and minimum hours.

These four points form a structure.  The dates might change slightly, but their actual beings are based on fact.  This is a structure to the wheel.

The remaining four festivals or quarter days also have set dates.  They traditionally happen at certain times of the year.   Habits form, and they became embedded at being marked on certain dates.

But why?  Spring doesn’t just happen on the 1st or 2nd of February.  Who’s to say that harvest has to start on 1st August?  These dates are set to acknowledge certain times of the year and perhaps we could take note of our own instincts and look at what be happening around us before settling on an established date.  We may well choose to celebrate Samhain on 31st October, but perhaps there is also a time in deep, dank November that feels more fitting and we may also celebrate this personal date too.

The wheel of the year has a structure based on actual fixed points, but the other dates can be more fluid and personal.  Go with your own instincts.  Listen to your gut.  It tugs when it connects and resonates with something.

Our ancestors never felt the need to celebrate on a fixed date.  Instead they marked the occasion when the time felt right.  Listen to your instincts and feel the world outside.  What is it trying to tell you?

Listen to your writing too.  It has to have a structure.  This can be a structure of your own making.  It doesn’t have to be linear or the traditional beginning-middle-end.  But a structure it does need.  How you fill this structure is down to your gut.  Your head and heart might try and lead, but your gut knows when something works.  Don’t follow fixed paths and idea because that’s what others do.  Set your own path within your own structures.

Your writing will thank you for it.


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