What do you celebrate? The things we celebrate and the important events we mark as part of our practice is a key ingredient and should reflect our belief system. Many of us (myself included) follow certain celebratory patterns that we don't always have a full connection with. As part of my journey this year I've been thinking a lot about what celebrations I want to include as part of my practice.
These beliefs I guess have changed as my life has changed, either because I have become more in-tune with the cycles or because I live somewhere that you can somewhat tell the difference in the seasons. I think that plays a big part, whether you actually notice the changes. For the first time since I've started I am finally getting in-tune with the idea of Imbolc, I can see the winter giving way to longer daylight and greater warmth. But for most of my practicing years I've struggled with this one - partly I believe because I've lived in areas where you really don't notice much of a difference in the season until spring really kicks in. I've struggled with Lughnassadh for similar reasons, failing to really feel the difference in the season and I find it difficult to celebrate something that I just can't connect with. So I'm working through whether I keep with this 8 season system or if I work out something of my own, something that holds value to me and that resonates with my life.
I have decided to work with both the full and the dark moon for the year. I feel that both events are of equal importance and while I may not always do something elaborate (ok, who am I kidding I'll rarely do something elaborate, I'm a simple girl at heart) I will do something to mark the occasion. I know some people do not like working with the dark moon and the full moon definitely seems to get more play in most peoples practices but I think there is value to be had in doing work appropriate to both ends of the spectrum.
I would like to begin to incorporate something to honor the sun on a regularish basis but I haven't quite worked out what I would like to do for that.
I haven't really thought to much about this in my practice thus far. I guess I've been relatively free from the need. I have not had any deaths in the family, births, coming of ages etc that I would feel a need to do something for. I don't plan on having children so any celebrations related to that is likely never to occur. I am not even someone who makes a big deal of birthdays or anniversaries so I've got quite a void going here. Celebrating monuments in life is very important so I feel this is something that I have to work on a little.
Some people do celebrate different pagan Holy Days. These are related to their deities, their path or are just historical Holy Days that drew them. At this point I don't celebrate any of these. I don't feel that there are any particular days that I am drawn to, but I can see the significance of participating in them.