Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Terri Rethinks the Sabbats

I've not been a supporter of agriculture for a while now, and yet I'm still using the whole slew of NeoPagan Sabbats - which are unashamedly agricultural in nature - to celebrate the turning of the wheel.

Whether or not agriculture was inevitable, it's been our undoing - and that of the planet, too.

Farming and raising crops has arguably been the single biggest contribution to the sedentary population, and the rise of those consummate evils - the village, the town and the city.

So for a while now I've been looking at the Sabbats from a non-agri, earth based standpoint, and I've come up with a few ideas.

Starting from where I'm standing right now, I'm inclined to rename Mabon (Alban Elved) as the season of Rushing Dark Water. That's what it feels like. A black river running fast and smooth through the landscape of our souls.

Next I'm going to be facing Samhain, and on a bit of reflection I'm thinking of this as the time of Exhalation, when the Earth lets out a final, relieved breath, and all Her organs contract a little, releasing something of the captive Spirit which has gathered during the year.

Yule is of course the season of Frozen Earth. Locked down and solid.

Imbolc would be Fire Down Below.

Ostara White Water. If you've ever gone white water rafting you'll be sure to see what I mean. Happy White Water to all in the Northern Hemisphere.

Beltane comes back around to Air - this time the Great Inhalation, as She brings Life force into Herself more fully.

Summer Solstice is Earth on Fire, and Lughnasadh Fire from Heaven.

Which brings us back to Do...err...Rushing Dark Water.

I noticed that these seasons were following the order of elements on the pentacle : Water, Air, Earth and Fire.

The Equinoctial axes are of Water; the Solsticial ones of Earth.
The so-called Cross Quarters take on Fire (Imbolc/Lughnasadh) and Air(Beltane/Samhain).

So far, it's resonating well for me. Well, it would, wouldn't it, since I made it up?

I'll probably have to do some fine tuning, but I've got , as ever, Plenty of Time.

Pic found, surprisingly, at the Daily Kos. Although I notice that those points are incorrectly attributed with the elements! Oh don't be such a fucking fusspot, Terri.


  1. It's an awesome picture :)

    I don't agree about agriculture. Small self sustaining units are the past and the future, almost like the amish.
    The problem literally begins with money, and TRADE, where the land ceases to be the benchmark.
    Weekly and seasonal cycles are natural, and healthy. Each thing in its place.

    peace and love

  2. Hey Terri!

    First off, thanks for your advice/comment over at Chrysalis... good to have a few words from the wise about such things.

    Next, what a fascinating reinvention of the Wheel! I suspect it is something that a lot of Pagans and Neo-Pagans end up working with at one point... You've probably read some of my ramblings on the topic, anyhow tt is nice to know that other folks are moved to reweave the wheel as needed!


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  4. As tempted as I have been to blame agriculture for the decline of the Earth Mother, I still think that domestication of crops and animals within the context of adherance to "natural" principles is sustainable within this ecosystem, but then that also requires an extreme adherance to containment, which we did not do as agriculture freed us from the constraints of our hunter/gatherer days. If Gaia hits us with a great culling event (the BIG meteor, but not TOO big), we coud start over with an appreciation for population control and a rethinking of this need to dominate the land and consuming everything in sight.

    Cool rethinking of the wheel, though......

  5. What a lovely, and TRUE vision of the wheel of the year. You are so wise.

  6. I love how vibrant, creative and personal this is. Thank you for sharing that.

  7. I love your re-working of the wheel. I think we all need to rework things so that they fit our lives, aspirations and world view. One small point, the ancient wheel can be seen as celebrating the life/death/life cycle of the wild as well as the cultivated