Monday, September 24, 2012

Personal Calenders, part 2: A Search for Narrative

{Picture from here}

So a while ago I decided I wasn't going to follow the Wheel of the Year's narrative ideas, and instead I was going to celebrate the change of the seasons, and things important to ME. I like some of those days because where they fall makes sense to me, and not necessarily its narrative.

Celebrating Ganesh Chathurthi was kind of a step in this direction. A celebration of honor for something I worked with. But here's the thing: I want something that has meaning, to me.

I have a problem. I don't follow any Deity nor existing Path in terms of holidays. Usually I don't work with things near enough to want to honor them with offerings or anything, and when I do it feels hollow. I can't explain it but it feels hollow, somehow. Like I'm half-heartedly believing in this holiday because I want to do SOMETHING.

While I will be celebrating the Equinox here, I am celebrating on the 26th, which is the actual numeric day of equal day and night for my area here in PA. (Some people don't realize the Equinox is usually different than numeric day and night.) I will be writing down things I want to harvest, and burning them on Samhain, the new year.

I think I have been slowly introducing things I want to do during those days, and I didn't realize I was slowly working in a calender.

On the Equinox, I write things to harvest, on Samhain, I burn them. On Yule, I write wishes for the coming year, and on Imbolc, I burn them. I didn't realize until writing this post I have somewhat of a cycle going for my Year, at least in the dark months, so that's something. That's a beginning.

I am going to work through the dark months to develop more. Foods for those holidays, things to do for Spring/Summer. I am somewhat reversed. When Spring hits I die a little. In Summer I am suffering. Summers are horrible for me. When Fall and Winter come I feel alive again, finally, like I am at union with the earth. I want to create a narrative that honors this process in myself, even if it's directly contrary to others.

Graveyarddirt has a narrative centric to herself, around the Virgin/Whore seasonal dichotomy. I really respect this idea of a personal narrative. I want to begin work on creating such a narrative for myself, though obviously not based on fertility. I like Proserpina's Kitchen and her descent narrative honoring Proserpina. I want the feeling of being able to do this and have it be meaningful, without using Deity. I feel like the secular wish/herbalism stuff is part of a process, and that I should integrate Land Spirits or something I DO work with into that process. And now I am wondering how I should do that, because I have no precedent.

What I DO mostly work with is my Spirit Guide and the branches he has to other Astral things. I am beginning to realize my Bast/Anubis centric Shamanic shrine makes no sense anymore. I barely work with either of them for more than a day at a time, and the same for most Deity. They just don't enter my radar because so much of my work is through my Shamanic work and my Guide. So I am considering doing like the rose bell and creating mementos of my Guides, to put on my altar, and structuring my narrative around him as well.

I should mention I actually do not resonate with the descent/rising life/death dichtotomy of the Wheel of the Year and many other systems, and I think what I listed above is why. When Summer comes, I dread it. My allergies kick in during Spring and then the heat comes and I drag myself around, tired all the time and gross and sweaty and I despise it. Fall comes, and with it comes good things for me, and I can breathe and move and have comfortable temperatures and gorgeous leaves again. Winter comes and I bask in the cold, the snow, the dead silent mornings with hot tea. I covet those months, they are my favorites, and I keep them close to my heart.

So maybe I start with that. Maybe I reverse the wheel, and that's the key.

Related Post

1. Creating a Personal Calendar


  1. It's always so much fun and so very difficult to create your own, personal calendar. But, I think it's well worth everything we do to have one ready.

  2. I've been thinking about this sort of thing, too. Practice tailored to the individual is really starting to make sense to me in light of not having a more traditional, structured path. Interested to hear more about what you come up with! Will you be posting more about it?

    1. I will. I feel like this revelation is pushing me closer to my eventual narrative, whatever that is. (a narrative free from deity or fertility and dichotomies...somehow)

  3. I love that you are creating a personal calendar. Today the 25th is the equilux in my area, when sunrise and sunset are exactly 12 hrs apart. So some of us know that the equinox does not really reflect a day/night balance.

    1. Yeah my Equilux is tomorrow which is why I waited. I like numerics a lot, but then I don't like them when they're too strict. Like I don't like "this day is the beginning of fall" when it's not for example.

      Personal calendars are hard but I think I almost have my narrative down...