We are different people in the different seasons, my teachers said to us. They were talking about dating someone; we were in our early 20’s and were looking for love! Know someone through all four seasons before you make a serious commitment. 2 weeks was a long time for us! Moving quickly through different suitors and ultimately finding we had to romance ourselves. Ceremony after ceremony, we sat, and we matured, we grew up in the circle.
The circle had taught me to look at my relatives, my ancestors, to appreciate being “adopted” by others and what that meant. As I learned from the indigenous people in the circle, I heard them introduce themselves by their family clan names, usually their matrilineage, a completely alien concept to someone who grew up in 1990’s American culture. We are lineage orphans, displaced from our ancestors, so far back, most of us don’t know our origins.
As I moved through these growing pains, I learned to embrace the Wheel of the Year. This is my solution today to honor my ancestors and my lineage. Not much is known in our family past having come from Virginia and probably Wales, Germany and England. One day I may be able to track back far enough and find a place to visit, for now I am content to learn to see with the eyes of my ancestors as the Wheel of the Year turns.
The Wheel of the Year is a solar calendar. Every 6 weeks there is an event on the wheel. Samhain, or Halloween, is considered the New Year on the Celtic Wheel of the Year.
We are in the Autumn transition at this time, 2018. Each year I have learned to watch for “the winds of change.” It sounds like a movie line, but truly, since I have noticed them, they come, each Autumn and each Spring. At those times, the veils are thin, so they say, at those times, like compost, it’s time for us to turn over, to break down, to make fertile ground with our experiences for the next people we are becoming in the next season.
Each year I watch for the goldenrod, around the end of September (my birth month so it feels like a special gift!), this year it came late and was scraggly because the weather patterns were strange; it was very warm past the Equinox and then suddenly cold and rainy. The goldenrod didn’t seem to like that, it never really got a chance to bloom in it’s full glory, some did, some still are blooming, but the field of gold I visit wasn’t there this year.
The Hawthorn berries ripen at this time. Last year there was a fungus we noticed that affected the trees, it’s not terminal but there it is. The same thing happened to the roses that were carefully planted a couple years ago around the urban garden. Learning over the years that the hawthorn and rose are related to apple, that apple and the hawthorn are archetypically powerful at this time and so I may employ these fruits to grace my seasonal altar, I will “work with them,” physically, energetically, spiritually.
Each year I get to learn from a different teacher and go deeper with an old friend. Goldenrod has been my friend for several years now, though still a mystery to me. I enjoy seeing all of these plants come alive at this time like seeing good friends on the street, spending time with them, considering their nature and qualities, googling about them, yes, but also receiving insights directly as inspiration and understandings.