Working with the Wheel of the Year

How is this going to work?


Hello my fellow travellers

I will be looking at the Wheel of the Year and how it can be worked with to help get your mind focused on seasonal changes and adapting your life to run in tune with Mother Nature.

I have been looking at this for a little while now and it really makes sense when you start to look deeper into this as a way of rekindling the old ways into this strange new modern world we live in. I was talking to another friend of mine after the Alban Elfed Ceremony I did for him in his orchard. We were talking about how the old traditions and cultures seem to have been passing into insignificance as the world develops, computers and smart phones seem to be the be all and end all of everything, I am as guilty as most in this, everything in done on a smart phone these days, from checking bank accounts, paying for goods in shops checking the weather, oh yes and even talking to people. This is brilliant, but we lose the ability to communicate. What are you talking about? I hear you say, well ok yes you talk to people on the phone, but that's not really communicating as such, ok so it is passing on information from one person to another, the same as texting and emailing, however, these are all just faceless noises or disembodied words. Actual communication as I see it involves facial expressions, emotions, tone of voice etc. So many times we can make a joke in a text or email but it is completely misunderstood by the recipient as they can't tell it was a joke and may take offence at it, this leads to bad feelings and breakups, when a simple smile in a face to face chat would make them realise it is in fact meant as a joke or a bit of tongue in cheek humour.

I have to travel into London at times as part of my work, I sit on the tube and 95% of people are glued to either a laptop or a smart phone, you look at someone and smile and they think you are insane, or you have ulterior motives, people have headphones on, even just trying to walk passed someone these days on public transport you need to know various forms of sign language so they actually get some idea of what you mean. No-one looks at anyone or anything anymore, I know I sound old, and I am, but in all honesty it is driving us backwards instead of forewards in my opinion, we miss the look of a genuine smile, we fail to hear the sounds around us and the sights of the seasons changing. I look at it that everything we see these days is through the eyes of a phone camera, or an ipad (other tablets are available), nothing is real, our sense are not being used to their fullest.

We spend so much time these days looking at a small six by three inch screen that we miss everything thats going on around us. This got me to thinking more and more about my spiritual path and my journey as a Druid in this modern world.

As a Druid my greatest love and respect goes to everything around me, family, nature, walks in woodlands, just even sitting in the garden listening to birds, looking at the beauty of the flowers and trees and smelling all the wonderful things that Mother Earth freely lends to us while we are walking on her ground. Yes I can look at a picture of a tree on my smart phone, but there is nothing like going to a real tree, sitting beneath its wide spread canopy, feeling its life force as you touch its bark and its leaves (with their permission of course).

I sat down right at the beginning of my venture into writing this blog and started to think about how I was going to do it and what I wanted to get from it, my very first chapter on this venture spoke about when I was six or so and wandered off from the caravan on a family holiday to sit amongst the trees and animals, and just doing this little exercise made me realise how much I have changed in myself, as with the wheel of the year I had gone full circle.

I started with my birth, my trip into the woods where I sat beneath a tree, this could be related to Samhain, Samhain has always been traditionally seen by Druids and Pagans alike as the end of one year and the birth of the new, the Celtic New Year. I then grew through the dark months as a teenager, the Winter Solstice of my life. On to Imbolc which is a time for planning new beginnings, I started at College with a plan of where I wanted my life to go, I wanted to work with children so started on my career path to get my qualifications. Then came Spring Equinox, a time of balance, of equal day and nghts, this was having my ideal job, working with young offenders combining this with my love of the outdoors, I used to take them camping and walking through Wales, and Dartmoor and getting paid for it, WOW!!!! I moved onto Beltaine, the time when the creatures are looking to raising a family, it was around this time in my life when I met my wife, we got married and started to think about children of our own and my son was born, it was around this time also that I started my journey into Buddhism properly. Into the Summer Solstice, a time to enjoy the long sunny days, this was my marriage and playing with my son watching him grow into a teenager, this was also the time "I came home" I found my true spiritual path it was like a big awakening for me, deep down I have always been a Druid but now I know what it actually is and what it means for me. Lughnasah quickly comes around, a time for the first harvest, sharing your crops with the community, this is the time when my son left home and started his own journey, getting married moving on, we could sit back and watch the results of our first crop, grow and develop into a young man himself, then onto the Autumn Equinox, a time of reflection, a time of gratitude, for me this was settling into my new job, watching my son and his wife start a family of their own, my spiritual path growing stronger, actually sharing this openly with people I knew who always thought I was just a bit eccentric, as I reflected on this and where I had come from and where I am now, I began to question things, yes I have a smart phone, but do I have a life, that is when nature started calling me back more and more, I was also lucky as despite everything, my wife and my son also loved nature and we did spend time in it together, more so when my son left, me and my long suffering wife would walk through the woods together, bird watch, work on our garden. Full circle back to Samhain, this is where I am now, my son is becoming more and more settled in his family life, my job providing me with the ability to just about pay the bills, my calling to nature has a firm hold on my life now, I am back to being six, I wake early, I stand in the garden listening to the sounds of nature, I smell the beautiful smells of trees and flowers, I walk barefoot on the ground and yes I hug trees.

I definitely ramble a lot more when I sit down and start to write, sorry about this, but for me it is important, it is something I feel I need to share before we lose touch with everything forever. I want to share with everyone, though this is not possible I know, but I feel if a small group of people get it, then they will talk about it to others and who knows before long maybe we can all start feeling at home with nature and the old ways again.

I will be looking into this in a bit more detail as my blogs progress, I will be sharing what I know about the different festivals, what they mean, maybe a bit of folklore surrounding them, how to work with them, different things to do to bring our lives back in sync with this wonderful Earth we live on, rituals and ceremonies that can be done to celebrate these times and I may even look up recipes for traditional foods to eat at these times. If anyone knows any please let me know I would love to add them on here for everyone if that would work. I know it may not be for everyone, but even if it reaches to just a few it will be something.

I will be starting with Samhain as my next blog, I will have to start taking more pictures and writing more poems and stories as this has been slipping lately. I hope I haven't bored you all too much.

I will now, as always, end on a poem of mine. This one is called " The Silent Lady" I hope you like it



Beside a gently flowing stream

A lady quietly stands

Wearing just a silken robe

With flowers in her hand

A tear runs slowly down her cheek

Hidden by the rain

Falling from the summer sky

In quiet, soft refrain

Still she stands her gaze is fixed

We know not what she sees

Her tear-filled eyes just look ahead

Towards the distant trees

Why does she stand so motionless?

Nobody seems to know

But every day with flowers in hand

The same place she does go

The silken robes are all she wears

No shoes upon her feet

The wind blows gently through her hair

As golden as the wheat

She stands beneath me everyday

I wish that I knew why

I brush a leaf against her face

Her tears I want to dry

She doesn’t know I’m standing here

To her I’m just a tree

Protecting her from falling rain

Oh, how this saddens me

I want to hold her close to me

And take away her pain

To let her know I’m here for her

Through sunshine and through rain

Then one day she turns to me

I feel her soft embrace

The tears she shed are now all gone

A smile now takes their place

She lays the flowers she once held

Gently on the ground

Then turns and slowly walks away

No more to come around


As always take care my friends, thank you for sticking with me, I hope this is giving you something to think about, I know I am enjoying sharing with you.

Until next time

Blessed be /|\