Life is full of changes and transitions. In fact, it’s said that the only constant in life is change. We each handle change in our own ways – some of us try not to deal with it at all – but as things never stay the same, we all move on in some manner or another.
One of the things that has helped me deal with change is the concept of the Wheel of the Year. A common image in modern paganism, the Wheel of the year represents all fours seasons with each of the eight Celtic solar holidays positions around the wheel. Think of it as a simple calendar on which you can see, in general terms, where you are along the course of the year, and where you are in relation to everything else.
Unlike a “regular” calendar, the Wheel is, well, a wheel – circular in shape, so that one transitions to the next phase of the year in a continuous loop. The course is laid out for us, always changing, but showing us the path forward. It also shows us the constant patterns of life – dark will come after light, light will come after dark – and that we can count on these changes as cycles to be repeated. So even as change is inevitable, so are is the cycle of the year. We always know what is coming up next.
These days, I think most of us are familiar with Seasonal Affective Disorder, or S.A.D., a condition that affects people in the dark half of the year due to the lack of light as their area of the globe moves farther away from the Sun. People with S.A.D. can be depressed, tired all the time, have a hard time concentrating, and generally find the dark half of the year very difficult. I used to suffer from this quite a bit, and still experience the symptoms from time to time.
Yet when I discovered the image and concept of the Wheel of the Year, I began to look at the dark half of the year in a different way. I could see it was just a time of the year that we all had to pass through, and that the light was inevitably on its way. Yule became a holiday of triumph for me: the longest night and shortest day were at hand, and now the light would return. Slowly, perhaps, but the light would indeed return.
In most of North America, tomorrow is the beginning of Daylight Savings Time (I always think of it as the end, but that’s not actually correct). We “Spring ahead” and set our clocks forward one hour. This is the day of the year that I celebrate as the “we survived the Winter darkness!” day. As promised by the Wheel, the light has officially returned, and we are now full-swing into the light half of the year.
So remember to set those clocks one hour ahead tonight, and enjoy the full hour of extra daylight we now have in the evenings! Blessed Be.
Angela has been following her pagan path for over 17 years. When she is not blogging or promoting Treewise, Angela knits, runs her own business, and falls a lot while trying to play roller derby.