Sunday, November 06, 2011

My thoughts on the witchy new year

This week's prompt from Pagan Blog Prompts was about the Pagan New Year. I don't answer all the prompts for the site, but I decided I would answer this one. First of all, here's what the prompt says:

"Prompt: The Pagan New Year

For a lot of Pagans, Samhain is seen as the "new year" rather than waiting until the calendar changes in January.... Are you one of these Pagans? Why or why not?

What does it mean to you, starting a new year? Are you one to make resolutions for the year ahead, or do you prefer to reflect on the changes in the year past?"

And now for my thoughts:

It's a popular belief among many that the old year ends at Samhain, yet the new year doesn't begin again until Yule. What then is the time between Samhain and Yule? I mean, it has to be something, doesn't it? But what?

Some say Samhain is a time to reflect on the past year and look to the year ahead, and that Yule is time to prepare yourself for that year and cleanse your home of any negativity of the year before. Others say that both Samhain and Yule serve the same purpose; time to reflect on the past year and prepare yourself - and your home - for the new one. But which is right? They can't both be, can they? Or, can they?

Well, for me Samhain is the new year; a time for new beginnings, a time to reflect on the year that has passed, and a time to end bad habits and start new - hopefully better - habits. But the time from Samhain to Yule feels like a sort of transition period; like the time between when you wake up and when you have to start to face the day, though on a much larger scale, obviously. Which, I suppose, would make it that "they" were all right, wouldn't it? Meaning that the new year was a long event in nature that stretched from Samhain to Yule. I mean, nature doesn't do anything quickly, after all, so why should turning the wheel of the year be any different?

And as for resolutions... I don't make them.

My first year being allowed to stay up to greet the new calender year my brother told me about resolutions. I decided I would resolve to go to bed when I was told (hey, I was 9, LOL!) He told me that was a stupid resolution, and he said I should pick something else. I told him that resolutions were stupid anyway, and if I couldn't pick the ones I wanted to make then I wasn't going to make any at all.

To be honest, I barely acknowledge the new calender year; I do my celebrating at Samhain and Yule, and - apart from a load of e-mails and texts, and a post on my blog to welcome everyone to the new year - do little more than make a mental note to write the new year's date when writing down dates from now on (which I usually take until Imbolc - February 2nd, for anyone who doesn't know - or later to get the hang of, LOL!


Rita said...

That's funny--fall has always seemed like a time of renewal and creativity to me. But I love New Year's Eve as a time to reflect back on the passing year. I can see where people like to celebrate the change of one year to the next...doesn't matter to me when they do it. :)

Intense Guy said...

January 1 is a rather arbitrary and random date with no connection to any seasonal event - it was accident of sorts from then they switched over to the gregorian calendar from the old one and had to shift things something like 3 weeks that year - in doing so, they lost the seasonal "anchor".

Be as it may - just about any time is as good as any other for a "new year" - my friends down at the wharf consider the first day of the new boating season to be the start of a "new year" and we all say HAPPY NEW YEAR! to each other - in the month of May. Smiles.

That corgi :) said...

And for some people they look at the traditional start of school in September as their new year; I guess it is what everyone is comfortable with and incorporate within their belief systems. Since I seem to be so "run of the mill" I tend to "follow the crowd" and look at the new year on January 1, rarely make resolutions these years but do try to come up with a word of the year, at least for the last two years, 2010 was trust, 2011 was choice, working on 2012's word, got one, just thinking about it. Only because I deal with dates every day with the type of work I do, it only takes about a week to get used to the new year to write it; it just continually to amaze me how fast these days seem to be going by!


AliceKay said...

Interesting thoughts to ponder, Tori.

Toriz said...

Doesn't matter to me either; as long as they're happy with their choice of when to do so then that's good enough for me! :)

*Nods in agreement* exactly!

May is as good a time as any for a new year to begin. :)

*Nods in agreement*

I like that word of the year thing; great idea! :)

Glad you found the post interesting. :)

Connie Mitan said...

I love that you've come to the conclusion that the transition is not an instant thing, and that the entire period between Samhain and Yule is that transition. I tend to take about a month to remember to write the new year date, too. :)