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!