Responding Creatively To The Turning Year

I’ve made a decision. For one year, from November 1st, I’m going to observe every seasonal festival, as well as consciously appreciate every full and new moon.

In order to be more present with that, I’m going to write or make art around each event. In so-doing it will become ritual, a ceremony. And wherever possible, I’m going to do it with others. Would you like to join me in this intention for the coming year?

I’d like to share with you my reasons…

There was a period of time when I lived on a beach. I was probably the happiest I have ever been there. The day moved with the sun and the moon and the tides. There was pace, and rhythm and everything seemed to do what it was designed to do, without anxiety or questioning.

I felt spacious. 

Now I spend a great deal of my time at a computer, and I find it hard to tap into that rhythm, that rightness, that containment that once turned me in sync with the turning planet.  From that computer I run ‘Wild Words’ and ‘Instinctual Creativity’. The irony is that the reason I choose those particular projects, was to be further in contact with nature, the wild and natural in others, and the freedom I find within myself when I remember I am part of it all.

I doubt I am the only one who has ended up living in the virtual world when their intention was to live more fully in the real world.

My birthday is the 1st November, All Saints day. The 1st of November is thought by many to have been the Celtic New Year. That’s two reasons why it seems like a good time to do something differently. That’s why I’ve chosen that start date for my year.

It begins here. From sunset on October 31st (this Saturday), to sunset on 1st November (this Sunday) is the Gaelic festival of Samhain.

We celebrate it now as Halloween. Its purpose was, and is still, to mark the end of the harvest season and the move into winter, into ‘the dark’. It had huge significance in Irish literature and mythology. At Samhain cattle were brought back from the pastures and slaughtered for winter. Fires were lit to cleanse and protect.  It was considered a liminal time, when the boundary of this world and the other world could be more easily crossed. The souls of the dead were thought to come into houses seeking hospitality. Food and drink was left outside for them. Feasts were held and places reserved for them at the table. People dressed up in costumes, both to befriend, and to protect against, the souls of dead kin.

As a starting point for my creative endeavours this weekend, I’m asking myself the following questions:
-How do I feel about going into the dark this year?
-Who have I lost whom I might like to remember by setting a place at my table?
-Where will I light my fire?

What do these questions bring up for you? I’ll share my responses next week. And I’ll be delighted to hear what creative acts you are inspired to this weekend.