I don't go in for the idea of only showing spiritual inclinations on a special day, much as I don't go in for showering lovers with pink and red tat one day of the year to prove how special they are. No. It's not like that.
I think it's easy for pagans to be a bit halfarsed about every day spirituality because we tend to have SO. MANY. HOLY. DAYS. There's the eight sabbats and the full moons and birthdays and any eclipse and ancient festivals of any deity or concept you please, and you can find yourself with two or three holy days a week if you like.
I like a good, festive holy day as much as the next guy. I think it's great that in Paganism there is a push for wholesale, joyous, celebratory religion at any excuse or hatdrop. Brilliant!
Personally I am actually often too caught up in immanent, daily spirituality to remember all the festivals I'm supposed to observe, rather than the other way round. I don't live on the land, my lifestyle is not agricultural, so forgetting to mark the seasons with blood and ash and dancing isn't a big deal to me. I do think it's splendid to celebrate the seasons while we still have seasons to celebrate, what with all this funny weather and such, and I think more people should be aware of the climatic component of their environment beyond their own comfort and convenience, but at present for many people, myself included, the observation of such is not a matter of harvest festivals and fucking in the fields. Were I working in field ecology, it might be a different story. Were I living on a permaculture farm, it would definitely be a different story.
I think the wheel of the year is simply is not relevant to most urban people in the form currently presented, which is entirely agricultural. Recouch those festivals and make them relevant to urbanites, and you might get more takers.
Happy solstice all, by the way.
I also think that before we hasten to apply a very European year-wheel, we should if possible look to the indigenous traditions wherever we live. These are infintiely more applicable understandings of the seasonal progressions. This is not to say steal from indigenous festivals or traditions, rather to inform our own thoroughly modern traditions with more accurate understandings of the immediate environment & climate. If you live somewhere with two seasons, or six, or twelve, or nine, the European four-season year-wheel is largely useless and misleading.
This too affects my general neglect of the sabbats etc. It's not a simple matter of reversing the wheel to make it fit Australia. There are at least six seasons in Brisbane, bearing little resemblance to the four-season year of Western Europe, so while the solstices & equinoxes remain relavent by dint of being astronomical rather than meterological, why should I mark a season that isn't in fact happening?
Even when living in Europe, my seasons are marked by things like the first bumble bee of the year, the first snow or butterfly, which trees are fruiting or shedding and when, which birds and animals are around and when they breed or migrate, Yew berries, Oak leaves, bluebells, snow drops, daffodils, crocus, swallow, cygnet and lamb.
So. Roughly equal parts yay and meh. Immanent trumps occasional. Yep.
30 Days of Paganism