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Winter morning Image by Kristendawn from Pixabay

How are you feeling at this start of a new cycle in the Wheel of the Year? Does it feel like a new beginning . . .  or, perhaps a return to familiar territory, to familiar energies?

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Samhain has just passed, marking a new turn in the Wheel of the Year, a time when we enter what my Celtic ancestors may have considered the “dark half” of the new year . . . a time when the days are short and the nights seem so very long, when the seasons of growth and harvest are complete, when the fields are resting before spring planting, and when we enter a period of preparation for the coming year.

And perhaps you are already feeling the pull of the coming Winter Solstice, when the days are their shortest of the year and when Father Sun tips from waning to waxing, a time for celebration!

My Irish ancestors essentially saw the year as two halves, hinged at Bealtaine and Samhain — both considered potent magical times — when they shifted from Summer to Winter (Samhain, which means “summer’s end”) and from Winter to Summer (Bealtaine, which means “bright fire”). Those two halves were essentially the Yin-Yang energies of the Celtic year, with Bealtaine season associated with the Divine Masculine energies and Samhain season associated with the Divine Feminine energies.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that I started the previous lunar month — which began just before Samhain on October 28th and ended with this week’s New / Dark Moon in Sagittarius on Tuesday the 26th  — with the theme of Pause. Yes, pausing as we shift from the Bealtaine energies to the Samhain energies, from Masculine to Feminine, from Light to Dark, from waxing energy to waning energy, from the old wheel of the year to the new wheel of the year, from endings to new beginnings . . . and with the wisdom of our journey thus far guiding us forward.

Perhaps poet T. S. Eliot said it best:


So I think the Pause may last a little longer for me, into this new lunar month and beyond the Winter Solstice. And perhaps it will manifest in a new way for me, as I shift from pausing to remembering. . . sharing. . . teaching. . . or to other ways I have not yet envisioned.

In tomorrow’s post, we look at how our Celtic Ancestors may have paused at this time of year.