Articles/Essays From Pagans
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NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Resolving Not to make New Year Resolutions
Article ID: 14908
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: January 29th. 2012
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The midwinter season has finally wound up and I find myself looking to new ideas, projects and hopefully an interesting year ahead.
My solstice celebration was such a lovely time with my family and some good friends all together. A feast of food and sharing, presents under the tree and lots of fun and silly games afterwards. The only rule was no TV. And so we made merry until it was late and people began to depart.
Over the next few days, I saw other family and friends, but having done the meal and presents already, it was lovely to relax, chat and get out into the countryside or by the sea and avoid all the last minute rush of the shops and people doing Christmas.
On 25th December, I took my youngest daughter for a long walk by the almost deserted beaches of Whitstable and Tankerton in Kent, UK. We met a few dog walkers at first all smiling and wishing us merry Christmas but eventually as it got towards early afternoon, we found ourselves alone with just the sound of the surf, the seagulls. We had a lovely time of beachcombing and found some interesting shells and driftwood for crafting. Rhiannon declared in her 7-year-old wisdom, it had been the best Xmas day ever. I had to agree!
It was the same for the next few days, and I canít say I remember having had such a lovely relaxing holiday. We had more seashore walks - along Deal and near Dover.
Yesterday was a wonderful day by the mysterious Dungeness with its strange otherworldly energy. The sun shone and that amazing winter light danced around us and upon the people fishing on the beach. And today I have packed up the last of the tree decorations and cards. Caught up with my household tasks, I made myself ready for the return to work tomorrow.
Now Iím not one for New Year Resolutions. Iíve always felt that if I canít have the discipline to follow a plan through at any other time of the year, it certainly wont be any different at the beginning of the calendar year. And to be honest, I celebrate a couple of 'New Year' festivals.
The Samhain/Celtic new year is one and Imbolc - the beginning of early spring is another. I clinked my glass on 31st December at midnight as it signaled the beginning of a new calendar year as well as the birthday of my eldest daughter born on 1 January back in 1987. However, I do find it another good time to take stock of where I am, where I am going and anything I want to focus on next year.
This is not the lose a stone in weight, join a gym or improve my love life type of taking stock. It is usually something that may include remembering to honor my time and family. It also tends to be a spiritual focus for me too.
One of my main plans for the year is something I have been thinking of on and off over several months now. For many years, I so longed to live in the West Country. Somerset or Cornwall were two favourites and for a long time I longed to live in Glastonbury and was sadly disillusioned in the summer by the pricey new age shops and 'gurus' that seem to have overtaken the place. I used to love visiting the place and hadnít had a chance to for about 10 years so anticipated with delight a holiday and chance to take my 7 year-old to a place I loved so much.
Alas, it had changed considerably for me. Apart from the wonderful Tor, the Chalice Well and the Goddess Temple, which still has its wonderful energy, I found it spiritually redundant. It resulted in my really looking at why I feel this need to move elsewhere rather than really connect with the land on which I live at the moment. In doing so, I realised that I wasnít honouring the spirit of the land here, not being in the moment and really connecting. And so I have been thinking of ways to do this.
One of the things I came up with while talking to my best friend last autumn was that there are an awful lot of sacred sites in Kent that we either havenít visited (or maybe did so many years ago as children) or didnít realise were here. Wonderful places such as Toad Rock and the Coldrum Stones.
Last year, I did make more of an effort to visit local and slightly more distant country fayres and celebrations during the year in an effort to connect more. I intend to continue to do so as well as visiting and honouring the sites I am discovering. I will probably write about them on this blog during the year too and Iím really looking forward to these visits.
One of my decisions in 2011 was to make more of an effort to grow my fruit and veg in my pocket handkerchief garden, for the pleasure of having homegrown veg as well as another effort to connect with the land. I managed to find and paint some old car tyres and bins to grow some bit and pieces and get the chickens I planned to have a couple of years ago.
This year I am planning more veg - I last grew onions about 20 years ago, so thatís another new challenge. Still doing the potatoes, tomatoes and courgettes. My herb patch needs sorting since the chickens used it for a dirt bath!! I think some soft fruit this year too.
Other ideas and plans for the year are cooking in the pot and will probably be started in the next few months.
Some of my pagan friends gather fortnightly for a craft session and we have spent many happy hours in the past few years creating for our altars, our celebrations or just for the fun of it. Our first Witches Stitches craft night of 2012 is tomorrow night and we plan to sit and make lists of the crafts we want to do this year and make sure we organise our diaries to keep to our plans.
So though I cant say I have any resolutions as such - I can say I have plans. I am planting the seeds and who knows what may grow this year.
Copyright: rachel mayatt
Location: Glastonbury, England
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