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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.


I’m going to focus on practical pagan topics this time around.This blog will be about some of the things I’ve managed to work out in my practice and about my path. I’m not doing it to teach. If you find these posts helpful, I’m interested in your thoughts.

On October 7, 1987 I finally accepted myself as a pagan. That night under the full moon I chose to fasten myself to an Earth centered path rather than a semi-Gnostic Christian one. I celebrate every year. I named that date Pangere so I would remember the path was important and not the destination.

Our calendars let us imagine that we are the masters of time. We think that by moving things on a page, we control when those events happen. We forget that our calendars are meant to measure not control. We may call 3 AM morning, but the sun hasn’t risen yet. We may think that the hottest part of the day is noon, but any desert dweller can tell you that the real heat is in the late afternoon. We may call September 21 the beginning of fall, but that doesn’t make it true.

“We who live in time” as the song goes. We don’t master time, we shield ourselves from the underlying truth. So I’m going to use this post to talk about time. I can’t keep three blogs with multiple entries per week. I don’t have the time to do it well. I want to send out something other than me reacting to other stuff. TPY is going to concentrate on pagan things and will be published Tuesdays.

Why? Because this year October 7 is on a Tuesday.

You probably know about the eight sabbats. Mike Nichols does a fantastic job explaining the symbolism in his book and his site. But I’d like to point out some of the not so obvious practical details. Pardon my calendar obsession.

The summer solstice is Midsummer and the winter solstice is Midwinter. That makes the spring equinox the middle of spring and the autumnal equinox the middle of fall. I call these solar festivals.

That just messed up the “official definitions,” didn’t it? But look at the wheel of the year and see if I am wrong.

Going with these definitions, each of the High Holidays is the gateway between two seasons. Winter begins around the end of October. Spring begins around the beginning of February. Summer begins around the end of April. Fall begins around the first week of August. Given magick’s obsession with borders, it’s no wonder that these are potent times of transition.

And that is the first secret I’m going to give you. The Solar Festivals are the peaks, valleys and balances of solar power. The High Holidays are the gateways on the borders between seasons.

The traditional dates are okay, but I prefer to get exact dates and times. I use Archaeoastronomy. I use Sea and Sky to get astronomical dates. And of course I get the full moon information from the U.S. Naval Observatory. On November 1 every year I set these for the next year. The wonders of Calendar/iCal (technically BusyCal) means I can set the exact time UTC for each of these events and it will show on my iPod Touch for the local time.

That would be fine as far as it goes. But I have a calendar obsession AND an almanac obsession.

Each of the sabbats gets three days on my calendar. The High Holidays go from sunset to sunset. The Solar Festivals go from sunrise to sunrise. I use three days for the new and full moons too. I call those Lady in the Court of Shadows and Lady in the Court of Stars. That’s a long complicated story which I’m not going into right now.

I’ve my own version of the Mighty Dead, my Befores. It's an idea that I borrowed from the late Zenna Henderson and adapted for my own purposes. Befores are the people who have touched my life and changed me in some very fundamental ways, even though I may never have met them. I celebrate their birthdays. And I celebrate their passing days. You can't say much about a birthday. On a passing day, you can put a quote that sums up their life. There’s more to that too, but it doesn’t have much to do with a calendar.
Endless Eternal by Ivo Domínguez, Jr.

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A narrow slice of life, but now and again pondering American neopaganism, modern adult pagans & the World.

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