Reinventing the Wheel
Work has been under way now for some time on my own book looking at the seasonal year and how it is handled within witchcraft and modern paganism. The work aims to be a no holds barred breaking down of the ritual year, separating wheat from chaff and including scientific knowledge to support religious attitude. Below is an excerpt from the the books preface.
The passing of the year and the journey of the seasons is something that has been at the heart of human culture since humanity first was. It has gone from dependence to reverence to reason in its journey of understanding and mankind still has a long way to go. Within the field of witchcraft, the seasonal year has gone through a variety of iterations as different traditions bring various rich and diverse practices to it, changing and shaping the wheel of the year to the needs and desires of their culture. Whilst beautiful, this process can eventually hide the base on which it is formed - the natural world.
Nature is without tradition, void and without bounds. Life, death and rebirth are not mere concepts of thought or religious philosophical leanings to be debated and conceptualised, they are living, breathing things that are there to be seen and experienced with a multitude of sensorium. Long has mankind gazed to the heavens and been held in awe with the sheer majesty of the world and now is a time that empowers us to do more than make banal attempts to debunk the mystery of it, now is a time where the tools are available to enrich those mysteries with the knowledge of their beauty and complexity. The marvels of the world can be seen from the perspectives of both humble reverence and fierce knowledge. Science is there to support the teachings, not destroy them. Nothing is black and white, good or bad in the world of nature and the first lesson must always be to allow that to become a part of what mankind is, to be as nature.
Language, terminology and historical bias have all shaped how the seasonal year is defined and understood within a pagan framework and this will be addressed extensively in this work. The implementation of the seasons into ritual practice and how they are experienced in a modern world needs to be visited anew through a process of rediscovery. The knowledge of history should not become the measure on which the present is balanced but instead be a foundation on which an evolutionary process can be built upon all the while keeping sight of its roots. Mankind is an ever changing species that is growing and maturing alongside the natural world, not apart from it, and this book aims to be a guide in navigating that natural landscape.
The world of nature was there before mankind existed and will be there long after mankind has ceased to be. The sacred within the seasons does not need to be invented, it is already there. Perhaps though it is time to reinvent the wheel.