I could blame the recent inertia on the weather, the floods on a million and one things but some reflection points to only one thing in all honesty and that is the fact the start of the calendar year doesn’t really hold any great meaning for me anymore.
For the last couple of years I have been training with the Order of the Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD). Initially as a Bard I lived the eight fold wheel of the year though the ritual of the festivals, Imbolc, Spring Equinox or Alban Eilir, Beltane, Summer Solstice or Alban Hefin, Lughnasadha, Autumn Equinox or Alban Elfed, Samhain and Winter Solstice or Alban Arthan. This meant that in terms of ritual, my new year slipped in and out around Samhain.
New to working the passing of the year in this way I struggled with the seasonal entity of Christmas 2014, feeling out of sync with the dates of the cultural festival. The start of the new year though, the opening of the brand new diary, the filling in of dates and appointments was as much part of my own ritual as anything else that I did.
This year though has been different for I am now wandering deep in the forest know as the Ovate grade. Here I have felt less need to perform the eight rituals but instead have been moving closer to living the wheel of the year. This has meant that I have found myself developing a much closer and deeper awareness of the day by day changes of the seasons rather than focusing on the one moment in time that the rituals had been for me as a Bard.
At Christmas we were both slow enough to put up the tree. For the first time I was fully aware of how I was simply going through the motions without any attachment to them in any way. It goes without saying of course that I enjoyed the chance to meet with friends, the time to sit, catch up without other demands on our time and share to food. In busy lives this time year provides a rare enough chance to spend time in this way.
Somewhere along the road prior to Christmas I had managed to remember to buy a new diary. This diary far from being pulled out on 1st January, has sat on the side unopened, unnoticed and unwanted until last night when I managed to find the motivation to pick it up and make it up for the coming months, transferring dates and notes from the old one. It was this that made me notice how little impact the shift from 2015 to 2016 had made one me. There had been no excitement about the newness of the year, no interest in the chance to shape the weeks or months ahead, simply a gentle rolling forward, a following on from what had been there before. This then made me appreciate that there had been another shift in my own alignment with the wheel of the year and where Christmas had been the time I noticed this in 2014, in 2015 the awareness came with New Year.
Without the setting of resolutions, the newness of the year or anything else connected with it to get me going, I now need to fall back on my own resources, to shake off the inertia of the last weeks. The diary is made up, dates are inked or penciled in, the sun is shining, the sky is blue and Imbolc isn’t to far away so maybe it won’t be too difficult.:)