|Posted by friendsofrupert on September 28, 2014 at 10:25 PM|
I was recently invited to share a monthly blog article once a month (or more) with a major Pagan magazine, and while I ultimately decided I just didn't have it in me to do it right, I did make a couple of attempts at writing them. Here, then, is one of those articles for you to enjoy.
"This thing all things devours: birds, beasts, trees, flowers; gnaws iron, bites steel; grinds hard stones to meal; slays king, ruins town, and beats high mountain down." If you are, by chance, a “Lord of the Rings” fan, you are probably familiar with this riddle Gollum posed to Bilbo.
The answer to this fascinating question is: “A nonspatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past, through the present, to the future.” In other words, it is that one thing which so often eludes us in the rush and tumble of everyday life when we are trying so very hard to do all the things we HAVE to do along with some of the things we would LIKE to do! Time. That rotten monkey on our backs always challenging us to do one more thing, take on one more task, go faster, think smarter, multi-multi-task. Oh, and did you check the air in your tires, floss your teeth, and take the plastic bottles and newspapers to the recycling center?
How about planning a Sabbat celebration for children while you’re at it? Sure! Why not?! You know why not – because it takes a lot of effort and some of that “nonspatial continuum” which must exist in an alternative universe, because it certainly seems to be missing in THIS one!
Besides, isn’t it really, really nice to be able to just have a little bit of space to enjoy an adult ritual without all the fuss and ruckus certain to accompany one which includes chaos-causing offspring and other short-legged individuals who haven’t yet reached their majority? Why yes. Yes it is, in fact, very nice to be able to immerse yourself in a meaningful ritual to celebrate the passing of the seasons, regardless of whether it is silly or solemn without the constant need to remind said younglings to “Please hush!”
In order to interrupt your apparently irreversible succession of events as little as possible on their way from the past to the future, I would like to suggest that you go right ahead and enjoy that adult-only immersion into ritual bliss (whether celebrating as a solitary or with friends) and you can still help to teach the future generation of Witches and Pagans (because we DO want more of us in the future in THIS universe – right?) by celebrating the SPIRIT of the Sabbats with activities which are simple, fun, and only take a small bite out of that annoying, slippery continuum which refuses to hold still. Consider honoring the Sabbats by doing “something” wherein you acknowledge “nature” (God and Goddess/ Universe) instead of a full blown, in-Circle ceremony.
Yule – honor the longest night by turning off all the lights in the house, then lighting a candle. Take that candle throughout the house to light candles in each room. Celebrate the New Year now. Give each other Yule gifts. Make a blanket fort and see how dark you can make it. Put a dark cloth over your heads and see who can be quiet the longest, or take turns naming things that glow.
Imbolc – go out in the yard to clang pots and pans together to awaken the Spirits of Spring! Clap your hands! Sing songs! Bless some seeds while you wait for the time to plant. Talk about seeds and when the best time is to grow them during the year, depending on where you live.
Ostara – Time to plant seeds! Celebrate the Spring Equinox by balancing an egg. Go on a nature walk to look for signs of Spring. Each person think of three different kinds of flowers they like, then take a walk through Lowe’s or Home Depot to see if you can find them. Ask a clerk to tell you something about an unfamiliar plant, or find one growing and look up information about it.
Beltane – Pick flowers. Give flowers. Make paper flowers. Plant flowers. Color them too! Celebrate love and friendship in whatever way you like. Find out something new about Cupid or Aphrodite. What other Gods and Goddesses of Love are there? Make heart-shaped cookies!
Litha – Celebrate the longest day of the year with all kinds of symbols of the sun. Maybe even watch “Tangled” together! The garden (if you have one) is growing beautifully now. Eat some fruit. Buy it if you don’t grow it yourself. Melons. Strawberries. Have a picnic. Splash in the water. Celebrate the great energy of this day by playing together as a family.
Lughnasadh – this Sabbat celebrates the first harvest of apples, grapes, grains (breads). Make a “bread man” together and eat it all up. Make it out of cinnamon if you like, or some other sweet bread. Honor the many-skilled God by putting puzzles together, or making a project together – out of paper, wood, play-dough. It doesn’t matter. Paint! Do something to celebrate and/or increase your skills. Play games together of any kind, from a bean bag toss to a board game, or anything at all.
Mabon – the Autumn equinox! Time for more balancing. Play Twister! Balance rocks on top of each other. Or wooden blocks. Maybe Legos?! Balance them upside down! It’s also the second harvest! Time to eat! This is the “Witches’ Thanksgiving” – so have a feast! Eat some corn on the cob and have a picnic. And why not? Make a sun and moon symbol out of clay and paint it. Or out of bread and eat it.
Samhain - If you celebrate this Sabbat as the Witches’ New Year, then celebrate by blowing horns or by using decorated toilet paper rolls. This is a time to remember our ancestors. Have a “Dumb Supper” where nobody talks and you leave a plate for the ancestors. Tell stories of your own parents or anyone in your families who you know anything about. Remember those who have died, even if you don’t know their names. Lift your glasses in celebration of the lives they lived and in all THEY found joy in, during their lifetimes. This is also the third harvest, when the animals would be slaughtered so the people wouldn’t have to feed them through the long winter months, and so that they people would have something to eat. Celebrate with bacon! Or a BBQ!
And so, you see, there are many ways of celebrating the turning of the Wheel of the Year, and the Sabbats, other than just being in Circle and having a “ritual.” And, of course, there are plenty of songs to sing throughout the year, both on our “Friends of Rupert” channel on YouTube and many other places too! And I’m sure you can think of plenty more ways to enjoy every holiday! Celebrate the reasons behind the Sabbats, and teach your children to do the same in ways which won’t leave you “riddled” with how to find the time to do so. Your choices make a difference. You make a difference.