08 Sep The Wheel of the Year
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The Wheel of the Year
The wheel of the year is a concept as old as time. And the Earth itself. Yet few in my culture seem to understand how to work with it.
Working with the Wheel of the Year
Working with the wheel of the year is very simple. It just takes knowing, and attending to what season you are in, and what season you hope to do something in, if it makes sense.
Does it make sense? This wheel I’ve drawn (with the kind help of Canva) will help you understand if it does. And if it doesn’t, when would make more sense to do the thing you want to do.
How the Wheel of the Year works:
Fall: Plan & Cleanse
Fall is the beginning of the year as I understand and experience it. I fully realize others use other starting points (Winter and Spring in particular are the top contenders for the beginning of the year in others’ understandings.)
Fall as the beginning of the year is what I teach, use, and experience. This is strongly influenced by the work of Perelandra.
Fall is when to start new projects.
You’ll notice for Fall, I’ve written, “plan & cleanse” as the primary activities. We don’t manifest; Nature does. The world of form, in other words, is what manifests for us. Our job is to be clear in our intent, and get out of the way.
We are very often in the way. So cleansing is huge for us humans!
Here are some key questions to help you cleanse:
- What can you let go of inside you that’s in the way of what you want?
- What can you let go that’s outside you–stuff you own, stuff you hoard, stuff you never use–that’s also very likely in your way, even if you’ve stopped seeing it? Will yourself to see it, and get some help letting it go if you need a friend to help you.
- How well do you like emptiness? Does it make you uncomfortable? We say, “Nature abhors a vacuum,” but I think it is us, we humans, who are uncomfortable with emptiness, not Nature. Get comfortable with the spare, bare, utter, radically emptying and cleansing nature of Fall.
Planning is the other good thing to do in Fall. Partly this is because we need something to do besides cleansing or we’ll go crazy from all the pure energy of Fall. But partly it just makes sense that if you are starting your project in Fall, you want to plan it.
The wheel I’ve drawn above helps you plan each of your project’s phases. Four–or five, if you count Harvest separately, which I do, influenced by wuxing in Chinese philosophy–the philosophy of the five elements, the five energies that move one into the other, and balance each other.
Here are some key questions to help you plan:
- What are you doing? In simplest terms, what is your project and what is your intent? State it to yourself and the Universe. Write it out.
- What are your inner questions about it? Give self-doubt and ambivalence a designated space so they don’t run the show. What are your other inner questions?
- What are your outer questions around time, money, material objects that will help you reach your goal, and people you’ll need to help you?
- Answer them if you like. It will give you something to go back to at the end of the year and compare against your answers then.
- Looking at the wheel of the year, when will you
- plan some more this Fall?
- take time to notice and allow in Winter?
- give structure to your project in Spring? At that point, it will feel like it’s proliferating.
- take time to relax and receive in Summer?
- harvest, bank, store up, and notice what you’ve received throughout your goal-gardening year?
- Looking at the wheel of the year, when will you
When I ask “When will you” do these things, I mean: when exactly? Will you kindly put dates to do these things and even times to do them on those dates in your calendar? That will be best. That will work for you. It may feel unfamiliar if you don’t commonly use my methods; it will get more familiar and you will notice that you do almost nothing you plan to do if you don’t schedule it. It’s really that simple. So: schedule it!
The other piece I’ve written that will really help you think about this yearlong planning idea is this one. Don’t try to do everything at once! “Chunk it up,” like that piece shows you how to do.
My Fall Video Course is designed to help you
This 30-minute video takes you through a guided contemplative review of your past year; gives clear prompts and guidance to help you answer the three questions I believe we need to ask ourselves each Fall. It offers supportive suggestions about how to implement your answers throughout the rest of your year. The whole experience takes about one hour. It is well worth it for the clear path it will set you on for your year. Enjoy a taster video, learn what the three questions are, and read testimonials about the course–all free of charge–at this link.
I offer videos for each season of the year to support you continuing on this mindful journey. I list each video in its season, below as well as here.
Winter: Notice & Allow
In our culture, we sometimes use the seasonal energies in our culture correctly. But not in Winter. In Winter, too many of us fritter away the lovely, subtle energies available to us especially for our inner, spiritual development on parties, cookie-baking, more parties, shopping, getting together with friends, more shopping, gift-guilting, gift-wrapping, gift-giving. All of those are wonderful things and I enjoy them myself. But overfocusing on them is inappropriate to the season which is where we–ahh!–lie back and sit down and stay warm and receive the subtle energies the world of form is enjoying deep in the Earth and our personal physical form looks forward to as well.
In Winter, we are wise to remember that “the spirits that lend strength are invisible.”
My Winter Video Course is designed to help you
The Winter course is shorter than the Fall course, and helps you soften to and receive the Winter energies, showing you the three lights that you have within you that guide and illuminate your path in Winter. Find out more about these three lights and watch a taster video at that link.
Spring: Give Structure
In Spring, we work again collaboratively and actively with Nature/the world of form, which is super-active in Spring. It’s as if the breath of life which had lain underground all Winter activating what was deep in the Earth, including your project and your intent, arose on cue and said: Poof! I’m here!
And that’s exactly what’s happening. Be ready. Because you’ve taken time all Winter to do as I suggested, you are ready.
Here are some key questions to help you give structure:
- What’s going on in the world of your project–your “garden,” as I’ve called it here? What are you seeing emerge in your life that is different? It may or may not be obvious to you how it’s related to your project–but it is.
- What’s feeling “too much” right now? How can you thin it out, prune it a bit? Make your life as manageable as you can because the growth energies arising now are powerful and you want to allow and collaborate with them, like the “lazy Earthling” I recommend we be, and enjoy being!
- What are you just loving that is starting to show up in your life right now? It, too, is related to your project, your “garden.” How can you nourish it? Tend it? Structure it? Think of yourself putting a trellis in your project to help it grow in the direction of your intent, like this:
Spring is when our project begins to flower.
My Spring Video course is designed to help you
This short, powerful course teaches you the three tools that will make your life much easier during the proliferative season of Spring! Find out more about them and watch a taster video at that link.
Summer: Relax & Receive
This one shouldn’t be too hard! But again, just like in Winter, we overdo in Summer. When Nature is fruiting all around us, showering us with gifts!
The secret to a successful Summer for your inner development and your project is to look closely at what is right in front of you. What you see is what you get in Summer.
Ours is not a culture that respects mystery. We may revere it, but we don’t understand it and we don’t know how to work with it. That’s simply because we’ve never asked ourselves the question.
In Summer, however, there is no mystery. The invisible forces that were deep in the Earth fructifying everything very quietly, including your project, trust me, are now very much out in plain sight. They are shining on everything everywhere, increasingly as Summer progresses. Our job is to receive them. We begin by noticing!
- Are you receiving what you wanted in terms of your project?
- Are you receiving what you didn’t want? Do you see that it was what you asked for?
- Can you change the terms of your project in time for the coming Fall? That would be the time to do it, rework/reword it and working with Nature again next year, manifest closer to what you wanted.
- Can you love and embrace what you are receiving now?
We are most of us not terribly good at receiving, though we crave it. Sigh. Here is a useful post on how to receive more deeply. It will take you to a few others if you scroll to the bottom and look at what are called “pingbacks.” (You’ll see what I mean if you click on that post and scroll to the bottom, honest.)
Summer is when our project begins to bear fruit.
My Summer/Harvest Video Course is designed to help you
Harvest: Notice & Bank
You’ll notice there’s a lot less doing and a lot more relaxing, receiving, and noticing I recommend we do when we create a project and seek to manifest it over the course of the wheel of the year.
Have you noticed?
Harvest is when we fully receive the fruits of our project and “bank” them, store them up for the coming year.
Lynne Twist says, “What you appreciate, appreciates.”
You literally experience more of it.
Curious about how to “bank” your harvest? Here are some ways. In detail!
PS: Remember those questions you probably answered back in Fall? It’s time now to look back at your questions, their Fall answers, and what you see now. The learning from this can grow you tremendously as you prepare for the next wheel of the year.