I’m preparing the family hearth for the holy days of Samhain, Days of the Dead, Halloween. At the center is the mask painted by my daughter showing the four sacred elements, imbued by the fifth, Spirit.
We who live here on the northern half of Mother Earth are entering the darkest time of the year. This detail of my personal Wheel of the Year shows Samhain, the old Celtic name for the holiday, in the darkest of all the colors, a dark purple. Between now and Yule the days will get shorter and shorter. People will become more anxious, fear of the dark being the most primal and least rational of all the old fears. We’ll fill up our time with countless errands and activity in preparation for the winter holiday, when the days will turn on the hinge of the solstice and begin to lengthen again. I turn my Wheel above my hearth altar at every cross quarter day, for it seems at these in-between marks, less dramatic than the solstices and equinoxes, the time shifts quietly and we begin another quarter turn, climbing toward the solstice peak, descending to the next cross-quarter day when I will again turn the Wheel another quarter turn. This is my Seasons of the Earth Year Round Calendar. This is our tradition.