Come, Come whoever you are, wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times, Come, yet again. Come, come. ~Rumi
Here it is: 1/1/11. The first day of the first year of a brand new decade in the 21st Century. If there were ever a world in need of a new beginning, then surely, with apologies to Anne Bradstreet, we. If magic is, indeed, the ability to change consciousness at will, then anything that helps us to declare a new beginning is a magical tool. And calendars are, for me, one of the most amazing magical tools of all time. You can take away my silver athame with the gold Celtic knot hilt. You can take away my magical glass chalice with its base of overlapping silver leaves. You can have my black huntress gown with Hecate's hounds bordering the hem and the deep sleeves that untie for hunting and horseback riding. You can take away my pinion incense, the kind that always lights and transports me to Coyote's realm -- you can take away all of those and I can do magic with my finger, the palm of my hand, a deep grounding. But please don't take away my calendars.
Calendars were one of the deepest and most profound magical tools that our ancestors ever created. Knowing when the Winter Solstice would occur, knowing when the reindeer would run, knowing when it was safe to put the carefully-saved and painfully-uneaten-through-the-starving-times seed corn into the ground without fear of a rotting rain or a killing frost: that was the magic that calendars worked for our ancestors, for those magic-workers whose RNA lives on in us, those whose magic was strong enough to allow them to survive long enough to produce us, we who are here at this time of planetary crisis. They must have had a reason. (And, at a time of new beginnings, it can be important, as well, to focus on continuity. Each of us is here today because we come from an unbroken line of survivors. And they survived, in part, because they knew when it was time for a new beginning. I'm here, prospering in the MidAtlantic region of North America, because some teen-agers in Sweden and England looked around themselves a century or two ago and decided, "Time to start over somewhere else." I'm here because my thirty-something parents looked around themselves in Boulder and said, "Time to start over on the East Coast." I'm here, and my wonderful Son, DiL, and G/Son are here, because I looked around myself in the rural South a few decades ago and decided, "Time to start over in the big city.")
And calendars are every bit the magical tools here in the digital age (where we carry them around inside our iPhones, weighing less than 5 ounces) that they were when our ancestors painstakingly constructed them on a grand scale in Newgrange, Maeshowe, Chaco Canyon, Great Zimbabwe, Tiwanaku in Bolivia, and at other places.
Now's a great time to buy calendars; they generally go on sale beginning today. Book stores are a good place to find calendars; this year my wonderful DiL helped me to find Sally Smith's Fairy House wall calendar at a bookstore (she also found G/Son his first calendar, with pictures from The Clone Wars -- an epic that I think is going to influence G/Son the way that the Arthurian/Morganian epic always has and still does influence me.) You can also buy wonderful calendars on line. I wouldn't be without a copy of We'Moon's calendar on my altar and I bought The Ecological Calendar for my desk at work. iPhoto, which came loaded on my laptop, lets you create calendars and I make wall calendars every year, with pictures taken of G/Son over the previous year, for family members. Making this calendar is almost always the deepest, most intense magical working that I do during the year, taking several weeks, and full of carefully-worded magical intent for the people closest to me. Few of them know of the magical meaning of the calendars; they just enjoy the yearly review of G/Son's growth. Next year, I am thinking of making calendars that show the growth of my garden, just for me and Landscape Guy, and just for the chance to do the same deep magical working for my bit of Earth that I do for my family.
There is almost no end to the magic you can work with a calendar. One of the simplest magics is to go through and plot important dates. When I write down on my desk calendar that it's G/Son's birthday, for example, I do a serious magical working for his health, growth, development, and safety over the coming year. I impress that magic onto that date and I release it when I get to that date on my calendar. When I write down meetings with my Circle and magical friends, I send a bit of magical energy forward in time to those dates. If my goal is to, for example, work in 8 weight trainings a month, I not only note those trainings when they occur, I also go forward to the end of the month and make a note to myself to check in and ensure that I lived up to my commitment to myself. When I note that a brief is due on a given date, hell yeah I do magic related to the success of that brief, impress the magic into the calendar, and release it when my paralegal presses the button to file the brief. I send my astral self deep into the workings of my iPhone and dance deep magic into the dates when I meet with Landscape Guy, when friends have birthdays, when I honor dead relatives. I even do a magic to coordinate the wall calendar in my breakfast nook, the We'Moon calendar on my altar, the G/Son calendar on my office wall, the Ecological Calendar on my desk, the electronic calendar on my laptop, office computer, and iPhone, well . . . you get the idea.
And, with calendars, every day is a new beginning. Every week is a new beginning. Every month is a new beginning. See how magic they are?
What's past is past. All that matters is: what will you do with this new hour, new day, new week, new year?
Calendars are, in my world, tools of Air, every bit as much as are Swords. Dawn. New light. Fresh breezes. Spring. New Moons. New beginnings.
Here are a number of magical workers blogging about the possibilities of a new year:
Seeing omens for the new year.
Basic tools, but also some amazing Tarot exercises.
A look to the skies.
Open your feet to the powers beneath you. Open your crown to the powers above. Feel the rising and descent. Feel where these things meet, within your belly and your heart. You are becoming, you are shaping, you are more. Bring the light.
Almost 2 journal entires a month, beginning with: 1. What is it I am committed to starting? 2. What is it I am committed to finishing?
A call for accountability.
Becoming who we are.
Organizing your year around the power of just one word.
How will you wield your calendars this year? What important magic will you have done when 12/31/11 turns into 1/1/12?
Picture found here.