Throughout this year there has been a single overriding concern that has permeated everything that I do regarding dowsing or druidry: there must be a purpose to it. By that I don’t mean that I haven’t had fun, or avoided doing frivolous things. Not at all. However, each visit that I have embarked upon has been characterised by my having a purpose to go there with. This was the message that I got out of the consolidation period at the end of 2009, that period between Samhain and Yule when one should bring all things learned in the year together, sort through them, and resolve them into a unified approach for the next year’s work. Like some kind of meta-idea, the concept emerged that for 2010 my task would be to determine the purpose of each eighth part of the year – to understand the eight-fold year.
There seems to be a common acceptance of what is considered to be the revived concept of the eight-fold year amongst Neo-Pagan and Wiccan circles. This has all the dates that are close to what may be the ‘original’ divisions of the year. Truth is, no-one really knows how the divisions of the year were named, or upon which dates these divisions actually fell. What has been reconstructed has come to us through a combination of modern research into old customs, or through the collective acceptance of dates that feel familiar and proper. It has largely been a process of re-appropriation of existing festivals such as Christmas, Easter and Hallowe’en, wresting them from the clutches of the Christian sovereignty.
Whilst there is a certain concensus as to what those specific division dates mean, what is not clear is what the time in between those divisions means. I have been following the year’s divisions closely since Winter and have communed and divined for myself what those in-between days (cf. The Cure) mean to me.
There is a certain difficulty with being precise about these division dates too. Nature does not appear as being very precise to us humans because we cannot comrpehend all of the factors involved in what makes The Great Clock tick! The combination of influences from stars, planets, conjunctions, and who knows how many other influences is simply beyond our comprehension. Therefore, we can only “best guess” when these times arise besed on previous experience, and then we need to be flexible about it all, because we probably won’t guess entirely correctly. Does precision matter in working out these division times? I don’t think so, becuase most of the divisions are largely dependent upon the Moon, and the Moon’s influence occurs over several days, and this gives us a certain amount of lee-way.
One final caveat: the information I have discovered is, I believe, probably quite personal to me. I am not, therefore, espousing a new system to explain the Eight-Fold Year as a replacement for other systems that are out there or that you may be using already. Nor am I trying to back up my claims with astological, scientific or any other form of knowledge system. These explanations may be entirely my own – I don’t know until I have had perhaps several years worth of data to analyse. This is my first year of gaining this knowledge, so please bear that in mind when you read this. It is for your edification and information only, and it is merely presented so that it may suggest things for you to try out for yourself.
So, that said, here goes. So far I have discovered the following stages:-
YULE to IMBOLC
The division line may actually be Twelfth Night rather than Christmas Day. I will have to check that when it comes around again this year to get the precise cut-over, not that any of these divisions are precise, because they’re not. However, I think it’s worthwhile me finding out whether it’s Christmas or Twelfth Night.
- To be still and quiet.
- To engage in no activity of a magickal nature at all.
- To cleanse the mind of the information from the previous year.
Anything that has not sunk in already after the period immediately prior to this one (which I think is about consolidating information) should not be brought forward into the new year. The purpose of this period is to cleanse oneself of all that “baggage” and to leave the mind in a state whereby new knowledge, new seeds, can be planted upon a well-prepared but settled soil. As with meditation, achieving stillness is the key to appreciating this time of the year. The “season of peace” indeed!
IMBOLC to SPRING EQUINOX
- To awaken the energies of ancient sacred sites.
- To awaken, pay homage to, or recall the guardian spirits of such places.
- To prepare the ground for the year’s energy work, by preparing self and place.
This is an interactive stage of the year, and is the first involvement by the participant (the seeker) with the land and its spirits and energies. I found that I was asked to visit many of the places that I had found the be especially find of (read – ‘connected to’, or ‘aligned to’) and that when I was there I would go through a process of firstly finding out what state the place was in, then I would connect to the site, and finally, if necessary, I would invoke the spirit of the place – that guardian spirit – to ask that it return if I found it to be absent. Of course, I could only make a request of the spirit to return, and only if I had prepared the ground appropriately, so to speak.
All of this work, of visiting sites, connecting to them and contacting or invoking the spirit of place, it was all a form of preparation for the work that was to come. A sort of re-introduction, a gentle re-awakening to energies and spirits.
SPRING EQUINOX to BELTANE
- To connect to the earth’s energy grid.
- To understand the nature of Neutral earth energy forms.
- To extract and utilise Neutral energy.
I think there is a general principle at work during this period, and that is for the seeker to learn to connect into the land. As the earth energies begin to be enlivened by the radiant energy of the sun, and together with the moon this draws life from the land. That signals the time for the seeker to spend time connecting with this upsurge of energy. In some mystical systems the human is the mid-point between the Sky and the Earth, and I think this is a symbolic memory of our ability to actually be the conduit and focal point for the two forms of energy – earth and radiant. We are the combiners.
As for myself this year, I have found that there was an additional task which was to learn in a theoretical and a practical way how I could extract the neutral energy form and store it within me. I learned how to re-charge myself with this energy using my navel chakra point as a storehouse for the neutral energy form – in exactly the same way as in chinese qigong meditation.
In addition to simply drawing out and collecting this energy I learned how to use neutral energy to ‘coat’ objects in order to preserve their energetic imprint. This was a means of creating so-called “power objects” I realised. In other words, it was a way of retaining those special qualities that people had invested into an object – whether that be a memory, a feeling, or some other form of energetic input. I learned how that energy could be retained within the object by using raw neutral energy to preserve it like a coat of varnish.
BELTANE to SUMMER SOLSTICE
- To understand the nature of the neutral or white light energy form and how it is composed
- To practise diffracting and re-combining the seven coloured frequencies of light
- To make practical use of these energies to elevate consciousness
I believe this part of the year’s cycle concerns the effort to raise one’s level of consciousness to an opportunity point in the middle of the year when the energies are at their strongest, and one stands the greatest chance of elevating into an enlightened state, or achieving a blissful and revelatory state of mind.
So far I have found that for me this will involve me learning about how to bring together the two inner energy centres – the neutral energy store of the lower dan-tian or navel chakra point, and to combine that with the influx of light energy through the third-eye chakra point in order to diffract the energy into any of the seven frequencies of subtle energy that I require to be able to perform whatever task I need (for example, to heal an imbalance, or to utilise a particular frequency for a specific task). At this moment I don’t know what tasks those frequencies can perform, but that is learning that I still have to go through.
I suspect that there may be some esoteric benefit to being able to draw in each of the frequencies of this spectrum of light individually and to recombine them somehow to form a white light frequency, and that this may be the “light at the end of the tunnel” or the blinding inspiration that is described as accompanying an enlightenment process. My quest, however, is to understand the purpose of being able to do that, not just the mechanics of making it possible!
So, not much to do then in the next few months!
That is my current understanding and recap of the year’s inspirations and the paths along which I have travelled during this year. I feel that much of that information is general enough for most people to get some correspondence with, or for it to resonate with most people. Much of it is also personal and relates to my own quest for knowledge, understanding and wisdom in working with the energies of Nature. You decide where that take you. I will, as ever, go my own way.
Related post: My Eight Fold Year – the final four folds