Sunday, February 22, 2015

Interview on The Wild Hunt Blog about the Australian Sabbats

Effect of the Sampson Flat bush fire
(January 2015)
It was a great honour to be recently interviewed by Cosette Paneque for the "Around the World" section offered by The Wild Hunt blog, and being able to share some of my thoughts and views on the often confusing Wheel of the Year from the perspective of being south of the Equator.
One of the comments raised queried why the insistence of "shoehorning" a "Northern European Winter Orientated Agricultural belief system into a Land that has hardly seen Agriculture and doesn't have as harsh winters"? 
Certainly a valid point when the seasonal associate mythos is looked at on a surface level ... however when delving deeper in search of a more psychological meaning, all these seasonal mythos still apply - we do have winters where the "rebirth" of the sun is a welcomed sight (as is the relief that the first of the Autumn/Winter rains bring), the crops are still harvested at certain times of the year, and even the Aboriginal people allocated rites and ceremonies around the life cycles of animals.

Seasonal calendar of the Yanuwa people of
the south west region of the Gulf of
Carpentaria (Northern Territory)
I also mentioned in my article that the process of actually reconstructing an alternative Wheel of the Year to what we have "inherited" from our European forbearers could very well be a long process and one that I would personally see differ from region to region across this great southern land.  Why hadn't I presented such a Wheel in my book Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats?  Largely due to the lack of information available that could be utilised across the board. For example, even what appears to relate to my area, would not relate to someone living on the eastern seaboard, in the Northern Territory, or even in New Zealand, South America or South Africa.

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Most modern Pagans are familiar with the "traditional" eight Sabbatical wheel.  While I am all for reconstructing it so that it reflects our Southern Hemisphere better, you do need to start somewhere.  I've decided to start with looking at the seasonal mythos and their associated psychological meanings and how these reflect the land upon which I live. And, as further mentioned in my interview, I acknowledged that even when I was finishing the second edition of Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats, I was not 100% happy due to two Sabbats in particular, the Summer Solstice and Lughnasadh, needing to be re-addressed where I lived. Yet the objective of my book was not to present an entirely new way of looking at the Wheel of the Year, but to plant the seed and encourage readers, regardless of what hemisphere they reside in, to take a deeper look at how and why they are honouring and acknowledging the sacred seasonal wheel and whether what they are doing actually reflects what is happening around them.

As mentioned at the end of The Wild Hunt article, I am hoping to publish a follow-up to Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats where Southern Hemispheric practitioners (not only Australia but also from New Zealand, South Africa, and even South America) can discuss/argue/share their experiences when it comes to working (or not) with the Sabbats.