So, we’ve reached that time of the year that is perhaps the most fulfilling of the year for me — that time after the “thrill” of Samhain has calmed down. A lot of Pagans make the statement that “Samhain is my favorite time of the year” – or conversely, that Beltane is their favorite spot on the turn of the Wheel. I can understand the draw to both. Samhain is the traditional marking of the new year, and Beltane is a time of hope and optimism that the coming warm months will provide all that one is looking for. But neither of these times of the year hold any hardcore significance for me. In fact, both are times of the year that I find myself cocooning inwards. The fact is, I hate crowds of people. Always have, always will. When I know ahead of time that there will be a larger grouping of folks around — I head for the trees and seek my solace among the trees. But the time immediately following these particular points on the Wheel tend to also favor me with a lot of awesome moments of clarity through those moments of individual solitary “confinement”. This year has been no different from any of the previous.
Last year, I utilized this time on the Wheel of the Year to enroll in and start down the Bardic Path for the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. I’ve had a few stumbles in following the training material from time to time — but I’ve not regretted a single moment of it. I’ve found out more about myself than I could have ever imagined. And here, approximately a year later, I found myself as the beneficiary to an immense treasure of information and experience that I had in my possession all along. However, without those moments of solitude that I sought out at the two periods on the Wheel that tend to be the most social on the Pagan calendar — I doubt I would have undertaken the steps that I have at this point.
I understand the need for other folks to have these particular social moments within their own traditions and paths — I’m not trying to take anything away from that or imply any less of a spiritual perspective because it doesn’t match up with my own. In fact, I would actually point to these two particular points on the Wheel as the prime movers in bringing the feelings and concepts of “community” back into the Pagan community itself. There are times I wish I could bottle up those particular moments of community-unity and open it up at later times in the year to allow those feelings back into the air. So, don’t misunderstand me and think that I am bagging on people that utilize these two particular points on the Wheel as a social fulcrum.
Just remember, I’m only one single Pagan. I’m not a mouth-piece for anyone but me. I only represent my own understanding and perspective of the world around me. For me to represent someone else’s perspective would go against everything that I believe in. For me, Paganism is an individual undertaking – a solitary journey that encompasses experiences and sensations that only one individual can experience: that being yourself, the individual undertaking the journey. Others may have similar experiences, but those will be similar….each one is actually a complete unique moment, sacrosanct to the individual themselves.