When Does Your Year Begin?

I have tried many times over the years to get myself motivated and into that New Year spirit at the end of December — and for a couple of days (maybe a week), it works. I feel energized and ready to get back into doing new things and cultivating projects and ideas and fun and art and et cetera.

Then, in a couple of weeks, when the holiday decorations are down and it’s still frozen, snowy, and dark, the feeling fizzles. Right around Quitters Day (which is the day that people are most likely to give up on their New Year’s resolution) — side note: That’s also the day that I remember that I was supposed to *make* New Year’s resolutions to start with. I’m not very with it in the winter.

There are a lot of reasons for this. For one, when I was growing up on the west coast, January was winter’s finally gasp, and by mid-February, spring had begun (I miss that so much, I can’t even say). These days, living in southern Alberta, January is still a frozen wasteland reminiscent of the ice planet Hoth. The knowledge that it will stay that way until roughly May is not the most motivating of thoughts.

Also, and this is from decades of living as a Pagan, January isn’t really the start of the year. Depending on your tradition, our year starts in March. At the beginning of spring, when winter is finally really over and you can wake up with the sun and it isn’t 9am already.

Ostara for 2020 is on March 19th. Thursday is not the most convenient day for a holiday, but I digress. Spring is coming! I can finally feel it in the air (despite the fact that it is currently snowing outside my window). The sun is warmer and the critters are coming out of hibernation, and I finally feel … awake. I feel renewed. I feel energized.

Now, I will be honest, I haven’t done a lot to mark the holidays the last few years. Things have been tough and changing, and my focus has been elsewhere. This year, the feeling of wanting to get back into a celebratory year has been growing. Maybe it has to do with my recent birthday, maybe it’s just that I want to find my way back to being myself.

The point is, this year we are celebrating. We are celebrating spring, and green and growing things. We are celebrating the turning of the wheel and all the wonderful things that life has to offer.

In dark times, we need celebration and love and happiness more than ever. So I am switching off the news, and living closer to the earth this year. Even if it is under 3 inches of new snow.

What do you do to celebrate the Wheel? When does your ritual year begin? Leave a comment and let’s chat about new growth and new life.

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