Yule: The first day of what used to be called winter. In an age of melted polar caps, snow is just a memory.
Imbolc: Traditionally, a time of melting ice and fructifying waters. Now the sterile seas rise to drown us, and we finally accept that a rising tide does not lift all boats.
Ostara: Spring is when we celebrated the eternal recurrence of birth. But in a time of species extinction, the second death, the final death is a reality.
Beltane: Traditionally a time of merry-making and dancing around the maypole. Now we eat, drink, and make merry in a nihilistic dance, because we know that tomorrow we all die.
Litha: The fires we light at the summer solstice remind us of oil wells on fire and collective death by combustion engine.
Lughnasadh: Traditionally a harvest festival, now we reflect on how we are reaping what we have sowed.
Mabon: Mabon was the child lost to the Goddess. That child now returns as Yeats’ “rough beast”, its gaze as pitiless as the sun, shadows of indignant desert brids all about it, as darkness drops again.
Samhain: We used to celebrate the ride of the Wild Hunt and remember the ancestors on this night. Now we see that we are the monsters of our imagination, and we have become the ancestors of a dead world.
My favorite spoke on this Wheel of Despair is Slouching Toward Bethlehem, just for the visual it evokes. Not entirely sure what it means or how it relates to Mabon, possibly bc I grew up Catholic, and we didn’t read the Bible.
It’s not from the Bible, it’s from WB Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming” (which does reference the Bible).
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