Tonight we mark the passing of an “old year” and the beginning of a “new” one. I accept that this date is traditionally marked as the closing of the “old year” by western culture. And I am also aware that for many other cultures, it is not. Paganism has taught me that there are many days marked as the New Year, depending on tradition and place. It could really be any time of year, but the important thing is that we choose one – ONE – defining day to mark the end of something and the start of something else. That’s us human beings again: trying to quantify everything; trying to put lines and edges on that which is cyclical and eternal.
And on one hand it makes perfect sense, and on the other hand it makes none. I take the concept of the Wheel of the Year very seriously; it is my favorite aspect of Paganism. The perfect ring, no discernable beginning nor end, flowing from life to death and back to life again. You could spin that Wheel, and put a pin on any place it chanced to stop, and say, “There. There it is: the point at which it all ends and then begins again,” but you’re fooling yourself. I see in my mind’s eye the Goddess and the God laughing at our silly attempts to create demarcation where there is none, never was, and never will be.
Still, we are human. And a calendar only has so many pages. There must come a point when the last page is ripped off, and we open a fresh, blank booklet of little squares. We mark off the birthdays and anniversaries that mean something to us, and fill in appointments and conferences and nights out. The Wheel may turn on, and the dates may be arbitrary, but to function as a society, we do need to agree on when things should occur.
Happy New Year to you all: tonight, tomorrow, every day. May each day find you making a resolution to be good to yourself, to give to others, to live your beliefs, to be kind, and to love with all your heart. Bless you all, and thank you for being my friend.