Quite a few people have commented recently that they feel as though the Traditional Wheel of the Year doesn’t match up with where they live.
To be honest, I’m not surprised. Unless you live exactly where the Wheel is based off (ie. UK and around Europe), things are going to be done differently. Christmas in Australia is one great example, as our Yule is in June, yet come the Northern Yule we’re still putting up plastic pine trees and decorating windows with fake snow that takes a paint scraper to get off!
Julie is also the creator of this gorgeous piece of art which accompanies her Coastal Sydney Wheel of the Year. She has written all about it on her blog at Druids Down Under, so please head over for more information on what she’s done, and how each festival is celebrated and honoured. This post is really taking her brilliant idea and hard work, and…I can’t find a better term than “preaching her idea to the world!!”
Shortly after I moved back to Sydney two and a half years ago, she began giving workshops to dive into her creation and fine tune it, also seeing how it can be relate able to Western Sydney (it’s roughly 65km/40 miles from Bondi Beach to Emu Plains (base of the Blue Mountains) and there is a big difference in weather). Going to those workshops was amazing, and it’s really helped me connect with this new land that is so different to where I grew up.
I highly suggest you head over to the DDU Blog and see what she’s done. My Muggle and I have bought a small block of land (a quarter acre) down in the Riverina district of New South Wales (near Wagga Wagga) and one day we’re going to build and settle down there. We bought the land at Imbolc (and our anniversary) so since then I’ve been making a Riverina version of Julie’s wheel, and comparing how the Riverina, 420km/260 miles away from Sydney and about 285km/180 miles inland from the eastern shore board differs and how it’s similar. Since it’s only been six months since we bought the land and we’ve been there on-and-off, the Riverina wheel is going to be a long ongoing thing.
So if you’re like us in Australia where the land is so incredibly different to the traditional wheel, and the weather changes dramatically every five minutes (hello Melbourne!) or if there’s snow on the ground and the wheel says, “No! It’s Beltane! Go frollock outside” when it’s obviously a bad idea…pay attention to your surrounds, to where you live, and see what the land tells you. If you’re new to an area, like Muggle and I are to the Riverina, ask around.
I’ve altered Julie’s seasonal chart showing the difference to include the Riverina, and where I’ve put “growing season” I mean growing season!! The grass would grow 3-4 inches IN TWO WEEKS!! Two weeks!! But it was the local elders on their walk up and down our street, and our lovely neighbour on the other side of the laneway that referred to it as “the growing season.” When the Muggle and I went down during the January Long Weekend, the grass was dead. It looked like straw. Once you got past Yass and towards Gundagai, the drought and the dryness was really quite amazing, and it was such a sight to see. In October, the Southern Tablelands and Riverina was green and lush, and now it’s dead.
I love the ever changing Australian landscape!