Candle flames flickering, incense smoke curling in the twilight, standing in a circle of firelight, chanting sacred words. Deep in the woods where everything is transformed by the moonlight. Where the warm summer rain falls softly on the leaves.
The atmosphere of ritual is like no other: electrifying, life-enhancing, comforting. It can jolt you out of your complacency and reconnect you with your deepest desires, your authentic self, sometimes both at the same time.
It’s the time of year for Wassailing in the apple-growing regions of England (Herefordshire, Somerset, Worcestershire, etc), and places where the weather is warm enough that fruit trees can blossom. (In Ontario, Canada, we wait until February to do the Wassailing.)
The business of calculating years and dates is complicated, since calendars need to reconcile solar and lunar cycles. Different calendrical systems use different methods of reconciling the two cycles, inserting a day (February 29th in the Gregorian calendar), a week, or even a month in some calendars. This practice is called intercalation. It has also been suggested that the time between Yule and New Year is an intercalation.
There are many different New Year’s traditions from around the world, which can be categorized as taking the omens for the following year; seeking to ensure that you will have luck for the year; sending the spirit of the old year away, and welcoming in the new.
A rainbow of candles, each one representing an aspect of consciousness, kindled in the liminal time between the end of the one year and the beginning of the next. A space for the celebration of queer spirituality, queer lives, and queer joy. That is the celebration known as Bridge of Light.