Friday, January 16, 2009

Australian Seasonal Chart

This chart shows some of the seasons that occur through Australia. The first, however, shows the traditional pagan festivals converted to suit the solstices. The others are Coastal Sydney: from my own studies, Darug/Western Sydney: an indigenous calendar, Melbourne: from a study at Monash University, and the Tropical and Central Northern Territory is from a study of indigenous weather by the government.
It is interesting, yet hardly surprising that there is so much diversity across the country. Australia is almost the same size as continental Europe, and we would never dream that things would be the same in Spain as in Norway! There are many different climates and micro climates, so working on an 'Australian Wheel of the Year' that would work for the whole country is nonsense. What we need to do is research our own local areas and find connection with its individuality so that we can understand its unique and localised seasonal changes.

The Wheel of the Year

Please note that this chart moves in a sunwise direction - so that's anticlockwise.

See the last post for an explanation of the turns.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Exploring the Native Wheel of the Year in Sydney

We've been working with researching the cycles of the native environment in the last year. This is the fruits of our explorations. We plan in 2009 to explore the ways that these festival times can be celebrated in conjunction with the more traditional or agricultural festivals. This is by no means a difinitive guide to Australia's cycles which are vast and diverse, it is not even difinitive for Sydney as a whole. It is a guide and a working plan for further exploring the native cycles in Australia and it is based on the particular area in which we practice our open circles in northern coastal Sydney.

Summer Solstice/Fire Festival:Year's end and the burning time. Sacred to fire, death, renewal, retreat, cleansing. A good time to release what you no longer need in your life. Between now and the next festival is like a time out of time. Holiday time too, time to relax and spend time with family and friends.
Colours: red, yellow, orange and black.

Early to Mid February - Storm FestivalNew year. Fertility, rain, energy, life. The new growth after fire and rain is lush and bright, the ground is clear of debris and we can see over long distances. A good time to start new projects, make plans and look forward in positivity. Also good for divination and travel.
Colours: bright green, blue and black.

Autumn Equinox - Peace FestivalThat in-between time when the summer heat has subsided, but the cold winter winds have not yet begun. A time of reflection, poetry, creativity. This festival occurs close to Anzac Day and can easily be incorporated with it. Rememberance for those who have fought for what we now have.
Colours: pale blue, white, pale green or pink.

Moon FestivalThe air starts to clear of humidity and a fresh wind starts to blow from the south. The moon is often clearly visible and this is a great time to watch it rise. A time for inner contemplation, for seeking deeper mysteries and revering the sacred feminine.
Colours: White, black, silver, purple.

Mid Winter – Bark Hardening festivalThe sun is at its least strong. The air is cooling further. The bark on the trees is hardening for protection. A time for asking for protection, for healing and for group work. At this time the first wattle starts to bloom marking the return of the sun. Make wishes by burning sprigs on a bonfire.
Colours: Yellow, brown, white

Flower FestivalAt this time there are many wildflowers blooming in the bush and there can be more and more wattle seen every day. A great time for asking for inspiration, for poetry and music, for looking forward after the slower time of winter. A time of beauty, communication and passion.
Colours: bright and beautiful – red, pink, purple, yellow, green, white

Spring Equinox – Wind Change FestivalThis should be celebrated on the first hot day of the year after the winter solstice. The wind comes from the west or the north. It might get over 30degrees. Recognition of changes, growth, maturity. A time to become aware of the progress you have made in the year and maybe have a short rest before putting in the final efforts for the year. Reflection, determination, reward, and releasing procrastination. A time to blow away your troubles and enjoy the sun. Also a ‘return to the water’ festival as this is often the first time people head to the beach after winter.
Colours: blue, red, yellow

Bark Fall Festival: The first death festival marking the beginning of the hotter months. Conveniently landing near the popular Halloween date, a time to respect the dead and the ancestors on the other side. At this time the bark on the trees begins to fall. Collect it, write your troubles on the pieces and burn them away. A time for craziness and doing something out of the ordinary. Push the boundaries, challenge your nature, question who you really are.Colours: black, white, yellow

If you'd like to find out more about our festivals and open circles, contact Julie by email: or by phone +61433051137