The Wheel of the Year

On the homepage of this blog I said the following …

Green Path Monastery has been created to share with others how I have come out of religion and reconnected with nature and spirit utilizing the Wheel of the Year .

In today’s blog post I would like to share some more with you about the Wheel of the Year.

The Wheel of the Year is an annual cycle of seasonal festivals, observed by many modern Pagans, consisting of the year’s chief solar events (solstices and equinoxes) and the midpoints between them.

Contemporary conceptions of the Wheel of the Year calendar were largely influenced by mid-20th century British Paganism.

Living with nature and celebrating the gifts of the seasons is what working with the Wheel of the year is all about.

I have found that re-rooting myself with the natural cycles of the seasonal festivals has kept me from becoming so distant from nature and distracted. It has allowed me to live in harmony with nature and created peace in my life.

I invite you to slow down and take a breath and join us as we follow through the Wheel of the Year to tune in to the energy of the earth (Mother Earth), and feel more in flow and in harmony with her rhythm.

Tomorrow begins Mabon the Autumn Equinox (September 20-23) which is a wonderful time for completing projects, and beginning to slow down as we head into the colder season. This is a time to look inward and to make more time for rest and self-care.

What will that look like for you?

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Ethical Paganism

In the book Paganism For Beginners by Althaea Sebastiani there are some general ethical guidelines that should be found amongst Pagans.

Honesty. Truth is not universal. We each shape our own reality to align with our opinions, experiences, and ideals. But you can do much to present yourself and your truth as openly and honestly as possible. When you give your word, mean it. Hold to your promises. Attend to your obligations. Your word should be as good and binding as a signed contract.

Courage. There is much in this world and in life that is uncertain. You will not always have the answers, and you will rarely feel prepared, but you can still try. You can do what you can in that moment and with what you have available to you. To try in the face of fear and the possibility of failure speaks to your character and strength.

Fidelity. It is been said that the only faith that exists in Paganism is in regard to your ability to be faithful. Loyalty to yourself, the Gods, your family members, and your values is how you maintain the bonds of community and demonstrate the nature of your character.

Discipline. The lack of inherent structure in Paganism requires you to develop the discipline to remain focused on growing, learning, and building strong relationships with the Gods, the land, and your ancestors. It is through consistent effort that you achieve results.

Hospitality. How you treat the beings with whom you share the Earth matters. It isn’t enough to acknowledge that the world is alive with spirits: You must act upon that knowledge, treating each other and these spirits with care and respect. Hospitality fosters good relationships and, by keeping the welfare of others at the forefront of your thoughts, encourages you to live your values.

Industriousness. In all things to which you apply yourself, your efforts should demonstrate sincerity and a commitment to seeing things through. When you are faced with obstacles, half-hearted effort cannot compete with earnest and diligent attempts to face the obstacles before you and achieve what you set out to accomplish.

Justice. As much as you hold yourself accountable for your actions and choices, Pagans believe that others should be held accountable for their own. Life may not always be fair, but that does not mean that we can’t strive to treat each other—and ourselves—fairly.

Peace. Although we each hold the capacity to do great harm and to do great good, it is your choice and your efforts to not do harm that underscore your desire to live in harmony with others and with the land. Peace is not the absence of conflict but the commitment to not instigate or entertain needless disruption.

Self-reliance. The ability to handle yourself in any given situation is a virtue that benefits you as much as it benefits others. Cultivating self-reliance forces you to be self-aware, taking stock of your strengths, weaknesses, and faults so you can address areas where you are lacking and further focus on your personal and spiritual growth. A self-reliant person is not just better able to help themselves but also more strongly positioned to help others.

Wisdom. The cultivation of wisdom is dependent upon a combination of knowledge and experience. Through your mistakes and successes, you learn and grow, uncovering insights into the everyday and into your spiritual practice that serve to inform future experiences.

Kindness. It is all too easy to be cruel and dismissive. But to see others for who they are, to acknowledge the sacred within them, and to treat them with kindness takes effort. It requires you to slow down, to be aware of your thoughts, and to be disciplined in your efforts to treat others with the respect and compassion they deserve.

Strength. Spiritual practice is not easy. You will be tested, and you will be broken so as to be remade. But in each instance, these trials serve not just to help you grow and be more of what we and the Gods need from us but also as reminders of just how strong you truly are. Strength is your ability to keep going when it would be so much easier to give up or to give in.

Open-mindedness. None of us can ever have all the answers, and we will all too often find that we were quite mistaken about something we felt very strongly about. It behooves you to learn to withhold judgment for a time and to remain open to new information. In this way, you leave yourself open to new discoveries, new friends, and new experiences that can change your life for the better.

These above ethical guidelines help to shape my interactions with the world.

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The Negative Confession

1. Hail, Usekh-nemmt, who comest forth from Anu, I have not committed sin.

2. Hail, Hept-khet, who comest forth from Kher-aha, I have not committed robbery with violence.

3. Hail, Fenti, who comest forth from Khemenu, I have not stolen.

4. Hail, Am-khaibit, who comest forth from Qernet, I have not slain men and women.

5. Hail, Neha-her, who comest forth from Rasta, I have not stolen grain.

6. Hail, Ruruti, who comest forth from Heaven, I have not purloined offerings.

7. Hail, Arfi-em-khet, who comest forth from Suat, I have not stolen the property of God.

8. Hail, Neba, who comest and goest, I have not uttered lies.

9. Hail, Set-qesu, who comest forth from Hensu, I have not carried away food.

10. Hail, Utu-nesert, who comest forth from Het-ka-Ptah, I have not uttered curses.

11. Hail, Qerrti, who comest forth from Amentet, I have not committed adultery.

12. Hail, Hraf-haf, who comest forth from thy cavern, I have made none to weep.

13. Hail, Basti, who comest forth from Bast, I have not eaten the heart.

14. Hail, Ta-retiu, who comest forth from the night, I have not attacked any man.

15. Hail, Unem-snef, who comest forth from the execution chamber, I am not a man of deceit.

16. Hail, Unem-besek, who comest forth from Mabit, I have not stolen cultivated land.

17. Hail, Neb-Maat, who comest forth from Maati, I have not been an eavesdropper.

18. Hail, Tenemiu, who comest forth from Bast, I have not slandered anyone.

19. Hail, Sertiu, who comest forth from Anu, I have not been angry without just cause.

20. Hail, Tutu, who comest forth from Ati, I have not debauched the wife of any man.

21. Hail, Uamenti, who comest forth from the Khebt chamber, I have not debauched the wives of other men.

22. Hail, Maa-antuf, who comest forth from Per-Menu, I have not polluted myself.

23. Hail, Her-uru, who comest forth from Nehatu, I have terrorized none.

24. Hail, Khemiu, who comest forth from Kaui, I have not transgressed the law.

25. Hail, Shet-kheru, who comest forth from Urit, I have not been angry.

26. Hail, Nekhenu, who comest forth from Heqat, I have not shut my ears to the words of truth.

27. Hail, Kenemti, who comest forth from Kenmet, I have not blasphemed.

28. Hail, An-hetep-f, who comest forth from Sau, I am not a man of violence.

29. Hail, Sera-kheru, who comest forth from Unaset, I have not been a stirrer up of strife.

30. Hail, Neb-heru, who comest forth from Netchfet, I have not acted with undue haste.

31. Hail, Sekhriu, who comest forth from Uten, I have not pried into other’s matters.

32. Hail, Neb-abui, who comest forth from Sauti, I have not multiplied my words in speaking.

33. Hail, Nefer-Tem, who comest forth from Het-ka-Ptah, I have wronged none, I have done no evil.

34. Hail, Tem-Sepu, who comest forth from Tetu, I have not worked witchcraft against the king.

35. Hail, Ari-em-ab-f, who comest forth from Tebu, I have never stopped the flow of water of a neighbor.

36. Hail, Ahi, who comest forth from Nu, I have never raised my voice.

37. Hail, Uatch-rekhit, who comest forth from Sau, I have not cursed God.

38. Hail, Neheb-ka, who comest forth from thy cavern, I have not acted with arrogance.

39. Hail, Neheb-nefert, who comest forth from thy cavern, I have not stolen the bread of the gods.

40. Hail, Tcheser-tep, who comest forth from the shrine, I have not carried away the khenfu cakes from the spirits of the dead.

41. Hail, An-af, who comest forth from Maati, I have not snatched away the bread of the child, nor treated with contempt the god of my city.

42. Hail, Hetch-abhu, who comest forth from Ta-she, I have not slain the cattle belonging to the god.

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