The Sassy Sandpiper: Celtic New Year’s Resolutions
Now’s the better time than January to say goodbye to the old year and welcome to the new one.
By M.R. WILSON, Columnist, TB Reporter
It’s half-past autumn, aka Halloween, aka Samhain, aka the Celtic New Year. Planet Earth is halfway through her journey from the autumnal equinox to the winter solstice. It’s a time for remembering our departed loved ones, celebrating bountiful harvests, releasing the past and celebrating renewal.
Your thoughts more likely turn to those last minute Halloween party preparations, the kids’ costumes, an adequate supply of Green Slime and needing to pick up more candy for the trick-or-treaters because you’ve already eaten what you bought on sale weeks ago.
I’m proud of myself for not devouring the candy corn, but otherwise feel like I’ve been messing up royally lately. Those promises I made on my birthday for my upcoming “personal year” (birthday to birthday, a “powerful time”) to play the piano more, get back to writing and art, eat in a more disciplined, mindful way, etc., etc., blah, blah—have gone blowin’ in the wind. I need a course correction now.
What better time than the Celtic New Year?
It’s dumb that we mark a new year in January, anyway. Julius Caesar decided the Roman calendar needed reform in 45 B.C. Julius and his cronies miscalculated, the Roman Church caught up with it, so Pope Gregory XIII commissioned Jesuit astronomer Christopher Clavius to fix things. The pope, of course, named the new calendar after himself. The Gregorian calendar was implemented in 1582 and we’ve been stuck with Jan. 1 as New Year’s Day ever since.
It’s much more sensible to think about endings and beginnings, death and life, at a time of year when the natural world is doing just that. Leaves may close up their photosynthesis factories, die and drop to the ground, but the tree’s root system is pulling in energy, resting, and dreaming of new leaflets come spring.
Be like a tree.
I have intentions more than resolutions, which seem like hardcore, stuffy pronouncements I’ll only beat myself up for later. Many of these you and I have both vowed before, but here’s the messy declaration, not in any particular order of importance:
Eat real food. Recommit to veganism. Move more (so much better than exercise). Lose weight. Tone muscles. Read erudite, uplifting material. Engage socially. Rekindle the creative fire. Reconcile with the past. Live a compassionate, conscious, loving life. Find beauty. Seek meaning over happiness. Remain earth-centered. Stay calm in a disturbing world. Live my “core beliefs,” such as conscious consumerism (vote with my wallet, i.e., stop putting my money in the pockets of people I disagree with).
Celtic New Year’s Resolutions or Intentions call for a feast and a toast. Perhaps I shall start with apples in red wine. The table may be laden thusly: acorn squash with cinnamon and honey; beets with cloves and cinnamon, Hallow’en Barm Brack, onion bread, mulled cider. Recipes may be found in Celtic Folklore Cooking by Joanne Asala.
Perhaps you’ll join me in the revelry.
Sassy Sandpiper | M.R. Wilson | Celtic New Year | Halloween | Holidays | Tampabay News
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