Transitions between the Wheel (For the four seasons)
This is from my personal practice with observing the wheel of the year and my focus on each transition between the sabbats. I honor the current seasons in between. Each transition has it’s importance to self care and managing the home and garden. I will probably add to this later cause some paragraphs I wrote I feel like are a bit vague. Some of these transitions are not meant to be 100% literal and static but I feel like they are good areas to focus on for that moment in the year.
During the thick of winter when it’s too cold to do anything and always dark, it’s the perfect moment in the year to rest. The focus is on relaxing, taking extra time to sleep and care for the body especially to not get sick. Winter is also ‘spa’ season because the air is so dry and harsh it’s a good time to soak in hot baths and scrub away dead skin and moisturize with protective lotion. Do not try to make new plans, yet sit home, rest and reflect.
Imbolc -> Ostara Cleansing
When winter thaws it’s a great time to clean the home and prepare for spring. Personally, I also like to do a body cleanse since I tend to eat a lot of processed (yet delicious ;-;) foods all year round. This also makes up for all the heavy foods I’ve been eating since Summer (all the BBQs) to Winter comfort foods. As I clean the home and get rid of stuff that has accumulated over the year, I clean the body. Also the focus is on cleaning the home as well. Breathing in the same air, especially if its full of dust, is really unhealthy and it’s good as the days are getting a little warmer to open up the windows for a few minutes to allow in fresh air to circulate. This is also the time of year I throw out old furniture, accumulated things and rearrange furniture in the room as well.
Ostara -> Beltane Sowing
Spring is a great time to germinate sprouts along with other seeds and clean the backyard or garden to grow plants. If you like to compost it’s a time to start mixing in the vegetable/fruit/plant scraps with the soil. Spring is also a great time to sow bigger changes in life as well. Something about the warm new season brings an air of flirtatiousness and ‘socialness’ that makes it perfect for making new friends or finding a partner. (Probably because people can finally come out of hibernation). It’s also a fantastic time to work on your image and portfolio and apply for long term jobs that begin in the summer or fall. Spring is the season for new beginnings and putting long term plans into action.
Beltane -> Litha Growing
A tradition I like to do on Beltane is repotting of plants and gardening. Repotting plants is a tradition I try to focus on every year because it’s very easy for house plants to die due to dead soil. Plus it makes the inside of the house super vibrant and lively to have fresh new soil in pots. From this point to summer solstice is the point of growth. Growth in the garden but also growth of personal goals. May and June feel like hectic months where there are so many events and opportunities to advance your work or change your social scene, that if I am not personally progressing, I focus all of my attention on my growth.
Litha -> Lughnasadh Thriving
Its the heat of summer! It’s time to get out and feel the intense hot energy and use its power to focus on goals and networking! Where I am there’s usually an exciting event every week where it’s an opportunity to make more connections and meet more friends but also since its warm and nature is so vibrant it’s time to take some days to relax and get away to enjoy the heat and life of nature. Go to the beach, go hiking, swim in a lake, sleep under the stars. Be active since the efforts will pay off.
-> Mabon Reaping
This is the time you earn what you’ve sowed both literally and metaphorically. If you have a garden its the time it will start giving back. If you are an active goer of a farmers market you will notice how beautifully abundant the stands are. If in Spring you’ve sent out tons of job applications, and in Summer got the job you’ve wanted and worked hard, then by now you should start seeing some results. If there are no results being seen it’s a time for reflection and re-strategizing. There is a second chance in this time to start again before the cold and the holiday season bulldozes through.
Mabon -> Samhain Harvesting/Gathering
This is the time to gather and harvest. Usually family tends to gather now since it’s the holiday season. There’s not much other than gathering to be done since family and holidays are bombarding you from all sides. Also there is an abundance of food. This is great to store for the next transition which is
Samhain -> Yule Preparation
This is the moment to prepare for winter. My warddrobe completely changes here, I take up knitting projects that were abandoned last Imbolc, and I store food and herbs for the winter to use. Also making preserves from things in the garden or hand knitting clothes make great presents for the winter holidays. This is also a time to prepare the garden for hibernation. Take in potted plants, harvest the last of the herbs and food (that are not potted). Make sure plants you do not want to die have a place to chill in the house.
A new(ish) baby blanket in progress. Not earmarked for any baby in particular yet and I have at least one other project I’m planning to start verra soon (though I don’t think I’ll post progress pictures of that one).
Here’s that baby blanket I posted a few weeks back now that it’s finished (and just in time too; the woman my mom wanted it for goes on maternity leave next week). So love this pattern. Probably won’t take as long a break before I do it again.
1/2 Hello! I'm writing a sort of fantasy story/series, and the (white) main character is Fae, which is a species of kinda ethereal non-humans. There's a subplot and a lot of little anecdotes about the prejudice she and her father face in mostly human London for being visibly fae. But of course, what my main character experiences may seem a lot like racism, but it isn't - especially because the Fae are literally not people, and feel compassion and emotions in entirely different ways, and are
simply not human, and a lot of the prejudice they encounter is based around that. How do I avoid drawing analogies which suggest that PoC are less human?Secondly, there are dwarves in this fantasy series. A family of dwarves who are quite prominent in the story are Black (originally Djerban, I think) and Jewish. I know that a lot of dwarf tropes in fantasy stem from stereotypes of Jewish people, and I’d like to know how to make sure I don’t stray into those tropes. Thank you for your help!
White-coded Fae + North African Jewish-coded Dwarves
I’d love for you to trace the thought process that led your imagination to come up with a plot where the “pretty” supernatural characters are coded white (and gentile) and the, well, less-pretty supernatural characters are coded as North African Jews.
The Rabbi’s Cat is by a Jewish author. I just wanted to put that image in your mind for a second.
“How do I avoid drawing analogies which suggest that PoC are less human?”
Human characters of color are the best way to establish that your Fae really are something else and not a metaphor for PoC. in my opinion.
>> A family of dwarves who are quite prominent in the story are Black (originally Djerban, I think) and Jewish. I know that a lot of dwarf tropes in fantasy stem from stereotypes of Jewish people, and I’d like to know how to make sure I don’t stray into those tropes.
Why are they Jewish in the first place, then? A piece without Jewish human characters doesn’t really need Jewish dwarves, especially if there aren’t gentile dwarves alongside them. Caveat that if you’re writing from inside the community I have less of a problem with it because this is our nonsense to reclaim if we want.
So, your options if you don’t want to have people go “….why….” are:
Add Jewish humans alongside the Jewish dwarves (or, alternatively, Jewish fae, we never get to be fae… we never get to be anything beautiful like mermaids or fairies or whatever. Dwarves. Lovely. *sobs into knitting project*)
Make the dwarves not Jewish – is there a plot reason they need to be Jewish?
The “dwarf=Jew” trope comes from these stereotypes:
clannish/unfriendly to outsiders without ever bothering to justify, oh, why a marginalized group might do that
avaricious/super into treasure and riches
And possibly a little harder to pick apart, but a weird smoothie of antisemitism/misogyny/transphobia in which our women are supposedly too hairy and too loud to be feminine (which is double bull because women can be as hairy as they want and still be feminine, and nothing’s wrong with being a masculine woman, either.)
So those are the specific tropes you’d want to avoid. But I’d say if you’re gentile, writing Jewish dwarves into a story that doesn’t have any non-dwarf Jews just seems like giving yourself a lot of extra work trying to stay out of the Sarlacc’s mouth. Ya know?
Date the being made of soft tangled forgotten yarn from abandoned knitting projects. Drape yourself in the warmth of the memories woven into its physical form. The creature will unravel with each moment of true happiness with you, so tie bits around your fingers to remind you of those happy memories.