I have never been a big holiday person. I am the kind of person who winces slightly when I see holiday decorations going in months early, and while I may look forward to a specific ritual, it tends to be for reasons that are internal to the ritual instead of reasons that are associated with the time of year. When I have been in a group, I tend to recognize the importance of group-rituals for reasons of Frith or for reasons integral to the rituals rather than feeling any strong connection to the time of year or specifics of the holiday.
I wonder if part of this is my connection to cities and urban environments. I may try to eat seasonally and love the weather in certain seasons (spring and fall in particular), but my existence does not feel as integrally tied to the land as it was for my ancestors, many of whom were farmers in rural areas. My connection is to places where seasons matter, but not in the same way that they used to.
That said: Ritual to me is very important. It helps binds groups together and creates a shared acknowledgement of things that are important. I simply have never felt a strong connection between seasons or times of year and the specific rituals being performed. So while I find deep meaning and connection Yule as a renewal of oaths and as a welcoming of the new year, the specifics of it laying on a solstice are mostly symbolic to me and I don’t connect as strongly with the symbolism.
My group works with eight seasonal rituals:
- Charming of the Plough
- First Harvest
- Second Harvest
- Remembrance of the Fallen
Of these, the one that is the most important to me is going to be Yule. I find that the meaning of Walpurgisnacht and the Remembrance of the Fallen are very important to me as well, but when they get celebrated varies (I have a tendency to observe them around Samhain out of habit and because that seems to be when most others in the pagan community observe them).
Coming as a shock to no one who actually deals with me, the ones that tend to speak least to me are the fertility rituals. I acknowledge their importance and they can be a lot of fun, but they don’t call to me the way the rituals of the dead do.