It’s been a long year – it takes a certain amount of effort, more than I’ve ever made before, to blog once a week every week for a year. However, I’m nearly there and I’m looking at the possibility of doing it again next year – this time, focussing on Quakerism rather than Paganism.
One place people often begin comparing them, actually, is our approaches to the year – what in paganism, we often call the Wheel of the Year. Most neo-pagans, myself included, celebrate eight seasonal festivals which fall pretty evenly throughout the year and which are tied to the natural and astronomical cycles around us.
Quakers, traditionally, don’t celebrate festivals at all. All days are equal, and to be equally celebrated. But I notice that we do, as a community, actually celebrate things. We’ve always celebrated life events like weddings, and increasingly we take note of seasonal events like Christmas. Even ministry is sometimes seasonal – most Quakers will have heard snowdrop ministry, and daffodil ministry, and autumn leaves ministry. That being so, I think that the call of honesty demands that we acknowledge the change in our traditions.
Noticing and enjoying the changes through the year is also, I think, part of our need for connection to nature – important to Pagans, who hold nature to be sacred, but also important to Quakers, who are working on their commitment to sustainability.