Wheel of the Year

I have always imagined the year as a circle, going counter-clockwise (or widdershins), with winter at the top, summer at the bottom, spring on the left, and fall on the right. I’m not sure why my mind settled on this configuration, but it’s been virtually the same since I was a small child. There are lots of other ways to visualize the passage of time, but this is how I see it. I created a graphic for myself so that I could see my year, tangibly, and not just in my mind’s eye.

If you look at my year wheel like a compass rose, you will see that the four cardinal directions line up with the four seasons of nature as they are marked by a solstice or an equinox. They also line up with four important festivals in the Church year. Between each of these main spokes in the wheel, you will see smaller sections—the months—that also have their own feasts and festivals or “moods” associated with them. I also included some lovely illustrations to help me remember important dates for planning purposes.

This is my year, but yours may look very different. I encourage you to make your own year wheel—or another design, however you see it—so that you can always have a way to orient yourself. Just like a compass, the cycle of the seasons of nature and the feasts, festivals, and holy days of the Church year will always help you to find your way on the journey of life.