The New Year is coming! Here in Massachusetts we’re in the midst of our first major snowstorm, and while it’s too cold for the big white fluffy flakes, the fall of the tiny ice crystals is like the tinkling of fairy bells. The acres of grass surrounding our new home (in Avallonia, on the east side of the Connecticut River!) have transformed into a field of swirled cream, and the apple tree standing guard alone in their midst seems to be laughing as it lifts its branches up to the sky and catches the snowflakes. (The tree has been much more communicative and friendly since we gave offerings to it at Samhain…)
So it’s my very great pleasure to offer to you the 2008 Almanac and Planner of Nature and the Ancient World, put together by my wife and myself over the last few months when we probably should have been unpacking or something. This has been a labor of love for us — for me, because there is a “Word of the Week”, landscapes, and quotes from the Druid Journal for every week — plus it was tremendous fun putting in the holidays, because I got to learn about so many celebrations from all over the world (did you know that Dec. 3 is International Basque Language Day??) — and for my friend Esmerelda, because she got to indulge her new love of weather wiccecraeft: she contributed a long essay about the theory and practice of weather control, and added tips for helping to alleviate global warming throughout.
I probably can’t do better than to quote from the introduction:
In this volume I have tried to bring together the most useful and interesting information — weather, astrological influences, holidays, passages to invite thought and spiritual reflection, and landscape art inspired by nature and the ancient world — in a simple format that allows you to plan and weave your life according to the rhythms of the earth and sky.
Each week you’ll find expected temperatures and rainfall, moon phases, important astrological events, and holidays from a multitude of traditions. You’ll also find an inspirational quotation — usually, but not always, from my site, the Druid Journal — and a “Word of the Week”, an in-depth exploration of a single word’s history and spiritual energy. Finally, the week is capped off with artwork created by myself in the style of my web site.
On top of all this, the quarter and cross-quarter holidays of modern paganism, which mark the grand turnings of the ancient year, are given special note, with history, etymology, and notes on climate. And last — but certainly not least! — Esmerelda, a local witch, has kindly provided an in-depth essay on weather magic, with particular attention to global warming — and what you can do about it!
So now you all know why I haven’t been writing as frequently here or on my other blogs, and why so many of your kind emails and comments have remained unanswered for weeks at a time. It was tremendous fun, but it also took about three times as long to make as I’d anticipated — originally I wanted to release it at Samhain, to correspond with the druid New Year, but that didn’t work out. Instead it goes from the 2007 Winter Solstice to the New Year of 2009. When I do this again next year, I hope to get an earlier start…
I’m selling it and publishing it through lulu.com, offering it as an e-book for $15 and a paper book for $19.99. Drop by and take a look — there are about half a dozen sample pages available. If you have any questions about it before you buy, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.
My hope is that you will take this Planner into your life as a trusted companion, that it will become worn and tattered over the year, covered with dates and appointments and parties and doodles in three colors of ink, maybe even with some passages underlined and bookmarked. A daily planner can have no finer fate.