Saturday, April 18, 2009

Celtic Celebrations

n every religion it is important to celebrate. Joy is an emotion that is hard to quell once it has been generated, and in so doing, joy spreads through a community quickly and easily with very little effort at all. I think that one thing some pagans are notorious for is the parties: how we celebrate the seasons, various life passages, giving thanks.

Celtic paths, in particular, have some pretty fun traditions (some of them maybe too fun for more modest folk Wink), especially in the spring time, the time of growing, budding, mating, giving birth and general invigoration. New energy, exercise and activity all help to release good-feeling hormones and chemicals in the brain, biologically encouraging joy in the spring, and the warming and return of green to the earth can be a powerful metaphor for people, reminding them that you can't be without joy forever. All things come and go.

As some of you may know, I've been struggling with depression for a long time now. This week, however, was a good week. Maybe even a great week. There is a spark of joy in my heart that was ignited this week, and in the sunshine of the coming spring (already arrived spring?), the company of good friends, and a significant easing of burden and anxiety on my mind with regards to my future life, this joy is growing steadily and strong along with the leaves on the tree outside my window.

How do you show your joy? Is celebration an important part of your path, and do you share your celebration? How do you celebrate?

I tend to be fairly quiet in my celebrations, but that doesn't mean I don't find them important. By being mindful, aware and respectful, I think I try to celebrate my continued existence every day. It is often difficult to celebrate the fact that I am alive when I am deep in depression, but when I come out of one, the sense of joy is perhaps even more affecting and liberating, being born out of that deep sadness and momentary despair.

Celebration, to me, is all about mindfulness. It points out a significant time, makes you stop, and realize just how joyous life can be.

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