4/21 "Songs of the Wheel" (album: Hemlock Honey and Crows) is a sung, circle casting I wrote to evoke the turning wheel of the seasons.
There's a verse for each season (fire festivals, equinoxes & solstices) and you begin and end with the verse belonging to whichever season you find yourself in.
Instead of invoking elements or quarters, I prefer (most of the time) to paint a circle of the natural world as it changes over time. Samhain sits in the northwest (based on the directions of the coloured winds and their associations in early Irish culture) and the others follow sunwise round the circle.
Each verse was designed to be sung overtop of the verses that come before. They have their own cadences and melodies, but they fit together. Although I wrote this circle casting almost 20 years ago, I had never recorded it in its entirety until last year.
The verses may also be sung in isolation, and repeated 3x, as a way to charge the circle to suit the season. Each one was written while I walked the exact same path, in the season they evoke. It took 2 years to complete.
In the northern hemisphere, we've just passed the the autumn equinox (located in the west when I cast). Harvest and thanks and gathering in. As we approach Samhain, the first verse I wrote for this sung Working comes back to me:
"From the stormcloud the rain falls
From the tree branch the leaves are falling
From the heavens the wind calls
And the banshee's voice is calling"
There's a lot going on in the world right now that could so easily fill our souls with grief, frustration and disbelief. The lasting comfort I find is in music and connection, and those moments of beauty I witness in the natural world.