Florida’s Mythic Calendar

My friend Whale Maiden of the Earthways Shamanic Path has created an amazing calendar of four seasons commonly found in South Florida, her local environment. More specifically, she deals with how the Lady’s seasons manifest in and around Fort Myers on the west coast. On any given occasion, she will insist that these are her local correspondences and observations. We ought to observe our immediate vicinity and create our own Wheel of the Year to fit our environment.

When I met her, she had not yet received the myths of Mother Florida, despite working on this branch of her path for more than a decade. I gave her what I had, sharing all I received along the way, and forged a wonderful friendship with a wonderful human being. When she writes it all down–she’s working on a book–it’ll be spectacular. She’ll bring into the mix the details that I am less prone to capture. The plants and animals, the specific practices that will nurture a full spiritual path. It will be her synthesis.

What I am presenting today is mine.

After much thought, I decided to follow the Mayan example of juggling multiple calendars at once to fully express the shifting mythology of the Land. So, where Whale Maiden has a seasonal calendar that ebbs and flows with each passing year of the climate crisis, I will present a mythic calendar that is always fixed. Yes, in many ways they overlap, but there are essential differences in how they are injoined through ceremony. There is a further overlap with the Neopagan/Wiccan Wheel of the Year. Juggle deftly!


THE MYTHIC CALENDAR of Our Sacred Mother, Lady Florida

The calendar’s main theme is to match the major beats of Florida’s mythic history to the yearly solstices and equinoxes. These are fixed points in every calendar that happen because of the planet’s rotation around the Sun King. However, it is not his story. You may notice similarities and common themes shared with other world mythologies. That’s intentional. This calendar attempts to use the elements of the revealed myth, so far, to place Florida among the other Great Goddesses of the ancient world.

MARCH 19-22:
The Vernal Equinox & The Birth of a Land

The cycle of bird migrations and ancestral emergence is honored here. This is a twin ceremony to the Autumnal Equinox, but in reverse. Through the “return of the Birds” we also celebrate the “return of the Sun.” Thus is Florida’s attention captured in her watery slumber. Thus she seeks the surface world and is “born” into this incarnation (some 20 million years ago).

Ceremony: Start facing North and bid farewell to the ancestors who’ve guarded and sustained us through the Dry/Fire Season. Give offerings to the departing. Turn to the South and bid welcome to the migrating birds (and Sun) who bring forth the full bounty of the Land. Participants, as Migrating Birds, bring forth the seeds that take root and help lift the Land skyward.

JUNE 19-22:
The Summer Solstice & The Crowned Goddess

This ceremony would focus on the first story of Florida’s emergence and her turbulent love affairs with Sun, Moon, and Storm. Those myths are retold, leading up to the ritual itself, and its themes of sovereignty and self-love are invited into the People’s lives.

Ceremony: Through the found/discovered local cardinal correspondences, re-enact the “Rising of the Land” from Mother Ocean as each direction brings a vital gift to the Center. There, a priest/ess will attempt to become a vessel for the Lady to speak out of at the height of the rite. If that’s not possible, have them emphatically recite Florida’s declaration to the Moon. Blessings might be given to participants, then.

The Autumnal Equinox & The Parching of the Land

Here we enter into the times of discord and bitterness, flood and famine, between the Lady and the Moon. It also follows the migratory bird cycles and focuses more on the ancestors and their needs. Whether here to protect, or repeat cycles of trauma, the participants are made to confront their heritage and presence.

Ceremony: This is the reverse/twin of the Vernal Equinox. We start in the South, bidding farewell to the migrating birds and petitioning for their spring-time blessings. We make offerings for their long journey ahead. Then we turn to the North and lay out offerings for the dead, our ancestors turned. They’ll arrive with baggage and needs. After being fed a red meal (red juice or wine or water, with bread), participants wash them clean and shining* to begin their vigil.

The Winter Solstice & The Making of Peace

Through this myth, the bonds of community are broadened and affirmed. Not just the community of the people, or the community of spirits we might interact with, but also the community of all more-than-human beings. This ceremony expands on the myth to “make whole” the participant’s entire animist worldview.

Ceremony: We start in desolation, isolation, and mistrust. It is recommended participants have fasted since dawn, to feel the true effects of this mythic time. Slowly, they travel to the West, led by their cardinal direction’s guide. Afterward, drift clockwise in a spiral dance (or simple circle), while chanting “Peace!” and stomping feet/staves into the ground. Allow folks to vary speed and end up in a different place from where they started.



(About “washing clean and shining” as a practice: This was performed at the 2016 Mystic South main ritual. It had other elements that gave it structure, here discarded for the main structure of the ritual itself. Participants travel to the Underworld and “receive” a dead relative and ancestor from “across the water” that they must help heal or ascend. They use a damp cloth held in their hands to do the motions while in the spirit world they wash that ancestor clean, until they’re shining. Then they hug and welcome them.)


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