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by Rhea
(Summer in Australia 1987)

In "The Seasons as I See Them" Colleen explores the seasonal cycles which she experiences in Australia. The following myth arose from discussions on that article and is a possible year myth to explain the climatic changes in the south-eastern part of Australia.I begin my year with November, as it is my time of birth - Rhea

We'd like to hear from our readers how they experience the myth of the year in their country and local surroundings.  Email Rhea with your comments.


In the myth of the year, a tapestry is woven between the goddess and god as they change their nature and the color of their garments. In the pattern of the seasons, they express themselves in the landscape, as they meet, court, and dance the consummation of the land marriage. During the cycle, the Goddess moves through the phases of maiden, mother and crone, while the God is lord of light and lord of dread shadows.

The Myth

In November, the Goddess is the Priestess of the Mysteries and she leads the young God into the sexual initiation of the Great Rite. This experience links them in the creation dance.

Between November and December he grows into his power as Summer King and she becomes the Red Queen who is both beautiful and terrible. They dance the land-marriage, whose other face is death, and in a powerful cathartic rite, they are transformed. Like the phoenix, the God will self-immolate; the kernel of his substance falling into the ash of the forest fires. He is the flame burning brightly, and she is the scorched earth who assumes the mantle of the crone (the cloak of knowledge at the edge of experience, where life and death are balanced). She turns her face from the world of man.

In January she is the Dark Goddess and he is the Lord of Shadows. The red sap of the gum is seen as the blood of his passion, sacrificed in the service of the life cycle of rebirth and growth. She is the death bringer and scourge of the heat. The fires are necessary, as the seeds of native plants are not released without their heat. In February she brings sudden fluctuations in temperature and often a flash flood or natural disaster will be added to the drought. He grows into his power as the spirit of life locked within the land, waiting for rain.

In March, the Goddess reaches a transition, where she releases the strands of the past and looks to new beginnings. The maiden emerges from the shadow of the crone and begins to unfurl in the healing rains, which wash clean the earth and engender the potential for life. She wears a mantle of green, and seeds germinate in the moisture. She flirts with the life spirit, who is the God locked in the underworld and he steals her away into his realm of dreams. The Lord of Shadows is the initiator of the Maiden in to the Mysteries of the Underworld. In May she begins to learn the powers of self-knowledge.

From May to June she changes him with her healing skills and he begins the journey back into the world of waking. She becomes Queen of the Underworld, the Faerie Queen, and they are in balance and harmony. They dream together, and release creative energy into the world.

At winter solstice, the days will begin to be longer and the God emerges into the world as a child of the dawn. The maiden, no longer content to be "complete in herself" shares her knowledge with the growing God, as she begins the journey of the mother, nurturing the unfurling leaves of new plants as they are enriched by the fertile earth.

In July and August she begins to teach the young God the mysteries of the world and in September they come together in celebration of the mysteries. They play in the green woods and she gradually assumes the mantle of the earth mother, and he of the young forest lord. In October spring is in full bloom, as is their exploration of sexuality and she leads him into the deeper mysteries of magic and energy.

In November they come together in the Great Rite - and the cycle continues.