Friday 15 September 2023

Wheel of the Year: Why School Starts in September

The Academic Year begins in September in the UK, but why doesn't it start in January? 

Well, it's all to do with farming. In 1880, when it became compulsory for children to go to school, a lot of thought was put into the best way to encourage kids to attend their lessons. Back then, huge numbers of families were involved in agriculture. From late spring until the end of summer, children were needed to help tend crops and bring in the harvest, but as autumn progressed to winter there was less to do on farms. So, the academic year was set to start in September and it still does.

Many pagans honour the Wheel of the Year, which is also based partly on the agricultural festivals as well as on the solar cycle. Far fewer people work in agriculture these days, and it is easy to feel disconnected from the cycle of the seasons unless we grow our own veg or make an effort to look at what's happening in nature. However, many of our current customs are still rooted in the agricultural past, including the Academic Year.

My book Rounding the Wheel of the Year is published this autumn. It shows how every month is full of magic, each day has its own energy, and the seasons rotate as part of the cycles of nature. You can find it on publisher Moon Books' website as well as other book sellers. 

I'll be launching the book at Treadwell's Bookshop, 33 Store Street, London, on September 30th with a signing event at 3.20pm. Just pop in and say hello or ask a question if you like. Here are more details of the event:

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