My first ever Wheel of Wonder show was based on the Celtic Wheel of the Year. I included talking spots that explained the meaning of the holidays to the people who currently, and historically, observe them and sought out four sets of music chosen specifically to illustrate the beliefs and emotion of the holiday. I have always believed music is the universal language, its sounds carrying myriad meanings and emotions that reach beyond the spoken word.
My efforts appeared to have been succesful. People still comment on and compliment that first Wheel of Wonder show. While I was on the air, I recieved at least three phone calls thanking me for doing it, and two people came back to the air studio to express similar feelings. I did two more "Rookie Radio" Wheel of Wonder shows, and now it is a weekly offering on KAOS. Several people have also accepted my invitations to interview on the show.
I've posted the radio script to the first ever Wheel of Wonder show here, along with all the links I could establish to the artists' sites in the hopes you could hear the music, and feel the meaning of this first ever program, that certainly changed how I choose to approach these issues in my life. I hope it stimulates new and interesting thoughts for you as well. :
"It's 1pm on Wednesday afternoon, so you must be listening to Rookie Radio on K - A - O - S 89.3 Olympia!
This is Radio Ray, bringing you the Wheel of Wonder for the next 60 minutes of your busy life. We just heard:
Loreena McKennit's All Soul's night off "The Visit" 1991 Universal Records
In ancient times in western Europe, agrarian peoples had many festivals during the year celebrating planting, harvests and nature's fecundity.
They saw nature as a living being, a being that fed them, clothed them, brought spiritual strength and spirit helpers to their aid, provided they respected her,
considered themselves part of nature, not masters over it.
The Celtic Wheel of the year reflects this belief, cycling through the seasons from the beginning of the celtic year: All Soul's night, or All Hallow's Eve, and continuing through Yule, Imbolc, the vernal equinox, and all the rest of the pagan sabbots.
In the course of the year, there are only four months that do not have a holiday or ritual within them, and then there may still be a full moon ritual. Wheel of Wonder is a musical journey through the neo-pagan/earth spiritualist year.
I'm gonna start this set off with a song dedicated to the reflective nature of Yule, the midwinter time of the year, and the beginning of the sun's return.
Followed by a full moon dance, then a song to Brighita; patron lady of the inner fire of inspiration and poetry, and the observance day named Imbolc, or Candlemas, on February 2.
You just heard "Candlemas Song" by Lisa Thiel from Songs of Transformation, off her label, Sacred Music, 1994. Before that was "Full Moonlight Dance" from Circle of Women, 1997 Rhino Records. We started that set with Jane Valencia's "Into Forest Halls", our song for Yule.After the first planting and the rededication of pledges for the coming year, the first awakenings of spring spread across the earth. Sheep and horses start to foal, birds begin to return, and flowers begin to bloom in hopes of pollination.
Many modern pagan beliefs honor masculine and feminine energies represented by the God and the Goddess, there are times when one of these polarities is as strong , or stronger than the other, though both existing within ourselves.
As we move through Ostara, (the spring equinox), the part of the year were the Sun god is strongest, the god Mithras, who helps the dead ascend into the realms of light is reborn.
A masculine sort of energy subtly comes to the fore now, and so we begin a male set of music, starting with Orison, followed by Evergreen alumni Chris Bingham of Gaia Consort, sharing with us the life affirming holidays of Beltane, or May Day, and Litha, the Summer Solstice.
Woo! That was Gaia Consort with Chris Bingham performing "Solstice Call", off the album Evolve and "Beltane Fires" off Secret Voices 2004 and 2001 respectively. Self Produced.
Chris Bingham and friends have a new project forming called Bone Poets Orchestra. I'll be looking for that.
Before that we heard "The Butterfly" by Orison, Narada World Music.
This is Radio Ray, and we've gotten all the way to August 1st; Lughnasadh
on Wheel of Wonder.
Lughnasadh is the first harvest, a time to sacrifice bad habits, while still honoring the warmth and the Sun God with levity and joy. It's time to consider the coming darkness, death and rebirth.
Place your troubles in the statue of the wicker man and burn him in the fire, metaphorically the god of the grain and wild is:
killed, cut, crushed,
cooked and strained,
made into beer, bread and game.
Soon will come Mabon, the autumn equinox, and Samhain, known as Halloween: Important holidays of the Goddess turned crone, remembering the dead, and turning inward, like the mixture in the cauldron. The past years ingredients, harvested together and imbibed in your being. Death to the old you, but great joy for the rebirth your experiences will bring you by the spring.
To express the feelings of this time of year we'll hear a set from Damh the Bard.
Damh the Bard
That was Damh the Bard with "On Samhain's Eve", and "The Mabon" from The Hills They Are Hollow 2005 self produced. We had a short, but really fun piece from Castalia off her album In Plain Sight and another by Damh off Herne's Apprentice from back in 2003.
This next piece is another take on Mabon by Omnia. Recorded live and found on their album Live Religion, it invokes the beautiful, reflective aspect of autumn, the time when the year begins to slow down, and you can harvest knowledge from the seeds you planted throughout the rest of the year.
Think about that as you listen, how are you different now than you were a year ago? What makes you who you are today, this day? That's the reflective nature of Mabon. That's the harvest that feeds your soul.
This is Radio Ray, and this was Wheel of Wonder. Thanks for listening.