One overlooked thing that really sets the Lord of the Rings films apart from other franchises is how earnest they are-
Most movies are so afraid of being “cheesy” that whenever they say something like “friendship is the most powerful force in the world” they quickly undercut it with a joke to show We Don’t Really Believe That! ;) Even Disney films nowadays have the characters mock their own movie’s tropes (”if you start singing, I’m gonna throw up!”) It’s like winking at the camera: “See, audience? We know this is ridiculous! We’re in on the joke!”
But Lord of the Rings is just 12.5 hours of friendship and love being the most powerful forces in the world, played straight. Characters have conversations about how much their home and family and friends mean to them, how hope is eternal, how there is so much in the world that’s worth living for…. and the film doesn’t apologize for that. There’s no winking at the audience about How Cheesy and Silly All This Is; it’s just. Completely in earnest.
And when Lord of the Rings does “lean on the fourth wall” to talk about storytelling within the film, it’s never to make jokes about How Ridiculous These Storytelling Tropes are (the way most films do)…. but instead to talk about how valuable these stories can be. Like Sam’s Speech at the end of the Two Towers: the greatest stories are ones that give you something to believe in, give you hope, that help you see there are things in a bleak violent world that are worth living for
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Transitions between the Wheel
(For the four seasons)
This is from my personal practice with observing the wheel of the year and my focus on each transition between the sabbats. I honor the current seasons in between. Each transition has it’s importance to self care and managing the home and garden. I will probably add to this later cause some paragraphs I wrote I feel like are a bit vague. Some of these transitions are not meant to be 100% literal and static but I feel like they are good areas to focus on for that moment in the year.
During the thick of winter when it’s too cold to do anything and always dark, it’s the perfect moment in the year to rest. The focus is on relaxing, taking extra time to sleep and care for the body especially to not get sick.
Winter is also ‘spa’ season because the air is so dry and harsh it’s a good time to soak in hot baths and scrub away dead skin and moisturize with protective lotion. Do not try to make new plans, yet sit home, rest and reflect.
Imbolc -> Ostara
When winter thaws it’s a great time to clean the home and prepare for spring. Personally, I also like to do a body cleanse since I tend to eat a lot of processed (yet delicious ;-;) foods all year round. This also makes up for all the heavy foods I’ve been eating since Summer (all the BBQs) to Winter comfort foods. As I clean the home and get rid of stuff that has accumulated over the year, I clean the body. Also the focus is on cleaning the home as well. Breathing in the same air, especially if its full of dust, is really unhealthy and it’s good as the days are getting a little warmer to open up the windows for a few minutes to allow in fresh air to circulate. This is also the time of year I throw out old furniture, accumulated things and rearrange furniture in the room as well.
Ostara -> Beltane
Spring is a great time to germinate sprouts along with other seeds and clean the backyard or garden to grow plants. If you like to compost it’s a time to start mixing in the vegetable/fruit/plant scraps with the soil. Spring is also a great time to sow bigger changes in life as well. Something about the warm new season brings an air of flirtatiousness and ‘socialness’ that makes it perfect for making new friends or finding a partner. (Probably because people can finally come out of hibernation). It’s also a fantastic time to work on your image and portfolio and apply for long term jobs that begin in the summer or fall. Spring is the season for new beginnings and putting long term plans into action.
Beltane -> Litha
A tradition I like to do on Beltane is repotting of plants and gardening. Repotting plants is a tradition I try to focus on every year because it’s very easy for house plants to die due to dead soil. Plus it makes the inside of the house super vibrant and lively to have fresh new soil in pots. From this point to summer solstice is the point of growth. Growth in the garden but also growth of personal goals. May and June feel like hectic months where there are so many events and opportunities to advance your work or change your social scene, that if I am not personally progressing, I focus all of my attention on my growth.
Litha -> Lughnasadh
Its the heat of summer! It’s time to get out and feel the intense hot energy and use its power to focus on goals and networking! Where I am there’s usually an exciting event every week where it’s an opportunity to make more connections and meet more friends but also since its warm and nature is so vibrant it’s time to take some days to relax and get away to enjoy the heat and life of nature. Go to the beach, go hiking, swim in a lake, sleep under the stars. Be active since the efforts will pay off.
Lughnasadh -> Mabon
This is the time you earn what you’ve sowed both literally and metaphorically. If you have a garden its the time it will start giving back. If you are an active goer of a farmers market you will notice how beautifully abundant the stands are. If in Spring you’ve sent out tons of job applications, and in Summer got the job you’ve wanted and worked hard, then by now you should start seeing some results. If there are no results being seen it’s a time for reflection and re-strategizing. There is a second chance in this time to start again before the cold and the holiday season bulldozes through.
Mabon -> Samhain
This is the time to gather and harvest. Usually family tends to gather now since it’s the holiday season. There’s not much other than gathering to be done since family and holidays are bombarding you from all sides. Also there is an abundance of food. This is great to store for the next transition which is
Samhain -> Yule
This is the moment to prepare for winter. My warddrobe completely changes here, I take up knitting projects that were abandoned last Imbolc, and I store food and herbs for the winter to use. Also making preserves from things in the garden or hand knitting clothes make great presents for the winter holidays. This is also a time to prepare the garden for hibernation. Take in potted plants, harvest the last of the herbs and food (that are not potted). Make sure plants you do not want to die have a place to chill in the house.
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