Wreathing the Wheel: June – Summer Solstice and Project Planning
The month of June contains my favorite of all the quarter days: the summer solstice. This day is high noon for the year, a time when transformative, fiery powers are at their peak, warming the earth and helping plants grow to their fullest. Litha is about action, so this month I’ve decided to get serious about planning some of my personal projects. While there are many different types of projects, I’ll be using the example of this column as our template.
Here’s a basic, five-step road-map that can be used for both cyclical and linear projects, from the start of an idea to complete fruition. This can also be the basis for your planning spread, although obviously some projects may require you to add or eliminate steps. I’ve tried to make it as general as possible, so that this road-map can be used for event planning, project planning, spell work, and much more!
1. Brainstorm Your Idea
I often do this first step in a sketchbook, as especially with complicated ideas, it can easily be too much for a bullet journal. However, this column’s a slightly simpler example than a long-term, complicated project would be, so I’ve made a layout to include this part of the process as well. My method of brainstorming is a bit like Scrying: I like to make a word cloud out of short phrases, symbols, diagrams, and keywords that inspire me in my project, as well as short lists as I start to discover the structure in this cloud. I also like to highlight certain words with colored pen so that they stand out from the cloud after I’ve finished this first brainstorming step.
2. Refine the Idea: Vision, Mission Statement, and Goals
My vision board conveys the most important parts of the brainstorming results, and my ideas about how the finished project should be realized. My mission statement is a short sentence which concisely expresses my primary goal. While these may seem silly in the context of a simple article, they can be very important for long-term projects, as a mission statement will help remind you of what you should focus on if you get distracted. I also include a list of practical goals here to help give my idea some more structure and formulate the next phase of the plan.
3. Define the Project Needs: Resources, Education, Materials
With a complicated project, this part of the spread could easily be expanded to include a list of articles and references, a bibliography, and even a complex budget for my project. In the case of this article, this section is fairly redundant, since I already have all the materials and resources that I’ll need, but it would be a great way to track research progress for a longer project. If your project involves a budget or financial goals, this part will become much more important, and doing the exercise of writing it all out may even help you realize whether your goal is truly attainable — and affordable.
4. Project Road-map and Action Steps
For this article, I broke my trackable progress up into two phases: a structural phase which reflected my development of the article itself, which I call the project road-map; and the actual steps needed to bring this idea to fruition, from sketching the layout to e-mailing the column to my editor. And when that last piece of this road-map is done — so am I! But there’s still room in this layout for one more section…
5. Reflection and Response
Ideally, you’ve been using your road-map and your whole layout not only as you plan, but also as you work on your project. You may find that you need to expand or rework some of these items as you refine your idea. You should also track your progress as you accomplish your goals to help keep you moving forward. When your goal is accomplished, you can even journal a short reflection, or note others’ responses to your project, as a way of reviewing your own work. This is a great way to bookend your project and make sure that you don’t miss recording the results of all your hard work!
About the Author:
Sarah McMenomy is an artist and witch. Her craft incorporates herbalism, spellwork, trance, divination, auras, and more. Her work can be found at https://sarahmcmenomy.tumblr.com