As capitalism orders the world around its economic rhythm, holidays become pulled into the five day work week. Workers taking off at the beginning or end of a week causes less disruption than a midweek holiday, and the most sacred holidays demand observance even when they fall on a weekend. To address these issues, contemporary governments normalize observing a holiday at the end or beginning of a week rather than on its appointed day.

To put this practice in perspective, one should consider that the single day of release offered for most holidays represents a diminished standard from agrarian societies where major festivals could last multiple days. The Catholic Church maintains seasonal periods that culminate in the supreme feast day, but the capitalist engine thrives on continued motion. Secular society then strangled holidays down from a week to a single day and maintains control over the timing of celebrations.

Neopagans tend to celebrate the solar cycle, the ever-turning wheel of year. Solar festivals are unsurprisingly common among agrarian cultures that must plan according to the seasons. At the appointed time one venerates the gods whose powers are needed for the next phase of the cycle. The times are appointed by the Earth and Sun, and calendars are made to follow them.

In ceremonial magic time often serves as one component of ritual. The working must begin, culminate, or end at the proper time, during the correct phase of the moon or position of the sun. Like most ritual components, time imposes discipline and sacrifice that call the magician’s focus to the ritual and its intentions. It requires the magician to be mindful of celestial movements as well as their own movements on the terrestrial plane. The magician must bring themselves into alignment with time, the Earth, the Sun, the Moon to propel their intention into being with the force of those movements.

The habit of shifting observances draws the magician out of alignment. Instead, one lets the celestial sphere runs its course and work only within the terrestrial plane. One sets aside the sacrifice and discipline required to align with time, and one thereby sets aside the potential to utilize that power. When one works only within the regulated structures of capitalism and secular society, one loses the grace of the sacred.

Capitalism thrives on alienation. The worker becomes alienated from their fellows, their community, and their labor. In driving the calendar capitalism also alienates us from the sacred, from the opportunities to unite with the rhythm of the world at large. Traditional festivals of colonizer cultures are reduced to regimented observances. The traditions of colonized cultures go unobserved unless they can be molded to the colonizer framework. Reclaiming festivals and leisure time is a revolutionary act, a struggle to bring our communities into harmony with themselves and the world.