And boom just like that we’re in December and an entire year has gone by! December can be a magical time of the year with reunions, rituals and celebrations, but also melancholy for others as we reflect on what and who may have passed. Many cultures during this time of the year have rituals and celebrations that involve the return of the light, giving thanks for the strengthening of the sunlight. Our ancestors built enormous and carefully planned megalithic monuments that align to the winter solstice sun. Stonehenge aligns with the winter solstice sunset while Newgrange in Ireland aligns with the winter solstice sunrise as a shaft of sunlight reaches back into the darkness of the mound. The spark of life is renewed.
Celtic Yuletide celebrations pre-date the more Christian Christmas traditions and it is where the basis for many of those traditions come from. It’s interesting to look at things like the Christmas tree which is based on offerings left on sacred trees in gratitude and hope and how it has evolved into the modern version with lights and decorations. The star or fairy that adorns the top of many trees alludes to the Goddess herself.
Between Halloween/Samhain and Christmas/Yule the energy calls us to withdraw as we prepare for the rebirth of nature and the growing strength of the sun. The energy now starts to turn toward new possibilities and what we wish to bring forth in the year ahead.
We are responsible for our own happiness and so rather than looking outside, we need to become reflective and ask how we can keep our inner light kindled to warm ourselves and others both emotionally and physically. The Winter Solstice is a balance point, a pause, an inflection point where we can regroup and rebalance ourselves.
You can consciously choose to make this season a frantic, frazzled, chaotic time or happy, peaceful, fun and festive. We have the power to choose, to discern what harms or hinders. Where do you give your power and energy away? Can you reclaim sovereignty and put that power, time and energy to better use?
Maybe create self-healing rituals that nurture your mind, body and spirit. Dig into your personal tool kit and care for yourself with nourishing foods, meditation, journaling, reiki, massage and the like. Using essential oils and flower essences can be incredibly helpful and they are easily transported on-the-go.
Some of the most powerful essential oils to keep us grounded, harmonized, and centered include Ginger, Frankincense, Patchouli, Sweet Orange and Cedarwood. One easy way to use these oils is to apply 3-5 drops of your favorites directly onto the soles of your feet, feeling yourself grounded and connected to the earth and let that expand to feelings of being rooted and empowered. You can also add the oils with a little Epsom salt to a bath or even a large bowl and soak your feet. Just typing that made me relax! Ahhhhh.
Surrender suffering and expectations. Simplify, put down your phone, don’t over schedule yourself, take a break from the news, TV, social media sites, look in the eyes of the people you speak to, be present. The best thing you can do for yourself is to perform a selfless act of kindness. Find a way to be of service to others. If you can find a way to do that and do something you love – like working with children, or animals – that’s a win-win! It is a gift that will keep on giving. It’s putting your light out into the world and helping someone else to kindle their own light.
The Winter Solstice, when the light dies and is reborn, brings the birth of new light and hope. This is a year when light can come out of the darkness in a specific manner…within people’s hearts. The new light grows and the tide begins to turn, one act of kindness at a time.
Let your light shine.
Remember the soul’s purpose is joy. Be joyful, Be merry, Be of service.
There are two ways of spreading light – be the candle or the mirror that reflects in – Edith Warton
Bright Blessings to all, with much gratitude,