I used to have a visceral HATE for Winter. Like full on grind my feet into the snow, arms crossed, this isn’t happening kind of loathing. Until…decades ago I started connecting with Nature. I started learning about the seasonal wisdom inherent in each of them.
I started learning that everything has its time and that there was a beautiful rhythm to the phases of creation. That Nature shows us this expression of rest and surrender; growth and renewal; connection and pleasure; release and dismantling.
Times of rest and reflection are just as important to living as periods of growth and activity.
Nature shows us this each month with the Moon phases and each season as during the quarter and cross-quarter days.
In fact where I live now, I’m wistful for the snow as all we have is rain (though I’m learning to appreciate that too). Last night was interesting as we entered the 12 Nights of Mothers’ Night (see below for more), we had a MASSIVE rain and windstorm on Vancouver Island. I read that over 100,000 of us went without power. Where I was, we were plunged into darkness. No “easing in” in to it – whammo! – darkness which lasted until the middle of the night before we got power again.
What a beautiful metaphor for this darkest time of year.
You see we simply can’t replace the interdependent relationship between us and Nature.
Pausing at Yule, also known as the Winter Solstice, (when the sun pauses) allows us the opportunity to rekindle our relationship to this cyclical rhythm.
Winter calls for rest, reflection, and tapping within which can seem at odds with the swirling activity going on outside us. This natural tug to turn inward (just as Nature is doing) can have people feeling something is wrong with them. It is when we ignore these cycles that we can feel lost, disconnected, and overwhelmed.
The lure to step only into the light – at all costs – is seductive. BUT…this isn’t where the magic happens.
Yule is steeped in a mystical tradition with several ancient cultures celebrating it as a time of honouring the darkness as darkness.
I invite you to resist the urge to turn away from reflecting and releasing by automatically making Solstice only about celebrating your Light.
This happens when we jump into the mainstream pull to move forward, to eradicate the dark, to allow the rush around you to drown out the need to pull inward and to BE there. To sit. To stay with your inner world.
Winter points us toward softness, toward our innermost self, toward the silence and nourishment of darkness.
So tonight, contemplate, reflect, even release. Create space for the year to come, but don’t fill this space yet!
And tomorrow night, during the glorious Full Moon engage in the medicine of Winter by celebrating, connecting, and storytelling.
Allowing ourselves to remain in the dissolution phase of the Season, we slowly, almost without noticing it, shift into the phase of gestation which is essential in planting what we want to bloom come Spring.
During the remainder of this week, take a cue from this pause, of the “sun standing still” to purposefully celebrate and dissolve the year you’ve had and surrender to the gift of the Season: Peace.
How can we Acknowledge the Sacredness of this time?
Before you continue to the suggestions on how to celebrate, first connect to the essence of this being a time to turn within.
Take out your journal and ask yourself:
- What do I need to celebrate from this past year? Is there anything in my life that I’ve looked over? Have I prevented myself from celebrating something because I either feel I don’t deserve it or because I’m waiting until “everything else” is done?
- What do I think and feel about this season?
- Am I able to sit with myself and witness the dark and quiet?
- Ask yourself and your body, what would nourish me most at this time?
- What will it take for me to give this the attention it requires?
- Where can I get the support I need to do this?
Ways to Celebrate Yule
- Watch the Sun Rise Get up before the sun and watch it rise OR sit up all night to welcome back the sun.
- Nature Walk Go for a walk and notice the season with all your senses. Feel the wind whip past you or gently brush your face. Hear the ground crunch under your feet. Smell the crispness in the air. Look for birds and berries.
- Celebrate with Others Have a bonfire to celebrate the change of the seasons, or light a yule log or candle. Sip on hot beverages like tea, hot apple cider, or mulled wine and feel the warmth from inside you.
- Make a Wreath The word Yule derives from the word Jul (meaning “wheel”) which refers to the Wheel of the Year. The wreath represents this wheel.
- Receive the Gift of Peace Take a moment to soak in the Peace of the season with the Yule Peace Bath in my SHE Revival Facebook Group page under the 3 Days of Giving Presence post titled Day THREE.
- Choose to Pause and Presence Yourself Tap into the healing powers of Nature with practices designed to support you during the Winter months all at your own pace in my Sacred Holiday program. See details here.
- Celebrate the 12 Nights of Mothers’ Night by learning more about this ancient Norse festival (the origin of the 12 Days of Christmas) celebrated on the eve of Winter Solstice until sunrise on New Year’s Day. Join us here in the free SHE Revival Facebook Group.
- Learn about Winter Origin Stories in this week’s Rebelle Mystics Radio podcast which drops on Saturday. Subscribe on iTunes here. Also check out last year’s Winter Traditions conversation in episode 3.