Sacred Hinges and Honouring Yule
This year I have really FELT the darkness draw in.
I don’t know why it has been so acute during the winter of 2017, but the darkening evenings and pitch black mornings have been like ebony walls planted around the home, family and life in general.
At times I’ve thought that it’s because I have to get up so early to get Pix to her bus stop.
Other times I’ve wondered if it’s because now that Roo is at secondary school, he’s been coming home in the darkness each afternoon.
It may be because nature calls me outside a lot and so the shortening days have restricted this movement.
I don’t know – but what I do know is, I have FELT the dark days.
And now, in this little bit of time before the big glittering Christmas Day extravaganza … in between the final wrapping of presents, last minute dashes to town and enjoying the Northern Hemispherical atmosphere of winter … I’m looking to the Solstice with the soft, glinting eyes of a woman who rubs her hands at magic.
Because this is the hinge that turns the door in the year.
This is the time that darkness folds to light.
This is the time that light begins to squeeze herself back into the picture.
Thank bloody goodness.
In the old days, before capitalism, over-lord land-ownership and the scientific paradigm of the world as machine-not-organism took hold, people were intimately connected to the land and its cycles.
Back then, Winter Solstice and Yule marked the beginning of the Celtic year.
According to the old almanacs, Yule was symbolised by the wheel and the idea that the year turns like a circular wheel, with each spoke being like the old festivals, the equinoxes and the solstice days. Yule was at the top. It marked the beginning of the new year (as opposed to the Spring Equinox when everything bursts to life) because it marks the deeper rebirth of the sun and the gradual lengthening of days.
Back then, the common people – the peasants of the land – knew that the Winter Solstice was a time of magic.
They used this transition as a doorway, allowing us to leave anything we want to shed at one side of the threshold before we step over into the new.
Despite the fact that we now live in a machine-dominated world and our actions are split from the circadian rhythms, our bodies still whisper that language. We can still use this gentle time to feel a reverence for life, releasing the old and using the magic in the air to weave and whip up the next phase.
So, once all of your gifts are purchased, wrapped and name tagged…
When all of your online grocery deliveries are organised, diarised and ready to go…
When all of your Quality Streets are gleaming on the coffee table next to a Christmas scented Yankee Candle and the TV Times is heralding a blockbuster movie to keep the family entertained …
Why not steal away … set aside some time to honour the deepest heart essence of Yule.
Find yourself a quiet nook and bring with you these things: a notebook, an envelope, a pen, a glass of wine, a mince pie (if you’re partial) and a Yoga mat or blanket.
1. Be still. Lie down on your Yoga mat and think about the last twelve months that have glided gently through your world. What have they brought with them? What have they gifted you with? What are the outstanding challenges? Where have you shone your greatest light? Where have you behaved in ways that you aren’t proud or accepting of? Allow all of the thoughts to flow over you like small waves over a pebble on the seashore.
2. Open your eyes, pick up your pad and pen and draw a door in the middle of one sheet of paper. Now draw a line through the door, either vertically or horizontally. On one side write down everything you want to leave behind in 2016 – the dark things, days or experiences. On the other side write down everything you hope for during 2017. Make sure you write everything you can, from family, health, career, home, finances, relationships or creativity.
3. Tear the paper in half along the line. Safely burn the half of the paper where you wrote down the dark days of 2016. As it burns, hold the intention of blessing these experiences and letting them go.
4. Take the other half of paper – your intentions for the next phase – and slip it into the envelope. Taking your glass of wine and mince pie with you, slip outside and plant this piece of paper in the ground, under the moon. Once planted, sip your wine, bite into your mince pie and toast the future.
5. Make a pact with yourself that whatever happens this year – from this point onwards – to be with yourself for the long haul. In lightness or darkness, success or failure, joy or fear, freedom or addiction, beauty or self loathing …. no one else is going to build the life you want for you. No one else will even be able to completely understand it. Fabulous people are may show up along the way, but this is your game. Make a pact to be in it with yourself as your own supportive, glowing inner sunshine of a friend …. Every step, every season, every day.
Because You Are Wonderful.