Now is the time to turn inward and rest. Ice and snow have many cleansing properties. Pine is good for inspiring abundance, fertility and longevity. Using a real tree for your holiday season provides the opportunity for aromatic healing, spiritual connection and protection.
Think about exciting new creative projects, professional goals, and wellness plans you would like to focus on in the new year. Imagine harnessing the strength of the bright new sun, a beacon of light in all your endeavors.
Caillech is an old Celtic name for the goddess Kali, the Hindu goddess associated with eternal energy. She is a fearsome goddess who represents death, transformation, destruction and liberation. In Scotland she is also known as Beira, Queen of Winter. The Cailleach is seen as a seasonal deity or spirit, ruling the winter months. While Brìghde rules the summer months, the Dark Goddess reigns from between Samhain and Yule with winter and the cold. It is an ideal time for shadow work, focusing on anything that you want to heal, resolve or work on during the new year.
Fire has the power to recharge and energize us. Write down some of those things you would like to let go of on little pieces of paper and then burn them. Then, take in the brightness and warmth of the flames and think about the things that inspire you.
The Yule Log dates back to early pagan times when families kept a fire burning on the longest night of the year. You can use a fireplace, wood stove or make a bonfire in your backyard. It’s also just as good to burn a big ole candle. With the intention of letting go of darkness and welcoming in light, getting the fires burning will empower you to be creative.
One way to celebrate the Solstice is to stay up all night to watch the sunrise and welcome the sun. Wassail is traditionally associated with Yule celebrations. A Medieval Christmastide English phrase ‘waes hael’ means ‘good health’. Originally wassail was a drink made of mulled ale, curdled cream, roasted apples, eggs, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and sugar. The modern derivative is egg-nogg.
Another popular holiday spirit is hot mulled wine with spices and clove. The energy you stir into the pot as well as the drinking ritual are intended to ensure a good harvest, so be mindful to think about what you love as you prepare the ingredients, being aware of how all beings on earth are connected and how we rely on each other’s labor, talents, and gifts.
When we let go of the old year, let it die, we make room for the new year to be born. The time between Samhain and Winter Solstice is the waiting time, like when a babe is in the womb, not yet ready to be born. Samhain is often considered the end of the old year. Some traditions consider the time between Samhain and Yule to be a fallow time, with Yule as the beginning of the new year with the return of the light
Make some quiet time for yourself to reflect. Write in your journal; think about any darkness in in your life you would like to get rid of like toxic relationships, addictions, clutter, and negative views. Envision them melting away at dawn’s first light. The journey inward is an important part of the cycle of nature, creativity and rebirth. Many blessings for the winter season ahead.