The Darkest Hour
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the days have grown short. Grandfather Sun’s warm rays extinguish now at an early hour. The cold creeps in with our prolonged night.
But there is light to come.
As we approach Yule, the Winter Solstice and the longest night of the year, I ask, what does the darkness represent to you? Many welcome a swift passing of this dark, frozen season. But this is a time that we should value deeply and delight in greatly. This is the time when Mother Earth sleeps and invites you to rest with her. Use the numerology and power days of this month to harness the energy as a light on your path through the darkness.
The Numerology of December
December is the 12th month of the year, and one of both completion and anticipation for that which is yet to come.
Now is the perfect time to take inventory. Are there cycles in your life that need to come to a close? Your thoughts and feelings at this very moment will provide the seeds for the fruits that will blossom in the coming months. Therefore, be as intentional and deliberate as possible.
Ultimately, the question you must ask yourself is: what reality will I envision and set into motion for this coming year?
The number 12 is comprised of two numbers: 1 and 2. The number one is a prime number, which symbolizes the beginning and the oneness of the entire Universe. The number one is related to totality, absolute perfection, harmony, and supreme achievement. On the other hand, the number two is all about seeing the duality in every situation. Whether it’s a relationship, work project, or vision for the future, everything has two sides that must be considered.
The number twelve comes at the end of the numerology spectrum, and it offers those who identify with it an opportunity to turn over a new leaf by offering them a chance to wrap up the life stage they may be presently working through. But before moving on to bigger and better things, you must conclude the present reality. No loose ends, nothing left to chance. Twelve is similar to a curtain call. Get your affairs in order, and you can benefit from all the abundance the Universe so generously desires to bless you with.
- December 13: Full Moon in Gemini
This moon is an excellent opportunity for effective communication. Say what you need to say, exactly the way it needs to be said, and trust that your words will be heard and understood. Conversely, you will understand everything that will be expressed to you as well. Being receptive to the words of others is a product of your increased sensitivity, so expect a whirlwind of emotions and moodiness throughout this time. This is also a perfect moment to wrap up any projects you may be working on, so push forward with confidence and determination, and allow yourself the reward of completion to wash over you.December’s Full Moon is known as the Cold Moon in Pagan and Wiccan tradition, and now is the time when we honor the stillness and clarity revealed in the darkness of this month. It is a time to turn inward and remember what truly matters to you – to realign your life from a heart-centered place. We hone our power to expand the clarity only possible after dark nights, so you may befriend your shadow and carry yourself, healed and whole, into the new year. Drop into the deep wisdom of this moon’s essence, and call in the knowledge of what you need in the coming year, and in turn, consider also what you need to release. Let this moonlight reveal what has fallen cold. What has drawn on too long. Let yourself lay down all you wish to leave behind and seal in time with the passing of 2016.
December 19: Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn.
Pre-Shadow starts December 1st. Mercury Retrograde is a time to be more conscious of our own behavior, and to prepare for delays and errors by practicing mindful diligence. At the personal level, you can do a lot to avoid the consequences of Mercury Retrograde. When we are centered, aware, and conscious of what is going on around us, we can avoid the negative reactions, which arise if we are not centered. More often than not, the culprit of negative interactions during this time is that we are not acting from our heart and spirit, but instead from our emotions. Often we act from our shadow self – what is repressed – and that is what Mercury Retrograde is all about. If you are a sun in Capricorn person, this may be a sensitive time for you. Take heed to pause and get the whole story before reacting, don’t put the cart before the proverbial horse, because the horse will trample the cart during tis retrograde. Be careful not to micromanage those around you, especially in the areas where you may have Capricorn in your chart.
December 21: Yule/Winter Solstice
This is an incredibly powerful time, a day crowned with the energy of endless possibility and unlimited potential. This is also the longest day of the entire year, but you simply have no reason to fear. While Yule will necessarily be cold and dark, this celebratory day marks the long awaited beginning of the Sun’s rebirth. As its light and warmth expands, remember that this is simply a moment of transition. A turning point, but one that you can use to set your sights forward. What are your intentions? What do you desire? Light all your candles. Turn on the bright lights. The best is yet to come. In the meantime, get grounded and focus your intention on what needs to emerge in your life. Solstice magic is always in effect for 7 days before and after the actual date.
Each year on Yule, which is the Winter Solstice, I choose a new Word of the Year for the coming year and release my WOTY from the previous year. I choose the word by going into meditation on Yule and asking my guides to help me discern the word I need to embrace in the coming 12 months. Last year, my word was Believe. That word showed up everywhere in my life in the weeks leading to Yule. I knew it was my word. In 2014, my word is Space. I am to create Space, embrace Space, hold Space, expand Space, seek Space, allow Space, and breathe in Space.
December 25: Christmas Day
This is a religious holiday celebrated by Christians, and a great number of non-Christians as well, to honor the birth of Jesus Christ. The word Christmas itself is derived from the Old English ‘Crīstesmæsse’ which translates literally as “Christ’s Mass.” While the actual date of Jesus Christ’s birth is unknown, December 25th was declared as early as the fourth century by the Western Christian Church as the official day to commemorate his birth. As December 25th has close parallels to Winter Solstice, it is no surprise that modern Christmas celebrations are a syncretic blend of Christian, Roman, Pagan, and secular beliefs and practices. Bask in the light and glow of holiday cheer. Create a family ritual to honor Jesus. Whether you are Christian or not, the teachings of Jesus are all encompassing and spread a beautiful message of love and tolerance.
This is one of my family’s favorite winter traditions, and a simple ritual idea for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day! Gather candles of all shapes and sizes, colors and scents, put them in containers, and surround them with candy canes and branches from fir, pine, and cedar trees. Adorn your tables with fruits of the season and pinecones, cinnamon sticks. Then, for one hour, light all the candles and gather together with loved ones. You can play music, be in silence, or eat together during this time. But everyone should be in the space together, by candlelight. Some exchange gifts during Candle Hour if done close to midnight. I also like to make mulled wine and cider for candle hour. The recipe I follow is to place 1 gallon of wine, apple cider, or apple juice in a Dutch oven, simmer with orange peel, cloves, cinnamon sticks, cardamom seed pods, and star anise on low for 30 minutes (your house will smell like heaven by the way!). Then strain and serve in glass mugs with a cinnamon stick to stir.
December 25: Hanukkah
Sometimes known as the Festival of Lights, is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabean Jews revolted against the Romans and took back control of Jerusalem. Hanukkah is observed for eight days and is celebrated by kindling the lights of a nine-branched candelabrum known as a ‘menorah’. A typical menorah consists of eight branches, with one special, distinct branch called a ‘shamash’ which is used to light the other eight. The story goes that after the Maccabean Jews retook Jerusalem, they only had one day’s worth of oil to rededicate the Temple. Miraculously, the oil burned for an entire eight days, and ever since, the festival of Hanukkah has been an important celebration in the Jewish calendar. This can be a wonderful time to start a brand new ritual to explore a new tradition and expose yourself to new schemas.
December 29: New Moon in Capricorn
This is a good time to really focus on your goals. However, keep in mind that with Mercury Retrograde in this sign at this time as well, it is wise to focus on your old goals first. Give them another chance to come into fruition. It’s recommendable to take advantage of any opportunities that may arise to pursue old goals first before moving on to anything new. And as always, remember that New Moons can inspire us to plant new seeds and start afresh, so clarity is a necessity. During a New Moon we are essentially going off of instincts, so decisions made during this time will be driven by infantile cravings, which may or may not be not be in our best interests. In other words, stay focused and grounded throughout this time. And remember, we are planting without the sun’s wisdom to illuminate our path, so be cautious and really listen to your intuition. Focus your thoughts at this time because your thought-seeds will grow, so be careful what you wish for.
Blessings of love this holiday season, dear ones!