Merry Yule and Happy Holidays to all of you in the Northern Hemisphere! I hope the end of this year finds you well despite the rush of travel, the many demands on your time, and the frenzy of activity around you. Now is the time to find your Center, that space of peace within you that cannot be rocked or shaken by outside circumstances. I want to invite you to connect with your Center from now through the new year using ritual practices I created for myself, traditions that are now sacred to my family. They are simple and yet powerful ways to honor the turning of the Wheel of the Year and the long nights that bring us indoors around the fire together.
SIMPLE RITUAL FOR YULE (12/21): WORD OF THE YEAR
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.
SIMPLE RITUAL FOR CHRISTMAS EVE (12/24): CANDLE HOUR
This one is my family’s favorite winter tradition! Gather candles of all shapes and sizes, colors and scents, put them in containers, surround them with candy canes and branches from fir, pine, and cedar trees. Adorn your tables with fruits of the season and pine cones, 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.
SIMPLE RITUAL FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE (12/31): The Welcoming Toast
Before anyone goes to bed (and if you have littles like I do, that’s way before midnight), set out champagne glasses (in plastic for the wee ones) and fill with beverage of choice (champagne is of course traditional for adults). If you like, place a small piece of quartz in each glass to raise the vibration of this activity (and everyone can keep theirs after). Then, lead a toast to the new year. Have each person say one word for what they intend to bring into the new year. It can be a feeling, a desire, a wish. Once everyone has said their word, raises glasses and say, “To the four directions, elders, and Great Spirit, we send these intentions for 2014. May each of us find our way to these dreams and see them manifest in the world, for the highest good of all. So it is.” And cheers!
May your holidays be blessed, my friends. Thank you for your love, your support, your encouragement, and your presence this year. Here’s to all the magic we will work in 2015, together. So it is.