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Celebrating Yule, the winter solstice

Celebrating Yule, the winter solstice

Yule is an indigenous winter festival with its roots deeply in the pagan traditions of Germanic peoples, northern European traditions and modern pagans. It is marked by the Winter Solstice, the longest night. The way it is celebrated may differ depending on the tradition, but essentially it is a celebration of conquering the dark and turning towards the light. In the ancient customs people come together to offer food to the Gods, followed by a large feast. Rituals are being performed to call for blessings as we prepare for the new cycle. Traditionally it is a 13-day celebration, honouring the elements. It begins with the element of fire celebrating the return of sunlight.

The winter season is dream time

In the wisdom of the seasons teaching, the Winter Solstice is the height of the winter season. We are called to journey within, to connect to our roots and sit with our ancestors to remember who we are.
 
This year we are also blessed with the new moon, which falls on the 23rd of December, enhancing the presence of the energy of darkness, offering a rare opportunity to be cradled by the dark silence to truly perceive our most precious light, the spark we hold within us – the spark of limitless opportunities.
 
The archetypes of the hermit and the crone will allow us to discover the teaching which lies in this magical period of the year. We are called to create moments of true silence and stillness. It is in those moments that we get a glimpse of our deepest knowing.
 
This inner wisdom holds the wisdom of our ancestors as well as the wisdom formed through our life’s journey. So, each year as we repeat this process, the experiences from the previous year will join the wisdom of our ancestors and our soul’s gift, to bring forth the beauty and light, which will carry us into our new cycle.

The question simply is this: will we have the courage and patience to sit in the dark and listen to the sound of silence?

Inspiration for practices during this period:

  • Create time for yourself in preparation for the winter solstice.
  • Do some shamanic journey with the teachers, the crone and/or the hermit. Ask to be taken to your soul spark of light which is ready to journey with you into the new cycle.
  • Prepare a winter solstice ritual or join others in their celebration.
  • Make a list of questions you would like to ask yourself to prepare the journey back towards Imbolc (2nd of February) which marks the beginning of spring in the wisdom of the seasons teaching.
  • Allow rest for your body and nourishment for your soul.

Winter Solstice is the tipping point after which we are moving again towards the growing of light and longer days. It is therefore the end of our growing circle and can inspire the following questions:

  • What have I outgrown?
  • What am I ready to leave behind to make space for the new?

Moving towards the light and a new cycle of growth, we are reminded that the future holds infinite possibilities. The teaching of the winter encourages us to dream the dream of our soul. To remember that we carry within us the spark of limitless opportunities. Ask yourself:

  • What new inspirations are sparked within me?
  • What transformation and what growth would l like to bring to life in this new cycle.
This time is dream time; no dream is too big. It is time to seize the moment, to connect to your gift and pure potential.

Keep a journal! Note your questions and write down answers which might come in dreams, during meditation, while walking in nature or any other time. Don’t limit yourself by judging them or thinking of limitations. Simply collect them. Dream! 

May the longest night and the shortest day, bring rest to your mind and soul, I pray. May you find guidance, and may you find peace, as the cycle of light will slowly increase. Embrace the magic that the darkness bears, breath deep in the chill and shift in the air. May you always be blessed with the light from within, and may well-being be yours as the new cycle begins.

Nourish your body during winter

Nourish your body during winter

When I think of nourishing my body for winter, protection from the elements is my first thought. Then I remember the teaching of the wisdom of the seasons specific to this time of the year. Listening – Nourishing – Resting. These are some of the keywords describing the winter seasonal teachings. As we are approaching Yule with the winter solstice celebration, we are continuing to go within, to become quiet, to listen to our deepest needs and to allow the body to rest and repair. Therefore, when I think of nourishing my body during this season, I will follow the same movement. Here are some ideas to invite you to get into the winter movement.

 

Journey with the seasonal ritual boxes

Let us journey with my seasonal ritual boxes, they have been designed to lead the way. Combining nature’s herbs, lotions and therapeutic oils with ritual and seasonal celebrations will guide us effortlessly into rest and rejuvenation.

Did you know that in ayurvedic medicine (an ancient health system of India) the application of therapeutic oils is a fundamental element for a healthy body. In contemporary culture we know that the skin is our largest organ, our protection, a mirror of our inner health and that the skin is able to absorb nutrients to deliver them right into our system.

DID YOU KNOW?
The skin cells are in constant process of renewal and our skin is replaced every two to four weeks.

Make your morning shower a nourishing ritual

The morning shower routine is a great opportunity to create a nourishing ritual.

  • Choose a soap and a shampoo bar which are natural and feel good to the touch – maybe even with a slight exfoliation effect to help the skin shed dry cells.
  • Choose your products for their natural therapeutic fragrance to get an aromatherapy effect.
  • Find an exfoliant for the face and body which nourishes your skin as you exfoliate.
  • Use dry body brushing to stimulate circulation.
  • After your shower, when your skin is still warm and moist, use a body salve, lotion bar or hydrating body lotion to nourish your skin.
  • Enjoy the combination of touch and fragrance as you apply the lotions to your body.

Et voilà. A beautiful nourishing ritual for every day.

Bathing Ritual

If you have a bath, you can create a bathing ritual. Use herbal bath sachets with your favorite herbs or an aromatherapy bath oil. Create a beautiful atmosphere with candles and enjoy!

Seasonal Skin Care Boxes

I have created the seasonal skin care boxes with my own natural products. Each one features exactly what our skin needs for the season.

Make time for a winter ritual

To nourish your mind and soul, make time for a winter ritual. We celebrate this season with the winter solstice – December 21st. If that is too busy a time for you, schedule a better time between the holidays or even in January when the kids are back in school. The important part is that you have a true moment of silent reflection to contemplate your deepest longings and connect with your inner wisdom. In the Winter Solstice Ritual Box you will find all products, guidance on how to prepare your ritual and inspiration on what questions we should ask ourselves during this period of the year.

“The seasons bring wisdom which inspires us to make positive changes in our lives.”

– Gita

More ideas on how to nourish your body during winter

 

Add nourishing herbs to your diet

Herbal infusion is the easiest way to ensure a healthy supply of minerals and nutrients. Choose your favorite herbs to make delicious herbal teas. Mint, Chamomile, Cedar leave, Nettle, Lemon Balm, Anise Hyssop, Thyme, and Lemon Verbena are some of my favorites. I combine them depending on my needs and likes. You may also check out Nourishing Herbal Infusion by Susun Week as a deep nourishing treatment during the winter.

Ensure adequate physical exercise

Of course, it is important to move your body and get fresh air, but sometimes strenuous physical exercise can be exhausting during cold winter days. You may like to choose a more nourishing and meditative yoga practice.

Strengthening your nervous system

Resting is such an important part of our winter routine. But too much sleep can leave us with a heavy feeling of inertia and lethargy.

The practice of yoga-nidra, meditation, visualisation and shamanic journeying are all ways of resting the body while creating true relaxation and inspiration.

 

Regardless if you are a modern witch, green goddess, a warrior, crone, mother or priestess. How bright you can shine your light is directly related to how strongly you are connected to your soul wisdom and inner voice and in how fiercely you are rooted in who you truly are. To channel and embody this part of yourself is directly related to the time you allow yourself for this inner journey. The winter season is the time in the wheel of the year when we do exactly that. So, nourish our body, listen to your inner wisdom and dream your soul’s desire.