Greetings of the season of light returning! Here we are in the final dark days, just before the turning back toward the light in our planetary dance around the sun. As we all know, the darkest hour is just before the dawn, and since tonight is the New Moon (10:30pm PST) today is the lunar turning, as Thursday 12/21 is the solar turning Winter Solstice.
I am always relieved when the days begin to get longer, just like the ancestors were. They celebrated the return of the light and also marked the beginning of deep winter on the Solstice, because it's good to get some light and warmth and comfort food and cheer going, happy memories and fellowship to see us through.
This year is darker than usual, making keeping spirits bright challenging. One thing this particular week—down to Solstice on Thursday, then through the Christmas weekend—has going for it is the natural energy of deep stillness. If you're rushing around to get stuff and go to things you'll need to be mindful of your energy and others', as many rushing around you are not actually present, and there are lots more fender benders and the like. Being present helps your spatial awareness and sensitive radar detect things before they happen. Also to see angels in disguise, helpful elves, magical beasts, crystals that are calling out to you and so on.
People also come down with colds and things. Our bodies implore us to take it slow and easy, drop and ground, rest and relax. Staying present and mindful with your energy, cultivating stillness and giving yourself many moments of silent wonder, and not overloading your schedule will keep you centered, grounded, and aware, which is really the best present you can give yourself and everyone around you. My blog post from December 2014 (wow 3 years ago already!) has more on that.
You know how to do it, and you don't need to make it a to-do list. It's relaxing, inspiring, and magical in fact, to breathe slowly and deeply, enjoying the crisp air. To take a walk to gather some wild holly, visit the ducks, hug trees or look at the sky. It's lovely to play with your fairy lights and decorations, make delicious things appear in your kitchen, even just a fragrant cup of tea. It's uplifting to dream of what you love, create something to give to another, write your secret wishes and tuck them in your stocking or into a tree.
Leaving little natural offerings to spirits is jolly good fun, and the spirits appreciate your good wishes and intent. We're accustomed to making lists of what we want, both to give and receive, at this time. The balance of leaving offerings to the spirits—not to ask for anything—but to say hello I love you I'm so glad you are here in this world with me is part of developing relationships with the helpers, core shamanic practice. Practical magic.
Once I asked live oaks on my land in Malibu what they wanted, and they said cornbread! So I made some corn bread, and went around the acreage, leaving a little square at each tree. They loved it! The grove turned magical and then some! So feel free to ask; you may be surprised at the response. It also develops your ability to be present, tune in, and connect with the beings around you.
The week following is that betwixt and between time that this liminal girl loves, when time slows down and there's free space for whatever your soul wants... quiet time, sleep, reading, reflection, shedding, just stopping and tuning in to the subtle return of the light.
And I will shamelessly mention here that although my January 13th women's day retreat is mostly full, we'll be doing this intent thing, this being present stuff, this powerful vibration raising magic, and it's not too late to join us, by going here. Solstice blessings to one and all!