Well, it’s the busiest time of the year it seems – happy holidays!
I’m going to get political and spiritual here. If that offends you please skip this blog post.
These are some CHANGING times, seems a wave of nationalism is sweeping through our nation here in the US as well as the world, with lots of structures in turmoil. Is it all part of a bigger plan to dislodge so many of these systems that are failing us? I like to think so…But it comes at a cost.
Our reluctance to change
As humans we basically don’t like change, at our core it can seem downright frightening. But if you look back at ALL the times we have experienced change, we’ll probably find that though the change was difficult, in the end, it was worth the effort and discomfort. And THAT is where we need to keep our focus. Keep positive and keep love in your heart. Look out for your family, friends, neighbors and loved ones. Stand up and support those who are being marginalized or oppressed. We have to BE the change we wish to see in our world, not shrink or be fearful. These are trying times indeed, but we would not be here now, if we were not able to withstand this change.
And so I wanted to share what my partner and I find uplifting about the holidays. It isn’t about gifts and consumerism. It IS about getting together with family and friends. We enjoy making things for others. So I’ll make tree ornaments, my partner prefers to bake cookies (she made over 800 this year), some people knit, others make candy. Whatever gift you have, a poem, an act of kindness, these live on long after the holidays are gone. These are things that matter most, they warm your heart….
And so…Have a joyous holiday and wishing you positive energy in the coming year!
The prayer below was copied many years ago and I’m not sure who to ‘credit’ for this, but these words have been part of our celebration for years. Perhaps some of it will resonate for you too?!
A Solstice Prayer
Beginning now, I choose to walk in a new way on planet Earth, to attune to her as I remember cosmic truth and embody my divine purpose in this life.
I forgive myself and others and open my heart to receive the infinite blessings of divine love flowing throughout the universe and coursing through my very veins.
As I attune to the Earth, the Moon, the Planets and the Stars in the Heavens,
I breathe with the universal forces of creation. Divine Source enters me, filling every cell and space of my being with pure love and light. I am healed, whole and renewed.
May I be gentle with myself and others as pain, fear and suffering are released. I bless all I meet and embrace my fellow beings, all situations and circumstances, all thoughts, feelings and emotions, as reflections of my divinity.
I joyfully claim my destiny as a force for positive change at this turning point in Earths’ history. Together with my brothers and sisters, I will strive to shape the future in ways that serve humanity’s highest evolution and fulfill the needs of generations yet to come.
Aligned in truth and with love, I AM.
The yule log is a remnant of the bonfires that the European pagans would set ablaze at the time of winter solstice. These bonfires symbolized the return of the Sun.
An oak log, plus a fireplace or bonfire area is needed for this form of celebration. The oak log should be very dry so that it will blaze well. On the night of Yule, carve a symbol of your hopes for the coming year into the log. Burn the log to release its power. It can be decorated with burnable red ribbons of natural fiber and dried holly leaves. In the fireplace or bonfire area, dried kindling should be set to help the burning of the log.The Yule log can be made of any wood (Oak is traditional).
Ash — brings protection, prosperity, and health
Aspen — invokes the understanding of the grand design
Birch — signifies new beginnings
Holly — inspires visions and reveals past lives
Oak — brings healing, strength, and wisdom
Pine — signifies prosperity and growth
Willow — invokes the Goddess to make desires
Lights are extinguished as much as possible. The family is quiet together in the darkness. Family members quietly contemplate the change in the solar year. Each in her/his own way contemplates the past calendar year, the challenges as well as the good times.
Then the Yule Log fire is lit. As it begins to burn, each family member throws in one or more dried holly sprigs and says farewell to the old calendar year. Farewells can take the form of thanksgiving and appreciation and/or a banishment of old habits or personal pains.
Once the Yule Log itself starts blazing, then the facilitator invites family members to contemplate the year ahead and the power of possibilities. Each member then throws in an oak twig or acorn into the fire to represent the year ahead, and calls out a resolution and/or a hope.
Families using a Yule Log with candles each family member can write a bad habit and/or a wish for the upcoming year on a slip of paper and burn it in the candle flame.
Let the Yule Log burn down to a few chunks of charred wood and ashes (or candles burn down). Following an ancient tradition, save remnants of the fire and use them to start the Yule Log fire the following year.