Full Moon in Gemini
New Moon in Capricorn
Winter Solstice ~ Longest Night of the Year Dec. 21st
December opens a portal of miracles in darkness. Winter begins on the solstice’s longest night, rich in origin stories, as ancient festivals honor the light reborn from the fertile darkness.
We come from the darkness and to her we shall return.
We embrace this time of rest and depth, while feeding the forces of light and renewal to bring us into the new year.
We root our practices and time in slowing down, dream work, meditation, story medicine, healing the shadow, non linear explorations of our soul’s depths and hearts prayers.
The invisible world is rich in mystery, healing, hope and asks us to stop doing and just be.
In the visible world, we stoke the fires of light, faith and wonder, creating a cozy home where our loved ones can feel safe and connect deeper.
This is the time of “Miracles in Darkness”
“When we are asleep in this world, we are awake in another” ~ Salvador Dali
Winter is the season when Nature is guiding us into deep, restorative rest. We deepen our practices taught to us by the grounding season of Fall and continue focusing on releasing tension, stress, worldly obligations and business.
This is the lunar time of the year with the most yin energy. The nights are the longest of the year and everything slows down including our metabolism and the growth of the plants around us. The Earth may be covered by a blanket of snow, but in the soil, seeds dream and plants conserve their vitality in their roots, resting before the quickening of Spring when it will be time for them to expand their energy once more.
By practicing what winter is modeling, we learn to cultivate deep, restorative practices which also regenerate our health, vitality, creativity and energy.
By resting, we recharge.
What would you call this Moon based
on where you live and what you are noticing?
Themes of This Moon
Atmosphere: The darkest months of the year bring quiet, stillness and starry nights. Snow muffles sound, animals sleep. The crackling of fire, a warm home, and cultivating connection by sharing stories, songs, food and hope, bring healing, comfort and create the joy that is needed to carry us through.
Movement: Meditation and silence allow you to connect to the magick available in the dreaming Earth. Balance the yin, still energy and keep the fire within lit by sweating daily and keeping your body warm, joints supple and circulation moving.
Herb: Reishi, known as the mushroom of immortality and Queen of Adaptogens, is a supreme longevity tonic, supporting the immune system, heart health, nervous system and cellular repair. Used for centuries in Asia, monks esteemed it as a “shen” tonic, supporting their meditation practices and the cultivation of wisdom. Refer to my book, The Witch’s Herbal Apothecary for recipes.
Flower: Poinsettia or “Cuetlaxochitl” comes from the Aztecs of Mexico. Prized by the Aztecs for medicine and creating red and purple dyes for clothing and textiles, it was a symbol of purity and today symbolizes good cheer.
Tree: Pine trees are used for festivities and rituals to remind us of life everlasting. Young pine tips can be used to make a medicinal tea rich in vitamin C. Boiling pine branches in a pot and then adding to a bath opens the lungs, calms the mind and brings peace and comfort to the heart.
Evening Rituals and Practices to Weave You Into the Energy of Winter: Nervine tea to transition from work day to evening.
In the Winter, rest and dream time are sacred rituals. Animals hibernate and plants are dormant. We humans also replenish and heal by entering deep sleep and slower brain waves. The deeper we go in, the more vitality we will have upon rising in the morning and in the Spring months to come. Make your bedroom a sanctuary for deep restoration, peace and magick.
Keep special items next to your bed to support your healing practices, such as:
• a dream diary or journal
• a book of poetry
• a candle and lighter
Upon waking in the morning, light your candle and stay in bed. This is a perfect time to meditate, recall your dreams or simply linger in the space between sleep and waking. After some time emerge more into the waking state with your morning practice of your choice.
Winter is a season that heals us when we allow the natural cycles of light and the slow pace of the Earth guide us. Rather than watching television in the evening, which disrupts the sleep cycle, our hormones, and affects our dreams, create a new practice of crafting in the evening hours, reading by the fire, or playing board games in a warmly lit room.
Our ancestors and many people living close to the Earth today will use this time to mend clothes, create art, write, knit, make pottery, carve wood, make tools or baskets for the Spring and Summer to come. Working with our hands is meditative, calming, inspiring and fun. It is also a natural way to heal your nervous system and retrain your brain to be in the present moment.
Being Kind to the Earth in the Holiday Season
While the miracles of darkness and celebrations of light include the joy of gifts, our choices can either create more beauty and wholeness or contribute to an already devastating environmental crisis. Here are some ways to practice kindness and mindfulness this holiday season:
When gift giving…
• Make your gift from sustainable materials
• Shop regenerative brands that use healing practices, support communities and heal the Earth
• Support local businesses
• Plant a tree or donate on behalf of a loved one
• Support makers, friends and people instead of huge corporations.
Most wrapping paper is not recyclable, here are some alternatives for wrapping your gifts…
• In kraft paper, recycled paper or brown bags. You can paint white dots on brown paper to create a beautifully festive, snow-like look. Tie with string and add a pine cone, cinnamon sticks, or a pine twig for decoration.
• In your children’s old artwork.
• In cloth
• In the beautiful images of last years wall calendar
• Using pages from a catalogue you received in the mail.
Holistic Home : To Tree or Not to Tree?
Many eco conscious folks wonder if buying a real christmas tree is better or worse than a plastic one they can reuse. When you get a real tree, each one planted is sequestering carbon, creating oxygen and potentially improving soil health. It smells like heaven and with adequate water, it can stay alive for a month. (I keep my tree up until my Imbolc Fire on Feb 1st, when I burn it to celebrate the awakening of the Earth, releasing the Winter and feeding the forces of the Spring’s flame. You can also compost it!) Plastic trees take a large amount of energy to produce, they pollute, will never decompose and end up in landfills.
Potted Christmas trees are the best! You can decorate it and then plant it!
What is your relationship to darkness? How can you connect to the sacredness of night, of non doing, of the fertile void from which all comes and to which all returns? What practices and rituals can help you honor an aspect of life that our modern culture ignores at best?
If there is nothing you were supposed to do, what would you do?
Write yourself a loving letter from your “higher self” giving yourself permission to rest. It may begin: “Dearest (your name), this is your higher self….”