The shortest day and longest night is approaching… As we enter the Dream Time of Yule we can feel our energies dipping, as all around us nature begins her Winter slumber. The trees have lost their leaves, conserving their energy before the great outpouring of new life in Spring, animals begin to go into hibernation, and many of us wish we could do the same.
Before the advent of electric lights, our ancestors would also have had down time during the Winter. Before the moderrn idea that we must give at our full capacity all year round, there would have been a time for Winter rest. The harvest was in, for better or worse, the planting had not yet begun. Long, dark evenings would have encouraged storytelling around the fire, and time spent with family and community.
And yet nowadays at this time of year we continue on with our lives heedless of the change in energy, struggling to get up before it’s light, coming home again in darkness, perhaps using a SAD lamp to help with the feeling of being out of synch with nature’s cycles, perhaps wondering why we feel so tired.
It would be wonderful if we could all take some time off during this period, to rest, replenish and recharge our batteries, but of course that’s not always possible. In fact, this time of year can be extra hectic, as we gear up for the ‘holiday season’, socialising more (restrictions permitting), shopping for gifts, catering for extra guests, dealing with sometimes difficult family members… It often doesn’t feel like a holiday at all. And of course, not everyone has the luxury of time off from work, even over the bank holidays.
So what can we do to nourish ourselves during this period?
When we recognise that we are all connected to the natural rhythms of nature, though we may live in a city and work full time, we can begin to take better care of ourselves over this season. Knowing that this is a time for being gentle with ourselves, we can make sure we carve out time for real self-care, and hold ourselves in compassion during these dark months.
Only you know what your body and soul needs to recharge. I like to make time for long, ridiculously hot baths with candles, incense and meditative music. For you it might look like saying no to an evening event you don’t really have the energy for, or making time to curl up with some hot chocolate and a favourite book. It might look like having a date night away from the children, prioritising extra sleep, or treating yourself to a massage.
Recognising this need to have some recharging time, to really create self-care rituals for ourselves and to have an oasis of sacred space in this period, my amazing sister priestess, Jade Dalton and I are running a series of nourishing rituals online this Winter as our act of service to the Goddesses we serve, Persephone and Aphrodite., and our act of love for you.
The first, Reawaken, took place last Sunday and you can watch the replay below – we spent time truly embodying our truth without judgement, and gently looking at where we would like to go in the future. We worked with the energies of Dark Persephone, and of the transformative aspects of Aphrodite. Those who attended live found the process powerful and moving, and I hope it can be the same for you.
Next weekend, Sunday 19th December, we hold the second of these rituals, REPLENISH. As we enter the Dream Time we will be working with the energies of Persephone in the underworld, and of Aphrodite of Air, She who sees the larger picture, She who blows away the cobwebs of self-doubt and lets us see the truth of our divine inner light, to encourage us to fall deeply in love with ourselves and to truly nourish ourselves as the beautiful humans that we are.
Those who can’t make the live event but who are registered, will receive a replay by email, so feel free to sign up even if your schedule is hectic! We would love to have you with us and to be part of your own process of rest and replenishment this Winter season.
Main photo credit: Reproduced with kind permission from www.wildfen.com