Festival words: Yule

‘Tis the season to feel the depth in ourselves.

Every moment of our year, nature and the landscape gifts us the potential and the choice of working with its rhythms and learning more about ourselves as our own being.

These moments have often been written about and celebrated or feared. It is the latter that now raises questions within me. Whilst we may fear what we see in ourselves, fear the impact of what change this may mean for us. To fear the medium by which these insights are given, is to fear the messenger and to misdirect our attention and our intention.

The darkest time of the year has been much feared. That the sun, that is seen as the life giving force, would not return; that the dark would not be “banished”. This is no battle but a balance that gifts us equally in both.

They play in tune together, reaching their most powerful points at the two solstices of midwinter and midsummer and on either side; adjusting and retuning themselves as they interchange their gifts and rhythms and at each of these moments the offer changes and the nuances that develop us and our opportunity for growth.

As the festival of midwinter approaches, we have been going through a period of strengthening, an internal strengthening that asks us to reflect on what has been, what is of value to us and what we need to take forward. We work then on releasing and letting go of what no longer serves us for our higher good and our continuing journey within the turn of the wheel. This release then goes to help “fertilise” the ground upon which we will, at this very point, set the seed and therefore our intentions for the year.

How can an opportunity that is so valuable to how we will journey though the coming year be something that is feared? It is because, in this point of reflection, we are challenged to go deep, to see what it truly is that motivates us, that guides us, where we place our energy and what then manifests from this. What has been or previous year, how have we delivered on this seeds we set this time last year?

This is why this moment of the year has often been created with fear and the development of techniques to protect us from the “fingers of the dark” and therefore preventing us entering the challenge of addressing this culmination and its shift in the most celebratory fashion. This challenge can reveal some unpleasant truths, some things we might not want to see and may not want to address at this time.

These truths though are not seen as “bad”, nature makes no judgement. 

They are things that once will have served us well, even those things we may now see as unkind or lacking honesty, for example. They had their purpose for us in that moment and they were required or they would not have been present in our lives. However, we see them now and in that visibility, we can no longer allow things that are not for our highest good to remain part of our pattern of life. 

There should be no blame, there should be no guilt. Only acceptance that they were and that they can longer be so.

Why can we begin to see all sides of this? Well the irony is that it is because of the dark. As the long nights reach their zenith and the King of the Dark its ready to hand over the mantle of growth to the King of the Light, its strength gives us the potential see depth. The deep is accessible in the dark, it is what it is there for. 

It is in this abyss, where there is nothing, that the nature of what we need to see and feel can best be accessed. Known as the “creative abyss” it is through the absence of things that the revelations can appear.

The dark gives us the opportunity to feel the depth of things. The depth of our feelings, our emotions, our love, our tenderness, our guilt, our passions, our self destructive behaviours, our blockages and our self sabotage. Many, many more possibilities exist but it is the feeling of the depth of them that is the gift we are offered.

It is in feeling and knowing the depths of ourselves that we come to know the nature of what we veil and their influence on the choices we make. To remove these is to see with clarity and truth. What we need to see, so that we can set the seed and make our intentions without influences that will hinder us.

This is never a complete shift but only an annual reassessment that when worked with, to our best advantage, gives us the best ground and the best seed, with the best intentions in this present moment. Our growth and our development is every changing but it is this moment in time, the quiet time of the year, the inner time of the year where it is at its highest potential and nature and the land is giving us the best conditions for this type of growth and understanding.

We should not be surprised therefore if we feel things very keenly at this time of year. Feel and experience things that seem to go to the core of us. Experience our own actions and those of others more intensely. 

We can feel into these moments and look to where we feel them – what part of our body responds to these moments. This will give us further insights into what we are working with. Our body like nature and the land is finely tuned to giving us messages and support that will reveal truths for us if we turn our attention to it.

The release of these things goes, like the falling leaves, into fertilising and strengthening the ground on which we set the seed of the new. Nothing is wasted or lost but continues in the cycle to propel us forward.

The dark side of the year encourages us to listen, with so much other external stimulation removed and natures activity focused on the underground, or the barely visible, we can listen more acutely.

In each of our own ways we find strength, insights and intentions from this period and all are supported and aided by our friend the dark and those long periods of quiet and stillness in which to greet them.

Use this moment, especially the three days over midwinter festival (21-24th December), to feel the depth of everything around you. To notice what depth relates to for you and to celebrate your depths, for this is what you can pull on for the coming year and what makes you the amazing being you are today.