It's certainly been a strong time here, feeling the squeeze of this Winter Solstice/Full Moon portal, almost like entering into a tight vacuum where all the last lingering threads of what has shown itself for healing this year, came up to be unavoidably dealt with. On the night of Winter Solstice I held a fire ceremony at my house, and I could finally feel the welcomed sense of spaciousness this portal was inviting me into. At this time of year I always feel a call towards an inward retreat; a time for dreaming, reflecting, journalling, and deep listening as the veil between the worlds gets thinner and winter draws us deeper. It may be the welcoming of the light as the days slowly get longer, but it is also the doorway to deep winter, where our access to the silent realms becomes clearer and our awareness can sink deep down below the surface.
Last year, whilst in Germany, I got to know a Celtic Celebration called Rauhnacht (The Rough Nights) that honours the 12 days between Winter Solstice and New Years Day. This time of year has always felt like a strong portal for me, so the discovery of this celebration offered further invitation to sink deeper into the wisdom of winter. Rauhnact recognises the thinning of the veils at this time, welcomes us to deeply let go and allow the sweet and silent embrace of death. As the year draws to a close, the unconscious and conscious can meet to shed light on whatever baggage is still left from the year gone. Each of the 12 days also symbolises the months of the year yet to come, so be aware of your dreams at this time, as it is said that the the dreams of each night connect to the corresponding month of the next year. So for example, the dreams you may have on the 3rd night of Rauhnacht may correspond with what occurs for you in March next year.
If this is resonating with you and you feel called to engage in some practice, I invite you to take time out to reflect and journal on what has gone by this year. Ask yourself if you can feel any traces of holding on to anything that may no longer serve you. Is there someone or something that you're still hooked into? Firstly, be kind to yourself as this recognition arises and then check in if you feel ready to let go deeper. If yes, set up a little altar with a candle in a quiet and dark space, Sit yourself down, meditate, get quiet and feel your hearts longing to let go. As you do, connect to the candle, connect to the flame, the heat and intensity of that flame. Offer whatever you wish to let go of into that flame. Visualise as the flame engulfs and burns through this part of you. Once you feel a shift, maybe a feeling similar to having been cleansed or set free, you can begin to write down your intentions for the year ahead. What would you like to call in? Over the next days be aware of what may arise on your path, be open to facing whatever you may need to in order to allow the letting go and healing that you long for.