Dancing in the Cycles and Rhythms

Nature flows in cycles and so do we.   There are many cycles and each has its own heartbeat and rhythm.  And as each cycle beats to its own rhythm, they weave in and out of other cycles in a beautiful dance.

Getting to know Gaia’s natural rhythm and how one’s own natural rhythms fit into it can be challenging in these times of busyness.  Our society has moved so far away from nature that we no longer realize that we are a part of it.  In the bigger picture of all that transpires in nature we are small part of it and yet we have a big impact.  Getting to know the natural rhythm is not only essential to our own wellbeing but that of all of nature. 20180120_150945 (2)

In exploration of how my dance flows into the bigger picture, I am learning to discover my own cycles.   One such cycle is the yearly cycle based on the seasons, equinoxes, solstices and midway points. I have discovered that from the spring equinox (Ostara) to the fall equinox (Mabon), I am full of energy and highly connected and from the midway point of fall and winter (Samhain) to the midway point of winter and spring (Imbolc) my energies drop and my soul pulls within.

The period I am full of energy is a time of full expression.  I can take all that I have learned and teach it to the world.  In the time of going within is a time to alchemize everything that I have learned and all that I gain in the winter dreaming, into the offshoot for my next cycle of full expression.   And as I learn to honour these cycles, I am more easily able to flow in their rhythms and gain all of the wisdom they offer.  And this year added extra potency as I turned 50.  This adds a new cycle overlapping the calendar cycles and so far has been very interesting to see how they dance together.

So how do you get to know your own cycles?  First you need to breathe and slow down.  Get into your heart and connect to the heartbeat of the universe.  Next be aware as you move through your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly life.  Notice what goes on within you and honour it all.

Getting to dance with Gaia is a necessity we have forsaken.  Returning to and syncing with the heartbeat of our planet is the key to the well being of all.  I have so much gratitude to my teachers who have pointed the way in my leading to my personal discoveries.   I hope that this article is a step towards this goal for you so that you too may dance with Gaia’s rhythms.

dancing

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Winter Solstice

The winter solstice is the day where the hours of darkness and light are equal. Going forward, the days begin to lengthen in daylight hours.  It is also significant because it is a balancing point of the seasons.

At the fall equinox, we entered the dark tunnel.  This path took us down into our depths, to look at our shadows and clear away what no longer serves. The winter solstice marks the midway point of the tunnel that reaches to the spring equinox where we emerge as a new self.

This time reminds us to balance between the internal shadow clearing and the absorption of the light and higher vibrations. The autumn is a time to release the old energies.  Winter is a time of dreaming of what you want your life to look like.

For the elementals, winter solstice holds a special meaning.  It is the start of a fortnight of dreaming and is marked with a grand celebration. Then they go deep within to do their internal work. Connection with one another is limited.  They emerge with quiet reverence on January 3rd and work in quiet for 3 days to integrate the changes.  On January 6th, they hold another grand celebration to mark the new self in the New Year.

When the winter solstice falls on December (12) 21rst, as it does this year, it is a double 3 day, a day of birth, fun, enjoyment and creation. With the 3 at the end of the year, the 3 represents rebirth through death.  January 3 is the first day of creation in the New Year and is very special to the elementals with the energies of creativity and manifestation.  From the 21 to January 3, there are 13 days. 13 is the number of the Goddess and of Gaia. Counting the 21rst, it is 14 days, which is equals to 5 for transformation.  January 6 is the first divisible number of 3 of the year and the energies of creativity and manifestation are magnified.  It is a true reason for a celebration.

It is a very spiritual time for the elementals.  It a time to honour Gaia, nature, the work they do and themselves. It is a time to acknowledge their growth, their lessons and to transform what no longer serves into what can best serve in the New Year.

Nature is still in good hands during this time. The elementals continue to do their work and the elementals of the elements are always present and there are the snow and ice fairies who are very much active right now but they hold respectful space for their kin. It is only respectful that we offer them the time they need to do their spiritual work.

It is a good time to do personal deep internal work while balancing celebration with the many festivities.

Take a moment to thank the darkness for all that it revealed.  Spend some time in gratitude for all that you have decided to let go.  Light a candle to signify the light returning to your life and all the beauty that will bring.  There are many ways to celebrate or hold ceremony to honour winter solstice from quick and simple to elaborate but it is important to take the time that feels right for you.  Most important of all, enjoy the winter dreaming.  What will you look like when you emerge in the spring?

wintersolstice

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Yuletide, Holly and Mistletoe

I have always been fascinated by the different symbols and terms used at this time of year.  We know that most are evolved from various cultural and religious traditions.  This year I wanted to know why holly and mistletoe are part of the Christmas decorations and of course the term Yuletide came up.  In my exploration, I realized no one really knows for sure but there are a lot of general consensus around them.  Here is a snapshot of each.

yuletide

Yuletide

Yutlitde is a Scandinavian word for feast time.  It was a time of hunt and feasting in honour of Odin.  This happened around the Winter Solstice where in order to keep the light going during the darkest days, fires were kept lit by burning Yule logs. Today yuletide is associated with feasting several days around and including Christmas.

Holly

The holly has the ability to germinate without sunlight and prefer dark, moist conditions.  It was considered a sacred plant by the Druids and regarded as a symbol of fertility and eternal life since it remains and green with brightly coloured berries.

With the stiff, pointed leaves, the Christians consider the holly symbolic of the crown of thorns worn by Jesus when he died on the cross.

The Celtic meaning of holly is ruling the wintry realms with style, dignity and honour even in the midst of great challenge. As the ruler of winter, the holly is also associated with dreams and the subconscious.

holly

Holly is also a symbol of luck and protection.  Not only do the prickly leaves offer protection but it acts as a natural repellent for lightning.

Call upon holly to protect you when you are feeling vulnerable in need of ever- present energy or taking a journey into the dark.

 

Mistletoe

Mistletoe is a symbol of love, friendship, fertility, protection and luck.  This plant is a parasitic plant, attaching itself to a host tree and growing out of a branch. It is capable of synthesizing its own nutrients so the drain on the tree is limited. Mistletoe is spread on trees through bird poo. It is poisonous to humans but provides food for many insects and birds.

Mistletoe remains green with large white berries in winter and therefore viewed as mystical by the Druids who hung them over doors.  The customs of kissing came from England where all the berries had to be picked before a person could be kissed.  Over time these traditions merged to kissing under the hanging of mistletoe.

Mistletoe

These traditions came from a time when tribes were connected to the land and the cycles of nature.  These particular ones come from celebrating the Winter Solstice, the darkest days of the year and honouring the green that continues to flourish despite the outward conditions.  Connecting to the light within is just as important today as it was back then.

Today we no longer keep the fires burning with yule logs or marvel at the wonderous greenery that flourishes in the dark but we do keep the keep the traditions going even if only subconsciously. Perhaps that is why today we put up so many lights.

lights

Aversion to anger

Why is everyone afraid of anger?  I’m not talking about unchecked or violent anger.  That is a whole different discussion and I am not discussing that here.  This article is the every day anger.  Anger is an emotion and emotions are indicators.  Emotions tell us what our current state is.

Feeling anger is part of being human.  Expressing anger is healthy.  Even loud expression of anger is healthy.  So what is this aversion to anger humans have to it?   The problem is that anger is governed by the fire element and humans fear fire. The expression of this fire element ignites the fire element in those in others. That means that others have to look at their own actions.

When someone is angry, it is because something is not working for them and is hurting.  Immediately when we feel someone’s anger, we know there is pain and just assume that it was caused by our own actions somehow.  We move into defensiveness and since we are not ready to look at our own issues we dismiss the anger in others as wrong.

Most often, the pain the person is in is caused by internal messaging and rarely to do with another.  All it takes is to listen to the person expressing to diffuse it.  All it takes to help someone is to hear them.   If it brings up emotions in yourself, it is best to look at them too afterwards.

Rather than fear the fire, see it as an opportunity to find a gift.  The fire provides light and warmth.  The fire can be transformed into something that you need. Embrace anger.  Listen to yourself when you feel it.  Listen to others when you hear it.  Uncover a treasure.

Believing is Seeing

In our culture, we tend to say, “I’ll believe it when I see.”  We look to our minds for logic and proof.  We want to see with our eyes to know for sure something exists. Our society had evolved to function from the mental and physical senses. We need to physically see, touch, taste or smell it to believe it.  We are so entrenched in mistrust and fear that we struggle to trust in anything without wrapping our physical senses around it.

Yet we know that there are many worlds that exist outside our physical realm.  When we utilize our non-physical senses, we can see what our physical eyes cannot see.  We can use the intuitive senses of seeing, feeling, knowing, hearing, tasting and smelling to get a sense of what is there.  When we pull the 2 systems together, we can pull it into the physical realm.  This is how I see the elementals.

In order to do this though, I have to believe.  Not just yeah, ok, I believe that they are there but truly, in my heart believe.  I believe in their truth, in their essence, in their work and in their world. To have this depth of belief, my heart has to be open and expansive.

This allows me to be open to the possibilities and lets the elementals know that I am ready to connect.  It is like a knock at their door.  I would not knock on someone’s door if I did not believe that someone in that home existed.

The believing does not stop there though.  It continues to myself.  I have to believe that I can connect to a non-physical realm and trust in what I receive as truth. With this true belief, I can then link the non-physical senses to the physical.

Seeing in the non-physical realm does not mean the same as seeing in the physical realm.  Our physical eyes are designed and structured in such a way to work with the light and the cells in our bodies to allow us to physically see.  Connecting to a non-physical world from a physical world does not mean we can see.  The information does not translate the same way crossing realms.  We have to learn to use all of our senses to see.

All this factors into seeing from believing. Rather than saying “seeing is believing”, open up to your senses so you can say “believe is seeing”.

 

Maintaining a Relationship with the Elementals

Today my daughter and I returned to a path that we had not been on since the spring.  We usually forgo it as the mosquitoes are insanely populated and hungry but we also wanted to explore many other areas.  That was all good and well but our absence was strongly felt on this other trail.20171105_093951

By repeatedly returning to this one trail over the long winter months, we built a relationship with the elementals in the area.  We did not have conversations with the elementals but our open hearted presence and respect was felt.  All of the actions we took, like picking up garbage, feeding the birds, asking permission to enter and sending out intentions to connect were relationship building.

They were getting to know us, expect us and look forward to our visits.  Then out of nowhere we no longer stopped by.  The elementals let us know when we walked through today.  The forest was completely silent.  No people, no birds, no squirrels.  We did not sense any beings at all.  If that was not enough, they left some signs.  I found this face in the moss with an open mouth for communication.20171105_100830 (3)

Then, on a tree, this phone symbol. There message was received loud and clear.   20171105_100118 (2)_LI

We let them down and they are not happy about it.  We will now have to rebuild our relationship and work even harder to earn their trust.  We will have to see if they forgive us and allow us to reconnect.  We will have to see how long it will take to do it.  In our exuberance to explore, we forgot what we already had.  Building and maintaining a relationship is a conscious act.

Samhain

In the Celtic tradition, Samhain is an important day, marking the midway point between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice.  Pronounced sah-win, this festival celebrates the end of the harvest and the beginning of the darker half of the year. Samhain takes place from October 31 to November 1 but traditionally the celebration goes on for several days because there is so much to honour.

It is also known as the festival of the dead, meaning summer has ended and the vegetation dies off with frosts thus celebrating the circle of life.  Fires were lit and scary costumes donned to scare the evil spirits. This is because the veil between realms is the thinnest at this time.  It is a time where we can more easily connect with our ancestors and the faery realm. It is a good time to bring closure to those who have lost a loved one.

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It is the time of the Crone and the Horned One. It a time of reflection, to go within and process all that has been acquired throughout the year and turn it into wisdom. The Crone, the goddess of wisdom, teaches us that in order to move on, we must first let go. The Horned One is the god of the wild hunt, stag of great antlers. He is the animal that must die so we can eat.  Together they show us the process of rebirth through death.  It is an excellent time to celebrate and honour the animals that gave their life for our nourishment.

Samhain is also marks the start of the Celtic new year.  This is the time to count blessings and give gratitude of for all that has come to be this past year.  It is a good time to review how the year unfolded to see what to keep and what to let go of as you go within for the next few months and plan for the upcoming year.

All of the nature spirits and beings of the faery realm celebrate the year and all of the work, they give thanks for their blessings.  They have done so much to keep our planet healthy and vibrant.  Should you decide to connect in this time where the veil is thin, ask what you can offer them.  Sometimes the simplest is the best, just stopping for a moment and from the heart, offer up your gratitude. If you would like to offer more, listen to your heart what would be best.

Whether it be the ancestors or the faery realm you honour, or both this Halloween, make sure you take time to celebrate and have some fun too! May your new year be full of good fortune and joy.  Happy Sawhain.

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