Yuletide Blessings to all my wonderful friends,
This letter brings my heartfelt wishes for a truly joyous holiday season and an abundant New Year. In the Northern Hemisphere, December 21st is the time of the longest night .The Winter Solstice is universally honored with lights in indigenous cultures as well spiritual traditions the world over. People have burned bonfires, torches, candles, oil lamps, and now, electric light bulbs are strung around our homes. My mother used to tell me as a child that these traditions reassured us that the longer days would be returning.
I’ve been researching traditions for Yule (also known as Midwinter) and as far back as the Stone and Bronze ages, people gathered and held ceremonies to honor their ancestors. They drank ale and mead, burned the Yule Log in enormous fireplaces, feasted on goat and boar (the Christmas ham has it’s origins in the Yule Boar), and sang Yuletide songs which morphed into Christmas Carols. Remember the long drawn out “Twelve Days of Christmas” song? Yule was often celebrated for twelve days, starting with the Winter Solstice, so perhaps the January 5th or 6th traditions in Europe (the arrival of the Three Kings, Boxing Day etc.) were originally celebrating the end of Yuletide. The word Jul itself comes from Celtic and Northern European language roots.
Soulstice Aster - The light seed, Jaya 2017
More than ever, finding light in the darkness has significant meaning for our times. Leonard Cohen’s line in his song Anthem touches an essential truth: "There’s a crack, a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in." It’s a helpful message when so much has happened this year that may have raised anxiety for you.
I love the lights at this time of year. I love the feelings as we gather together. Since my own family is grown we’ve started new traditions, making gifts simple and emphasizing our connection. We’ve discovered games are a great way to play together, laugh and let out the kid in all of us. I am so grateful that the bonds of love continue to grow with our friends as well as family. My wish for you is to enjoy connecting and reach out to loved ones who may be far away but still in you heart.
Love and light to all, Linda