Welcome to the Winter Solstice and the season of Yule. This year the longest night of the year or Winter Solstice fell on December 21st. The Winter Solstice or shortest day of the year draws our attention to the stars, the place where we Celts and other nature based religions go to understand the true majesty of God and the divine source of creation. For this cycle we have included an introduction to Crystals category for those new to working with healing crystals.
The earliest people on Earth knew that the sun’s path across the sky, the length of daylight, and the location of the sunrise and sunset all shifted in a regular way throughout the year. They built monuments such as Newgrange in Ireland, Stonehenge in England, and Machu Picchu in Peru to follow the sun’s yearly progress.
In Ireland, people of all ages, sex and religions do some sort of celebration for the 25th of December but more and more people are beginning to acknowledge the true turning of the Sun. The resurgence of the Indigenous ways and the need to believe in something truly spiritual for this day has many people visit their nearby ancient sacred sites.
An introduction into the magical world of crystals and their role to heal, support and strengthen our connection to Mother Earth and our higher selves. In these meditations we will be working with your chakras to bring balance to your mind, body and spirit, and using readily available crystals that are easy to obtain.
On this night of Winter Solstice the constellation of Virgo stood upon the eastern horizon at midnight as the Virgin Mother gave birth to the new Son/Sun who will emerge at dawn. In the Christmas story, the Star of Bethlehem, which came to rest over the stable in which the Christ Child was born, is thought to have been Sirius, the star the Egyptians associated with Isis, mother of the divine child Horus.
Yet long before the Christmas story, this time of year was celebrated as the birth of a sun-god, the most well-known being the Persian Mithras, whose birth in a cave was witnessed by shepherds. And even further back in time, tribespeople of the Neolithic era crouched within the great earth chamber at Newgrange in Ireland to witness the Sun of the new year shining into the deepest recesses of Mother Earth so that she gave birth to a new Child of Light. This year, of course, we are blessed with the great conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in our night sky, shining so bright as to appear like a single star, at 0 degrees of Aquarius, the sign of humanitarian ideals.
It is important to realize that it is not only the return of the physical Sun that gave rise to these stories of a joyful new birth. The esoteric understanding is that the physical form of the sun is the outer face of the great spiritual being that is the overlighting Intelligence of the solar system in which we live. The rebirth of the Sun presages renewal for the Earth as she embarks on another cycle of growth in the coming year. And because we are children of Earth, we too can take part in this joyful renewal of our individual lives.
What's more, a very special atmosphere pervades the Earth at this time. For while the Sun's rays are weak, falling at an oblique angle over the northern hemisphere, spiritual influences pour onto the Earth from the higher realms, those that we usually associate with the Angels and Archangels. In the words of the old hymn, it's the time of “Angels bending to the Earth to touch their harps of gold." This is why so many of us feel this to be such a thrilling, magical time of the year, for a spiritual wave of love and light comes streaming into our planet. http://chalicecentre.net/
✤Yule ✤Sunset 21st December (usually), for 3 days ✤A major quarter festival ✤Time to celebrate the rebirth of the sun ✤Rest and sleep in the warmth of your home ✤Be aware of issues and know they will pass ✤Enjoy the company of family and friends
A Seasonal Message from the Goddess Danu: If you are renovating or doing DIY jobs around the house this festive season please choose natural materials that support good health and air quality and avoid toxic chemicals. That means wood wool, sheep's wool or cellulose insulation, timber boards with less glue and no formaldehyde, and avoiding PVC. Peace and Blessed be.
Yule Meditation: At the Winter Solstice darkness has reached its peak with the longest night of the year. The Pagan celebration of Winter Solstice (also known as Yule) is one of the oldest winter celebrations in the world. Our Goddess at Yule-tide is the wise Danu - The ancient wise Lady of the cold winds & the silent landscape, goddess of air.
Yule Inspiration: 10 Minute Mulled Wine: Here's a quick way to get into that festive feeling with this smooth mulled wine recipe made with figs, sliced clementine and spices. Great for a Christmas party or to cosy up with someone special or your favourite Boxset. Click the link for to see our 10 minute recipe guide.
Recommended App: Think Dirty – Shop Clean: Water treatment plants can’t remove all harmful chemicals from shampoo, laundry detergent, and other household products we wash down the drain—so a lot ends up in our oceans. One way to lower your impact: Scan the barcodes of the products in your home with Think Dirty and the app will suggest less-toxic alternatives.
Recommended Book: Yin Magic by Sarah Robinson shows how ancient Chinese Taoist alchemical practices can mingle with yoga and magic to enhance our wellbeing from sleep to stress-levels, helping us to move beyond the burnout cycles and embody the beauty of letting go. Yin Magic explores connections between Celtic, witch and Chinese medicine traditions, as well as Ideas for putting trust in one’s own nature, and the pace of the natural world. Yin Magic helps us to make everyday magic at a sumptuously slow pace as an antidote to the busyness of modern life.
Recommended Movie: The Age of Stupid: The year is 2055. Las Vegas has vanished under sandstorms; Sydney is on fire and ski lifts dangle uselessly in the scorching heat. The world as we know it no longer exists. Somewhere on the North Pole, our world archive is located, filled with art, books and scientific reports. What has happened in the years following 2008? And why didn't we stop climate change while we had the chance?
Team Profile: Sara Jane Kingston has worked as a healer for the past 21 years. Combining bio-energy healing techniques with aura interpretation, Sara Jane has been travelling to and spending time in various high energy places around the earth, including Jerusalem, Chartres in France, Montserrat in Spain, Abadiania in Brazil, Sedona in Arizona and Mullumbimby in Australia, deepening her understanding and experience of healing energies.
Celtic Living for the 21st Century: Shop Seasonal: Whatever country you live in you can always shop seasonal, and shop local. Here in Ireland it's hard to imagine a life without oranges, lemons and bananas. But we can grow lots of different fruit and vegtables here, just not all year round. So don't ask for Strawberries in December, when they will have been flown half-way across the world. Instead eat Irish strawberries during the summer, when they taste better anyway, and ask for Irish apples when they are in season instead of imported Pink Ladies.
Celtic Whispers Shop: If you like the artwork and style of Celtic Whispers we also offer our designs on physical products as well. We invite you to visit our shop and see if any of our Celtic Designs would look good on a t-shirt, mug or sticker.
Beannacht : This has been a very challenging year, with turmoil coming at us from many fronts at once: from the pandemic, to political and social upheaval, to our own personal struggles, shaking up our sense of stability and well-being.
But just remember the famous quote from Thomas Fuller: "It is always darkest before the dawn".
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