We tend now to the inner light that shines within these hearts,
We nurture now the embers that can warm a deeper trust
We rest and know that in this pause,
Our earth upon this land,
We invite reconnection to the pulse of all that lives.
And through this reconnection
We do honor life herself:
The earth and sky,
The fire and air,
The space that holds us all
We choose to rest and honor life
And afterwards arise to face the world, and all that lives,
with heart and soul renewed.
– Uma Dinsmor Tuli
In this first chapter we begin to consciously tune in more to the descent towards the darkest night of the year, and embrace and qualities of the Yin principle and infurl…
Where in my current reality, do I experience resistance, and how would it be if I could fully embrace and yield to it?
What is my relationship to the Yin principle?
How might I have internalised a system that values the yang over the yin? E.g do I feel guilty for resting or when I’m not productive?
How does this possible imbalance impact me?
Journeying with a Plant ally
Consider journeying with a plant friend over the next week, through ingesting a herbal infusion or tincture daily (with good quality plants, not tea bags!)
Plants can be wonderful allies in supporting our health, well-being and expanding our awareness.
When we connect with a plant (especially over a period of time, and ideally when combined or preluded with a little fast or detox), we enter into relationship with it, and can explore the qualities and gifts its spirit brings.
Perhaps we are used to the Master plant teachers as having spirits, but all plants do – we just need to cultivate the sensitivity and listening skills to enter into a dialogue!
And there is something intuitive about being accompanied by plant spirits into a time of year where nature invites us to alter our state of being & connect to the veil between spirit and matter thinning.
Here are some suggestions
(consult a herbalist if you are unsure, or especially if you are pregnant or have underlying health conditions)
Chaga mushroom – grounding with many health benefits. If you would like to order some, I recommend Leo’s tincture.
Ashwaganda – calming and healing to the nervous system
Cacao – heart-opening with many nutritional benefits, and a beautiful playful spirit. I recommend Alma-Omega’s cacao.
Lemon Balm – soothing to the nervous system, and also has a beautiful, delicate and playful spirit
Rosehip – rich in antioxidants and good for the immune system
Mugwort – a true witches herb, said to aid vision & dreaming. It’s latin name of Artemisia is connected to the Goddess, who represented wilderness and the moon, amongst other things!
(Consider harvesting something in your local area next year throughout the year that you could use for the winter solstice 2021!)
Playlist / UNFURL
Working with an Interactive Altar
Over this time you are invited to experiment with having an interactive altar, that can evolve depending on what you are inviting in or focusing on.
Consider the idea that the spirit of your altar already exists out there, and you’re a vessel to help it manifest itself! Quieten your mind and invite the altar to simply create itself through you!
Each object on your altar can carry signifance. Here are some ideas for week 1:
An altar is quite simply a physical symbol of your personal connection to spirit/the great mystery/the divine/creative intelligence… or whatever you want to call it!
❅ Autumn branches or goodies you have collected outside in your local area, to honour the earth & evoke this time of the year in your home. Consider asking for permission and giving thanks every time you take something
❅ Write down on paper or card the name of qualities or poems or phrases you wish to cultivate.
❅ If you are working with a plant ally, have a small amount of the plant on your altar
❅ A candle or fairy lights. You can light this each day as a way of connecting with your altar. Try meditating with your altar – or just greet it and connect for a moment.
❅ Crystals can be a subtle yet powerful force to cleanse and amplify energies in a space. Think first before you buy new ones though – you are taking something that actually belongs in the earth!
Yin Yoga Practice
The tradition of wreaths
Getting to know the plants thrive during this time, is a beautiful way to connect both with this time of year, and with our ancestors, who had a much more intimate relationship with plants and their ritual uses & symbolic meanings.
In Europe, the Druids, Celts and Romans brought evergreens into their homes during winter. More than just decoration, these trees were venerated as manifestations of deity and as symbols of hope for the return of spring.
The making of wreaths also dates back to thousands of years, with cultures all over the world adopting their own versions, depending on the occasion and season. It was thought that the circle shape of the wreath represented the turning of the wheel of the year, an eternal circle moving from darkness to light and back again.
Click on the image above for some more visual inspiration
In the next chapter we will take steps to look back, reflect and integrate this past cycle…