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 the world
over. People have burned Yule logs and oil lamps, candles and bonfires. Currently
electric lights are strung around our homes. My mother used to tell me as a child
that these traditions reassured us that days of longer sunlight would be returning.
Yet there is much to appreciate about darkness. Indigenous wisdom holds that
darkness is simply the other side of light and there is great creative power in the
dark void. Lisa Thiel’s lyrics capture this knowing:
On the longest night, we search for the light
And we find it deep within
As we open our eyes, we embrace what is wise
And see the light of our souls shining
Enter the night and you’ll find the light
That will carry you to your dreams
Enter the night; let your spirit take flight
In the field of infinite possibilities
From Lisa Thiel, Circle of the Seasons CD
Leonard Cohen’s line in his famous song Anthem touches an essential truth:
“There’s a crack, a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.
There are many traditions for Yule (also known as Midwinter) and as far back as
the Stone and Bronze ages, people gathered holding ceremonies to honor their
kin as well as their ancestors. They drank ale and mead, burned the Yule Log in
enormous fireplaces, feasted on goat and boar (the Christmas ham has origins in
the Yule Boar). They 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.
I love the lights at this time of year. I love the feelings as we gather together.
Since my own family has grown to adults with their own families 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 our families.
My wish for us all is to enhance this Light within. Let ritual, prayer, breath-work
and meditation become your steadfast daily practices and I wish for you to enjoy
connecting with chosen family as well as your kin. Perhaps you may choose to
reach out to loved ones who may be far away but still in your heart.
Love and light to all, Linda