How to honoring the rhythm of the year as we come into the holiday season Part 1-2
Our world is composed of cycles and rhythms. The beautifully fixed laws of physics and chemistry dictate this and we, as the biological aspect, are not only here to witness these cycles in action, but to experience them within our own lives and experiences. This explains the mystery of our species’ inherent draw to the stars throughout the centuries. Just as they orbit, so do we. Our earth is no exception to this effect.
Throughout the ages, attention, respect, and due reverence has been bestowed upon the passing seasons and years. Whole civilizations, traditions, and societies were built upon the varying temperature of the Earth. People worked in accordance with the earth, not despite is as we do now. In the 21st century, we have a tendency to remain mainly indoors. Office jobs, gyms, swimming pools – we do anything to not have to be subject to the outside elements.
How then, could we be conscious of the renewal of the earth that we are so connected to? How are we expected to replenish our souls and bodies if we do not take into account the optimal times in which we should be doing so?
For thousands of years, midwinter has been used as a sacred time of reflection and renewal. Honoring the new moon and full moon, the changing colors, the death and replenishment of flora during this time were all ways to connect to the natural world and its cycles. The Winter solstice is an example of this. Marking the shortest and longest day in the Northern Hemisphere. The time of peace and calm is enjoyed and reveled in before allowing for the bursting colors of spring to set in. It is this cycle that we should feel at home in, that we should acknowledge in all its glory. Instead, in western cultures, we tend to turn into ourselves, ignore the outside world unless obliged to venture out into it and do not undertake any reflection.
During this time, we look outwards towards the festivities that are surrounding us. This pageantry and celebration aren’t necessarily wrong, but it is also necessary that we use this crucial time for self-reflection and focusing on the aspect of life and the earth that we may not get an opportunity to do throughout the rest of the year. We get caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas, we feel we must buy a certain amount of presents, see a certain amount of people, and go to specific places. We don’t even take a moment to consider the gradual changing of the world outside us and how we could be changing alongside it.
While being surrounded by family, friends, traditions, and joint celebration, this should be used as a time to remember that we are all a part of something that is much bigger than ourselves. As we are essentially surrounded by our tribe during these times, as our ancestors before us, we should be spurred on to think of our connectedness to the universe and how it will continue on long after we have gone.