Posted 01/01/2021 in Category 1 by Louise Flower

Festival Of Light


Festival Of Light

We are journeying through the most sacred time of the year and are now half way through the Holy Nights. This year is especially significant so I thought to share some thoughts with you.

The Winter Solstice on December 21st marked the turning of the year, the dawn of a new sun cycle. Solstice means to stand still and for three days the sun appears not to move. On the morning of December 25th, the sun can visibly be seen to rise slightly towards the east and confirms to us that warmer longer days lie ahead.

For people all over the world this festival of rebirth is a celebration as darkness yields to light. Christmas Eve was called Adam and Eve Day and the night of Christmas Eve was called the Night of the Mothers. An all night vigil was traditionally held to welcome the new light returning. Midnight Mass  celebrates the birth of the sun/son at midnight, the light of the world born anew.

The Christmas celebrations have roots that are ancient and deep and express truths about our life on earth and our place in the eternal cycle of time. It has become a festival that everyone can identify with and enjoy - we are all in the darkness, seeking the light.

On the night of December 25th, we enter the twelve holy nights. All the mystery schools mark this time as the most sacred and potent time for prayer and contemplation. There is a rare stillness during these starry nights.

The mystery and power of this special time can get lost if we get too caught up in providing Christmas ‘with all the trimmings. ‘ After the Christmas rush, we can feel an emptiness inside. Yet this is the dream time of the year. As the sun is at a turning point, so too are we.

Winter is like the night. It is the yin time, a time to sleep and a time to dream. This is the time to dream our new year into being and most especially during the twelve Holy Nights, an experience available to everyone, of any faith and of none.

We can bring our most pressing questions and offer them up for any guiding answers that come to us in dreams, or in waking thoughts.  We are not all mystics who hear voices in our head - answers might appear in symbol, in synchronicities or through a person saying something that seems to be just the perfect thing we need to hear.

Shakespeare writes in Hamlet:


“Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit can walk abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.”
- Hamlet, I, i 157

The veil between the known world of our senses and the supersensible world is lifted between Christmas and Epiphany. Starry revelations are all around us. As well as deepening our exploration of where we are in our own life, we can ask also about the state of our world and our dream of peace on earth.

The unfolding year is seeded in the mind at this time and dreams can be specially significant.

It is the custom to take down all decorations on Twelfth Night, January 5th, marking the ending of Christmas time and making space for new insight at Epiphany on Jan 6th.  The home is newly made bare and one simple candle on your home altar can provide a focus for the revelations from above that are promised on this day. Go for a walk in nature. Bless the home – maybe use water from the local river or well to bless the home for the year ahead.

Traditionally people went to draw water from wells and springs at Epiphany, which is also called the day of the Blessing of the Waters.  It is believed that the waters of the world are especially blessed on this day and so water is drawn from wells and springs to be used throughout the year. This is a good day to go to the well and seek a blessing. Or if feeling brave, go for total immersion in the icy water of your nearest lake, as is the custom in some places.

Bless the time and the space – tune in to each of the twelve months ahead and send a light filled blessing from your candle to light up the year.
New Year’s Eve will be different this year without much of a party and fewer fireworks lighting up the sky. Their loud noise cracks through the silence and dispels any stuck energy – so make some noise. We say goodbye to 2020 and start measuring the next, but the day has less significance energetically in the cycle of the year. New Year resolutions are made to be broken!!

From Epiphany until Candlemas, the month of January is long and has a changeable mood. The earth lights up with new energy at Candlemas on February 2nd and until then, much of what is new lives within, in our thoughts and feelings of possibility. We rarely step into the new until after Candlemas, as January pulls us back as much as helping us forward. Often there can be an intensification of the past year, issues and situations recurring as a reminder of the past year, offering a last chance to resolve them or deal with them differently. It can be a potent time for meeting a situation in a new way and it’s good to take time out in January and not be too hasty to act. January is named after Janus, the Roman God who is depicted with two faces, one looking back and one looking forward.

How do you want to emerge differently?
Happy New Year


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Louise Flower

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