Winter Solstice, New Moon, 2012

Most people think of the Winter Solstice, also known as the first day of Winter, as the shortest and darkest day of the year. This is because the Sun’s light has been decreasing since its peak six months ago at the Summer Solstice. But it is at this depth of darkness that the Sun is reborn, bringing with it an increase in light and illumination. This yearly cycle of the death and rebirth of the Sun has been celebrated for millennium, and represents the birth, death, and rebirth that marks the dance of life on earth.

The celebration of Christmas was linked to the Winter Solstice since Jesus represented the birth of the Son that promised to bring the Christ light on earth. And it was the Magi, Astrologers from Persia, who recognized the Star of Bethlehem as heralding the time, place, and importance of his birth. It may be dark and cold outside, but the Winter Solstice and Christmas point to the knowledge that the seeds of life are alive under the hard earth, ready to rise up when the days become warm again. Life, like the Sun, is never ending and always renewing. Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is also around this same time. This year Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 20th and commemorates the re-dedication of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Lighting the candles of the Menorah over the eight days of Hanukkah is a very special ceremony of remembering the light.

During this holy season remember your internal light, the light of the Son/Sun. Winter gives us many opportunities to remember the light within and to find a way to give it birth. Houses are illuminated with tiny lights during the dark winter nights. In our homes we build fires that bring warmth and comfort to the coldest part of the year. Every time you light a candle this winter, take a moment and remind yourself of the light within all life. This is a good reminder that no matter how dark it may look, that the light will come again.

NEW MOON December 24th

The Winter Solstice occurs when the Sun moves from the zodiac sign of Sagittarius into Capricorn. The Moon also moves into Capricorn on December 24th. When the Sun and Moon are together in the same sign, an event that occurs every month, it is known as the New Moon. The New Moon is a time of new beginnings. Since the New Moon takes place in Capricorn, a solid and practical earth sign, take some time on December 24th to think about what you want to bring forth in the area of real, practical, concrete actions. Consider what type of structure you need to create in your life to bring you success in some physical aspect of your life: exercise, job, healthy eating, cleaning your house, fixing up your home, changing your career, and so on.

NEW YEAR 2012

These questions are the perfect thing to ponder as you head into the New Year, one of my favorite rituals of new beginnings. This New Year Eve be a bit reflective and think about what the last year was like. What were your successes, challenges, accomplishments? Then on New Year’s Day, take some time to think about the upcoming year, 2012, and set some broad visions for what you want this new year to be. Then develop some concrete action steps to bring those visions to action.

In Mexico many Mayan cities are starting a year long celebration leading toward December 21st, 2012. They are seeing that date as a time of renewal, not an ending. Popular culture and the media have hijacked the end date on the Mayan calendar as a time to spread fear. But most Mayans and archeologist see that date as referring to the end of one age, and the beginning of another. Much like the end of the Age of Pisces and the beginning of the Age of Aquarius. Many Mayan priests will burn incense, chant, and offer prayers for the new era that will begin very soon. Imagine the world you want to see at this time next year. Think about what you want to be celebrating on December 21st, 2012. Keep a positive vision for the world and take practical actions to manifest that vision. Doom and gloom  forecasts only create more doom and gloom. Resist the power of the dark side!! Bring the light into your heart and let the force be with you. Let this year of 2012 be the year that you step out fully and bring all your gifts, no matter how big or how small, into the world. We all need each other doing all we can in order to make this new era one of peace, justice, and unity. Just for starters, Egypt just had the largest women’s demonstration in their history as thousands of women marched through Cairo on Tuesday calling for an end to military rule. You go girls! Let’s all step up to the call like we never have before in order to bring a wise and caring feminine vision to the world so clearly in need of a new way.

Full Moon in Gemini

Gemini by Eric Williams

During this Full Moon on Saturday, December 10th at 9:36 a.m EST,  put your attention to connecting your spiritual and physical realities. Since the Moon represents your intuition and Gemini is in charge of your thinking, this is a good time to combine them into intuitive thinking. Intuitive thinking comes from slowing down your fast moving monkey mind and letting it rest on the gentle flow of the reflective ocean that is illuminated by Moonlight. (Pause for a second and imagine the ocean at night, illuminated by the Moon. Now imagine your mind as a yacht gently floating on the water. Ahhh.)

Most of us stay in memory thinking, recycling the same thoughts over and over again. We get stuck in patterns of the past. Albert Einstein said that “we can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” It’s time to  come up with fresh thoughts and new ideas.

To Do: Meditate on this lovely image. See the two young women as the part of you that is still hopeful, still curious, still wondering about how the world works and how you can best become engaged in its beauty. Then shift your focus to the dove. The dove has long been a symbol of spiritual connection. It is the dove that announces to Noah that the destructive flood has ended, and it is the dove that represents the seed of the Christ Child given to Mary at the Annunciation. See your own inner light, your own spiritual link, and imagine how your life will be different if you send that light out into the world, fearlessly, freshly. See the dove’s brilliance, hear the flapping of its wings, watch it sparkle in the light as it takes flight. Then watch it return to you, create a nest for it, nurture it so that you can send it out again and again.  Fully establish your link to spirit, your connection between heaven and earth.