wheel of the year

The 12 Sacred Nights of Yule (midwinter)

On the 21st December, I will be celebrating my 39th Sun Return, also known as my birthday! I'm honoured to be born on this day, the Winter Solstice, or Midwinter. Although my birthday was often shaded by the busyness of Christmas, I was fascinated by the date *21-12* and the fact that the night was so long and the day so short. It felt like a special day to me for different reasons... 

Having lived with the Wheel of the Year for the last 10 years I realised more and more what this day is really about. It is truly the darkest day of the year and it is comparable to the New Moon Phase, when the moon is not visible. During the Yuletide (December 20th - December 31st) we are invited to retract, contemplate and explore our inner worlds. 

Nowadays, the period after Midwinter is a time of celebration and gathering, but historically they were a sacred time of silence, reverence, closure and looking forward to the new year. For the people in ancient times, it was the most difficult time of the year, cold, dark, without knowing whether the light would return. Their faith was challenged and to hold the vision of the light of the Sun, candles and fires were lit (a.k.a. Christmas lights!). 

Some of you may be familiar with the 12 Nights of Christmas. Originally, these 12 Sacred Nights were not associated with Christmas but with midwinter, or Yule (that's where Yuletide comes from). 

These 12 Sacred Nights are known for the insights, dreams and visions about the coming year, when we are aware and open to the messages. A lot of these messages come to us through our dreams, where the unconscious mind is thriving. 

Last year, I wrote down the dreams I had on each of these 12 consecutive nights. Each of the 12 nights corresponds to a month of the coming year. I read them back recently, and it’s almost eerie to see that my unconscious mind was already knowing what was going to happen, sometimes in great detail, sometimes through a general theme. It was a year of many changes that I couldn’t have predicted with my conscious rational mind, like quitting my job, finding my purpose, creating a new business, completing a yoga teacher training program, meeting new friends from all over the globe.... 

Looking back, it was in my Yuletide dreams already... 

As a birthday gift to you, I created a workbook, to share with you this powerful tool for accessing your inner knowledge during the 12 Sacred Nights of Yule

You can download the workbook by subscribing here.

I hope it will give you direction and clarity for the new year to come, and that it will help you find more space for yourself, peace and quiet during the frantic days around Christmas.

Blessed Yule! 

Willemijn

Full Moon in Aries - 5th October 2017

The Full Moon in Aries will be on the 5th of October. Last month we were emerged in watery Pisces, diving inward, reaching for our deepest truths. Old stuff might have come up for you, and discoveries were made, and this was necessary in order to see what was real and what was an illusion. In the meantime, the new moon cycle started in Virgo and the season shifted to Fall, reminding us that the things we need to harvest were ready to reap.

When we look at the year through the eyes of nature, Fall is the true start of the new year. It's the time of death and decay. The leaves that fall now, are the fertile soil for the seeds that sprout in spring. That is why in nature-based spirituality, the Autumn Equinox is often considered to be the end of the past cycle and the start of a new year. This never-ending cyclical process is called the Wheel of the Year.

Looking back, we can see how the year comes to completion. What did you finish, what did the harvest bring you? 

It's a good idea to write down your reflections for future reference. We are now entering the dark side of the year. In winter, when you can feel submerged in darkness, looking back on a journal entry that states what was reached in a year will remind you of the process of sowing, hibernating, growing and harvesting. Being aware of this cyclical journey through the year, the process of life and death, growth, decay and rebirth, the ever continuing Wheel, provides hope when we most need it.

While you have gained clarity on the things that are most important for you, through the Eclipses and the wrap-up at the Autumn Equinox, it is now time for action. The Full Moon is in Aries, the youthful, determinedstrong and powerful warrior. Aries wants to DO something!! Just when we think things are a bit calmer, Aries gallops ahead, easily running 'head first' into war.

Meanwhile, the Sun is in Libra. Libra is all about balance. At Full Moon, the Sun and Moon are opposite each other, and the forces of Aries and Libra couldn't be more contradictory. Balance and harmony in our outer lives, conflict, and action in our inner lives

When this experience of inner tension and drive becomes the focus of attention and regarded as the truth, the outside world will be experienced through this filter as well. We tend to forget that the outside world is a projection of our inner world, as above, so below. Inner or outer conflict, in personal life and on the worldly, political stage, will find their way to us. This could play out in relationships, for example when you think that you are held back, or that your values and desires are not in agreement with those of others. Don't get carried away by it all, just notice the tension and try not to engage. Be mindful of your reactions and remain focused on yourself. It is much better to identify and battle your own demons and obstacles, this will propel you forward. Fighting with others will only slow you down. 

Aries is a sign of POWER, don't give it away!