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“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

In this newsletter: 

  1. Time out of Time, an exploration of this time of year
  2. A ritual and a recipe for letting go  
  3. Priestess Apprenticeship on Salt Spring Island (!!!) 
  4. Readings on time perception, negative self-perception

{ On  Time } 

Here, in the Northern hemisphere we’ve just crossed the threshold of Winter Solstice, and now, the world celebrates the Gregorian New Year. It’s my favourite time of year. Because, if you really listen:
here
in the depths
of winter
rests
the quietest
time
of year.
We’ve arrived. 

The annual still-point. 

The shopping madness of Christmas has calmed. The nights are long, days short. I can feel the deep quiet of nature drinking in the nourishment and rest that this time of year offers, just before the wheel of the year turns from the darkest point towards the opening of spring, marked February 2nd. 

My personal practice is to celebrate 12 days of Time out of Time. I sink into the stillness of  when it feels like life  finally gets to slows down. Those days are between December 22nd stretching into the first week of January. There’s no other time in the year where it feels so replenishing, so still, and quiet. 

It’s a magical time. It’s time out of time, where usual rules don’t apply, work demands tend to lessen, and routines are re-assessed. I don’t just spend the day of New Years (Dec 31st/Jan1st) reviewing my year, I take the whole 12 days reflecting on what worked, and what intentions I’d like to cast out into the future. I think about these 12 days as a gateway. We’re standing at an edge. That liminal, magical time similar to the space between daylight and dark, between one season to the next, the time just before your birthday. The air feels different at these gateways, these thresholds.  It’s the time when we can access the otherworld. And at these time out of time thresholds, we have an opportunity to commune, join forces, with the spirits of life itself. That’s why traditionally we make New Year Resolutions at this time of year. Even though this tradition has become terribly commercialized and the magic lost, at it’s root our ancestors knew that it’s in these liminal spaces, where the force of nature shifts, and the powers that be awaken and stretch out their hands welcoming their communion with us humans. 

There’s an expression you’ve probably heard spoken before; life is short. But as a friend recently pointed out to me, this is a very modernized perspective and cultural belief not shared by every culture around the world. Because, in her home of Brazil the common cultural expression is, life is long.  This simple yet profound cultural difference between my culture and hers, blew me away. Imagine, if our widely shared belief about life is that it’s not short, but long. This got me thinking about how we think about time. 

Different cultures perceive and experience time differently. For those to whom time represents a series of passing events, in a linear, orderly and programmed fashion, are described as Sequential – Canada, US, Australia, Germany operate on sequential time. On the other hand, those cultures where past, present and future are interconnected, where time is much more elastic, even cyclical, are considered Synchronous – Brazil, Mexico, Malayasia, for example, operate on sychronous time. 

Time is a social construct. We share a belief, and this becomes the consensus reality. But it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the Truth. Time is an idea, not an object. 

RITUAL & RECIPE 
While I have a daily version of this practice, the one I’m sharing here is my annual ritual of unhooking and clearing energy to let go of past hurts. We often keep ourselves in the past by holding on to resentments. In fact, most modern people spend our time thinking about the past or the future – and miss living in the here and now. One of the best health practices we can employ is to train ourselves to live in the present. Eckhart Tolle and Don Miguel Ruiz are two great teachers on this subject.

Ritual
I make a list of the “ouch” moments of the year. The hard conversations that didn’t resolve. The bad news. The grief. The loss. The stuff that’s still stuck there. I write it all down. I stand before my altar, with a candle aflame. With a sharp knife in my hand, I conjure the feeling, and allow it to take up space, and be intense (say, disappointment), then, when I can really feel it, I cut the invisible yet very-much-there cords away from my body with power. See, really see, the cords being cut. See the event, person, circumstance, floating away from you and dissolving into neutrality (I imagine gold light swallowing it). Keep cutting away (using a sharp exhalation can also help energetically push it away) until you feel like you’ve come to neutrality on this one event. Or as close to it as possible. Once you are complete with one event/circumstance, stop cutting and come to stillness. I then bow to the person/event as a farewell, as closure. I fill the space once again with neutral energy (for me, it’s gold still).  Move onto the next event/circumstance.
NOTE: As I’m cutting the cords, I might notice the cords, or energy is stuck in my belly, or heart, or 3rd eye….I use my hands to pull them out of these places, using the knife to cut.
Once you feel you are done this practice for the day (you can always do more another time) place your hands on your heart, filling yourself with love, gratitude and care. Envelope yourself with healing energy.  Extinguish the candle.

I like to complete this exercise by writing in my journal, and drinking hot tea.

RECIPE

Healing Tea – For Letting Go
(no measured proportions, just a handful of this and that)
Reishi –  to support the adrenals to refill from shock, strengthen the immune system (our boundary), liver (our organ of transformation, elimination)
cardomom –  to warm the digestive fire, so we can compost the past
cinnamon sticks –  to gently stimulate circulation, making room for the new
honeybush and/or rooibos –  to nourish and sweeten your heart, and remember good things do come
a pinch of black pepper –  to generate the heat needed to grow new life

REVIEW YOUR YEAR

Every year I use something like this workbook (free downloadable) to review where I’ve been, and where I’m headed. It’s so helpful to feel on purpose with a compass. I work on it in ritual space. It’s a key touchstone for my whole year. 

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