Hello friends ~ greetings from the other side of the new year portal with 2017 well on it’s roll.
Here I share my contemplations on the 'seasons greetings' flung about with wild abandon in December and January each year, and plant seeds of potential for other forms of goal and intention setting, celebration and ritual.
This may seem a little counter-cultural, but I just gotta tell you: when the December festive train rolls into town (particularly here in Australia), it increasingly strikes me as odd to see folks dress up in arctic clothing as Santa Claus, singing songs about silent nights and sleigh bells ringing, while having the oven cranking out a roast in the middle of a hot summer's day – all in the name of Christmas. And then there are the parties for the coming of the new Gregorian year – great spectacles and gatherings of heightened celebration, peaking at the countdown of “10...9...8...7...”, expectant eyes watching the tick-tock of a clock in an OCD-like need to see it happen.
For the clock-in of this current year, I threw tradition to the wind and slept through the much-celebrated collective countdown. Instead, I rose in the pre-dawn hours, amidst birdsong and gentle dawn light, migrating to my favourite local coastal headland to watch the sun rise again over the eastern horizon. This felt far more appropriate and honouring of the newness to be celebrated: a new day, a new year, a new moment of NOW.
I wonder how many others feel the same confusion about the much publicised Christmas & New Year celebrations. Somehow, the concept of the Gregorian calendar being a date-marker for our yearly intentions doesn’t sit comfortably for me in terms of how intentions intersect with the reality of our life. As one with an awareness of the various possibilities for celebration, goal/intention setting and gathering throughout the year long, the concept of saving up all the celebrating, connection, and resolution-setting to this once-a-year period of intensity seems a little...bottled-up.
You see, every month we Earth-dwellers are graced with the ebbs and flows of our planetary companion, the Moon; the new and full moons offering potent energy to set intention and reflect upon our lives both individually and collectively. We also have seasonal waxing and waning – the Winter and Summer Solstice in June and December, along with the Vernal and Autumnal Equinox in April and September. These two planetary ‘drumbeats’ invite us into awareness and interaction on a monthly and quarterly basis in a way that recognises and utilises the seasonal context we’re inherently inclunced by.
Call me a sucker for small and slow solutions, I find the Lunar and Solar cycle as powerful milestones to work with in considering and manifesting the realities for which we wish. And they can integrate and utilise the institution of Christmas gatherings and New Years resolutions; because, realistically, families may only truly be able to gather together in celebration once a year, and the solstice is a beautiful time to do so. When we do gather, let’s do so in a way that utilises and truly supports each other to live full, grounded and abundant lives.
To help you culture-jam your reality to have more seasonal and real-time relevance, here are some possibilities to hybridise family gathering and yearly intention-setting:
All power to you as you develop yourself and your life in alignment with life's potent energies. Please do comment and share your experiences in journeying with the lunar and solar cycles - the more we share, the more we learn and evolve with each other.
And blessings of the season to you, wherever this may find you. For those in the southern lands (like me), the bright & warm days offer external interconnective moments, out in the world. For those in the northern lands, hibernation through through the chills and darkness allow a conjuring of new energy to emerge in the coming months.
Wherever we are, may we cycle genuinely, potently & co-creatively as the drum beats carry us on!
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