With less than a month to go until Yule, you may be feeling a little stressed and anxious, maybe even panicky. Money worries often set in soon after Samhain and last until Christmas – with its expectation of gifts galore and piles of food – passes.
And what strange times we’re in, too! It hardly feels as though Samhain has released us from its grip, with deaths, bad news, bad luck, worse weather and bizarre events on the world stage characterising this year. It turns out that in numerology, 2016 is a 9 year – year of endings. If you’ve found this year tough, don’t worry. In 2017 the cycle starts again – 2+0+1+7 = 1 – making it a year of new beginnings and opportunities. This change will come hot on the heels of the Winter Solstice, which is itself a time of rebirth and regeneration. You can read more about the numerology of the year, and find out the vibration of your personal birth year, in this great post.
So, back to Yule. Regardless of how tricky your year has been, Christmas still hasn’t been cancelled, right?
Which means presents, expense, travelling and trying to finish your work before the holidays kick in – if you can take a holiday. Yule can also be a difficult time as we remember lost loved ones who are not present to share in our joy. If you’ve emailed us lately, you’ll have received an automatic reply asking for your patience while we deal with a family bereavement. Well, we’ve actually experienced two family bereavements in the space of a few weeks – so we know how difficult this time of year can be for many.
Of course, it also means rest, celebration, and time with family and friends still among us. But we’re not quite there yet!
If you’ve already bought all your Christmas presents and your cupboards are fully stocked for a Yuletide feast, we applaud you. If there’s still a teensy bit more organising to do, don’t worry. Here’s our guide to making it through the next few weeks intact, even through the karmic storm that is 2016… with gratitude.
We wouldn’t be surprised if that word fills you with a sense of dread. Instagrammers everywhere have done it to death, and gratitude’s two trendy sidekicks – ‘great-full’ and ‘gifted’, as in, ‘I have been gifted these beautiful flowers’ – are no better. When you’re feeling blue, the blithe assertion that you ‘should be grateful for what you have’ can sometimes be maddening – especially when you’re in the grip of grief, fear or just downright rotten luck. But gratitude really is the answer, especially in troubled times.
Two of our friends, a couple, were both recently made redundant (perfect timing – right before Christmas) and they also lost their home, too. Just two days before they found out, they received a pep-talk from a lovely practitioner in Chinese medicine, which just happened to be about gratitude and trusting the universe. We all know about gratitude, of course. It’s really easy to practise it when things are going right! But this time, for them, something just clicked and they were able to count their blessings even through the maelstrom. The inevitable panic just did not set in.
They have each other, and they have somewhere to go for now, albeit a parent’s spare bedroom. At one point, our friend was so overwhelmed with gratitude for what she does have in this situation, that it brought a tear of joy to her eye. That’s a breakthrough.
“That is what the universe wants,” the medicine woman had said. “It wants us to be grateful for what we have. We’re here simply to be happy, and to help others be happy. And the more grateful we are, the more abundance, luck and opportunity flows into our lives.”
1. Protect yourself
It’s not always easy. But there are forces we can call on to help us feel grateful in troubled times. Our recommendation? Someone tough and shiny, with a big sword! Why not call on Archangel Michael? Or Thor, with his axe, to chop away the debris, cut the ties and help you move on, whilst protecting you from any negativity still floating around? Simply ask that you be protected, and visualise the deity of your choice being with you in a protective stance. We are particularly vulnerable during sleep, so it’s wise to ask just before bed.
We have also published a meditation to meet the goddess Danu and receive a gift on the spiritual plane – which is ideal if the stress of finding material gifts is getting you down! Meditation, as we’re sure you know, quiets the ‘monkey mind’ and brings clarity, enabling us to be open to what the universe is trying to tell us, and give us.
3. Leave an offering
One gift always calls for another
We’re entering Odin’s time now, and we can make use of his wisdom to bring us peace even in the busiest of times. Odin is the wish-giver, god of wisdom and magic. He’s a warrior god, and that means he can help us with our personal battles. If you partake in one meaningful ritual this Yule, make it this: leave an offering to Odin and Sleipnir on Yule Eve, just as you would have done as a child for Santa and his reindeer. Gifts of food and drink – port or mead, mince pies and carrots, for example. Who knows what gifts of wisdom or courage he may bestow on you in return?