A couple of weeks before the winter solstice, the energy rises and excitement grows. Everyone is celebrating, as both the sun and our creative energies are to be born anew! Personally, I find this one of the best times of the year as we are rejoicing, either on our own or with friends. I love to engage in traditional arts and crafts, spend afternoons preparing and baking Ayurvedic goods, finally sample the wondrous teas I have collected during my summer travels, and generally share the time with loved ones. One thing is certain – no time is wasted during this wonderful winter season.
There is so much we can do!
Sitting outside, one sunny afternoon, whilst creating an evergreen wreath, which is filling me with peace, love and compassion, a plan arises! For the next two weeks, I decide to spend each day with one of my loving friends and do something special together. We do various activities together, ranging from: making ornaments with natural materials, baking, creating white winter fairy-tale decorations, going for long weekend trips, visiting mountains and lakes, to making mistletoe balls and engaging in ceremonies around an open fire. There is no end to the ways in which we can share love and laughter together this winter!
Setting off to a good grounded start is a must
When we decide to do something, it is all about a good start. The last new moon of the year is the perfect time to carry out a ritual and set the intention for what we wish to achieve during the following year. In order to get my ideas flowing, I create a big dream board and fill it with all my wishes, ideas, pictures and words. To ground my intentions I go into the forest and create a beautiful labyrinth out of stones, candles, branches and leaves. Then, I return the next morning, light the candles and walk slowly to the centre of the labyrinth, whilst clearly stating my intentions and at the same time asking for guidance and support from mother nature for the coming year. The moment is so beautiful and mesmerising that I completely lose track of time.
As I return home, I decide to share the energy and love I am feeling with those around me.
We are always given what we need to succeed
Whilst making beautiful mistletoe wreaths with my friend, to bring love into our lives, mine all of a sudden falls apart. This makes us smile and laugh but luckily enough, I have brought another foam base with me, as though this situation was meant to be. I joke, that no matter what happens in life, we are always provided with all the tools we need to try again and it is our choice how we react to the situation. Luckily, my second attempt is a success and is indeed enchanting. Over the following days, as the first frost covers the trees, I take the wreath into the forest with another friend to spread love and good wishes throughout the forest.
Beautiful scents keep up our energy and fill our space with warmth
Returning home from a long, white, wintry walk, we warm up with a hot spicy tea. We mix together the pine needles, cinnamon straws, cloves and the many other ingredients we found whilst walking through the forest. Then we heat up our creation on the stove, allowing the lovely scent to evaporate into the air surrounding us, filling us with happiness and warming our hearts ready for the long, cold winters night ahead of us.
A small reminder is always welcome
As the moon grows into a crescent, it is the perfect time to create a symbol to remind us of the intention we set during the new moon. A lovely friend of mine, who, a couple of days beforehand had joined me in creating another labyrinth under a tree in the city, wanted to create an amulet with me out of the various ingredients I had collected over the past years. Whilst being completely silent and present in the moment, we fill a sacred bottle with the magic ingredients. Then, once it is full, we place it in a very special place to remind us of our intentions throughout the year and give us strength in times of doubt.
There is nothing better than being together in nature with friends
At the end of the two weeks, I have the wonderful opportunity to travel across the country. During this time, I go on long walks around beautiful lakes, enjoy the suns-rays and the wonderful company of incredible friends, share delicious dinners that are finished off with Ayurvedic biscuits and spicy tea, and simply sit around the fire, all warm and cosy, listening to the sounds of the universe.
The secret of the best biscuits in the world lies in the hearts of those making them
Finally, it is time to spend with the people I love most – my parents. On a lovely winter's Sunday, we get together to bake magical spicy gingerbread biscuits. There is something for each of us to do and we take our time over every single biscuit! This activity is not so much about the biscuits but about the wondrous atmosphere of complete love that each of us has radiated into our home. Once our creations are finished, we sit down and drink some hot chocolate and tea, and enjoy the delicious, love-awakening gingerbread biscuits.
When we love what we do, every day is a celebration
Although, the two weeks ended too quickly. Each day was a celebration in itself and as well as having an endless list of things to do with family and friends, I made many new friends who wanted to join in the with activities. Also, ever since the two weeks, there has been an endless thread of love spreading wherever I choose to go. I guess my mistletoe spell is working!