Greetings at the start of a new calendar year, shortly after the winter solstice! As I write this, the sun is rising out my window, a pale, warm pink lighting up the sky. I write now in the early mornings, at my kitchen table, while my son still sleeps, as as the darkness of the night gives way to day.
For many, this time of year, the start of a new calendar year, is a time of new beginnings, setting New Year’s resolutions, and approaching work with a renewed vigor. However, in the traditions I follow, the six weeks or so between the winter solstice and Imbolc, as the light very gently starts to return- is still a time for deep rest, introspection, and perhaps for a very quiet stirring of dreamlike creative energy.
In the sprit of bringing these two traditions together, at the start of this new year I am feeling inspired to launch a small, quiet, project: a series of written reflections and musings with recommendations of practices for each month of the calendar year. These recommendations will bring together the ancient Celtic traditions of rites, rituals, and other observances to mark the turning of the wheel of the year; wisdom from Ayurveda about living in harmony with the changing seasons; yogic knowledge; ideas from Western herbalism about plant medicines for each season; as well as simple homesteading and craft projects that can be done each month.
Since I am now raising a young son, these posts will include ideas about how to raise children with a deep reverence for and awe of the natural world, and how to engage them in ritual practices that cultivate a connection to the earth from an early age. Also, I have recently relocated to Western Massachusetts, to the upper Pioneer Valley, near the banks of the Connecticut River, where my daily life is closer to the earth, and so my writing can reflect some of the new knowledge that is coming from that experience.
And now, the sun is up. My son will be waking soon. I will draw to a close now, and return soon with some ideas for you for the month of January, in the weeks leading up to Imbolc, the mid-way point between winter and spring, which for me is the really the time of new beginnings, and for clearing out old energy to make way for new.
Good morning to you!