Happy Winter Solstice!

Today is the winter solstice and I was just contemplating about the passage of time. The years are going by at a quicker pace the more of them I survive and so this being the shortest day of the year is likely the shortest day of all my years thus far (relatively speaking).

It is a reminder to never take any moment of any day for granted. Life is too short to spend worrying about making the most money, having the finest possessions, or appearing to be more “successful” than your neighbors.

There are continuous posts on social media from people who encourage us to remember the Christmas story or that family is the most important part of this season, yet the time that is spent purchasing and wrapping gifts outweighs the time actually spent with the family, not to mention the commercial waste of the packaging and gifts that aren’t quite right or simply not needed and add to waste in landfills, plastic in our waterways, and toxins in our homes.

In Vancouver, there is a solstice lantern festival where participants make their way through the “labyrinth of light” a maze of 600 candles that invites visitors to let go of old thoughts and find new possibilities for the coming year.

Lantern workshops are held and the materials used are collected from the natural surroundings. ” Lanterns are made by constructing a simple frame from twigs and then layering tissue paper over the frame. Participants are encouraged to play with the bend and flow of the organic materials and to add leaves or flowers to create a design. “

Solstice headdresses are also fashioned from local natural materials.

In Iran, they celebrate Shab-e Yalda which is actually a celebration of the longest night, rather than the shortest day. Yalda is an ancient Persian festival that celebrates the last night of autumn as the renewal of the sun and the victory of light over darkness.  One has to appreciate the juxtaposition of this celebration and its focus on the future coming of longer daylight hours. “People gather in groups of friends or relatives usually at the home of grandparents or the elderly to pass the longest night of the year by eating nuts and fruits, reading Hafiz poems, making good wishes, and talking and laughing all together to give a warm welcome to winter, and a felicitous farewell to autumn.” Watermelons and pomegranates are eaten as a symbol of the sun and the glow of life as well as a way to ward off illness during the winter months. Again notice that this celebration is not consumed with the giving of gifts, but the passage of time spent with family and friends.

There are many more examples that can be taken from various cultures all with similar themes.

So for this season, I want to encourage everyone to give instead, the gift of time. Time spent with caring for loved ones, time spent volunteering for those in need and less fortunate, or simply time spent in meditation (a gift to oneself).

https://www.rd.com/culture/winter-solstice-traditions/

Happy Winter Solstice!

Today is the winter solstice and I was just contemplating about the passage of time.  The years are going by at a quicker pace the more of them I survive and so this being the shortest day of the year is likely the shortest day of all my years thus far (relatively speaking).

It is a reminder to never take any moment of any day for granted. Life is too short to spend worrying about making the most money, having the finest possessions, or appearing to be more “successful” than your neighbors.

There are continuous posts on social media from people who encourage us to remember the Christmas story or that family is the most important part of this season, yet the time that is spent purchasing and wrapping gifts outweighs the time actually spent with the family, not to mention the commercial waste of the packaging and gifts that aren’t quite right or simply not needed and add to waste in landfills, plastic in our waterways, and toxins in our homes.

In Vancouver, there is a solstice lantern festival where participants make their way through the “labyrinth of light” a maze of 600 candles that invites visitors to let go of old thoughts and find new possibilities for the coming year.

Lantern workshops are held and the materials used are collected from the natural surroundings. ” Lanterns are made by constructing a simple frame from twigs and then layering tissue paper over the frame. Participants are encouraged to play with the bend and flow of the organic materials and to add leaves or flowers to create a design. ”

undefinedSolstice headdresses are also fashioned from local natural materials.

In Iran, they celebrate Shab-e Yalda which is actually a celebration of the longest night, rather than the shortest day. Yalda is an ancient Persian festival that celebrates the last night of autumn as the renewal of the sun and the victory of light over darkness.  One has to appreciate the juxtaposition of this celebration and its focus on the future coming of longer daylight hours. “People gather in groups of friends or relatives usually at the home of grandparents or the elderly to pass the longest night of the year by eating nuts and fruits, reading Hafiz poems, making good wishes, and talking and laughing all together to give a warm welcome to winter, and a felicitous farewell to autumn.” Watermelons and pomegranates are eaten as a symbol of the sun and the glow of life as well as a way to ward off illness during the winter months. Again notice that this celebration is not consumed with the giving of gifts, but the passage of time spent with family and friends.

There are many more examples that can be taken from various cultures all with similar themes.

So for this season, I want to encourage everyone to give instead, the gift of time. Time spent with caring for loved ones, time spent volunteering for those in need and less fortunate, or simply time spent in meditation (a gift to oneself).

https://www.rd.com/culture/winter-solstice-traditions/

White Rabbit Symbolic Meaning

As we approach Easter week-end I thought it might be interesting to explore the symbolism of the rabbit.

According to Shaman Quornesha S. Lemon if “the white rabbit appears in your dreams, waking life, synchronicity, or other it means that you will experience very positive events that feel like an empowering turning point in regards to your luck or chance. You will experience blessings of many kinds.

The white rabbit appears as a sign that life will be all the more beautiful from here. It is also an interpretation that you will begin chapters anew in your life. If you are closing a door this is confirmation that you need to make these changes. The animal kingdom reminds you at this time that however you see yourself…the world will follow your lead. Know that you are safe and protected and loved deeply beyond measure.

The White rabbit represents the hollow. And hollow defines emptiness and the opportunity to be filled. If you are furthering your own spirituality at this time, you will have the support. If you are delving into the unknown through fear with inner courage you are being commended. Do not fear the changes you are making dear one. The rabbit reminds you to step forward through your fears, as you will begin to experience the mystical, metaphysical and supernatural aspects even more, now or in the coming times.”

I was interested in this today as I was reading Old Factory’s story of Parousia in which the White Rabbit is the first chapter of the story and illustrates following the voice within to destiny. Old Factory says that

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“The White Rabbit is Parousia’s power animal. A swift pure messenger who seems to have always been there guiding us forward into the Great Unknown. A modern day archetype. A cross between Neo’s,  Carrolls, Dr. Gonzo’s and the white rabbit of Chinese mythology (did you know that ancient Chinese describes a white rabbit who mixes the elixir of immortality for the gods on the moon? This is what they saw instead of a “Man in the Moon”.)”

Aside from the esoterism of Old Factory’s white rabbit references, I like the symbolism as it involves finding courage through your inner fear and moving forward. This is likely the reason it became a symbol for Easter.

Where Did the Name Easter Come From?

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Ostara (1884) by Johannes Gehrts. Image: Public Domain.

Historic Mysteries says that the Saxon mother goddess, Eostre is known to bring new life and the dawn goddess Ostara represented fertility and rebirth.  Is is likely that the name Easter evolved from a combination of these pagan goddesses and was eventually applied to the Christian traditions.

The message of the white rabbit applies to me personally in my new venture, but I would guess it also applies to many of you in different turning points of your lives.  Whether it be a new job, a new baby or family, or just trying something extraordinary for yourself. Expanding your world with new experiences, new connections, and new rituals can be exhilerating and scary but also fulfilling and rewarding.

I would recommend to everyone to find something that speaks to you and make it happen.

Source: White Rabbit Symbolic Meaning – Whispers, Channels, Prophecies & Visions

Source: Pagan Easter: Where Did the Modern Tradition Really Originate? | Historic Mysteries

White Rabbit perfume, bath salt and soap available at Earthly Beauty