Why does this time of year have to be so hard? 

These expectations: the pressure from family & society to perform and be happy can be crushingly painful as you struggle to put it all together. The tree, the decorations, the shopping, the wrapping, the planning and cooking. Everything perfectly timed and all the time with a smile. And somewhere inside there’s a voice wondering if it really has to be this way, does it have to be this busy. And wondering what it’s all about, this glitter and glamour and high expectations.

The world outside is resting, it’s quiet except for when the foxes scream in the blackest night, searching for a mate under the glittering stars. Small birds search endlessly from bush to bush for food, hunted by a Sparrowhawk darting out from a nearby treetop. Squirrels look for the end of autumns harvest under a pile of rotting leaves. And inside our souls we too are part of this great circle. Evolution is a slow process, we are but animals covered by a thin layer of humanness and this animal sense feels the pull of midwinter into a place of quiet reflection. We have brought in our harvest, and now wait for the turning of the wheel of the year until the days begin to stretch longer again. We wait for spring. We know that time is not linear but cyclical, we women feel this intuitively as we cycle monthly with the moon. This pause of midwinter is one side of the cycle, the other side being the full openness and jubilation of midsummer – only 6 months away.


This ancient festival of midwinter has been celebrated in these lands long before the Romans came with their own celebration of ‘Dies Natalis Invicti Solis’, or the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun. During the Neolithic and bronze age our ancestors constructed Stonehenge whose very stones are positioned in alignment with the sun’s movement on the solstices. And it is my understanding that the solstices were marked in the wheel of the year-long before then. As we celebrated our ancestors on Samhain and recognised the long unbroken line that stretches back in time to the first people, so to do these festivals travel back with us. Together we have gathered and marked these days for many, many cycles.


The birth of a divine sun child during the darkest part of the year has been an important part of many spiritual beliefs from all around the world – in ancient Egypt they called him Horus, in Persia Mithra, in Christianity they called him Jesus –  showing how it is possible to tap into a universal consciousness when separated by great distances of time and space.

In busy modern lives, it is easy to get caught up with all the doing, the rush of the world. The solstice is an event of the cosmos, the tilting of the planet and turning of its axis. Yet it is also an individual event as the inner world and outer worlds are connected.

You are invited to join me in taking a moment, step outside if you can…

Breathe in – pause.

Breathe out – pause.

Breathe in – pause.

Breathe out – pause.

and know deep in your being that you are enough, just as you are.

blessings & Love


Art credits: curious lovers by Jackie Morris, owl artist unknown – art used with gratitude, les gardiens by Sophie Wilkins.

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