Winter is the time of stillness and quietude; nature’s energy turns in during this most inward looking of all seasons. Trees and plants look skeletal, the sap has sunk, and outward signs of life have disappeared. The energy is latent and potent, resting deep within, collecting and held in reserve. It is the concentrated, internal force that enables a seed to burst in spring growth.
Winter is also emphasizing the essence of life. Without the external ornamentation of leaves, flowers, and fruits of the growing season, the plant is just bare essence. As it is for all of nature, it is also for our internal work: meditation, containment, concentration, self-recollection and the storing of our energy. Use this season to deeply rest, fill and maintain your reserves and discover the essence of your self.
With all the upcoming holiday celebrations this is not always easy done. Our Western culture is not anchored in this understanding of nature’s circles, as it was in the Celtic culture, for example. The Druids, their spiritual leaders, found that winter solstice is more than an astronomical point of the year. They believed that the moon-change as well as solstice with its magnetic storms on the sun create a strong electromagnetic force, which initiates a huge life change on earth with a powerful influence on all life. These solstice forces reach their full strength on earth on December 24th, fol- lowed by an integration time of 12 nights. The historical tradition tells us that it goes from sunset December 24th to sunset January 5th. The night from the 24th to 25th is the birth of a new life, a new start, the beginning of a new year. The following time of integration demands a lot of energy for every life on earth and challenges our body. I observe an increase of colds and other health issues in those days, as many other healer do as well.
Please observe this cycle for yourself. You might want to follow the following recommendations in order to stay healthy and well in this time of transition.
- be less active
- get more rest: go to bed earlier, sleep late
- allow yourself to be still, quiet and empty enough to be filled
- reflect and meditate about the essence of who you are
- gather strength, ideas and plans
- deepen relationships with those closest to you. Keep gatherings simple and relaxed
- eat healthy, fresh and whole foods
- don’t overeat (in the Celtic cultures people would even fast)
- be mindful with alcohol and other drugs
Other Diet Suggestions:
Choose “warming” foods. As the weather cools and the body needs to generate more warmth, include more cooked foods, as soups and complex carbohydrates. Eat dishes made with whole grains, squashes, beans, peas, and root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and garlic.