•  A time to journey within  •  A time to cut away  •  When sunlight retreats we regain power and seek a better way  •

As the wheel of the seasons turns we find ourselves at the start of winter, known as Yule and marked in the Southern Hemisphere by the winter solstice – the time of equal day and night. As well as being the time of the longest dark, winter solstice ushers in the symbolic rebirth of the sun, and with it the lengthening of days and the promise of new life. We are now halfway through the year; solstice is a time to re-balance, re-focus and be still, to give thanks for our journey so far and prepare to move ahead. We are given a moment to pause in the deep quiet, breathe in the crisp winter air, and contemplate what we truly desire and that which no longer serves us. It is a time during which many question their path and the next steps they will take. From here the days will lengthen, so it is an ideal time to start implementing plans and watch the fruits of your effort grow with the light of the sun. This midway point is the perfect time to mark or celebrate in your own way everything you have achieved so far in 2017 and everything you plan for the coming months.

In both the European seasonal overlay and the Indigenous seasonal wheel winter solstice is regarded as the time of retreat, of hibernation. Plants and birds are pulled downwards and within, to restore, replenish and review. And so we want to acknowledge this time of internal expression through sharing the medicine of both the energies of the Hindu goddess Kali Durga, to empower a cutting away and self-empowerment, and the hawthorn plant, who is now in fruit.

When all the leaves have fallen from the introduced trees and plants, we still see the dominant expression of the bright red hawthorn berries. Hawthorn is known as a wishing tree and it governs the heart. It is full of powerful, protective thorns, shielding the plump red berries from being taken by foragers. The berries represent our deepest passions, the things we need to slow down and honour, and redirect at this time of passive and internal energies.

The goddess Kali governs the entire year of 2017, and embodies the timely cutting away of outmoded and self-limiting beliefs. It is time to honour the shadow, to retreat and dance in the deep and often painful depths of our psyches to find our true purpose and heal on a profound level before re-emerging in the spring.

What do you no longer need? What does your heart ache to bring into your reality? It’s time to go deep within, and from a place of vulnerability we emerge with riches more profound than we could have imagined. Walk with us and breathe deep … nature is always our teacher and guide.