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The Alternative Advent Calendar

  • Posted on December 21, 2018 at 10:26 am

Alt, Ad, Cal,21Merry Midwinter’s countdown to Christmas with a difference!


Sow some seeds.

This is the day – the Winter Solstice! In our whole year this is the day of least daylight, (the ‘shortest day’) and the longest night, or greatest length of darkness. The word ‘solstice’ comes from the Latin solstitium which means ‘sun stands still’ and marks the time when the days get neither shorter or longer but appear to pause… until the morning of the 25th December when the increase in daylight is once more perceptibly measurable by just over one minute and so is looked upon as the day of the birth or re-birth of Light and the Sun/Son.

Today we can definitely turn our faces away from the past year and the recent dark and dreary days towards the new year, the springtime, the lighter, longer, warmer days. This is not to say that the cold, miserable days of winter are over – we have hardly begun with the really bad weather yet! – but it does mean that we have turned the corner. For some time yet the hours of daylight will still be terribly short but the quality of the daylight will have changed; the actual darkness becomes a little less dense and the daylight takes on a brighter quality.

Which is why today – and Christmas morning – are times of great celebration. If you have been following the old Celtic calendar then you might have spent from the end of October (the Celtic new year) metaphorically hibernating; slowing down on all the hustle and bustle of life and seeking quieter, more sedentary occupations… turning within and taking time to re-evaluate all that you have done and all that has happened in your past year. Just as importantly you might have been thinking where you go and what you do next.

This is the day to literally begin to put those new plans into action! These are the ‘seeds’ that I am referring to. Your hopes, dreams, wishes and plans for the coming few months. But it is not much use if you are indecisive, unsure, or want to achieve something but are already convinced that it will never really happen. You have to be firm in your intention and very clear about exactly what you do want out of life. You don’t have to understand or work out how you might accomplish it, simply know that this is what you want and this is what you are going to get.

First of all you have to decide what you want. Next, write each aim, goal or wish very clearly on a small piece of paper and fold it up tightly. Then I want you to literally plant them in the ground (whether that be a pot of soil, out in your garden, in your local park or on a piece of waste land. Know that your wishes will grow out of the soil with whatever else emerges from the soil into the spring light and warm summer sunshine.

As the daylight fades – or later this evening in the inky darkness – you might like to light one or more candles or tea lights. Place one in the centre to represent and encourage the returning central Sun, then light others to represent each of your wishes for the coming year and place them in a circle around your Sun candle, then sit with them for a little while and contemplate what you have just done.

And for those of you who have planned to give your local birds/wildlife a feast today, don’t forget to put it out for them.

May I wish you all a gentle Solstice filled with good thoughts, positive actions and peace.

The Alternative Advent Calendar

  • Posted on December 1, 2018 at 10:48 pm

Merry Midwinter’s count down to Christmas with a difference!

Today is the 2nd December and the first Sunday of Advent. Advent covers the time of preparation before

Alt. Advent Calendar No 2

The second door to open!

Midwinter/Christmas and is marked on the last four Sundays before Christmas Day by the lighting of a candle; one candle on the first Sunday, two candles on the second Sunday and so on. This helps to portray the fact that we are growing closer to the time when the Light/Sun/Son will again be reborn.

These days, many people hang Christmas wreaths made from evergreens and decorated with lights, baubles and ribbons on their front doors. But there is also the Advent wreath, again made from evergreenery, but laid flat down on the surface of a table or sideboard and then decorated with four upright candles pushed in amongst the greenery. Sometimes, for ease of moving it all Continue reading The Alternative Advent Calendar…

Swiftly Time Passes

  • Posted on January 30, 2018 at 8:25 pm
Lon Goed

A new path opens before us…

Here we are, already nearing the end of January. Daylight hours are still relatively few but the quality of that light has changed – it is brighter and lighter somehow – birds are singing and getting very frisky, green bulb shoots are growing taller and my first snowdrops are in bud.

Winter is passing. Soon, now, it will be time to take the remaining evergreens back outside into the garden – release the spirits of the natural world back into the wild where they can thrive and bring new growth. The season is rolling on and come February 1st we shall be celebrating Continue reading Swiftly Time Passes…

Welcoming the Dark

  • Posted on December 21, 2017 at 1:15 am

This is the day of the Winter Solstice, when here in the northern hemisphere we see the least daylight and the maximum length of darkness. We are poised, tipped furthest away from the life-giving Sun and so experience our coldest, darkest time.

In days gone by, people would mark this day by lighting bonfires, lanterns, candles – anything to emulate the apparently dying light and encourage its return. For after December 21st we slip into the darkest three days of the year. Traditionally this time was known as ‘the earth stands still’. For only on the morning of December 25th is it possible to actually measure that the daylight has grown longer again. Then we celebrate the rebirth of the Sun/Son.

Later today I shall be celebrating this darkest day with friends around my hearth. We shall Continue reading Welcoming the Dark…