A celebration of the return of light, the Winter Solstice arrives with the new moon this year. Depending on where your live, this is December 21 or 22.
Celebrate the birth of the new Light from the womb of Winter! The Solstice heralds the beginning of these seasonal celebrations through the New Year. Scandinavians feasted at Yule. Enjoy a Yule log made of cake or throw one onto the fire, also known as bloc na Nollaig (Christmas block), or bûche de Nöel. You could celebrate an old Scottish ritual by tossing sprigs of holly into the fire. This is symbolic for burning away bad feelings between neighbours, family, or friends.
Hang the Druids' Herb of Mistletoe in a doorway to protect the home and bring healing properties into the hearth. Keep the chilly nights toasty with some Mulled Wine by making your own.
The picture above is from an ancient sacred site in the UK. Remember, winter symbolizes a time of reflection, transition, incubation, and release-the dying off of the old so new life can bloom.
Enjoy the season of rest and merriment!
Keeping Warm with Movement
Warming your core during the winter season is essential. This will help warm your entire body; think of it as turning up the heat on the stove. Once the heat has been turned up, the yummy food in the sauce pan will heat and cook to perfection. See, the center of your body, or core, warms up the rest of your body. Once engaged, the core begins to heat and continues to spreads heat throughout the body. So, if you like being toasty, sleeping well, being engaged throughout your day, like I do, then let's heat up that core at least once a day! How do we do this you might ask? Movement.
Above is not only a movement for manifestation, but for keeping warm during this cold season!
Abdominal Work helps the following:
2. Heating the body
3. Strengthening your abdominals- afterall they protect your organs and back.
4. Maintaining a healthy digestive system
5. Boosting the immune system
Glowing Winter Skin Part 1
Steaming the face with herbs moisturizes and heals the skin. This dry, cold time of year is essential to keeping the skin moisturized and hydrated. This is not only for preserving your skin, but inner self health! Herbs can actually heal the skin, nasal passage, mental, and emotional stress the wintery season brings. Herbs can also uplift our spirit through aromatics and color. Breathing in the luscious scents of herbs will not only help our skin glow, but fight off colds, nasal dryness, and headaches! Steaming your face can be used as a time of inner reflection and meditation. Take a bit of time for yourself during this busy holiday season.
Below is one of my favorite steams for the winter wonderland days. You can also prepare small packages of dried facial steam herbs tied with glittery string to give away as gifts.
Items for Steaming
Large glass or stainless steel bowl (mixing bowl works well)
Herbs-fresh or dried
Rose petals or buds
1. Place 1 part of each herb in the bowl.
2. Pour steaming or boiling hot water over the herbs filling up half the bowl.
3. Place your towel over your head and lean over the bowl.
4. Inhale the beautiful aroma of the herbs allowing the steam to penetrate your skin and nasal passages for 5-10 minutes. Relax. It will be hot, you might want to lift the towel slightly if it's too much. Yes, you will sweat! ;)
5. After your timer goes off, gently dab your face with the towel. Now you can tone and moisturize your skin!
Ahhh..... your winter glow is on! Enjoy!
Bûche De Nöel
This indulgent cake is also known as a Yule log cake. These yummy delights date back to the 1600s. Since it was impractical to burn the Yule log in the hearth anymore due to smaller hearths, people began baking them to symbolize the consumption of the Yule log in order to celebrate the Winter Solstice, which heralds the return of the light.
The Yule log cake, or Bûche De Nöel, is an elaborate creation consisting of rolled sponge cake filled with cream or icing frosted with chocolate ganache to look like tree bark. It's then decorated with edible meringue, marzipan mushrooms and holly sprigs. Below is one of many sumptuous recipes. This one is taken from Artisan Vegan Life.
Chocolate sponge cake:
Making the Whipped Coconut Crème:
Making the Chocolate Buttercream:
Assembling the buche de Noel:
Happy Winter Solstice!
Chocolate L'ancienne is my favorite! A mystical adventurous read is fantastic. Historical fiction makes my research engine hum. Movement is my expression. My husband is my love. Pepper is my tiny bunny.