The Gift of Yule

“Shed your fears so that you may shed your skin,” so said the serpent.

It is a blessing to be able to sit down with my partner to burn and release our fears to Cernunnos, the Crone, and the Maiden. In a sense, it is the best gift we could have received… to be able to heal old wounds, release the negative energy to transformation, and carry it with us into the new year.

Something we can use to build a new and better foundation.

With our relationship built around distance, there has been a lot of travel, a lot of phone time, and a lot of missing one another. Both through joy and hardship. Dash in some incredible shadow work and a lot of physical change and you have a long, hard year brimming with all sorts of emotional highs and lows… (financial struggles, familial discord, job loss, health scares…)

Though I can’t say I’m ecstatic about this year’s events, I can say that the greatest blessing and the greatest gift is my partner, her endurance through everything, and the teamwork we’ve put in to seeing past the shadows. (Shout out to her goddess pits.)

And boy were there a lot of things to burn.

The Gift of Yule is a symbolic death where you can release fears and obstacles. It’s transformation, gratitude, and relenting oneself to address and heal the shadows within. Do it on a full moon and add some serious SHAZAM to any magic you work.

It’s also a time of renewal, rebirth, and intention-setting for the next turn of the wheel.

The New Year’s Resolution isn’t a coincidence.

Though I can’t say I have any real resolutions, my goal for the new year is to kick off my new-found occupational independence by fulfilling my path to my soul-purpose and life’s mission.

It is with incredible hope and determination that I also strive to bring my partner and I together again from across the proverbial sea (Or… two-hour plane ride; po-tay-to/po-tah-to) so that we can once again experience life together as a unit.

I am thankful to my guardians and spirits for helping me through this year, and most especially, to my partner. I am thankful for all the opportunities I’ve been given to discover and expand beyond myself, and I am thankful for all the time I’ve had with my friends and family.

I’m also thankful for the people that have contributed to my life in some way, no matter how large or small.

For the free cookie, for the positive energy, for the barista lady remembering me when I go into Barnes and Noble, for the 25 cents the cashier spot me because I lost my change in my pocket (punk rock-on, gal), and for the other small moments that really made me realize how awesome life can be.

(Shout out to Metatron, Ashtar, and Adronis too. Thanks bois.)

I would also like to shout out to you and your loved ones. We’ve all gone through some serious sh*t (pardon my bad English) this year and I think it has to do with more than just the turning of the Winter Solstice.

Everyone will be in my mind as I meditate tonight while we face our shadows and I’ll make it a point to send some positive energy your way. I might be a perfect stranger but know that you’re not alone and that I’m on-board for some serious A+ success.

Release those fears, transform those b*tches, take a bite out of some raw meat, and conquer the f*ck out of the new year.

You’ve got this.

Greeting the Day (Blessings)

One of the hearts of shamanic practice is the practice of blessing all things.

To understand that all things are Sacred is the key to understanding that we are Sacred and that our lives, and everything in it, is sacred as well. Sacredness deserves gratitude and respect, and in a sense, love and preservation. It is like Osho when he said,

If you love a flower, don’t pick it up.

Because if you pick it up it dies and ceases to be what you love.

So if you love a flower, let it be.

Love is not about possession.

Love is about appreciation.

The beauty about Shamanism is that it comes from the heart center and what I fondly refer to as the Heart Gate. Shamanism is a practice which we can comfortably assimilate into our lives regardless of the origin of our beliefs. It’s a practice of love, of spirit, and of weaving; creation and manifestation.

Greeting your day with blessings is one way to pay tribute to your life, everything in it, and especially, to yourself.

And it’s no more difficult than taking time in the morning to do so.

Open your arms to your world, take a deep breath, and tune into your world.

It’s easy to say ‘let the sun and the nature fill your being’ but the reality is, that many of us live in the suburbs or the city which may not be as pleasant as a backyard forest. So, take in the reality of your life, even if it’s in the smoggy sects of downtown New York. No matter where you are, there is always something to love.

To have true content in your world, is to love it as it is. 

Look at people, the way that the skyscrapers look in the evening sun or at night when all the lights are on, or the way that the skies turn gray before it storms. Maybe its a rundown ball court, a skate park covered in graffiti, a particular painting, or flower stand, coffee shop, or bookstore.

Send blessings to the first thing that comes into your mind, no matter how positive or negative it might be.

Once you truly bless that first thing, then bless your home, all of the people around you (friends, colleagues, family, distant acquaintances, perfect strangers), and move outward until you’ve blessed not just your town or city, but all the world and all the events that need our love, attention, and healing.

Then, bless yourself.

Because you are beautiful and deserve just as much gratitude as everything else.

No matter who you are, what you do, or where you’ve come from.

You deserve love too.

After you’ve made your round, close the moment by exhaling, lowering in your arms, and basking in the wind-down.

Personally, I would bring my hands together over my heart, tip my head down, and would simply say “Thank you”.

Every day is a new day that deserves starting off in gratitude.

When we each begin to greet our day with gratitude, only then (I believe) can we begin mending and making the changes that we need right now.

Read this article too, to understand my own gratitude-awakening:

https://thewheelwalkerjourney.com/2018/05/24/paying-gratitude-to-life/

#itsworthit

Paying Gratitude to Life

Hygge (Hue-guh)

A cozy, charming, or special moment for life’s simple pleasures.

Hygge struck me like a warm ray of gratitude when I was commuting home from class the other day. The midday sun was peering through a large wall of storm clouds, suspended over the steady, strong silhouette of the Medicine Bow Mountains…

It was a humbling experience, to feel small compared to the power of the earth, and it helped me to connect with a small fraction of what our ancestors might have felt in the days long before technology became the foundation for our society.

It made me feel gratitude because I knew, at that moment, that I had a place in the Great Wheel; just like the wind, just like the rain, and the storm clouds rolling over the mountains.

I had a place I could call home.

I was struck by gratitude at the very conception of this realization. Not only are vehicles a model for physical momentum, but that can be symbols of spiritual momentum, much like white horses in tarot arcana.

Momentum, purely in the Present and into the Future.

That moment was was a reward that reminded me that I have much to be grateful for; that life, in all its fickle motions, was perfect.

Despite trudging through years of hardship–poverty, cancer, abuse, chronic depression, bipolar, and suicidal thoughts–I realized I was blessed with a loving family, a loving partner, and the ability to look at those mountains and feel just as placid as the eye of the storm hovering above.

It was a strike of clarity and realization; a gift of love, stability, and freedom… oceans away from the dark, fragmented past that loomed over me like a bad day. A past which was no more than a book that I’d finished writing, flipped closed, and stowed away on a shelf for later.

I am grateful for my small but loving family and for my partner, whom I never believed that I would meet again; she who is devoted, passionate, chaotic, intelligent, and loving.

I am grateful for the roof over my head, the food and water, the warm bed, the shower, the car, the education, and overall, for the ability to be independent and capable of love.

I am honored by magic and the Great Spirit, I am honored by angels, ascended masters, ancestors, and all the other spirits whom I do not Perceive. Those that have assisted in my healing and led me forward; no matter how dark it seemed.

I am honored by the sense of coming home again.

Hygge is…

  • Drinking a warm cup of coffee when its cold outside
  • Spending time with my partner
  • The feel of a leather-bound journal in my hands
  • The sensation of putting ink to paper
  • In the quiet, sacred space of Tai Chi and Meditation.

Gratitude is within Hygge.

It helps us to appreciate and understand the that rewards of an arduous journey are important to cherish–not matter how large nor small–because are the fruits of our harvest.

Gratitude is abundance and learning to love all that is in this Present moment.

And truly, there is no greater gift.

How To Pay Gratitude To Life

One of the three keys to healthy, shamanic practice

I find that the most fulfilling habit to get into is paying gratitude to life in the morning so you can set the energy into motion long before you experience the breadth of life’s demands.

It’s as simple as standing near an open window, out in the back or the front yard, or inside (if it’s particularly cold or rainy day) in a room that you find yourself most comfortable in.

There, you’ll…

Open your arms and thank the first thing that enters your mind. No matter how positive or negative it might seem.

Thank the second thing that rolls through your mind.

Then the third.

Then the fourth.

Then the fifth…

Until you find yourself struggling to find people to thank, events or experiences to thank, spirits to thank, no matter what form they take.

Be gratuitous not only for life and things and events and places but yourself because you are the pillar of your reality and need the most love, at this moment in time.

It’s as easy as that.

Over time, you’ll notice the practice making more of a difference in your life the more you learn what it feels like. All sorts of things will pass through your mind during those times. Doubts, for example, or the little ninny that says ‘I don’t deserve it’ or ‘they don’t deserve it’.

The key is to be able to give gratitude unconditionally while understanding you don’t have to be vulnerable to be grateful.

Share this elsewhere if you know someone that needs to read this. 🙂

With gratitude,

Devan.

P.S. Read this article too if you liked this one.