Seasonal Rhythm

Celebrate!

Seek out ways to celebrate often. Celebrate the seasons, people who inspire, the people that are cherished, nature and life events. Seek to give gratitude and be fully present of the wonders and greatness of the world. Then celebrate them by giving them space to be honored. Celebrating can be simple, sacred and filled with anticipation.

Seasonal Festivals and Celebrations are the third aspect to Rhythm. We have daily, weekly and now seasonal rhythm. Three seems to be a magic number for so many aspects. It creates balance, themes and timing. When we have each of these components locked in magic, freedom and space begins to open us before us allowing us to live a much bigger life!

This will be my third year celebrating seasonal festivals and it feels so natural now. When I first began leading community festivals I was so nervous, like I was putting on a show. I was scared that I was going to be judged by how fun, how many people or how much effort I put into it. That never happened. Each time, more people came, more people were excited about the gift I was giving and more families wanted to be part of the play!

Sometimes the biggest aspect to stepping out of our comfort zone is really about seeing that it isn’t about us at all. It is what we are offering and giving to the world. If there is no one is having seasonal festivals close to you, start doing them yourself. Get the word out to your local community by hanging a flyer up at the grocery store or other community bulletin board. There are others wanting to connect, share and have fun but may not have someone, like me, telling them to step out and BE!

I celebrate the 8 seasonal festivals a year and hold a community festival for each of them. I have missed a couple of them in the past 2 years, but overall we have now done each them at least once.

Seasonal Festivals and what they mean to me (you can look up the “real” or historical view too, and then make them your own!)

May Day: Love, this one is all about love, unity and coming together. Letting go of all judgements, exceptions and healing through forgiveness. I put up a may pole out of a large branch with rainbow ribbons hanging from it. We will be making rainbow finger kites. This is the first day of summer in our seasonal wheel.

Mid-Summer or Summer Solstice: The fairies are the highlight of this festival. We all paint our faces with glitter and swirly twirly designs to transform into fairies! I let everyone know that wings and fancy outfits are perfect for this festival. We make fairy potion and give offerings to the fairies for their grandest night of the year!

Harvest Festival: First day of Autumn and it feels full of abundance. For the next 3 months harvesting is the focus which leads to lots of gratitude work! The gnomes begin to come out in full force during harvest, leading us on all sorts of treasure hunts. We find an element from earth, air, fire and water.

Mid-Autumn or Autumn Equinox: The dragon comes out to play with us during this time. His smoky breath begins to be seen sometimes through the trees (fog). The dragon leads us to his dragon tears. Dragon tears are the little flat marbles that are often in vases. I like to tell a story that the dragon does not cry because he is sad, but he sheds a tear so that we may let go of all of fears and learn to soar. When you have fear, rub your dragon tear to fill you peace and joy!

Halloween: First day of winter and the time of acknowledging that all things come to an end. Halloween is a time of seeing that we are more than just our bodies we are magical creatures that create our lives. We also acknowledge the magic within everyone. Use this time of the year to not just put on another mask, but to create the person you truly want to be. I love doing old time games like bobbing for apples. We don’t do candy so this is our way of having fun with friends but not indulging in the commercialism of it all.

Mid-Winter or Winter Solstice: I love the aspect of the spiral walk and even Advent. We take the days before solstice to really look at each day as an aspect to the big picture. The sun is born on Winter Solstice and it is a time to look at what shadows we may have that need to be shined upon. The unicorn is the creature of the spiral with it’s spiraled horn. We walk the spiral and acknowledge all that has happened throughout the year, show our gratitude and BE in the knowing that all is perfect.

Candlemas: The first day of spring is often still shrouded in cold, snow and darkness but much is happening beneath the surface of mother earth, just as in us. During this time we can see that all the time of creating, visualizing and having faith is growing deep roots within us to shine and grow our best and brightest selves. I love this time to really see how we can shine brightly. We make beeswax candles and enjoy the warmth, smell and usefulness of a simple candle.

Mid-Spring or Spring-Equinox: The warmth of the sun has finally warmed up the land and the flower fairies are out and about. They are waking up the first flowers of the season and creating such joy for everyone with the beauty they unfold. The flower fairies created a wonderful egg hunt for the children this year after dying eggs. This is all about new birth and creation. Feel the excitement for a passion that has lain dormant or you never knew before within you stirring. This is the time to create, be passionate and live out the life you desire!

There is so much to celebrate along with the seasons. Birthdays, anniversaries and successes that happen throughout the year. I keep our festivals simple, fun and full of anticipation. This makes them more about the present moment rather than about any of the stuff that usually accompanies these holidays. I invite you to take a step back from how you usually celebrate and see if it is about the stuff or the memories. Which do you want it to be about? There is no wrong answer here, just make sure your festivals and holidays are in alignment with your intentions.

Celebrate

What is the greatest thing about seasonal rhythm?
As I see each seasonal festival coming around, all the memories from the previous celebrations come into my mind. The festival is not just the anticipation of this current one, but an accumulation of all the past festivals as well. Adding to the joy of it all!

This does bear repeating though, keep it simple. Keep the crafts fun and simple, as the children get older the crafts can be more complex and much longer periods of time can be spent on one craft. Allowing a project to be made every 6 weeks. This could hold true for little children as well. With one piece of the project being completed each day or once a week to create a bigger picture craft. This is a popular method when celebrating Winter solstice to create one piece of the nativity story, or to add one aspect of the story each week building up to the finale on the day of festival. There is a possibility to do this for each festival.

Stories are another important aspect of seasonal rhythms. I began creating my own stories last year because I couldn’t feel the magic in other people’s stories. I needed to be able to take the story on my own journey and let it tell whatever needed to be said in the moment. I love this because I am not creating a box for myself. I create maps, clues or figures, then on the day of festival whatever is woven in my mind in the moment is released and it is pure perfection. I didn’t have to spend hours reading and memorizing I just let my imagination do the talking. I let myself feel pulled and spoken through to create the most perfect story of sharing. You are capable of being a great and wonderful storyteller as well. The key is to be in the moment. Let the feelings, thoughts and words flow through you, rather than trying to think them.

Ease of life is the last greatest thing. When your daily, weekly and seasonal rhythm all flow together they begin to weave together a wonderful easy flow to your life. Trust the flow, enjoy the flow and see all the space open up before you. When life is simplified, time is opened up for you, joy is more easily found and fun is waiting at each turn.

I know that once seasonal rhythm becomes part of your life, there is so much more joy, fun and adventure. So here is to your year becoming more filled with each of these!

Waving my magic wand of joy!
Stephanie Mathews

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