December is our time for introspection and inquiry into the darkest parts of ourselves…and it’s perfect timing because the Winter Solstice is upon us! The winter solstice on December 21st has long been celebrated by ancient people (and mystics!) as an important time both spiritually and psychologically. In this podcast, Alanna illuminates the darkness of this historic tradition, and gives it a modern context. She invites you to celebrate the solstice with her and get ready for the coming of the return to the light!

December marks the winter solstice, again for those of us in the northern hemisphere, and this has always been my most favorite astronomical and astrological holiday. 

This is a big deal. For ancient peoples it was a big deal; for us today it’s still a big deal, and the stories that are created around it are the astrological context. Astrology is merely a collection of the stories of things that have been observable in the sky that eventually end up having truth to them. So we, as people who notice that the night is getting longer, we’re paying more attention to the darkness and this darkness is important. It’s not just literal. Yes, there is literally more darkness happening right now, but it is also metaphorical, it’s spiritual, it’s psychological and it’s an important thing to note.

And I want to talk about this specifically because so many of us in the spiritual community, in the spiritual realm, in yoga focus only on the light, we want to focus on all of the sparkles, rainbows and butterflies, and not touch the dark. Well, that’s not a good idea. There’s a term for that, it’s called spiritual bypassing. And this is an actual psychological term. I did not make that up. And spiritual bypassing occurs when we focus so much on the light that we either pretend the dark doesn’t exist, we overlook it, we sweep it under the rug, we try to ignore it, we pretend like we don’t have any and we try to use our spiritual practices only to affirm the light, never to examine the dark.

In the spiritual realm, in yoga focus only on the light, we want to focus on all of the sparkles, rainbows and butterflies, and not touch the dark. Well, that’s not a good idea

On December 21st, the darkest, longest night of the year, take some time in a ritual to consider what 2019 has been for you. What have you witnessed, what has challenged you, what has stopped you, what has bothered you, what has triggered you and what has that brought up for you and within you? And if you write down essentially a letter to yourself about the things that you wish you’d learned, the things that you’d like to let go of, the parts of yourself that you are ready to surrender.

Resources mentioned on this podcast:
HigherEducation.Yoga Membership

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