I wanted to wish you a very merry Twelfth Night, the traditional end of the twelve days of Christmas festivities. In the church calendar, January 6 is Epiphany, the day the three Kings arrive to honor the miraculous baby, who is the symbol of our new hopes.
I've been spending a quiet and sleepy Twelve Days. It's been snowing in Seattle, slowing everyone down. My workplace was closed the week after Christmas and I was sick. Not how I wanted to spend my Twelve Days (I had fantasies of a retreat at the beach, or completely redecorating my living room). Instead I slept a lot and read some delicious books on perfume, by Luca Turin: The Secret of Scent and Perfumes: The Guide (with Tania Sanchez). My nose was stuffed up but my imagination allowed me to enjoy the fragrances he describes so well through words.
I also had a great time celebrating the Twelve Days with the students in my online Twelve Days class. We all enjoyed extending the holidays after the frenzy of Christmas and having quiet time for reflection and review.
Several of my Twelve Days students are celebrating tonight with Twelfth Night cake. Diana makes the galette de rois featured in John Matthew's Winter Solstice book, which is much like the recipe I feature in my Twelve Days book. While Diane goes around the corner to purchase one at the French patisserie in her Brooklyn neighborhood. These cakes are usually made with puff pastry with a whipped cream filling. Lisa made a King Cake with her daughter and sent us a link to the site which provided the recipe: http://www.cookiemadness.net/?p=694
It looks like fun--a little silly and messy as a Twelfth Night cake should be. I'm going to try this one tonight.
If you decide to celebrate Twelfth Night but you don't have time tonight, consider sponsoring a party later in the month. Diana's friends (who are a creative bunch) pick a night in January and everyone presents or performs on a topic that is chosen in advance by the host. Topics have included peace, inclusion and hope.
This sort of collaboration (see I had nothing to share with you about my Twelfth Night traditions since I've shared them over and over) is so exciting to me, such a gift of the Internet and the reason I'm looking forward to launching a new magazine-like website in the spring which will make it easier to gather and publish your ideas about celebrating the seasons.
Slow Time Book
I've been dragging my heels about posting the final chapters of my Slow Time book and I realize that's because the eleventh chapter contains a lot of information I got from Sheila Belanger, my favorite astrologer, who writes beautifully about the way the planetary cycles affect our lives. However, so much of my material comes directly from her, that I don't feel comfortable putting it on the web. I'm still trying to encourage her to write her own book. You can check out her web site and classes at www.sheilabelanger.net
I am going to post the twelfth and final chapter which is about that wonderful natural rhythm, the life cycle, and one that always seems important at this time of the year when I look ahead to see all the things I still want to do. Have you started a life list yet? This is one of the tasks I suggest in the final chapter and I'm still finding things to add to mine.
It's my belief that January is a blank month best spent dreaming about what you want to do during the next year, allowing themes and dreams to emerge slowly, as if waking up from hibernation. To that end, I've developed a workbook and class, based on four practices: wishing, sorting, aligning actions with time, and making dreams real/visible.
I'm just beginning to send out the lessons to students in my online New Year Dreams class. You can still join us if you are interested. You will get four weeks of lessons, suggesting ways to move through the four practices and have the chance to share your work with me and the other students in the class. I find that being a student (or a teacher) greatly increases my accountability and I benefit from the shared ideas. Register for the class here.
You may have already missed the days of Clay and Slate, Flint and the Rabbit (the days in Nivose (Snowy) are mostly associated with minerals) but you can still celebrate the other 359 days of the year, days of plants like snowdrop (Jan 23) and Hellebore (January 30), animals (like the Cat on January 14 and tools (the sieve on January 19. I love this calendar for the way it reminds me to celebrate the small items of everyday life. The gorgeous photographs by Cate Kerr provide a glimpse of the seasons where she lives in eastern Ontario: http://kerrdelune.blogspot.com/
My daughter, Shaw, was thrilled after I mentioned her Etsy store in my last newsletter because she got two orders for her adorable cat hats. I'm not sure if it was coincidental or not, but she hasn't had an order since so you would make her day if you are in the market for a stylish, warm hat and you check out her hats at her Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6421845
The cat hat she made for me is my favorite hat and I get very distressed every time I think I have misplaced it.