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  • Writer's pictureSarah Hoskin

An Invitation to Your Own Personal 13 Holy Nights Experience



The days are becoming shorter, and colder.  The trees have lost their leaves. We are turning toward winter, the holiday season, and the end of the year.  This used to be a time when I would get very busy creating Christmas for my family.  On one level, I loved it - the decorating, gift buying, a few parties here and there, the Christmas parade, my wedding anniversary, and extended family gatherings on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.  I also resisted it.  Mostly, I yearned to be more contemplative, internally focused, and quiet.  I wanted to curl up with a good book in front of a fire, drinking hot tea or mulled wine.  Sweet and simple. 


For years, I felt a discord between external expectations of what was expected of me in how to celebrate the holidays and what I honestly yearned for within me.  This reflects a deeper desire to live and create my life aligned with the natural and organic rhythms of the Earth, Moon, planets, and the rhythms of my body. I have slowly adjusting my timing and rhythm, my personal calendar if you will, with the more cyclical, organic timing of Gaia.  A phrase coined by Dr. Azra Bertrand, “Spiral Organic Time”, resonates deeply in me and speaks to exactly to this.  How do I choose to live centered in “Spiral Organic Time”?  Perhaps opportunities such as how to celebrate the holidays offer an invitation to put into practice this desire and intention?

In 2022, I was invited to participate in a Facebook Live called Twelve Nights.  I was the guest host for Day 5, and offered a session titled “Co-Creating with the Seasons”.  While I didn’t know the term then, I now know that what I was talking about was “Spiral Organic Time”.  You can listen to it here. [insert here]


The central theme of my presentation was offering a “powerful Solstice wisdom sharing on how to work with the natural and organic rhythms of the Earth, Moon and our bodies to bring forth into form and organization your ideas, dreams or visions that you have been inspired to create.”


Truthfully, I have wanted to experience the holidays, Christmas and the time between Solstice and New Years, in a more sacred, intentional and nourishing way. This is my third Christmas on my own without family, and its blessing is the opportunity to open and explore how I would truly love to spend the holidays.  I was so curious about what would support and reflect this deepening need and desire within me?


What I knew was that there are 12 or 13 nights of the year, when the veils are at their thinnest between the material and the spiritual worlds, and we are at the darkest time of the year.  At this time, we are actually called into the dark, warm quiet out of the cold, to go within and be in the warmth of the internal, to connect with the inner flame of our spirit and soul, and to hibernate gently with ourselves before the spring energies call us back to the surface of the earth and to burst forth with new green life. 


A time “in-between the years”


I love this phrase, used by Lisa Jara on her website.  


The phrase “in-between the years” (a literal translation of what we call it in German, “zwischen den Jahren”) stems from the time difference between the formerly used lunar calendar and the Gregorian solar calendar that we use today. A moon month (Dark Moon to Dark Moon) counts 29.5 days, which make 12*29.5 = 354 days in a lunar year. The solar year counts 365 days. The difference of 11 days or 12 nights is a time with great magical potential, that exists outside of our “normal time” – the time “in-between the years” so to speak. And quite literally, this time can sometimes feel as if it doesn’t really belong anywhere, the old year not quite over yet, the new not yet begun.

And that’s what it’s about. It’s said that during this time, Nature’s Laws are suspended, the doors to the Otherworld are open and we can feel the influence of the subtle energetic world around us more clearly. It’s a time that connects us to our ancestors, light beings and spirit guides and it’s traditionally a time for oracles/oracle readings. As the veils to the Otherworld are thin, it allows us to get a glimpse, a small taste, of the New that’s coming.

We are being impulsed and invited to align ourselves with these natural and organic energies of the Earth beneath our feet, and to slow down, pause, reconnect within ourselves, and reconnect with her as she slows down and becomes quiet and dormant for a quarter of the year.  This requires us to breathe and become present with ourselves, and to give ourselves the time and space to feel what we truly want, and even more, to give it to ourselves.


I had a strong desire to try and create something for myself.  


It turns out that my choosing which approach that I wanted to use was a process and a journey in itself.  


I was camping at a state park in Texas in December 2021, my first year alone. This was also the first year I attempted to create a holiday Holy Nights practice for myself, calling it my “12:12”, twelve days from the 12th of December to the 21st, and then another twelve days of Christmas from the 24th until January 6th.  I  thought I had it all figured out, but truthfully I didn’t really have a plan or a structure, or even a container for the practice.  It ended up not really happening in an intentional, cohered, structured way.  While a lot happened during those days, including an unexpected pivot to leave Texas altogether and head to North Carolina, it was not the intentional, focused practice that I had planned on.


The second year I was in a sweet little rental house in Hendersonville, North Carolina. The year 2022 had brought many changes and completions, including selling our family home of the past seventeen years in Colorado, our youngest child turning 21 years old, and dissolving our marriage during the Holy Nights, just after our 36th wedding anniversary. 


I was truly on my own. I gave myself this precious time and space to actually give myself the gift of a beautiful Holy Nights practice. I wanted to create it with enough structure and support so that it would be a successful, supportive and even transformational experience that I would stay connected with throughout the whole time.


I spent the first few weeks of December researching different approaches to how to do a Holy Nights practice.  A yogini friend of mine offered a yoga and meditation based approach.  Another acquaintance offered a creative approach with an ongoing year long group process.  Another offered an oracle deck and practice to support your holy night practice along with the option of a nightly check-in with the group. 

Remember the Twelve Days of Christmas, and the different gifts associated with each day, that would culminate on Epiphany, January 6th with twelve drummers drumming and the partridge in the pear tree?  


It was a real thing to celebrate the twelve days of Christmas over twelve days.  It used to be that families would put up their Christmas decorations and tree on Christmas Eve, and leave everything up until Epiphany which used to be the traditional culmination of the holidays.  These days, lights and trees are installed the weekend after Thanksgiving, 4 weeks before Christmas, and come down right after Christmas or the weekend after New Year’s so that everyone can go back to their “normal” lives the following week.  It is driven by work and school schedules rather than the traditional Christian, and even pagan, roots of this holiday time. 


I found several Holy Nights approaches that are rooted in Anthroposophy which acknowledges and has kept alive, or perhaps reintroduced the practice of the Holy Nights, along with its focus on the season of Advent.  What the different approaches have in common is that each “night “of the holy nights, a 24-hour period from sundown one evening to the sundown of the following evening, reflects or holds the energy of a time period of the following year, most typically a month, such as January, February, etc.  Twelve nights for each of the twelve months.  The approach that piqued my curiosity was the correlation to each of the twelve signs of the Zodiac, a system rooted in Anthroposophy.


I was most intrigued by Mary Stewart Adams, an Anthroposophical star lore historian, global advocate for starry skies, and radio podcast host and author of many publications, including “In Consideration of The Holy Nights of Christmas”, written for the Holy Nights of 2014-2015.  


What I loved about her approach was the inclusion of the 13th Holy Night as a holy night “hidden” in the midst of the other twelve sacred nights.  I also loved her approach of connecting each of the holy nights with a sign of the Zodiac, but even more importantly, that the year began with Aries and the Spring Equinox, as the first night. This made so much sense to me and resonated with my deepening connection with spiral organic time.  13 weeks in each seasonal turn of the year.  13 full/dark moons in a year.  13 as the holy number of the goddess.  


Subsequently, I created my Holy Nights structure and timing to reflect that of Mary Stewart Adams’ list of Holy Nights and their correspondence to the signs of the zodiac:


December 24 to December 25 ~ 1st Holy Night/Aries 

December 25 to December 26~ 2nd Holy Night/Taurus 

December 26 to December 27~ 3rd Holy Night/Gemini 

December 27 to December 28~ 4th Holy Night/Cancer 

December 28 to December 29~ 5th Holy Night/Leo 

December 29 to December 30~ 6th Holy Night/Virgo

December 30 to December 31~ 7th Holy Night/Libra

December 31st to January 1st~ the 13th Hidden Holy Night 

January 1 to January 2 ~ 8th Holy Night/Scorpio

January 2 to January 3 ~ 9th Holy Night/Sagittarius 

January 3 to January 4~ 10th Holy Night/Capricorn

January 4 to January 5~ 11th Holy Night/Aquarius

January 5 to January 6~ 12th Night/Pisces


In preparing to put into practice other aspects of Mary’s approach, I also saved and printed images of the New Images of the Zodiac found in these links:

  1. Small round images - ¾ inch in diameter - The New Images of the Zodiac in the Cycle of the Year 

  2. 1 ½ inch images along with a detailed writing of the anthroposophical approach to the Zodiac - Rudolf Steiner – Esoteric Indications about Christmas for Herbert Hahn

I am not an Anthroposophist, but I appreciated the unfamiliar images with their dynamic colors to engage with in a more intuitive, right-brained way than I would normally choose. I printed these images out without an exact idea of how I would use them.


I also ordered the 13 Holy Nights Oracle Deck by Lara J. Day and even attended her “preparation” class on the eve of the Winter Solstice.   She also offered a nightly Zoom drop-in/group experience. I thought about joining but deep inside, I knew that I wanted to both create and experience these holy nights on my own and in my own way.


In her book that goes along with the 13 Holy Nights Oracle Deck, Lara introduces us into what a 13 Holy Nights practice really is. 



Co-create a Magical Roadmap for the Coming Year

with Divine Guidance from the World of Spirit


Lara hand me a roadmap!!!  And I also love what she goes on to share.  


What is the Practice of the 13 Holy Nights?


The 13 Holy Nights is a spiritual practice, an ancient pagan practice, a sacred winter ritual, an honoring of the rhythms of nature, a celebration of the solstice season, a window into true magic, an experience of awakening occult powers, an opportunity to create a turbocharged New Year’s resolutions, a remembering of one’s future, a doorway into the unseen world of spirit, a rendezvous with the Divine, a nice long bath in the infinite waters of the void, a time to turn inward, to dream, to create, to know, to reconnect, to receive, to replenish and to reset.


Most importantly, as Mary says in her above mentioned piece, 


Please note that there are many ways to consider this sacred time, making the most important element not how you do it, but rather whether or not you do it. 


This gave me the permission that I needed to pick and choose from the various approaches, and blend them together to create for myself an approach and a practice that worked for me.


I spent a day nerding out to create a spreadsheet that provided me with an integrated visual chart of the dates and times of each of the zodiac phases, including the dark and full moon dates and times, as well as the day and sunset time of each of the 13 holy nights.  I did this so that I could see and know when each phase for the coming year started, when the sunset was each night so that I could begin each night’s ritual as the sun set, and because as it turns out, I love that kind of stuff.  I had the best time creating the spreadsheet, and fully enjoying my Capricorn Moon who needs and loves structures to my plans and intentions.  I suppose that this felt important to me to create this structure as my plans to participate in the Holy Nights last year did not have a clear and strong structure, and thus went by the wayside. 


My 13 Holy Nights practice developed and evolved while I was in the holy nights journey, but it also had its essential bones and structures in the following:


Winter Solstice

I participated in Lara’s 13 Holy Night’s Master Class, having viewed her short video in preparation for the class.  I also read the introduction to the book that accompanies her Oracle Deck to deepen my becoming familiar with the process.


Solstice to Christmas Eve

Over these next three days, I heeded Lara’s advice: 

These first three days are to gather any items we may need for our deep inward dive and to think about what we want to bring to our Holy Nights practice… what seedlings of inspiration we want to drop into this riptide of energy moving through to be swept right into our next year. 

I went to a local “new age” shop and bought some beautiful candles for my altar as well as some colorful cards with powerful and beautiful images that spoke to me.  


I got out all of my own personal decks of oracle cards - Sacred Rebels Oracle Deck, The Divine Feminine Oracle Deck, The Druid Animal Oracle Deck, and The Spirit of Herbs Tarot, and placed them nearby my altar, so that if/when I was guided to use or choose from them, they would be right there beside me.  I wish now that I had taken a “before the Holy Nights” picture of the altar as it evolved and developed over the two weeks of the practice with the addition of cards, stones, candles, jewelry pieces and other images that came to me during the meditations and writings.


Here is a photo I just took now of it with all of the pieces still in the place they have been since they were incorporated on one of my 13 nights:  




I wanted a special journal in which to write my awarenesses, reflections and observations in and to include art work, images, drawings, symbols as well as to include my Morning Conversations/Pages into as well.  This was actually my question to Lara during her Preparation class, “do I include my morning journaling into my holy nights practice?”  It didn’t make sense to separate it out, but I also wasn’t sure how to include it.  So I decided to simply include my morning writings here in my 13 Holy Nights Journal, and I am so glad I did!  It wasn’t separate from my practice, and everything that I was processing during this time is now written into my daily journaling and conversations with my Higher Self and any other guides who join in the conversation. 


I chose a beautiful handmade book as my journal, filled with unlined, gorgeous, thick paper.  


The journal became the record and story of my 13 Holy Nights experience.  I included images, symbols and written awareness of my experience, weaving them into a cohesive and integrated story, giving myself something to refer to as my year unfolds and reveals itself.  Did my 13 Holy Nights experience give me clues, references, forecasts of what is to come and of what I am going to experience?


This was especially potent for me then as I truly had no idea where I would be guided to go or do, or what I was being moved into as my soul’s path, work and contribution once leaving my sweet little house in the spring.  Was there actually some clear guidance and handrails provided for me from the Holy Nights experience as I step more fully into the unknown that I could look back on in my journal?


Christmas Eve to Epiphany

From the first evening on Christmas Eve and to the eve of Epiphany, the 5th of January, I sat down at my altar at sunset.  Most nights this was just around 5:30, and there were a couple of evenings, due to external circumstances, it was more around 6:30 or 7pm.


I come prepared for the ritual with:

  • My Holy Nights Journal

  • Pens

  • My journal/calendar from the same zodiac phase of the night from last year

  • New images of the Zodiac with a small pair of scissors and adhesive tape

  • Tea/Water

  • Blanket

  • Lap Desk

  • A lighter/matches for the candles

I intuitively created my altar with my favorite sacred and natural objects, cloth coverings that I love, and sacred water, soil, and candles. It has changed and evolved over the years as I have changed and evolved. 


There are many ways to create an altar.  If you are unsure how to do this or would like some more information, you can easily google it.  Here is one link to one page I really like.  


If you have never done anything like this before, you could do some research into how to do a personal ceremony.  You can also read Lara’s introduction to her oracle deck where she gives you ways to create your own practice, or you can participate in one of the many Holy Nights group experiences that are now being offered online (perhaps I will offer one next year!), or you can just sit down and ask within, “how am I to create and develop my own 13 Holy Nights practice?”  I am sharing with you what and how I did it.  Whatever works for you is what works.  As Mary Steward Adams reminds us, it doesn’t matter how you do it, just that you do it is what’s important.


Container

I need a container to hold me in my experiences, especially when I create rituals and celebrations. I like to have a context, a greater vision for what I am doing, that will hold me when my commitment, determination, clarity gets challenged or wavers. For years I have used a tool called “coning”. More recently, I am simply connecting with the wombheart axis in the center of my being, but that is a conversation for another article! 


Coning

I opened my 13 Holy Nights practice on the first night by sitting down at the altar and opened up a coning, a practice I originally learned years ago from Michaelle Small Wright, the co-creator and developer of Perelandra, a co-creative garden and nature research center in Virginia.  I seem to have a penchant for learning ways of doing things from others and then developing and modifying them to work for me.  So is the case with a “coning”.


I create a coning whenever I would like to have a container for my experience.  In other words, whenever I want to feel “held”, which honestly is all of the time!  I use them for rituals, pilgrimages, challenging conversations, healings, counseling sessions with clients, inner processes.  Come to think of it, I have created an overarching coning for my day-to-day life, especially now that I am in the midst of such a massive transition.  


Spirit/Soul/Heaven/Energy and Earth/Nature/Organic/Matter 

In my mind, a coning looks somewhat like an hourglass, open at the top, then coming through a narrow channel into a cone that opens into an inverted cone that opens at the bottom.  The open ceiling receives the cosmic energies of light from above, including the light of our benevolent spirit guides and higher self. The inverted cone receives the magnetic energies from the Earth, including the support and guidance of our nature guides.


Energy flows throughout the coning and I, as the human being, am in the center of the coning where the points of the cone converge. 


How to create and open a coning


In the name of divine love, light and truth, I request to open up a coning for __________________ (session, this ritual, this time period, this journey).

I breathe into this request and ask to feel its presence envelop and hold me in its sacred and contained space.  I typically experience a feeling of my request being received and granted, in in turn, experience feeling loved and held.


I ask my Self to show up, be present and be willing to receive and be guided throughout this coning.  I also ask to be connected with and to use my discernment and intuition throughout this journey.


I then request that my Higher Self and Inner Child be present with me in this coning.  


I give thanks.


As I feel them come in and be with me, I open my energies to the cosmic energies above me and request and invite the Divine Cosmos, Source, All-That-Is and any and all of my Spirit Guides - energies, angels and personal guides who are not necessarily in form and are from dimensions beyond our 3D Earth reality who wish to be present and assist with this coning be present here with me in this coning. 

I am not someone who sees or can name my guides, but I feel a loving warmth and their presence when they arrive, always grateful to be invited and included. 

I give thanks.


I then shift my attention to the coning below me and invite Earth and my Nature Guides to join me in this coning.  This request grounds me to the Earth and her magnetic energies, and invites those energies who are more rooted and connected with the Earth but who are here to guide, assist and support me to be part of the process.  


I give thanks.


More recently, I have also invited and included my womb, the Womb of Gaia, and the Cosmic Womb of the Great Mother at the Galactic Center to be a part of the coning, along with my heart, the Heart of Gaia and the Christed Heart of the Cosmos.


[With my deepening connection with my womb, I no longer rely on the coning to create the container for my experiences.  More and more, I invite and connect with my womb to be this container of safety and intention.]


I give thanks.


Different situations prompt me to invite in different energies and guides, so I request guides and energies as I am guided and prompted.  Often, I will also request that if there are any other guides who wish to be part of this coning to please join us. 


I give thanks.


I breathe and sit for a few moments, receiving the presences of all who have entered the Coning, I give thanks and I declare:


This coning is now open for the duration of the ____________.  I request that this coning automatically close at the completion of this ___________, especially if I forget to do so myself.  


(In the past, I have forgotten to close and complete the cloning and have experienced a subsequent draining of the energy.  This additional request was a safeguard for the coning to automatically close at the completion of the process in case I forget to do so.)


Once the coning is open, I proceed into the ritual itself.


Ritual/Ceremony


I ground and center myself, sitting on my stool at my altar table, in my house, in this town, in this state, in this country, on the planet, in this cosmos, at this time, date, day and year.


I breathe into and root into the core crystal center of the Earth, pulling up the energies from the core crystal at the center of the Earth into my womb, up to my heart, circulating these energies around and into my womb and heart, my wombheart, and up through my crown to open to and blossom to the Cosmos.  I then breathe again as I invite the divine light energies from the Cosmos back down through my central channel, my heart and my womb, and back down in the core crystal at the center of the Earth.  You can do this as many or as few times as feels right to you. 


I give thanks.


I light the candles.


I write at the top of the next blank page the ____ Holy Night (1st, 8th, 10th, etc), Day of the Week, Date, the sign of the Zodiac.


I cut out the little circle of the corresponding Zodiac sign and would gently tape it underneath the name of the Zodiac for that day.


I also cut out the little rounded square of the same Zodiac sign and place it on my altar, as a visual reminder of the phase of that evening’s ritual.


My intention here was to engage all of my mind - linear, logical, rational, structured, and flowing, creative, intuitive, expansive, spiral. 


I get out my last year’s journal/calendar to begin my review of what was happening at this time of year last year.  For example, the first Holy Night was the microcosm of Aries.  I got out my journal corresponding to Aries of this past year and reviewed my life from the time the Sun moved into Aries until it moved into Taurus.  

As Mary Stewart Adams explains, what we are seeking to do is to call forth the ‘mood’ of Sun in Aries, or Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, etc as we moved through the 12 nights and the 12 signs of the corresponding Zodiac phase.


I jotted down the events, awarenesses and energies of that time in my journal.  I would then sit for a few moments being with that time and what I was present with during those 30 days.


Next, I would pick up Lara’s 13 Holy Nights Oracle Deck of cards and I would center and become present, get clear on my intention and question, shuffle the cards and ask for the perfect card to guide me for the corresponding Zodiac phase for the coming year.  Over the 2 weeks, my questions evolved into one question - “What does the Universe/my Soul/my Guides/Spirit/Source want for me in Aries (or whichever corresponding sign of the Zodiac) 2023?”


I would then pick a card and look at it, be with it, feel it before reading the description in the accompanying booklet.


I would then write down the phrases that stood out to me, resonated with me, or got my attention.


I would complete the ritual that evening with tracing the round shape into my journal in which to fill the circle with a colored version of the “new image” of the zodiac.  I found a round shape about 3” in diameter, and would trace with the closest matching color to the printed version.  I used a set of colored pastel chalk pencils (I used what I had with me) and each day would find the time to quickly and not very precisely copy and color in the image into my journal in the pages of that day’s corresponding Zodiac sign.


Also over the next 24 hours, I would note my dreams or anything that I brought back with me from sleep into the day.  


I would also jot down themes, memes, highlights of conversations and experiences from the day, receiving all that occurred as clues or seeds or potentials for the corresponding time during the next year.


I would also jot down my expectations/intentions/imaginations for Sun in Aries next year.  As Mary says, “in this way you are looking both forward and back from the sacred space in time where we are graced with knowledge of a strengthened connection between the Earth and stars.”


I would look up and print images of symbols, messages, animals, or photos that gifted me during each 24 hour period, and paste/tape them into my journal. 


Each morning I would write my Morning Page Conversations, again my own woven and morphed practice that I have engaged in daily for the past 4 years.  This practice developed out of Julie Cameron’s The Artists Way that I began over 25 years ago.  Today, it’s an integration of Morning Pages and a deep internal, written conversation with my Higher Self, my Inner Child and any of my guides who show up that morning.  I have lived, changed and created my life out of these conversations.  They give me the insight, clarity, stamina, faith and internal guidance to make some of the most courageous choices to transform my life and to align myself with my soul’s true path. I could write a whole article just on my Morning Conversations. Perhaps I will!


I ground and center myself, sitting on my stool at my altar table, in my house, in this town, in this state, in this country, on the planet, in this cosmos, at this time, date, day and year.


I breathe into and root into the core crystal center of the Earth, pulling up the energies from the core crystal at the center of the Earth into my womb, up to my heart, circulating these energies around and into my womb and heart, my wombheart, and up through my crown to open to and blossom to the Cosmos.  I then breathe again as I invite the divine light energies from the Cosmos back down through my central channel, my heart and my womb, and back down in the core crystal at the center of the Earth.  You can do this as many or as few times as feels right to you. 


I give thanks.


I light the candles.


I write at the top of the next blank page the ____ Holy Night (1st, 8th, 10th, etc), Day of the Week, Date, the sign of the Zodiac.


I cut out the little circle of the corresponding Zodiac sign and would gently tape it underneath the name of the Zodiac for that day.


I also cut out the little rounded square of the same Zodiac sign and place it on my altar, as a visual reminder of the phase of that evening’s ritual.


My intention here was to engage all of my mind - linear, logical, rational, structured, and flowing, creative, intuitive, expansive, spiral. 


I get out my last year’s journal/calendar to begin my review of what was happening at this time of year last year.  For example, the first Holy Night was the microcosm of Aries.  I got out my journal corresponding to Aries of this past year and reviewed my life from the time the Sun moved into Aries until it moved into Taurus.  

As Mary Stewart Adams explains, what we are seeking to do is to call forth the ‘mood’ of Sun in Aries, or Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, etc as we moved through the 12 nights and the 12 signs of the corresponding Zodiac phase.


I jotted down the events, awarenesses and energies of that time in my journal.  I would then sit for a few moments being with that time and what I was present with during those 30 days.


Next, I would pick up Lara’s 13 Holy Nights Oracle Deck of cards and I would center and become present, get clear on my intention and question, shuffle the cards and ask for the perfect card to guide me for the corresponding Zodiac phase for the coming year.  Over the 2 weeks, my questions evolved into one question - “What does the Universe/my Soul/my Guides/Spirit/Source want for me in Aries (or whichever corresponding sign of the Zodiac) 2023?”


I would then pick a card and look at it, be with it, feel it before reading the description in the accompanying booklet.


I would then write down the phrases that stood out to me, resonated with me, or got my attention.


I would complete the ritual that evening with tracing the round shape into my journal in which to fill the circle with a colored version of the “new image” of the zodiac.  I found a round shape about 3” in diameter, and would trace with the closest matching color to the printed version.  I used a set of colored pastel chalk pencils (I used what I had with me) and each day would find the time to quickly and not very precisely copy and color in the image into my journal in the pages of that day’s corresponding Zodiac sign.


Also over the next 24 hours, I would note my dreams or anything that I brought back with me from sleep into the day.  


I would also jot down themes, memes, highlights of conversations and experiences from the day, receiving all that occurred as clues or seeds or potentials for the corresponding time during the next year.


I would also jot down my expectations/intentions/imaginations for Sun in Aries next year.  As Mary says, “in this way you are looking both forward and back from the sacred space in time where we are graced with knowledge of a strengthened connection between the Earth and stars.”


I would look up and print images of symbols, messages, animals, or photos that gifted me during each 24 hour period, and paste/tape them into my journal. 


Each morning I would write my Morning Page Conversations, again my own woven and morphed practice that I have engaged in daily for the past 4 years.  This practice developed out of Julie Cameron’s The Artists Way that I began over 25 years ago.  Today, it’s an integration of Morning Pages and a deep internal, written conversation with my Higher Self, my Inner Child and any of my guides who show up that morning.  I have lived, changed and created my life out of these conversations.  They give me the insight, clarity, stamina, faith and internal guidance to make some of the most courageous choices to transform my life and to align myself with my soul’s true path. I could write a whole article just on my Morning Conversations.  Perhaps I will!


My 13 Holy Nights Journal includes:

  • Title at top of next blank page:

Holy Night - Day - Date - Sign of the Zodiac

Small ¾” Circular Zodiac Image

  • Review of past year’s corresponding Zodiac sign - observations, themes, challenges, successes, 

  • Image of the Zodiac sign (3”-5” in size)

  • The Card of the Night

Name and any pertinent, resonant information from the book or from your experience with the card

  • Morning Pages/Conversation

  • Jot down themes, dreams, highlights, experiences, 

  • Print and paste in images of symbols, messages, animals, or photos

  • Any thoughts, feelings, awarenesses at the end of the day before moving into the next sign of the Zodiac with sunset and the next evening’s ritual


The 13th Holy Night - the Hidden Holy Night

 

You may be wondering about the 13th night, the hidden mystery night embedded in the middle of the Holy Nights.  This night has a similar structure, but the focus is for the whole year.  I chose to pick more than one card, and to create a spread with the cards.  


As I moved into the evening ritual, which is actually on New Years Eve, I was reviewing the past 24 hours for any observations and happenings from the Libra phase.  As I did this, I became aware that each card that I had chosen each night offered a “key” to open and deepen me into my Self and my emerging transformation.


I asked myself, “What if each card is exactly that, a key to open the energies of each phase of the Zodiac as I move through the upcoming year, sign by sign, in alignment with the Sun, as well as the Moon and other planetary influences such as Venus?

What if in my becoming more consciously connected with these keys, I open myself to more fully receive, support and guide me through the coming year so that I can actually co-create the most wonderful, beneficent, magnificent year for myself and all that my Soul and Spirit/Source is wanting for me to create and generate, both for myself and what I am here to contribute?


I created a page titled:


“KEYS FOR EMBODIMENT OF MY DIVINE NATURE”

Human Being as a Star Unfolding in an Earthly Biography


I then listed each of the previous Zodiac signs with their corresponding cards and the essence of each of their messages.


I then moved into the Evening’s ritual, writing in my journal words from Mary Stewart Adams, 


13th HOLY NIGHT - 

at the sacred moment of midnight - -


WHAT WE THINK IS PERCEIVED (RECEIVED) BY THE HIGHEST HIERARCHIES AND HAS THE POWER TO BE BROUGHT INTO REALITY.


I picked a card from my personal favorite deck, the Sacred Rebels, as the first card.

I then worked with the 13 Holy Nights deck, dividing them into the three categories of Animal, Herb/Plant, and Mineral and chose a card from each of these categories.

Then magic found its way into the choosing of the cards!  As I was looking up the meaning of the Sacred Rebel card, another Sacred Rebel card slipped out of the book onto the floor in front of me right where the other cards were lying. I figured that she wanted to be involved as well!  Then, it turned out that the card I picked as the plant card was actually a mineral, so I had two mineral cards and now needed to pick/receive an actual plant card. All of a sudden I had six cards instead of the anticipated four cards!!


Each card had its own special message that I wrote down on another blank page to have all together in one place.  I also placed these cards up on the window sill above my altar to have in my visual perception during the rest of the Holy Nights practice as they informed me of the My Personal 13 Holy Nights Experience/Journey energies of the year as a whole. 

 

With all of this, I moved into the traditional new year, and the remaining five nights of the Holy Nights, continuing with the practices that I had been using in the first half.  





I just reviewed my detailed notes, reflections, insights and awarenesses from last year’s 13 Holy Nights experience, 46 typed pages of a write up from my journal. 


My 13 Holy Nights journal became a creation of its own, generated out of my experience. I have both the actual notebook and the typed document that is stored on my computer.  These beautiful creations actually created an expected, yet powerful container that has held me throughout this whole year. It both seeded and supported me to open to the unknown, to take the next stop in to my new life, to trust the journey, and even more, to trust myself.




It’s actually remarkable to look back and see which phrases and images pique my attention and stand out as if highlighted.


There has never been, and there will never be, another you.  Our signature matrix, our personal hum in the universe, is our miracle, our magnificence, our very special contribution to all of existence…It is time for you to give to the world the gift that only you can give: YOURSELF.


IT IS OUR CREATIVE POWER THAT MAKES US DIVINE!!!


I would love to move into and land in my place


HOW DEEP ARE YOU WILLING TO GO?  [My Mars in Gemini]

As deep as I am willing and able to love myself.  BE THE WELL.  BECOME THE WELL.  

I AM ALSIA WELL. You and Alsia are like twin souls.  She’s your depth and your wisdom, your belly and your womb.

You are Alsia.  Alsia is you.  Here we are.  Home again.


BRINGING FORTH THAT WHICH IS ALREADY WITHIN ME.


THE BOOK IS THE SEED (seed of life) FOR MY FUTURE LIFE - the basis, foundation for my work and contribution

Only I can write this book


BRING THE SACRED INTO FORM - - - - WRITE!


WHAT DOES MY SOUL WANT FOR ME?

to develop my body of work and contribution

to be in a sacred and loving partnership with my Beloved in Sacred Union co-creating Heaven on Earth in all that we do, be and create

to grow, create, relate; 

to be part of an aligned, connected, resonant, enlivening, uplifting and joyful community 


NOT KNOWING IS THE KEY TO MY TRANSFORMATION. 


 DEEPER SELF-INTIMACY - I am wired to go from outward doing to inward being.


“When I know the path, I deepen into the journey.” 


sacred, infinite, sourced

WELL

In the center of the center of YOU


YOU ARE THE SPIRAL PATHFINDER.

The spiral path is the path to heal the split.  You are the PATHFINDER, the PATHCREATOR, the PATH REVEALER.

You uncover - recover - discover - the spiral path hidden in the inner and outer landscapes, in the brush and brambles, in the fields of grasses, in the woods and forests.  It is how you make a path sacred.  It is how you find your way home to the center of the center of your being - to your core, to your essence, to your truth, to your love.

Your center is centered in the spiral path itself.


GO FULLY INTO THE SPLIT AND THE SPLIT WILL TAKE YOU HOME.


First time in my nearly 64 years of life that I am actually allowing, inviting, giving myself permission my ORIGINAL, CREATIVE MIND IN and incorporating it into who I am, how I be, what/how I think, feel and create - AND contribute.

A WHOLE NEW WORLD IS OPENING UP FOR YOU.


***


This year I am going to be in the midst of another massive transition, and actually moving to my new home.  More to be shared about that in my next blog!  I have signed up for Jeannine’s "Bring Spirit to the Holidays", but given that I will be on the move, my intention is to use a simplified version of what I am already familiar with - Lara’s oracle deck and her suggested nightly rituals.


K.I.S.S.  I am going to Keep It Sweet and Simple - and remind myself daily ~


…there are many ways to consider this sacred time, making the most important element not how you do it, but rather whether or not you do it.


Looking back over this past year, I can now feel how deeply I have been held throughout this year of purification, letting go, surrendering, not knowing, listening, trusting, remembering and embodying - in good part by the container I created in last year’s 13 Holy Nights Practice.  As I move into 2024 and land in a new place, and get to create a new community, find a new place to live, develop my business and bring forth my offerings - essentially more surrendering, not knowing, listening, trusting! - and create my new life, I want to give myself this potent and loving container to be held within and feel safe, centered and grounded as I emerge from this chrysalis of the past 2½ years and get to land in one place, root deep into the Earth, and grow myself into a whole new life. 




I invite you to join me and create your own 13 Holy Nights experience, to give yourself this time and space to honor you, to honor this time “in-between the years”, to allow yourself to drop in and be with yourself in the midst of family, celebrations, and all that the holidays demand of you.  Give yourself the gift of these 13 Holy Nights, however little or much that you can.  Even a momentary pause to breathe, remember and to connect in with the holiness of you is beautiful.  If you want to do more, I have listed a few resources below to get you started on creating your own experience.


I invite you to use this precious time in between time for you.  Create it in whatever way works for you.  Connect more deeply with your Self and your desires, your longing, your dreams and use these to inform your next spiral around the sun.  You just never know what magic and beauty may come into your life and open you up to what else is possible!



RESOURCES






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