The 13 Holy Nights mindfulness ritual is an esoteric ancient practice of reflection from Rudolf Steiner and others in the Anthroposophic tradition. This time of sacred intention and reflection of the coming year invites us deep into the spirit of the season listening to the subtle stillness and knowing within.
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, this is the darkest time of year offering the opportunity to remember, reclaim and recommit to our abiding light within as we pay attention to how source dances through us in planting daily seeds of intention for the coming year.
This short, simple and sacred daily practice from sunset 12.24.19 through sunset 1.6.20 is a ritual I have practiced annually and want to share here with all of you.
Collect and adorn your sacred space with crystals, images of beloveds and ancestors, perhaps deities or other totems of protection and guidance. You may wish to have oracle or tarot decks with you.
You will need a candle large enough to ignite the light on each of the days. You may wish to also have sage, incense or any magic potions.
Set up a sacred space for you to step into/ bow at for each day’s ritual. Place your 2019 Holy Nights activation candle on a table or altar in your space along with any other sacred items. Have a journal or paper and a pen with you in this space.
Each of the Holy Nights hold the imprint for a corresponding month in the New Year. This is a time for slowing down to a speed of hibernation aligning with the Divine in deep listening and inspired dreaming of your intention into living form.
Sunset December 24th through sunset December 25th contains the imprint for all of 2020. Sunset December 25 through sunset December 26 contains the imprint for January 2020. Sunset December 26 through sunset December 27 contains the imprint for February 2020. Sunset December 27 through sunset December 28 contains the imprint for March 2020. This pattern continues for each of the subsequent sunsets until January 5 sunset through sunset January 6, which contains the imprint for December 2020.
ACTIVATION DAILY PRACTICE:
At or around sunset on each evening, enter your sacred space using only natural light, if possible. Deepen into the present moment as you merge with the reflection of this time period in 2020 by igniting your 13 Holy Nights candle in your sacred space. Perhaps draw an oracle card or put on your favorite music in the background to set the tone for your space and this ritual.
A) Take note of the the time period of 2020 this sunset is reflecting to you. Write this date and the month of 2020 in your journal. Perhaps there is a special day this month, a birthday or anniversary, to take note of as you prepare to receive and reveal inspiration for this time to come.
Allow your senses to dance in delight through smell, sound, sight, taste and touch of the moment. Take note of what you notice perhaps writing a few words down in your journal to remember this moment and any insights arising.
B) Engage with your breath gently and sincerely growing the light within through slow smooth rhythmic breathing. Imagine, feel or sense in some way the light within illuminating as your breath gently flows through you. Create an equal count inhale to your exhale. Notice the balance you are creating through your breath. Continue for several breaths until you feel a tethering to the light within through the natural rhythm and current of your breath.
C) Continue to breathe in this pattern. Open your inner ears to the sacred voice within. Allow your mind’s eye to receive insights, information and inspirations as you listen deeply. Take 3 minutes or more to notice the stream of conscious awareness flowing through you as your sensory perception expands between your inner and outer environments.
Which sensations are you noticing your heart and mind expressing through this deep listening? Do you have an intention arising, a color stream or theme coming through for this time period in 2020?
When you feel complete, take a few moments to rhythmically tap your heart with one hand and the crown of your head with the other to complete this practice. As you tap these two areas of your body, notice and take note of what has arisen during this practice. Offer gratitude for all you have experienced. Take a few moments to share your reflections, insights and intentions with your journal.
After your final sunset practice on 1.5.20, read back on your journal entries over the past 13 Holy Nights. Reflect upon and receive the notes you took during this practice. Perhaps you wish to share some reflections of your notes and intentions from each evening at the beginning of each month in your 2020 calendar.
Enjoy this auspicious and potent time of year as we cross the threshold into 2020.
If you enjoyed this body-centered ritual into the Holy Nights, join us for a weeklong wellbeing retreat where the jungle meets the sea sharing in a deep journey through the elements with ritual, yoga, chanting and dancing as we celebrate Earth Day 2020: Embodying the Elements 2020 at Mar de Jade Retreat Center.
Read more about the power and science behind rituals in our blog: The Science of Rituals and the Power of Patterns.
Shanti Medina, CYT CPT is the founder of Energize training systems and Body Current® therapeutics. She enjoys supporting elite athletes and everyday warriors to live a life of well-being, optimized performance and wild inspiration through simple practices of embodied self-realization. Shanti teaches her Body Current® curriculum as a bridge between modern-day neuroscience and ancient yoga therapy and has enjoyed being part of a variety of 500HR Yoga Teacher Trainings and as faculty at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.
She is passionate about empowering her clients and students to use their breath, brain and body to reveal, energize and experience their abiding true nature and innate healing wisdom through mind entrainment body-centered practices stimulating and regulating the currents of the Autonomic and Central nervous systems.
You can find out more about Shanti, learn about upcoming retreats around the globe and schedule a private session in person or via Zoom at www.EnergizeShanti.com