Solstice Tree

I am so very pleased with this year’s holiday tree.  My husband Steve and I celebrate a mufti-faceted holiday season with elements drawn from Pantheism, Paganism and the Judeo-Christian tradition, plus good old-fashioned mid-winter feasting and thoughtful gift giving.  For the first few years we were together for the winter holiday, we’ve had a succession of live spruce trees, with varying degrees of post-Christmas longevity.

This year, I’ve really been connecting with the deep essence of winter time.  Connecting with the energy of the earth that has gone back inwards to the roots and to the dark, deep places.  On the 21st December, we will be reaching up to the spark of light that is ready to be re-born on the longest night of the year.

I love the bare winter branches and berries which grace the English winter landscape.

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Hawthorn tree

A couple of weeks ago, I gathered some branches from one of my favourite hawthorn trees, just outside my village, which I visit at least once a week throughout the year.  I arranged the branches in a vase in our salon.  Some of the branches had deep red berries, but they wizened as time passed.

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I loved the shape of the branches and considered how I could make some alternative, more permanent ‘berries’ to decorate them.  I have a very long necklace which I rarely wear and decided to use the garnet-coloured glass beads on the bare branches.

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Next I thought about how to give some light to our tree.  Stringing fairy lights on the branches would have been too heavy.  Since this is the time of year when the life force has moved within, to the roots of things, I decided to place some fairy lights inside the jar holding the hawthorn branches.  These also helped to stabilise them.

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When they’re switched on, they cast the more fantastic shadows through the branches  .  .  .  .  .  .

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It is so lovely and calming to sit in our warm, quiet living room and contemplate the warmly lit, jeweled branches and the deep, down to the roots life force.

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In this dark time, in the depths of winter, may you find the space and quietude to consider what is waiting to be born in your life as the wheel of the year turns slowly back towards the light.

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