The holidays are upon us. Tonight ushers in the first night of Hanukkah as well as Christmas Eve. Kwanzaa begins on Monday.
The holidays are a time of celebration. They offer us an opportunity to connect with loved ones, revered rituals, and the wellspring of our faith.
And yet they can often bring in a cornucopia of stress. Whether it's the pressures of traveling, gift-giving concerns, indulging in too much food and drink and/or facing well-worn family dynamics, the holidays may sometimes seem to be tinseled with tension.
This year our experience of the holidays may be different.
I say this because this holiday season everything seems like it has a great potential to be different. After all, we've got Uranus—the planet of do-it-differently—as the star player over the coming days. Today (December 24) it makes a connection with make-it-real Saturn, tomorrow with values-driven Venus and then on Monday we've got the first of three oppositions between expansive Jupiter and Uranus (the other two will be on March 2 and September 27.) And then, on December 29, Uranus makes it bi-yearly station, slowing down to change directions.
Suffice it to say, that's a lot of Uranian energy.
Uranus relates to patterns—seeing them, breaking them, remaking them. As such, it's a time when we may see that the tried and true no longer holds the value it once did (or we see perhaps it never did) and could use a bit of shaking up. There's an urge to disassemble the old ways that have become rote and accepted by default, a push for rebellion and an urge to create a new way that may better serve the system in which it is invested.
During strong Uranian times, surprises are the name of the game. The unexpected, unanticipated, and out-of-the-blue dot our landscape, keeping things fresh and not having us take things for granted. Uranus mirrors earthquake energy, events that may only last for a moment, and which come without any/much warning, yet which change the landscape significantly.
The urge may not just be chaos for chaos sake. If we're feeling a sense of restlessness, it may be for galvanizing a push to shake up the staid, so that we may see and embody a sense of liberation, freedom, and innovation that can allow us as well as others to live in a more genuine and progressive way.
Given all this, it feels important to go into this holiday weekend considering that the best laid plans may be detoured. Knowing this is a possibility may allow for a greater level of detachment and flexibility, which itself is a strategy for reducing stress. Also consider if things don't go as planned, instead of (or at least in addition to) rallying against the loss of "how things were supposed to be" consider what is being gained—and learned—by the shift and rearrangement. Through the moving of the puzzle pieces, what space has emerged that allows for an unheralded potential to emerge?
For more background on this time, I'd invite you to read the article I wrote called Navigating the Holidays: An Astrological Perspective. It speaks about the holiday season beginning Thanksgiving and addresses the strong Uranian energy that's currently peppering the zeitgeist.
Of course, if you're feeling currents of stress and/or anxious feelings there are self-care practices that you can weave in.
- Have some Rescue Remedy on hand; this classic flower essence blend is a go-to for times of acute stress. It can help inspire calm when a situation has you on edge, when you need to relax, focus, and stay centered.
- Lavender essential oil is especially calming. Carry a bottle with you and smell it as needed. Or add it to a bath, a room diffusor, or an unscented body lotion.
- Make sure to get some fresh air and exercise. Feeling the sense of expansion that the outdoors can yield can be really grounding. Plus, some gentle exercise—even just taking a post-meal stroll around the neighborhood—can do wonders for instilling more relaxation.
- If you've got the time, take an Epsom salt bath to which you can add your favorite essential oils. Put on some music, light some candles, and just settle into your body, mind, and heart. If time is limited, even just soaking your feet in some salt-infused water before you go to bed can do wonders.
Embody the potential that's available to us right now. See how you can change things up, declare your need to for doing things your own way, give yourself some freedom, and explore which patterns are calling to be broken and recrafted. Go with the flow, maintain a flexible and fluid stance, and be "bouncy" so you can pivot easily and gracefully if that's what a situation calls for. And remember the creative possibility inherent in just simply looking at something from a different angle, how that can be a simple tool to unearthing a long-sought-after understanding and a pathway to more ease and peace.
I wish you, all all your loved ones, a most happy and healthy holiday. May the possibilities of this time ignite a spirit of greater joy, ease and freedom for you, and may you receive all the gifts that this moment of time has to offer.