Take a moment away from the manic festive preparations to honour the new solar year
We have reached a magical tipping point in the Wheel of the Year. We are poised at the darkest point, suspended until the wheel tips and we step into the light.
This is a liminal space, a time in-between, a time where we can decide what will be left behind and what will set seed and shoot as the sun returns. The period of reflection allows us to decide what do we want to do differently, what do we need, what do we want? We rarely pause and ask ourselves these questions, but the solstice invites us to soak up the seasonal magic and be restored by the medicine of winter.
Bringing in evergreens at the solstice is an ancient ritual practiced by many cultures. Evergreens represent magic, our connection to nature, protection, eternal life and were brought into the home and hung on the door to offer protection and a reminder that the light will return. Celebrating Midwinter as well as Christmas is a way of introducing a slower, gentler, more reflective festival, one more in tune with nature, that connects us to the outside and helps us to develop a relationship with evergreen plants in our gardens or landscape. We notice them, appreciate them and the act of weaving them into wreaths or garlands connects us across time to our ancestors who would have used the same plants, with the same intention and strengthens our bond with nature.
I would suggest, in an ideal world, that you gather greenery and bring it in to the house, that you light some candles, or even a fire, that you sit and soak up the magic of the season and spend time in quiet reflection. But life is rarely ideal and few of us have the luxury of time and space to honour the solstice in this way. However, nature doesn’t care, doesn’t judge, doesn’t expect anything from you, so even if you just spend one minute looking at a tree, or noticing when the sun sets, or nodding to a holly bush in passing, then these small acts of ritual can build in to something significant, special and meaningful.
If the idea of marking the seasons appeals to you or you want to share in a seasonal celebration then have a look at my ‘Wheel of the Year’ courses, which mark nature’s seasonal shifts.
If you need to focus time on yourself next year then I also have spaces left on my ‘Flower Gathering’, ‘Coven’ and ‘Floral Pathway’.
I hope you find some time for some peace and rest over the festive season. Sending you huge thanks for your support over the past year and I hope to see you in the garden some time in 2024.
All the very best,
Rachel Petheram of Catkin Flowers
Catkin was launched in 2006 by me – Dr Rachel Petheram. My passion for flowers began in 2002 when I grew my own wedding flowers. This love blossomed into an artisan floristry and flower growing business. As an ardent champion of British grown flowers, I was at the forefront of the revival of the movement, growing many of my own flowers in various locations, and now in the stunning walled kitchen garden of Doddington Hall in Lincolnshire, where I have been based since 2009.
Over the years I have come to realise that working with the garden, working with nature, is a collaborative relationship. The garden is a living ecosystem, it is a free-willed space. This connection is deep and visceral and has become fundamental to everything that I now do. I became a reiki master and use energy and nature together to help people to find that relationship with nature and themselves. I have a particular skill in working with flowers and reiki, where I use individual flowers to help you to identify where you might be stuck or what is holding you back. It is a very powerful tool and often feels easier, earthier and more accessible for many people.
I am a very good listener and am highly empathic and intuitive. In addition to my business, I worked as an academic for 20 years, mentoring and teaching students. I am skilled at holding a space for you to become unstuck, to deepen your connection with nature and to find joy and confidence in who you are. My thing is helping you find your thing.
I look forward to working with you.