We have arrived at the last moon of the calendar year…

We have arrived at the last moon of the calendar year, which will peak at 2.33pm UK time on 26 December. It is commonly known as the Cold Moon. This moon is enhanced by the proximity of the solstice which fell on the early hours of 22 December and is about slowing down and releasing what is no longer working for us, so we can fill our lives with more warmth and connection. The Innuit shamans of the Arctic regions really capitalise on this time enjoying activities that involve sitting round the fire such as mending nets and indulging in the companionship of each other and sharing old stories. It’s hard to do this in our culture, the season brings a lot of fun and merriment, and we seem to do the opposite of slowing down.

And as 2023 draws to a close, we reach the end of the Hero’s Journey for this year. Of course, the Hero’s Journey goes on – ad infinitum layers unravel, themes repeating which can lead us to wonder whether we have made any progress along the way. But progress is always made, there is always a step forwards even if it doesn’t necessarily feel like it. And with the repeating themes, they actually have a different nuance, a different flavour or angle and / or go deeper. What is more noticeable over time, the ability to be the observer in all these things becomes increasingly easier, resulting in less angst.

I think back over the course of 2023, and the themes that we have looked at. We have embraced some of the tricky aspects of ourselves including fear, anger, jealousy, anxiety, judgment, indecision. A lot of the times, I would prefer that these aspects of myself weren’t part of me. I’m sure I am not alone, but they don’t go away by denial.

Transformation emerges when we find the courage to start to acknowledge our shadow energies, the aspects of our personalities that we would rather not own, or admit to, let alone embrace. But it is in meeting these aspects with all the compassion that we can muster, not recriminating ourselves for being anything less than perfect, but knowing that these aspects show up to not only bring the opportunity to soften and heal, but also allow transformation within. And for me, the greater engagement with the shadows that have emerged (of course, maxing out compassion as far as possible), has led to greater treasures emerging.

The destination that may have been important at the beginning of the year – how important is it now? I’ve also been becoming increasingly aware that the journey, is less about the destination but actually about how I have been travelling and I do wonder if that has been your experience.

Life is undoubtedly nicer without so much baggage. Shadows weigh heavily on us, they create tension and conflict within as we try to deny them. The hero’s journey is all about embracing the shadow, giving them the opportunity to either fly free making space for newness, or transform – into some newness, and we can continue to travel on our hero’s journey more softly, more gently, more joyously, with greater ease and joy.

To end, I would encourage you to continue on your hero’s journey into 2024 and beyond. In doing so, you will be bringing not only the best gift for yourself, but the best gift you could possibly give to the world.

This is the last of the Hero’s Journey. I would love to hear how things continue to go; I’ve loved your sharings during the course of the year thank you! And if you need help with your onwards Hero’s Journey, please d contact me for help.

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