I rambled on about the lack of the spirit of the holiday season that I am noticing being expressed amongst folk on social media and have been pondering on it ever since. Some of the responses expanded my perception, which is always a good thing, even if it can be a big swirly at first.
There seems to be a heck of a lot of people lamenting not feeling into the holidays this year. It didn’t come as a surprise given all of the chaos and destruction we are seeing going on in the world right now along with the slow financial downslide of so many. And there have been times like this in the past, (although not quite so in our faces), so that didn’t feel like it quite fit. I do think it is a piece.
I think on a neurochemical level we are all in what I refer to as “times of perpetual trauma”, where we are being encoded repeatedly with an almost constant onslaught of trauma……..which takes it’s toll on our nervous systems. (This is actually where I see the most need for plant medicines currently). When we view a traumatic image (and I am going this route as opposed to the route of experiencing a physical trauma, because I just feel this is so much more widespread), something different occurs in our neurological system than normally does (although I think we are approaching a new normal soon…and then probably all at once). Our pre-frontal cortex doesn’t function as well and this is the part of our brain that is said to be used for decision making. Adrenaline floods our system. Traumatic events are imprinted in an out of order order………..time is encoded differently, thus memory is encoded differently, and what we seem to focus on at the time of the traumatic event becomes encoded too. This might be the actual traumatic event itself….or it might be a red light that was blinking in the background. Later, the things that we have imprinted on during this whole process, can later trigger what is referred to as PTSD type events.
So we have this whole weird wobbly new reality being created by what we are being exposed to and it literally is reshaping our neural chemistry.
NOW…….add to that the general distaste that is growing more and more, for Capitalism. People are less and less under it’s spell and are starting to ask questions and see that maybe it isn’t turning out to be all that it once was cracked up to be. There are lots of folks retreating from the capitalistic culture, at least so much as maybe they can, or choose to (Because they are still posting about it on social media and well…….that is a huge vehicle for many things, including Capitalism…..and they all have phones, and what not and so on)......BUT they are also buying yurts and tiny off grid homes in the woods, and heating by wood stove and carrying water in jugs from a mountain spring, planting gardens, raising chickens……..and trying to create a life that is just outside, with maybe one foot or perhaps a big toe still in the current culture.
When we think of Christmas, it can mean many things to many people. For some it is a deeply religious holiday. For others its about gathering with family. Some folks don’t celebrate Christmas at all, and honor Solstice or just celebrate the season of winter. Most of these have some sort of gifting of things that have been bought, which are supporting the capitalistic machine. (yes yes some folks make things from nature or make jams from freshly picked berries they froze from the summer……..and even a lot of those folks will still buy a book or socks or something from Amazon or Walmart or some other store.)
Another phenomena that I believe to be happening is that people are waking up. The systems that have long been standing in our country (although truly they are just a blip in the span of human existence and an even smaller blip in the history of the earth) are not doing so well. They are kind of crumbling. And everyone is noticing this. We all know the medical system that is largely being corporatized (at least here in Maine), is a shit show.
We see money being sent to fund death and destruction while people two streets over set up tent cities. People are turning back to nature. Now they might not be running out and living off the grid in a yurt, but maybe they do notice a pine tree and they pick some needles and take them home to make a tea, and then they notice wow, that made their sinuses feel a lot better, and they wonder what other plants might help them too. When people come into greater alignment with nature, they start to come into some coherence. The energy of winter is hibernation and rest. This is a time to slow down. This is a time to nourish. This is a time to turn inward. And I think more and more people are doing that.
SO…………what the heck does this all have to do with the spirit of the season not being lively and merry?
Well……..If the seasonal holidays are largely associated with Capitalism, and people are loosing interest in that…….there would also be an association with all things associated with it……..AND if people are coming more into coherence with nature, and winter is a time of rest…..well……they might just be more drawn to that…..the rest, the restoration, the hibernation, rather than a big old “to do” during the dark time of the year.
I do feel that on some level this is what might be happening. A coming into coherence……but with a lacking of understanding or awareness of what it occurring.
So much of the current time we are in is very liminal. We are in a time of things we knew crumbling away and things that are yet to come not being here yet…..sort of like this weird waiting period in the middle of a long drawn out change……..which is confusing to everyone.
So I actually think the lack of interest in the holidays is a move towards an evolution that takes us back into alignment with nature………I think we just aren't aware of it yet, and the old programming is still running. I think the more we pay attention to the magic of nature and that coherence and notice how we feel in our bodies when we move with it…….and the more we honor the nostalgic grief of times gone by….and actually acknowledge that they have passed, rather than reaching for a desperate grab to cling to the past.
LIke most things, there is grief and there is joy. May we grieve what was and remember it fondly as the wonderful magic that it was, and may we take joy in our growing connection with life itself and all that we are connected to.
May this season bring you whatever you may need at this point in time.