By Isabella @TheWandCarver
Happy Yule, my friends. Today is the first day of Yule which runs through 2 January 2020. It is, as you know, the shortest day of the year, and beginning tomorrow until Summer Equinox, will grow longer by small minutes, at first too small to notice, then as more extra minutes accrue, we will begin to see the days grow longer. In the UK, the “night” comes at around 4 pm, give or take now, but eventually in Summer, it won’t be dark until nearly 10 pm. [fun fact: The shortest day lasts 7 hours 49 minutes and 43 seconds in London. This means that the length of day during the winter solstice is 8 hours, 48 minutes and 37 seconds shorter than the summer solstice.]
It’s like gaining an extra day comparatively! But for now, bring out your sun lamps and keep your spirits up… It only goes upward from here.
That’s what I’m hoping for, anyway….
I don’t normally post a blog on a Sunday, but life has been a series of “abnormalities” for my family and myself this last few months, so why not an abnormal day for a blog post? Abnormal is the new normal and I can appreciate that most of you reading this will know exactly what I mean. I’m not one to share my business online. In the 60’s and 70’s when I was growing up, it was never the done thing… to “air your dirty washing” or in other words, speak of your problems or talk about money. I kind of miss those times because people girded their loins and found ways to get by without taking charity from neighbours or family. Then again, the new “psychiatry” in the form of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where people make pleas for help as easily as we used to smile and nod at passers-by, can have its cathartic moments for some. I guess it all boils down to what works. I can’t do it and it’s a product [or some might say, a symptom] of my upbringing that I can’t pour my troubles out to people I’ve never seen before… so why am I contemplating it here in my blog?
Just to clear the fog… to explain my absence from writing… to prove I am human… just what, I am not sure.
I think, that at this time of year, when we have passed through the dying process of Samhain, and we are in the process of rebirth as we grow within the Yule like a babe in the womb, awaiting Ostara and Beltaine and being reborn anew, I feel I must first whisk out a few more crumbs of fear, doubt, and worry.
My health, which I won’t go into details, they aren’t important, took an annoying turn for about close to four months. I am much better now, but it has been a time of trial and error, for that was the only way to find the culprit of my poorliness. Apart from that some other expectations went down the plughole and business has been the worst it has been since we began this business in 2013. I still haven’t found the answer to this one but it’s an ongoing process of yet more trial and error. It hasn’t helped any that my daughter has been left off work schedule on her job for going on the third week again. Good old zero hours contracts. But the worst bit of all was a week ago, my ex-husband, father of my three young witches, had a heart attack. Had he not gotten to hospital when he did, he was told, it would have ended differently in a bad way. He had a procedure to remove the fully blocked artery and the partially blocked artery’s build up of plaque and catheters implanted and now on six medications to keep this from happening again.
Well, if there is one thing I know I can always put my belief into, and that is the power of herbs and diet. So, to help my ex, I have been scouring the internet for meals which can benefit him in keeping his arteries de-clogged and help him to feel his best. As I go, I see the benefit in eating this way for myself and my live-at-home son and daughter as well. My son is 25 and worries he may have some heart issues [although so far through testing we have found no evidence] because of palpitations and my daughter, 29, has her own issues. They both eat like teenaged boys. Some of you who read my blogs regularly, may remember my Fizz Free February blogs where I cut myself off from sugar completely for that month. The results have been excellent in warding off my pre-diabetic troubles and for the most part, helping me to shed the extra weight I’ve carried since the birth of my twins in 1994! Oh, I had lost that post-partum weight probably twenty times over during the last 25 years but of course, I would pile it back on for one reason or the other. Since last year I have kept it off a record number of months for me. Result.
Come January, there will be adverts galore for gym memberships and meal plans and what-have-you. And you can find a gajillion “diets” on the web – Keto, Vegan, etc, etc, etc – and I’m sure they all have their merits. I won’t talk badly about any of them because I have never tried those. But, my advice to anyone having possible diabetic, heart, or any other issues is to follow first your doctor’s advice and secondly, tailor your diet to your needs. Luckily, the heart-healthy diet we are embarking upon is good for not only our hearts but all our issues. It is mostly sugar-free and lactose-free for me, anti-artery clogging for my ex and all of us, and mostly vegetarian with the odd chicken breast or salmon, as an ingredient here and there [it is not Vegan however, as there are some cheeses involved occasionally] . Environmentally, it is sound as well, for it will get me back into the garden growing more herbs and other edibles and best of all, no more red meat bought by my ex. I had given up red meat before it became a thing for the environment, but he was not ready to go down that road. He is now. Result.
As you can see, we’re having a Yule clear-out in our family. It is time to become responsible adults. When we crawl out of the womb of Winter come Spring, we would like to be born again as healthier, wiser people. Think about it for yourself and your own family. If you already eat healthily and for the environment, good on you. If not, please do…
And there you were thinking I would speak of Yule logs and other assorted Yule pleasures. Maybe next year. My main priority this year is hopefully sparking a flame that will help my witchy friends become the healthiest they can be next year. That is the best magick of all.
Many thanks for reading and the warmest of Yule blessings to all whom wander this way. x