A little over 25 years ago I was living in Kyoto, Japan. It was my first holiday away from the U.S. and I was feeling quite homesick. I recall walking to the neighborhood shrine on Christmas morning thinking it would be the ideal spot to feel sorry for myself. Sulking on a cold bench I watched as the shrine’s caretaker maintained the grounds. To him it was just another day. He greeted me with a friendly, ohayō gozaimas, and then continued with his task at hand.
Most of the people I connected with that morning offered much of the same and as the day progressed it struck me that not one wished me a Meri Kurisumasu. And while this thought could have pushed me into a deeper funk, something unexpected happened. I experienced a type of reversed Christmas spirit and found I was actually relieved to be living in a country where Christmas wasn’t a national holiday. It suddenly dawned on me that I was living in a land where I wasn’t expected to follow holiday customs. I didn’t need to send Christmas cards, give out gifts or attend holiday parties. It was an introverts dream come true! Instead of feeling sad, I felt liberated from the holiday hustle and hype. I was strangely happy to be released from the spell most Westerners fall under this time of year.
I ended up spending 7 years in Asia and as each year passed, so did my attachment to the holiday. 25 years later you might ask, “Does each December find you standing in isolated wait for the season to pass?” Tempting, but no. I still decorate my home and make small gifts that reflect the Solstice or divination. In a way I have experienced the best of both worlds where the holidays can be lovely if we choose to participate or not.
Whatever you choose to do this season I wish you deep love in your heart, peace in your mind, joy in your spirit and the support of a community that accepts your customs as rich gifts that add to our wonderfully diverse planet.
In keeping with this wish, the following casting sheet invites us to divine a more harmonious holiday, one that’s anchored in goodwill toward self and others while encouraging balance in body, mind, heart and spirit. It follows these next 12 days of December that lead up to Solstice and Christmas and asks that we find calm ground when the world around us may be spinning in seasonal stress. Here’s how it works:
Click, Print & Divine
You have the option to divine with this casting sheet in one sitting, or take it one day at a time by doing a daily cast. Go with your intuition.
Each number acts as a countdown to Solstice (Dec. 21st) and/or Christmas day. It begins at number 1 (Dec. 14th) and moves clockwise to the number 12 (Dec. 25th).
A playing card suit is matched with each number and corresponds with the following:
- Spades = The Mind. If your charm or card land on a Spade it suggests you cultivate peaceful thoughts using your charm or card’s symbol as your guide.
- Hearts = The Emotions. If your charm or card land on a Heart it suggests you maintain love in your heart using your charm or card’s symbol as your guide.
- Clubs = The Spirit. If your charm or card land on a Club it suggests you rejoice in your spirit using your charm or card’s symbol as your guide.
- Diamonds = The Physical. If your charm or card land on a Spade it suggests you offer the riches of your environment to your community using your charm or card’s symbol as your guide.
The four suits are also represented in the four corners of your casting sheet and offer a brief starter sentence. Please customize the divination to fit your needs by adding your own words for a balanced holiday season.
As always, happy divining and Merry Solstice!