The holiday season can be a source of joy or anxiety. Sometimes while everyone around us is celebrating, we find it hard to join in. Why don’t we take a look at the Holidays Symbols?
- It could because the days are shorter and the lack of sunlight makes you feel depressed.
- Perhaps you feel the loss of those no longer with you when others celebrate with loved ones.
- Maybe you’re discouraged with the commercialism that surrounds these spiritually rich holidays.
- Maybe you allow the extra, little things that you think “need” to get done overwhelm you.
Whatever the reason, to discover joy in the holidays can be tough. I started looking for deeper meaning last year when I realized the holidays for me had become a lot of work and delivered little joy. During Cate Stillman’s Winter Traditions course last year, I learned to look at what surrounds us in this season in order to find little moments of deeper meaning, little reminders to breathe, which return me to a place of joy.
Here’s a yogi’s take on the meaning behind holiday symbols. As you read consider what resonates with you, and perhaps one of these symbols will prompt you during the holidays to pause, reflect, smile, and find joy in the holidays.
The Meaning Behind the Holidays Symbols
The Candle and the Flame: Our True Essence
Recognize the luminosity, in whatever voltage, emanating from the people you are with. The candle attracts us to light. Remember that you are light and make choices to enable your light to be transparent to others.
Each time you see a candle, remember that the light is within you; we are all divine. In essence, the candle is another way to express “namaste:” The light in me sees and honors the light in you. The divine in me recognizes the divine in you.
The Star: Our Purpose
The complexity of the intertwine is also apparent in both star shapes. Think of drawing a star and how each line connects with the next point and crosses over another, drawing us all in and connecting us to each other and everything in the Universe.
In Christian texts,the wise men saw the star in the East. This reference can be interpreted as seeing the star in the morning or eastern sky. In Ayurveda, we know that we’re connected to the divine at this special time of day. This connection brings about the balance of divine inspiration and human manifestation which becomes our purpose.
The star reminds us of our potential or purpose in this lifetime and our connection to the divine.
The Christmas Tree: Chakra Spine and Breath
The symbol of the tree connects us to nature. The essential oils from trees are grounding, rooting, and balancing. Think of White Pine, Sandalwood, Cedar, Arborvitae… When we bring a live tree into the house, we infuse our room with these oils and their influence.
The tree can also be seen as the sacred north-south energy channel of our spine. Our roots are our root energy center (Muladhara Chakra). The top, where the angel or star is placed, is our crown center (Sahasrara Chakra). Our crown is our connection point to the universe and the world that is larger than ourselves.
Trees are also our breathing buddies. We are perfectly paired to provide what the other needs. Breathing in oxygen from trees and returning a gift of carbon dioxide.
When you look at a Christmas tree, take a slow breath and make your spine tall. Be rooted and gloriously uplifted simultaneously.
The Winter Birds: Our Flock, Our Song
Christmas birds remind us of our flock and that we don’t fly alone in this life. Birds communicate via song and invite us to be melodic and harmonic in our conversations.
The cardinal often depicted on holiday cards is a symbol of beauty and the warmth of the season.
Birds bring hope, cheer, and inspiration with their joyful song and friendly nature. When you see the birds, remember to connect with your flock when you are feeling low and need to hear a melodic voice.
The Wreath: The Cycle of Life
The circle is the entirety of the cycle of life, without beginning or end. The circle represents our timeless, unbroken nature. In the Northern Hemisphere during the holiday season, we transition from a period of death into rebirth when our days grow longer again.
The wreath also represents the circle of our life, starting from spirit, and proceeding through birth, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, wisdom years, and back to spirit again. Where are you in the circle? Think of the loved ones around you this season. Which part of the cycle are they in at this moment? This is especially helpful if your family gatherings are not always peaceful or enjoyable. Honor each part of the circle as you think of your family members.
The construction of the wreath also has meaning. The cedar boughs represent strength, and the holly leaves and berries represent immortality as the leaves stay green and bright in the darkest of days when all other plants have died away for the winter.
The wreath is a sign of welcome, generosity, giving, and the gathering of loved ones.
The Menorah: Spreading of Light, Wisdom, and Divine Inspiration
The Menorah symbolizes the sharing and spreading of light. Our light emanates from our center, our heart, and into our actions and interactions. For yogis this light represents the divine goodness that is within each one of us. In the words of Marianne Williamson “As we allow our own light to shine brighter we give others permission to do the same.”
The light also represents divine wisdom coming from above and through us, spread into the world. During your meditation tap into this divine source of wisdom to discover what message you are meant to share with the world.
This light shines brightly all day and illustrates the power of miracles through the ancient story of the flame staying lit for many days even though the oil supply was low.
When you see the light of the menorah shining brightly, against all odds, remember that it is your actions and words that influence others to see their own potential and goodness.
Use Holiday Symbols to Discover Joy
After reflecting on the meaning behind these decorations that surround us during the holiday season, will you look at them differently or incorporate them differently into your home or personal sanctuary? Which symbol carries a special meaning for you this year?
For me, trees have always played a big part in my identity, and this season I have chosen a special tree, my mother-in-law’s former treasure, to place in my meditation area to help draw me in to sit tall, breathe, and connect through the crown center to the divine wisdom of the universe.
Each time you see one of these holiday-season symbols, remember to breathe, consider the symbol’s deeper meaning, and discover your own inherent joy at this time of year.