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Turning your Holidays
into Holy-days

by Norma Gentile

reprinted from
December 1999
PhenomeNEWS Magazine

Silence is the greatest of teachers


This time of year always brings me to a sense of stillness. A sense of spaciousness based on my own inner silence. It feels right to acknowledge the change of seasons in this way. I have difficulty when I need to be out shopping and moving around, often in a rush, in the darkness of the early evening. It feels like I am going against the grain somehow.

Stillness is an element which is sorely lacking in today's holy-day season. It is as if we are all so afraid of slowing down that we feel a need to spin faster and faster with each December.


What is it that we gain by moving faster each December? Why do we fight the natural tendency to slow down as the days shorten and the nights lengthen?

As the light dims and becomes multi-colored in the late afternoon here in Michigan, I find myself drawn to quietness and contemplation. This is the season of the inner life. This is my opportunity for reflection.

Denying myself this time is like not fertilizing and covering a garden in anticipation of spring blooms. One must rest, honoring the invisible movement of creative spirit within our bodies and our lives.

I have often thought that the prevalence of colds and flu at this time of year has to do with breaking the honoring of this rest cycle. If we won't voluntarily slow down, our bodies will do it for us!

This year's cycle of stillness is apt to be more profound than usual. On January 20th there is the first of a series of six eclipses, both lunar and solar, which will occur in the year 2000. These eclipses won't all be as noticeable as the one this past August. However, they will each bring the planet into new balances of energy.

We might experience these energies as a seesaw. Each eclipse brings a new opportunity to explore a hidden part of ourselves. Many people are already feeling the need to change careers or take classes. This is a part of the cycle.

The eclipses will heighten these desires to try new things, and bring us opportunities to actually do some of the things we are only dreaming about at this time. 

Taking full advantage of the new is often only a matter of perception. As you know what feels 'right' to you now, you have more confidence to reach out and try on a bit of something new. Because you are familiar with yourself, you will feel when you are being pulled too far or too fast.

It is not a coincidence that the final of these six eclipses will fall on Christmas Eve, December 25th, 2000. What better time, according to natural earth cycles, to make profound inner choices?  

It is a challenge to all of us to honor and explore the depth of the still time during this season, making the holidays truly holy-days of our own reflections.

Norma Gentile is an intuitive healer and recording artist residing in Ann Arbor. She teaches voice, conducts workshops and healing concerts of medieval chant. (734) 332-4606, or her website at

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