And the thirteenth month has begun. The harp of the gods has been tuned. The trees are quiet. The Twelve Silent Nights is an ‘in-between period’, the ‘time that does not exist’ in the lunar year, so ideal for reflection and making prospects.
During the 12 Silent or Holy Nights, it’s dark and cold. Ideal conditions for a lot of sleep, rest and therefore mysticism. Ideal conditions for listening, receiving, embracing. It’s no wonder that there is a Norwegian folk song about this period. Ever heard about the dreamsong of Olav Åsteson?
A Norwegian mystical song
This song came to light in 1850, when a member of the clergy heard about one Olav in a lonely valley of Telemark, Norway. The epic story – whose origins have been lost to time – tells of a young man who slept for twelve nights during the deep winter days and nights. When he finally woke up, he shared the wonderful things he had seen in this underground ‘journey’.
I read a bit about the history. The south of Norway is well known for its Christian traditions and mystical experiences. It is no ‘wonder’ that according to mystical Christian tradition the twelve Holy Nights can provide some mystical experiences. It seems you could ‘dream’ the future. Night one (December 25th to 26th) to night twelve (January 5th to January 6th) represent the months of the year.
After I asked my Norwegian friends about this, one shared this album ‘Draumkvedet’ with me:
Getting nightmares is also good. Mare means message in the old language. I started to keep a dream and forest bath diary. I am writing down what I dreamt (inside) and what I observed outside. I had a dream becoming a nightmare in the first night. I knew what it meant: it was about persons with who I feel safe. When I bicycled in the darkest hour of the first Silent Night to my work, I heard owls – the archetype of the divine old hag- and saw a falling star, or perhaps it was just an optic phenomenon of glass of the lanterns of the highway I was just crossing. Last -the second silent night- it has been storming. The wind is howling and letting the trees dance around the house. Of course, I said, February has always been a time of late winter storms, clearing the west and the path.
I invite you to keep a dream and / or forest bath diary, to reflect on the feelings you have and not directly act re-act, just observe, listen, take in. Keep dreaming, even -and especially – in dark times.