Valentine’s Day, our annual celebration of love is quickly approaching. Whether you seek to connect in an extra-special way with your sweetheart, or whether you are renewing certain vows to yourself, it matters not. Love is love whether we direct it inward or outward. When we love ourselves, we raise our own vibration, opening our eyes anew, and making ourselves receptive ~ awake to the beauty that lies within and around us. When we love another, we lift them up and gift them with not only the best version of ourselves, but also a reminder of all that is special about themselves as well.
So, while Valentine’s Day sometimes catches a bad rap for being a ‘commercial’ holiday, or is regarded with a bit of an edge by those who, for any multitude of reasons, are not celebrating, we say no. Emphatically no. Valentine’s Day is an opportunity, not an excuse to focus on the negative, or what we think we don’t have. (Read that last sentence again if you’re feeling resistance.)
It’s darn hard some days, in this very hectic era of existence, to find time for ritual. And we make it even harder when we make excuses. We say we are ‘too busy’ or ‘too tired’ or ‘don’t know what to do.’ Something else needs doing first. Someone else is more important. Well, Valentine’s Day, poised between the holiday madness and the beginning of Spring, offers us a reprieve from the mundane, and a refocusing on the self (and the soul) – which comes in rather handy if you ask me.
By all means, if you already love Valentine’s Day and you’ve got special plans or traditions, that’s wonderful! Embrace them and cherish them. If you don’t, well then here’s your green light to create a brand new Sabbat. One for which the sole focus is Love. And ‘Love’ can be understood or expressed in a great many ways, so revel in the ability to make this Holiday one that you – your Self, your Soul – will truly love.
In the final days leading up to February 14th, consider these questions:
~ What makes you feel at peace?
~ What makes you feel radiant ~ inside, outside, or both?
~ What is an activity or practice that you know makes you feel like you are coming home to yourself?
~ What do you know about yourself that is true, and also a gift?
~ How do you express gratitude for your gifts?
Whichever question(s), and subsequent answers resonate most for you, use them to guide your ritual. Here are a few ideas to get you going.
5 Ways to Claim Valentine’s Day:
1. Let’s start with something simple and which costs no money and only as much time as you can afford – visualization. If you already know that meditation or prayer brings you to peace, make your environment as serene as you can, and let love be your focus. Love of self, love of your tribe, love for the Earth…whatever you so choose. Raise the vibe and visualize – feel- that love as you direct it to wherever it is needed most.
2. If you are a Goddess of the Hearth and you love to cook, get in the kitchen and get down with your favorite tunes and some serious soul food – perhaps preparing a special meal is how you share your love with others.
3. Are you gifted with an affinity for poetry or prose? Skilled with a paintbrush or needle and thread? Create something for yourself, or the world, that speaks of love and beauty.
4. Love letters are not only for lovers. Why not write a letter to someone who could use a kind word and a bit of encouragement. Someone who needs reminding that there is love and kindness in the world.
5. Make a date with friends who are keen to claim Valentine’s Day with you. This can look however you all decide: go to the gym together to show some love to your hearts and get them pumping; schedule an “online” dinner date with long distance friends via video conference to share a glass of wine and catch up with one another; grab a single mama friend and take her out for the night; start a group chat and share with each friend a special memory or quality that you love about each person; have a Valentine-making party and leave your Valentines in tucked away places to be found by strangers. The options here are endless.
Maybe you are feeling a bit spent and while this all sounds nice, it still feels well…a little too hard at the moment. That’s ok too. There is nothing wrong with curling up on your couch with a book or a movie and indulging in a bit of comfort food – some days this is what self care looks like. And self care is self love.
As for me, I have my own tradition. After my child is in bed and asleep, I will make space for the me that lies inside. The me that gets buried beneath obligations and responsibilities. The me that often sacrifices my own needs for another whose need is greater in that moment. The me that sometimes wants to scream but squeezes out a smile instead.
I’ll slow it waaay down, shut off my phone and turn on the music. I’ll turn down the lights and ‘turn up’ my candles. Moving intentionally from room to room, I will sage and smudge, clearing away the stagnant and the unnecessary, gradually beginning to sink in to the sacred temple that is my heart. A place with a soft and sensuous vibe, and none of the sharp edges from the world outside. I’ll run a steaming hot bath, perfumed with lavender and rose petals, sea salts and jasmine flowers. I will step in slowly, all of the mundane melting away. By the time I emerge, I will feel like a queen. Soft but strong, rested and renewed, with warmth in my heart and patience in my soul. I will remember that this is where true power and healing reside – with love in the heart.
Happy Valentine’s Day beloveds. Let your love light shine.