Solstice, Celebration and Meaning

December 22, 2011

Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice Celebration

In our home we celebrate the Solstice, not Christmas, which is for many people becoming increasingly a time of despair and anxiety.  Solstice is one of the Sabbats that has been celebrated throughout time, and for us, it holds far more meaning than the often stress-filled day society tells us we must celebrate.  When we lived in Sydney, we used to hold a Boxing Day gathering for all our circle of friends who were traumatised by their family get togethers.  There were a lot of them!  So Boxing Day became a healing day with spiritual family.

Walking through a Canberra Mall last week to get new dog tags engraved for the dogs, I was overwhelmed by the massive despair that this time of celebration and giving is still creating.  Being an empath, I was feeling teary from the collective sorrow and stress.

Truly, it is time for a massive overhaul of how we consider celebrating Christmas. Talking to people in that mall, I found many were embracing a different approach to gift giving, many were tired of the ritual abuse of animals, and many were wondering where compassion had gone from the human species.   Christmas appeared to many to have become an empty shell, devoid of true meaning.

There must be something in my aura at the moment, because I had strangers asking me about veganism, wanting the world to be a better place for animals. One was a shop keeper who had only heard about it six months ago, and it was like a light had gone on, because she truly cared about animals.  Another was a young girl who served me a vegan meal at a café. I was insistent on no cheese or eggs or dairy, including butter, and she really wanted to get it clear for future customers. We had a great talk, and she told me how concerned she was at the horrors for animals, and wanted to see more social change. It was so lovely to have these conversations and connections with people who recognised the need for a better, kinder world. They wanted to talk to someone already on that path, who would validate their feelings, and give them the strength and direction to follow their heart wisdom.

And then I met one sad, young girl who said she had no plans for Christmas, and was clearly feeling upset about that.  I quickly confided that we didn’t either, and that it was a time to spend with the animals and nature, and give thanks for everything she has. As she has a couple of horses, it made her feel better, and she brightened.  She had been given permission to do her own thing, in her own way.

I’ve since heard that quite a few people are opting out of doing the Christmas thing this year, so it must be an idea that is catching on.  I have heard so many people say they are tired , and limping to the end of the year, and how much pressure Christmas giving puts on them.

We look forward to a Christmas Day of doing nothing, not even exchanging gifts. We will do ceremony on Solstice and be so grateful on Christmas Day for a complete day of rest.   We have library books ready! My extended famiy and I came into an agreement long ago not to do gifts at all. It has all become too much.

I say, let’s forget Christmas as it has been (a consumer junk feast), because, truly, the world needs less plastic tinsel  and unwanted gifts, and a lot more meaning.

Time for a makeover.

I love gifts as much as anyone.  Our family gives to the animals in need, and prefers spontaneous gifts that mean something.  As one of my friends said, “I spend on my children all year, and right at a time when I have big bills to pay, I’m expected to give big presents.”  That’s the stress of having to give at Christmas.

If you want to give, give to those in need – the animals and less fortunate people.  Foster an animal, or sponsor one.  Stretch a little to offer a homeless animal a home.  (In the past. most of our dogs have come to us around Christmas and January).  Plant a tree, do some voluntary work, give  things that people actually need or will nurture them in some way.  Give hand crafted gifts that support artists, or those in developing countries.  Give books or dvds that will inspire and uplift, ( and also support artists).  If you can’t afford to give now, pledge to give something later. Among the best presents I ever received was a song written by my husband, and my daughter’s first real observational writing. Dump the plastic because, truly, our Mother Earth cannot sustain greed and consumerism as it currently stands. And we need to teach our children different values, fast.

My work is about honouring the sacred. And here we have a special time – Solstice, New Moon, Christmas, all lined up in a row.  The astrology is demanding truth, the demise of the old patriachy, the tearing down of old structures, and liberation and freedom from the old ways and ideas that no longer work.

So how about we are honest with ourselves and follow our own truth at this time of year?  Isn’t it supposed to be about kindness, peace, contemplation, and compassion?  Instead of feasting on poor pigs and turkeys, perhaps it should be a day of peace for all species, and gratitude for all that we already have.  Gift giving is fine, when it is in perspective.  But somehow, in our society, the gift from the heart has been lost among the wrapping paper of commercialism and the idea sold to us that the bigger and the more expensive, the better.  I’d like to see gifts of love and compassion to the animals – farm animals spared and the homeless, homed.

As the Christians overlaid many of the pagan special days with their own, it is important to understand Christmas as more than the supposed birth of Christ (because that is truly up for discussion). Perhaps it is, symbolically, about Light.

This is how I like to think of our family celebration at solstice. This is a time of honouring the Light, as the summer solstice is the longest day of light in the year, and light is the middle part of the word en-light-enment.

Perhaps it is no surprise that it is the solstice on 21/12/2012 that is getting all the airplay as “the end of the Mayan Calendar” and the return of the Christ Consciousness on the planet. Please consider the numerology of the day – an 11.

Perhaps that is why 11:11 is showing up all the time.  Because it is about the Light giving us a shift in consciousness.  A massive shift of global consciousness.  If this year is anything to go by, despite all the density and horror that still remains, I have hope that this time next year will be dazzling, because people are waking up.

According to one writer about the number 11, Dee Finney, “Eleven brings the gift of spiritual inheritance, is gifted as the ‘Light-Bearer’. It is the number of the Light within all. Strengthened by the love of Peace, gentleness, sensitivity and insight.”

Sounds like a pretty good gift for Mother Earth next Christmas!

Celebrating Summer Solstice

This is a time of many names – Litha, Mid Summer’s Night Eve, Alban Hefin (the “light of summer” or The Light of the Shore in the Druid tradition). It is a time for celebration of crops and the longest day; a sun festival.

There are many traditional ways to celebrate this special time of the year.  Perhaps celebrate nature with a picnic under the setting sun, and if we weren’t in Australia, an outside fire would be perfect.

Have some friends over for ceremony, song, connecting with the fae, and anything to celebrate the light of the sun.

Give thanks to the sun for blessing us with his presence, and consider the Lion, a solar deity. (Interestingy the beautiful documentary Christian the Lion, based on the book A Lion Called Christian (Amazon affiliate) was aired on TV on Saturday night – and this is the beautiful and inspiring story of two Aussie men and their love of a lion who they raised and then released to the wild.)

Spend time drinking in the early morning rays of the sun, giving thanks for vitamin D and solar information.

Druid’s would often keep vigil from the night before, marking the dawn with ceremony and ritual.

Summer Solstice is a spirit time, like Samhain and Beltane, when the veil is thin and the fae and other magical beings are about. It’s a good time for meditation and listening, writing down any messages you might receive.

In Celtic tradition it was a time to gather the sacred herbs which also bestowed green blessings on the home.

Because this solstice is the prelude to the supposed big one of 2012, I intend to spend much of it Listening. I’ll be contacting the fae, trees and the animals for possible messages or insights and doing ceremony for cleansing and  peace.  Our family will take the day off to be together and enjoy special treats.  We will welcome the Light that is flooding  this Earth right now.  We might even sing.  We will definitely make jokes.  And we will probably dance with the fae!

Solstice/Christmas is a time of good cheer, of expanded hearts, and love.  With the New Moon in the middle of the two, we see a time of new beginnings.  So it’s a good time  to consider your new year’s resolutions — including how to make next Christmas a time of peace and joy for everyone- including our Mother Earth, and  the animals.

Enjoy the holidays!!

In Deep Peace and Soaring Joy,


. . . . . .

Billie Dean is an internationally recognised interspecies telepath, animal and peace advocate and award-winning creative artist.  She  is the author of Secret Animal Business, and  an independent filmmaker of inspiring and heart-warming films about animals and peace.  Billie runs a transformational on-line school Rainbow Fianna, teaching animal communication with an eclectic blend of native  and visionary wisdom to help people evolve into the human angels animals need them to be. With her husband and daughter, Billie runs A Place of Peace Animal Sanctuaryand is the founder of The Billie Dean International Deep Peace Organisation, a not-for-profit organsiation to promote peace and freedom for all animals through the arts, education and compassionate action. 

Copyright ©  Billie Dean, 2011.  You are welcome to share  this article but only in its complete form with author, author blurb, and website attached.  Thank you!

Photo credit: vintagedept

Festive Sweets

December 21, 2012

Chocolate MeltingThe following is one of the recipes from our new ebook Loving Kindness Chocolate Indulgence: A Vegan Recipe Book for Animal-Loving Chocoholics, which we released yesterday, and which people are loving.

The Festive Sweets recipe is perfect for this time of year, and fun to do with the kids. This recipe was generously donated by Vegan Family, and our ebook is a fundraiser for the animals of A Place of Peace.

Festive Sweets

Making your own sweets is actually quite fun – children have a great time with this too.  They are also nice gifts if placed in a pretty box or packet.


  • Vegan chocolate – I recommend Maya Gold for these – it’s orange spiciness is perfect for this time of year.
  • Nuts of your choice (hazel, walnut, pecan, almond, brazil)
  • Vegan marzipan (many supermarkets stock this)
  • Dates
  • Desiccated coconut
  • Cocoa
  • Icing sugar
  • Crystallised angelica
  • Glace cherries
  • Flaked almonds


It’s very simple!

  1. Melt the chocolate and then dip things in it – nuts, marzipan balls, dates – and then place them on a sheet of grease-proof paper to set.
  2. Decorate with angelica, glace cherries (can be made to look like holly) and flaked almonds before the chocolate sets and then you can sprinkle with cocoa, coconut or icing sugar.
  3. Dates can be de-stoned and stuffed with marzipan for a non-chocolate treat.
  4. Place in petit four cases and enjoy!

. . . . . .

Image by cogocogo.

Surviving the Current Energies

Sad dog in a Christmas hat

Are your companions feeling the current energies like this poor dog??

December 8, 2012

It has to be a cosmic joke. Christmas is usually an emotionally frayed enough time without Mercury in retrograde, but we’ve had three weeks of it! Mercury goes forward on December 13. Hooray!

When Mercury goes, retrograde it is a good time to go within.  And with the energies of the moment being particularly touchy, if you can go within I would highly advise it. Eat lunch alone! Out in nature. It’s a good time to duck and hide. Hibernate even. Because this Mercury Retrograde is heightened by the December 10th Lunar Eclipse, the 12/12/11 Gateway, and solar flares, it might makes people very stressed if they don’t understand what is going on.

Here at home, we put our heads down and work and tend animals, and it is like we are in our own world. But the number of cries for help are coming in good and fast, so I know people are struggling with this, this time.

Don’t worry. We’ll have a new gateway soon. But the essence of it is that we have to do our personal work, and anything that you find up for healing and release right now, tend to it! If you are triggered by something – it’s an active issue!

For me, I think the word “delegation” is coming up as I, like so many others, are seeing the insanity of our lives – doing, doing, doing – when all our souls want to do is just be.

What can I shed? What can I let go of? Where does my heart lie? What is old past life stuff and what is really my heart’s desire this time around?

The process of simplifying, of de-cluttering and letting go the old in favour of something more “you” is really intense right now. So go with the flow. What changes can you really make? What is your heart and soul really yearning for? And have you found those things that bring you peace, contentment, excitement and happiness?

Imagine a world full of contented people, all doing the things that make them happy? Bliss. This is our future, if we can start today, using the extra fuel power of some pretty intense astrology.

Who is out there complaining? Don’t! Move, shift and float upwards. Complaining holds you anchored in the third dimension, which you created with your complaints!!

The 12 12 11 Gateway is another download of light (have you been feeling those lately?) and some people might find it puts you in a state of giggly silliness, euphoria, relaxation, contentment – and others might find it challenging. The former people might want to make sure they ground. The world might not be looking at this gateway as intensely as 11/11/11 – but remember how that was for you, and take the time to say “thank you”. Watch for signs from nature and Spirit and actively focus on inner peace and quiet (or lively) joy.

My 11/11/11 gateway was sweet. I realised I was manifesting “be-ing”. I felt more relaxed than I have all year – despite work pressure. I took the day off to do ceremony and the Divine Love Healing Circle. I felt giddy with elation, despite grounding techniques, and I heard many lightworking friends also found dreams manifesting with ease: love, new homes, movement. I had a whole weekend off to be me.

I enjoyed simple things like house work singing to Carol King, vegan cooking for teens and listening to live folk music at Music at the Creek, the Majors Creek folk festival. I impulsively bought a secondhand banjo and now I’m having banjo lessons!

Later I had a huge “a-ha” in a bright technicolour life review while standing in the middle of the kitchen, seeing how being too busy was actually extremely unkind to my s-elf. Balance!

The clarity with which realisations came to me was stunning and I made sure I wrote them down. They weren’t just words anymore. I could See  how wrong the old 3-D groove was.

The process of peeling away the dead, asleep suits has accelerated, as the new alive, intuitive, heart-centered people emerge from the dross like phoenixes. Nurturing oneself and others during this time is very very important. Even the animals are sooky. My guidance was, and is, to rest, rest, rest. That’s kind of challenging at this time of year – but do what you can. I was also told that things would move forward again after 12/12/11.

Make sure you use the full opportunity of this time.  Do ceremony, drink in the sun’s rays, open yourself to change, allow yourself to become more sensitive, compassionate, gentle and refined.  And that’s energetic refinement, not, you know, tea in pretty cups.  (Although why not?)

The more awake people are, the more they see the truth of the illusion and traps we’ve fallen into. When you energetically rise higher and higher,  and lighter and lighter, it’s more of a challenge to consider causing anyone harm, least of all innocent animals.  And animal sensitives just become physically unable to tolerate harm of any kind to their animal brothers and sisters.

You see the world differently – what it could be, not what it is. This is why I keep calling for change, and urge my students not to get too caught up in what they see, but to work on themselves so they can see differently. The more people who see the world from the perspective of eagle, for example, the more we will see real change –a world where finally the urgency of compassionate action is a thing of the past because all beings are cared for with love and kindness.

So I am enjoying this process of peeling the old dead suit away with the last (I hope) of any stuff I’m carrying around, and going with my heart intuition about how to live in a new way. A new fun, light-hearted way, even as I continue my heavier work as an animal advocate.

Spirit also told me that my work had only just begun, and then proceeded to send miserable, over crowded, cattle, sheep and logging trucks to cross my path. Just to remind me of the horrors which still exist for the animals and nature. *Sigh.*

It makes me feel so full of gratitude to everyone embracing a Loving Diet (I no longer want to use the term “cruelty free”. That puts the focus on the wrong thing.) Thank you! What we are doing to animals has to stop and this is one big big area of change for 2012. I think it will happen! So instead of focusing on the horrors, I focus on social change.  A Loving Diet that becomes the norm!  And just by embracing this kind of eating, chemically effects people to become more peaceful, joyous, healthy and connected to animals and nature.   High frequency is contagious. (Remember, high frequency people can’t consider harming others.)

There is something in the eating of flesh that keeps people stuck in an old groove of density.  And they realise it as soon as they stop!  It’s okay to be sensitive!

Andrew and I were talking about this just the other day, and as he mentioned, it wasn’t so long ago that it was considered reasonable that black people could be shot by white people, and their children taken away (like we do to the animals.)

Now that we see the awful error of that social more, we are turning our attention to how badly we treat animals. This is a process of awakening, of evolution, of energetic refinement. And so it goes. I have long said that we will look back at this time as brutish and barbaric – and really, the more refined your energies become, the more clear it really is. So today is the enlightenment revolution!

A lot of people are angry at people who are causing suffering to animals through their diet choices, for example. But what we have to realise is that it is a process of evolution. The people stuck in the old ways need to be inspired to flower and grow.  There is no need to be angry.  Please be patient with friends and relatives .  Allow them their process.   Invite them to scrummy vegan dinners.   Invite them to try a Meat free Monday recipe.  For some this is strange eating.  It isn’t meat and three veg.  Over thirty years ago, my friends would rock up to dinner at our place, having stuffed themselves on KFC because they thought I would be serving lettuce leaves.  Hmn.  It is a process of education that Loving meals are yummy, healthy and they make you feel good.

What we have to realise is that peeling away is happening for everyone and everything. Just because we have always used animals certainly doesn’t make it right. And those who react, because they are still clinging to the idea that they don’t want to give up “meat”, have to ask themselves why? Is this a trigger which needs healing and release?  Be adventurous and ask yourself “why not?”

The trend to a Loving Diet is skyrocketing as people become more and more compassionate. We can no longer turn away from the truth of our food industries and the crazy things people do for greed. Meat consumption has become not only unhealthy, but also unholy.

There are so many wonderful benefits of a Loving Diet, including becoming more loving! And more healthy. And at a soul level, more at peace. Let’s face it, few people want to cause suffering. Our society is just conditioned to think it is okay, and it is really painful to realise it isn’t.

And it isn’t.

We have to create new paths and trails, to create a new world of peace for all species. This is my work now – to inspire others to see the possibilities of a different world.

While some people are feeling as though the light at the tunnel is glowing brightly, others are still squinting to see it.

There are reports of animals behaving oddly or getting sick quickly, people under stress and reacting badly , and life feeling as if one just lost the reins of a galloping horse. Ascension symptoms are still things like clearing flus, fatigue, inability to sleep, interrupted sleep patterns, and brain fog. If this is you, lay low – go ground in nature, hug a tree, meditate with your back against one (and don’t forget to leave a gift of rolled oats for energetic exchange).

As 5-D is a karma-free zone, it makes sense that anything left unhealed is up for healing and release. So handle it and be aware of what is triggering you. Don’t just go on the attack. Understand that you are triggered and therefore need to look at something which has come up for healing.

This is a time of change and we have to have change. So shine a light on your own shadow and duck when others reveal theirs! Don’t bother engaging in a battle of tempers.

Keep breathing through the crunchy times and feelings. We’ve had a taste of freedom, and there is more coming.

The trees did tell me it had been harder than anyone thought for humans to shed their density. Ouch!

And don’t forget, we are in a new new time. Never before have we ascended on mass with our bodies. So think about the enormity of this kind of change. We are all pioneers.

Also, be mindful of your thoughts and do what you can to stay positive and buoyant. (Self-nurture is the key here – very important.) Thoughts are manifesting more quickly – even the bad ones. This can get lots of people into trouble. However it is also the sign of the age of grace – so look at your world with an eye to knowing you created it.

And you can change it!

We’re in a time of beginnings, so this is a good time to begin new projects and dream in the kind of life and behaviours that fit a new era society. One of gentleness, respect, compassion and kindness to all species.

. . . . . .

Billie Dean is an internationally recognised interspecies telepath, animal and peace advocate and award-winning creative artist.  She  is the author of Secret Animal Business, and  an independent filmmaker of inspiring and heart-warming films about animals and peace.  Billie runs a transformational on-line school Rainbow Fianna, teaching animal communication with an eclectic blend of native  and visionary wisdom to help people evolve into the human angels animals need them to be. With her husband and daughter, Billie runs A Place of Peace Animal Sanctuary and is the founder of The Billie Dean International Deep Peace Organisation, a not-for-profit organsiation to promote peace and freedom for all animals through the arts, education and compassionate action. 

Copyright ©  Billie Dean, 2011.  You are welcome to share  this article but only in its complete form with author, author blurb, and website attached.  Thank you!

Photo credit: anneh632.

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