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The rough nights: meaning and origin of the magical nights
The closer we get to Christmas or "the time between the years", the quieter it gets around us. Peace returns to nature, the days are getting darker and we can also perceive an inner longing for silence and retreat within ourselves. We feel that a magical time is slowly approaching and invites us to reflection.
The days around the turn of the year are called rough nights. The old customs and rituals are increasingly finding their way back into modern society and more and more people are fascinated by this unique time. In this blog post you will learn more about the origins and meaning of the Rauhnachts, but also how you can conveniently integrate the Rauhnachts customs into your yoga practice.
The rough nights have always been considered a holy time in which we should look back as much as possible and free ourselves from ballast. Traditionally, the rough nights begin with the winter solstice - the so-called Julnacht on December 21st. On the night of Jul, the darkest and longest night, light is symbolically reborn. The cycle of the year starts all over again and so the Julnacht also stands for rebirth, hope and strength.
Nowadays, the beginning of the rough nights is also celebrated on December 24th, because Christianity has modified and adopted many pagan customs and traditions. Many of today's Christmas customs can be found in pre-Christian traditions, whether decorating Christmas trees, tying Advent wreaths or incense. These customs existed before Christianity and even earlier. For this reason, it is difficult to capture the true origins and fairy tales of the Rauhnächte without distorting the customs and stories. This would also go beyond the scope at this point, because we would like to give you a little inspiration on how you can use the rough nights to your advantage. You are absolutely free to start the rough nights at a time that feels good for you. Trust your inner compass here.
The mystical nights away from time
People used to live according to the cyclic course of the moon and a lunar month lasted about 28 days, so a lunar year had a duration of 354 days. In comparison to the calendar solar year, 11 days and 12 nights are missing: These are the mystical rough nights that seem to exist apart from time.
It is said that during this time the world is permeated by mystical powers and the veils between the worlds lift, we can connect intensively with our ancestors and perceive messages from the spiritual world more clearly. The rough nights are a fertile time for oracles and manifestations, but also for arriving at yourself. They create the space for you to take time for yourself and to consciously get in touch with yourself. You explore your dreams and longings, create new ideas and visions and can lovingly let go of old wounds and issues.
It is a time of rituals, customs and myths that will help you let go of the old year with ceremony and mindfulness. The new year, your new journey in the annual cycle is imminent and you can sow the first seeds for more love, success and happiness.
The 12 rough nights stand for the 12 months of the following year and come with different topics that you can deal with. There are traditions where the themes may differ. However, there are smoking night rituals that you can do at any time because your intention is more important here than following a strict schedule.
- Smoking : The yards, houses and dwellings are smoked and cleaned with purifying herbs. The contaminated sites are allowed to leave their own four walls. The premises are then blessed and thus ensure a positive vibration and protection.
- Dream Journal : It is said that dreams during rough nights can be very intense and futuristic. It is recommended to write down the dreams in the 12 nights and pay attention to recurring symbols, feelings and situations.
- Tidying up : Before the twilight hours, you should create order and clean up thoroughly to provide fresh and new energy. It is recommended to refrain from mucking out and tidying up during the rough nights, because it is said to bring bad luck. The vernacular also says that one should not leave laundry hanging outside, otherwise evil spirits will get caught in it. (For during the rough nights, the wild hunt roams the land)
- Medicinal herbs : During the rough nights, not only the dreams and the connection to the other world should be more intense, but also the effect of medicinal plants and herbs. For example, you can mix your favorite herbal tea from loose herbs and drink it every night to connect with the plant souls.
- Oracles : Whether tarot, oracle cards or throwing runes - get impulses for your life topics or for the new year and ask for the guidance of the universe.
- Ancestors : Our ancestors are a part of us, they accompany us constantly and are happy when we are willing to get in contact with them. Especially in the time of Samhain and the rough nights, the veils between the worlds are thin and we can resolve ancestral issues and karmic entanglements more effectively. But we can also ask our ancestors for help and wisdom.
Your yoga night ritual
Maybe you don't have time every evening to devote yourself to the various Rauhnacht rituals in addition to everyday tasks. However, you can easily integrate the magic of the rough nights into your yoga practice and use it effectively for yourself. A longer yoga or meditation practice in the morning or evening will already ground you well and connect you with yourself.
Meditation and introspection: During your meditation, consciously reflect on the past year and what tasks and lessons it has brought with it.
- What strengthened me?
- Where could I meet myself more deeply?
- What issues do I want to let go of?
- Where can I practice forgiveness?
- Am I well grounded in myself?
- Which areas of life need more loving attention?
- What are my concrete and honest wishes, goals and dreams for the next year and my life?
Write everything down in a journal and get a clear overview. Feel free to draw an oracle card on the questions you have and let the universe work its magic for you. A Tratak meditation can also be very helpful during the rough nights. You can find instructions here . Take the time to really calm down and give yourself mindful moments. So you can experience the rough nights without much stress and still take a lot of knowledge with you.
We wish you a magical time!