Cathy Holt
4 min readDec 21, 2023


Winter Solstice Reflection

Did you know that the custom of placing lights on trees at this time of year was started by St. Francis 800 years ago, as a way of honoring their sanctity? Thanks, Fr. Richard Rohr!

Here in Barichara, we don’t have pines/evergreens, so there is a lot of fake greenery adorning doorways, balconies, and hotels, while the bougainvillea and hibiscus continue their abundant blooming. The temperature doesn’t vary much this close to the equator. It feels strange to me, who lived most of my life with real winters, to be wearing a sleeveless shirt sitting outdoors as I write this.


The Solstice, as the sun appears to “stand still” in the sky, is a good time for stillness and looking back upon the past year. Most of us are devastated by the horrific genocidal war in Gaza. Is this a reflection of something within us? What attacking thoughts or grievances do we hold onto, that destroy our inner calm and influence our reactions to others? Can we use this opportunity to release them, in order to create more peace?

As the turning of the seasons takes place, could this be the time for the radical Great Turning that Joanna Macy speaks of, the turning away from the rapacious, earth-destroying consumer society and toward living in greater harmony with nature and with each other? Could we turn towards honoring indigenous wisdom and reverence for the sacredness of creation, above technology and science?

Water crystals and 6-pointed stars

Love for Humanity

Masaru Emoto pioneered the study of water crystals, which look like snowflakes, and how their formation is affected by the energy field around them. For example, the words “Love and gratitude,” printed on a paper attached to a vial of water, cause an exquisite 6-pointed crystal to form, but “I hate you” caused an ugly image without the crystalline qualities of symmetry and beauty. Some of my favorite crystals that Emoto’s team photographed are “Love for humanity” and “Truth” and “Peace.” Music also affects the crystallization process. (Heavy metal music does not allow water to crystallize.) Indeed, water acts as a mirror, reflecting our words and thoughts.

The six-pointed crystalline shape is an aspect of sacred geometry, found throughout nature. Snowflakes appear to take on an infinite variety of 6-pointed forms; bees construct their honeycombs in hexagonal cells. Many flowers have six petals. The six-pointed star is the Star of David in Judaism. In Buddhism, the six-pointed star represents peace and harmony; in Hinduism, this star symbolizes the goddess Lakshmi, who brings abundance and good fortune.

The symbol is also found in Armenian, Ethiopian, Roman, Phoenician, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Japanese cultures. The Hexagram represents the universal substance which composes all dynamics through its polarized unity. It represents both oneness and complementarity between poles of the same force. In electromagnetism, poles create opposing forces that generate a self-sustaining cyclic motion through contraction and expansion.

All living organisms send out subtle electro-magnetic energy waves, and all (including we humans) are innately sensitive and responsive to these signals. In the human body, the heart creates the strongest electromagnetic signal of any organ, 5000 times stronger than that of the brain; these signals can be felt by, and have effects on, others in the same room. The heart is above all an organ of perception. When the heart is in a state of coherence, it sends out a signal that allows others to feel safe.

“It is all a matter of vibrations — a matter of response to vibrations.” — Luther Burbank

What is Light?

This is also the time when we celebrate the gradual returning of the light, as the Northern Hemisphere days get longer. What is the light we can nurture and bring forth?

Light is electromagnetic radiation that can be perceived by the eye. Light effortlessly overcomes the darkness; higher consciousness is often called light. There is an inner radiance that shines and sparkles out through the eyes; light is the dawn, a source of hope, the reassurance that for yet another day, the sun reappears to bring its warmth, vitality and beauty to the world. Light encompasses all colors. Light travels in waves; it is the playful dance of sun on water, glinting and sparkling. Light shimmers forth through music.

“The scientist, unable to see light as anything other than a purely physical phenomenon, is blind to light.” — Masanobu Fukuoka

Experiencing the Light

Golden liquid sunlight flows down through my crown
Filling my spinal column, swirling through chakras,
Healing and harmonizing.

Sinking into the breath level of energy flow,
My heart-breath shines a golden ray of light.
Being in flow is to see the sparkling crystalline forms
Evolving infinitely in rainbow colors.

Sun-sparkled water lifts my spirit,
Golden geometric shapes behind my closed eyelids:
Six-pointed, like water crystals, shifting, kaleidescopic,
Shooting forth radiant bursts and glimmers of golden light.

Glimpses of the universe‘s structure:
Sacred geometry, order, evolving patterns, flashes of revelation.
The stars, too, radiate crystalline energy.

May the best outcomes unfold
Like symmetrical crystals evolving
May the sparkling, shimmering energy of light
Illuminate all dark places within
And nourish our true spirits.



Cathy Holt

Cathy has been living in Colombia for 2 years. She’s passionate about regenerating landscapes with water retention, agro-forestry, and biogas digestors.