On The Winter Solstice
For eons, celebrations of the returning light have taken place on the Hibernal or Winter Solstice. It is a time for home, hearth, celebration, and an appreciation of life, represented by the evergreen trees whose emerald needles cradle the snow, and whose faint voices breathe into the darkest and coldest of nights, reminding us that though the earth takes pause, life remains everlasting. Today, in the Northern Hemisphere, we will experience the shortest day and longest night of the year.
Historically, bringing greenery inside offered shelter during the cold and dark days to the spirits of the forest; to the elementals and the fairy folk who resided within, and tended to, the trees. Trees were decorated with hopes for the coming year; coins for wealth and fruits for harvest; lights (candles) to represent the sun, moon, and stars, and gifts were offered to the gods and goddesses. From the Christian tradition, I particularly like the modern practice of topping the tree with a beautiful angel. Displaying angels, the magnificent beings of light, feels so fitting for a celebration held during the longest night.
In celebration of the return of the light, I invite you to take a moment in quiet contemplation for the year past. Its successes and its challenges. Its highs and its lows. May your deepest gratitude be offered to the year and may its lessons join you on your forward journey. May your voice and your heart be in alignment, and may the delicate winter light that now returns illuminate within you all that is ready for pruning, purging, and renewal. May you gently farewell old habits, old words, and old ways that are not in service of integrity, health, and highest-self. If you are called to a ritual for the evening, in addition to taking time for contemplation and gratitude, perhaps consider writing down all that is ready to leave you on a piece of paper and offer it to a strong and well-contained fire. Do be sure to connect with the spirit of the fire, thank it for its partnership and its gifts of warmth and light, and let everything that no longer serves you burn to ashes that can lovingly be returned to the earth.
We are offered so many opportunities in this life, to connect with the sacred and to commune with the divine. On this special, sacred night, the light is reborn. This evening, I invite you to ask your benevolent helping spirits and guides to make themselves known to you. Surrounded by their presence and love, my heart hope is that you never feel alone, even in the darkest of nights, the coldest of days, and the hardest of times. On this the longest night, I invite you to take a moment to bask in the warmth of their light and to know that you too carry this light within you. Your inner light shines as a beacon of life made manifest for those that live in the ethereal realms. It is your light that warms their heart, just as their light warms yours. This light can be neither created or destroyed, it is the song of the fabric of the universe, the carol of consciousness, and it lives within you. Within all.
May the blessings be plentiful and may grace guide you and hold you into the coming year.
Happy Solstice! Good Yule! Merry Christmas!
With love and warmth always,