It is a cold and dreary winters night….the longest of the year. It is the night we honour the darkness when we feel into the part of the cycle of life we all seem so afraid of, the death.
Darkness comes in winter, with the cold, with the dying of the leaves, and the falling of snow, rain or fog. The days grow shorter, and we begin to hibernate. As we pull ourselves inside earlier and earlier to sit with a fire, in warmth, we see the shadows.
The honouring of the shortest day is a tradition that stretches back a long long time. And in honouring it we also honour our own darkness. We look inside and we know, that life is a duality, it isn’t good or evil, it isn’t light or dark, it is both. The Winter Solstice reflects the parts of us we may be ashamed to see, we may not want to honour. But as with everything, the dark is part of us and it is here to stay.
These longer nights are the perfect time to hibernate and reflect. It is a time to retreat and withdraw, listening to and honouring what we can see nature is asking of us. This is passage from the dark to the light. The passage from death to the next life. This is where we bloom again. We can access the wisdom of the ages ::
Accept your mortality
Love your darkness
Be with your shadows
And through this, as we await the coming of the sun, the coming of the warmth in the morning, we acknowledge our beautiful Earth for the giving of life. We honour the Sun for the giving of Light. We honour the Cycles as we moves back towards Summer.
For me this period is of gratitude. A period when we can see that, although at times things are dark, the sun will rise again. Light will prevail. It is this we can hold on to in our darkest and longest nights.
In the ritual I perform each year, I honour not just the young and divine Maiden, or the supple and creative Mother, but the Crone as well, the wise and kind Crone who has seen many dark nights, and brings light to other’s lives just be being. This is who I seek to embody at this time.
Our society shuns age, as though it is a weakness. It is not. It the amazing gift of a life well served. It is the wisdom of years and knowledge nothing can replace. The Goddess Freya sits at her spinning wheel, spinning our wheel of fate…keeping us moving, the energy flowing. It is her holiday, as she also creates the clouds, and therefore, is partly responsible for the fertility of the Earth. Between her and the returning sun, we have life. We keep life.
Merry meet my loves, and blessed be.