My community and I celebrated the Winter Solstice on Saturday night. The actual Solstice day is today and is the longest night. After today, the days begin to once again grow longer. This day is a celebration of the rebirth of the Sun and in Wiccan commnities, the celebration would include the lighting of fires, candles, dancing, drumming, chanting all in celebration of the Sun's gaining power over the darkness.
This time of year inspires introspection, evaluation and rumination. It's a time to look at where the year has taken us and whether there is someplace else we may want to go. We light fires for warmth against the cold as well as a symbol of the growing heat of the Sun. Fire transforms all that it touches and is an important elelment to work with during this time. We celebrate not only the growing light but we recognize that the darkness and cold are also important. Without these times we get too caught up in the doing and busyness of life and forget to take stock, to go within.
This celebration and subsequent introspection is a part of our religious practice as Wiccans. It is about moving in time with the pulls of Nature. All else is asleep, why are we fussing? The bear is long asleep in her cave. The groundhog and rabbits are in their burrows well stocked for the needs of winter. Yet, here we are busy. As Americans unless our lives are centered around the seasons, we don't always take the time to notice their passing. A farmer would, a beekeeper, anyone who works outdoors, anyone that drives for a living. We tend to see the seasons in relation to the holidays and forget the natural world around us. The trees have their winter coats on, as do the deer. The seeming barrenness of the trees always reminds me of their bravery, their willingness to move with and surrender to Nature's urgings.
So, have a wonderful holiday season and embrace the gift that this time of introspection offers freely, willingly and without attachment. Give yourself a gift of silence and time to truly reflect on what has passed, not to dwell on it but to learn from it and look forward to the New Year with expectancy, excitement. Declare the year you want to have and allow yourself to have it. Here's a hint: if the lesson you glean from your introspection does not lighten your heart and put a smile on your face, you're doing it wrong....LOL.
Have a glorius Yuletide season!! Enjoy the time of quiet. Embrace the New Year with joy!!