As are many other people, I am affected by the waning sunlight available each day. I can feel my energies and ability to focus mitigated by the increasing darkness that shrouds my portion of the earth. From Autumnal Equinox in September through the falling of the leaves and the increasing chill, I eagerly anticipate Winter Solstice, which occurs tomorrow at 11:28 a.m. EST. As the sun reaches its lowest point away from me, the shortest sunlit day holds promise of the return of light. It does this according to the scientific, non-dogmatic reality of the workings of the Earth and the Sun. People since the beginning of time have held rituals and celebrations to entice the return of the sun, and to rejoice in its rebirth. Druids and other pagan groups celebrated by lighting candles and bonfires and gathering evergreen branches. In more recent times, the light celebrations of Hanukkah and Christmas have joined the merriment of the return of the sun, as one focuses on the miracle of eight days of light from one day’s worth of oil, and the other celebrates the birth of Jesus. On Winter Solstice, gatherings at Stonehenge and Newgrange mark the sunrise on this day as light pours through portals at dawn.
As we are faced with a darkness brought on by the decisions of those whose motivations are grounded in anything but the light, it is time to focus on the return of the sun and base our motivations in hope, faith, and peace.
You can celebrate tomorrow by lighting candles and meditating on the rebirth of the sun as it makes its way north to warm us, sustain us, and nurture us with its rays. Perhaps start making plans for a garden to plant after Spring Equinox, or renew your commitment to work in and through the energy of love.
As we gather to celebrate the Winter Solstice, the bonfires in the night are external manifestations of the brightest sparks that we are eternally. Let us take this moment in time to renew our faith in that which is greater than we are but of which we are intrinsic and vital parts. May this returning light embolden us to face the challenges ahead and know that as spirits having a physical experience, we are eternal beings living in and of the light.
Writer, Creative Mystic, Teacher, Consultant, Public Speaker