Winter Solstice 2011

Winter                                           Moon of the Winter Solstice

Darkness has fallen.  The solstice has begun.  The longest nights of the year occur over the next few days.

The summer solstice, now a half year away in either direction on our orbit around Sol, has faded, faded, faded until the longest day of the year has become the longest night; in the other direction, toward which we move, the summer solstice is a half year away.

Starting now, we will begin, second by second, minute by minute, then hour by hour to turn ourselves toward the light until, at the moment of light’s triumph on June 20th at 6:09 pm, we will begin again a sure glide into winter.

On the Great Wheel it is neither the longest night nor the longest day by itself that matters, rather it is the certainty of their coming, light followed by increasing darkness, darkness followed by increasing light.  This reality, as metaphor, reminds us that no light is so fulsome that it is without darkness and no darkness so total as to be without light.

Too, we can see our lives as a turn of the wheel. In late winter we quicken, growing small within the mother.   We emerge during Beltane, the sun’s heat and the day’s length increases and we mature, grown into adults, as the turn moves toward Mabon and Samain, summer’s end.  Our lives develop fruit and we harvest; as Summer’s End moves toward the Winter Solstice, our hair turns gray and our bodies decline.  In Winter we move toward the darkness, back to the enveloping womb that is our mother, the earth.

Tonight we celebrate the winter season of our lives, the time when our life finishes its run.  This bears no sorrow, nor any fear, since we know that on the morrow, as it has since time begun, the light will again gain strength.  Living or not, it will shine on us, too.

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