Winter Solstice, The Sacred Finds its Way in the Dark
Welcome The Dark
by Shara Gardner,
The Spirit of Water, December 16, 2018
As we approach the Winter Solstice, the time leading up to the actual astronomical conjunction is a blessed time to notice the world around us and cross over the divides that exist in our lives – divides that might have widened throughout the past year.
Many of us can think of the obvious divides that exist in our world today; but there is more than world clashes. We are divided in the way we use the "us" and "them" analogies to invoke protection or exclusion. Divides exist within our families, friendships, and working relationships. Divides also exist within our goals, intentions, and desires. This Solstice Blessing brings an opportunity to cross over those chasms that limit us, and re-connect with our highest and greatest power. We are light-beings living a human existence. Light is our most potent energy. Division dims us. Whether you are in the north or the south, while we are floating in the interface between seasons when the longest night brings about the shortest day, and the dark and cold keep us bundled from the weather, we can have an opportunity to bring divergent paradigms together in Sacred Harmony.
Our dark, cold winter months bring about our awareness that we are summoned annually to the Bridge of Sacred Crossing. We are not alone in this process. We can use our greatest earthly wisdom to shine our lights on the dark places within and without. And the Buddha says, "When we light the path for ourselves, it lights the path for others, too."
Prepare for a big shift. Prepare to go into your own Cave of Contemplation and release what divides your awareness; then embrace what joins. Heal the divides by releasing the illusion that keeps it open. Before the release, give generous thought to your intentions. What brought you to this Sacred Crossing? Whatever it is, give it to the Solstice Fire and let the flames consume what no longer fits your illuminated presence. Let your fire be powered by love; then be prepared to generate a new form of light on the planet...
We Call Forth The Light of Wisdom
It is time.
We already know the traditions of Solstice. Of course we do, in all belief traditions in the world. And we might know what a shift of seasons means to our bodies... to our minds... to our hearts. But do we know what the shift of seasons means to our connection to All? The Earth, and Cosmic Consciousness?
Symbolically, the birth of light is celebrated in each religion, wisdom tradition, creation stories, and every version of holiday lore. Those stories tell us that Light is always within reach, whether it is sunlight, bonfires, or abundant candle power. But it might also be the light an enlightened soul brings to Earth. Light is the symbol for LIFE. When we enter a period of darkness, traditionally we have been conditioned to believe it is difficult, isolating, and overwhelming. Nothing is further from the truth.
Some will remember these lyrics... and they speak to the importance of the dark.
Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence.
There is no other truth about darkness. It is our friend.
Let go of the fear of darkness when you release your divisions. Let the season assist you. The dark helps us cultivate a new seed in our souls. It helps us know ourselves and find greater clarity on our desires. Celebrate the Dark. Let it be a unifying force for good, not a dividing and negative force for fear.
Go gently into the new season with full heart and mind. Do no longing for what has passed.Simply embrace what is with us in the moment. Can we use the darkness or the lightness, to find our way over the divide in our minds? Can we help others cross it, too?
Solstice, the mere moment of crossing, has lingering power in our bodies, minds, and spirits. We become receptacles for the intensity and the qualities of light that affect our physical bodies, our functioning minds, and our infinite spirits. Our connection to the Earth is just the beginning. A seed knows when the light and warmth of the sun is perfect for sprouting, and before that, it rests in the dark, absorbing wisdom, nutrients, and motivation. Our bodies know what miracles will arise in us based on the darkness we love and experience.
In order for us to live in the true spirit of light we must also gestate in the true presence of our darkness. We carry the light in our hearts while we pass through the darkness. We carry the light in our hearts while we cross the divide. We carry the light in our hearts while we form new ideas, and plan for a new life ahead. And we come from darkness.
We are created through the power of light and dark. Both qualities of illumination live within us; and often, in equal amounts. Light has become synonymous for "goodness," in our culture; but it is the darkness that gives definition to our light. Actually, we operate in the light while we hide in the dark. We gestate in the dark, but give birth in the light. We share our light, but receive our replenishment in the dark.
Oh Holy Night. Oh Holy LIGHT. The stars are brightly shining and they lead us to the light within ourselves. We all have that light. We all have that dark so the stars can be seen. During this Solstice observance on December 21-23, pay attention to your darkness as well as your light.
It is no accident that the word, "life" sounds so similar to the word, "light." They are co-creators. Light produces life. Life produces light. It is a cycle, just like the seasons.
The solstices and equinoxes are times when our spirits replenish energies, and our minds and bodies refresh and heal our functions. Think of the Solstices as crossing points. We cross the mysterious boundaries of time in order to realize a new space of dark contemplation or light action. Freezing cold or toasty warm, seasonal changes always bring new opportunities for awareness.
Who were we last year at this time? Who are we now? We carried our light for an entire year, and lived with our Divides. On the Solstice, we call forth the dark and the light to re-balance us and help us Cross Over as a Unified Being.
It is not enough to celebrate the calendar version of Solstices. We must celebrate the Earth's version. So, go outside and observe your beautiful world and use all your senses to invigorate your thinking. You are living in a vast universe of power, mystery, and influence, and all these gifts are for your existence and survival. Take it all in. Take in the dark. It is a quality of light, too. All Light is in you now!