Did you know that the celebration of the birth of Christ was moved to midwinter for a special reason? It was to coincide with ancient festivals of the rebirth of the Sun which predate Christianity by thousands of years. To anyone who values the natural rhythms of nature this is a very significant part of the year. Tuning in to the seasons can be grounding and empowering, putting you in touch with a unique magic.
Find out about:
- Getting in tune with Nature and the season
- The meanings of Mother and Child
GETTING IN TUNE
Feeling a part of Nature comes much more easily if you go out and feel it. Don’t avoid the gloom and chill because it will make you appreciate the good things you have all the more.
Many stone circles and barrow mounds are aligned to midwinter solstice. It can be a wonderful feeling to visit them as the Solstice sun rises, feeling the earth come alive.
For this you will need to research your local monuments or plan a trip to places such as Newgrange in Ireland or Stonehenge in Wiltshire. It can be much simpler and just as enjoyable to stay close to home, experience midwinter where you live and go back to mulled wine and mince pies!
DARKNESS INTO LIGHT
For six months now we have been experiencing growing darkness, as nights became longer and days colder with the onset of Autumn. In times long gone by this would have felt threatening. Life depended on the Sun and without its return everything would die. Nowadays we are insulated from thoughts like this, but in a very real way we do still depend on the Sun, and it feels right and good to our instinctual selves to celebrate this.
Think about what’s been happening in your life. What part of you is ‘dark’ or negative, needing to be turned towards the positive? On the day of the Solstice take a brown or black candle, light this and think of anything that isn’t going well. Say ‘Darkness into light’ three times and light a gold candle from the black one. Blow out the black candle with the words ‘Negativity begone!’ Stare at the gold candle and visualise the Sun glowing in your life, bringing you fulfillment and joy.
MOTHER AND CHILD
Many religions celebrate the birth of a divine child. This is symbolic of all rebirths that we hope for in nature and in ourselves. The theme of mother love is also important. Everybody needs a little ‘mothering’ and not one of us would be here without the nurture of a mother figure at some point in our lives.
The most important ‘mother’ of all is, of course, Nature herself. You might feel good if you pledge to do something to help the natural world and/or animals. Local organisations will probably welcome your input. It could be very satisfying to spend a morning helping to clear footpaths, canals and overgrown spaces, or to help out at a dog or cat’s home. For you, the bonus is connecting with your instinctual self and feeling a part of all that lives – and is awakening again now.
Although it’s lovely giving and receiving, extreme commercialism may make you shrink a little from the whole ‘Christmas thing.’ The true meaning of giving gifts links with the new baby, and the way we generally buy a gift for new parents. In times gone by gifts given to new parents, such as clothes and blankets would have helped the little one survive. But the earth still needs gifts, even more than ever.
Your gift to the earth might be to commit yourself to more careful recycling, reducing pollution, planting trees and similar. And yes, it is, as they say ‘More blessed to give than to receive’. Not because you’re making a sacrifice ‘for the good of your soul’ but because giving makes you feel part of something greater, and that’s the Solstice uplift you want.
The excesses of Christmas are another aspect that is often deplored, which may be missing an important point. Of course there’s no use eating so much you feel stuffed or drinking yourself to oblivion, but we all need times when we can let our hair down and when we do go over the top.
The point about feasting and revelry is that it’s saying a great big ‘Thank you’ to the powers of life, to everyone who knows and cares about you and to Mother Nature herself for her bounty. Letting yourself party and have a wonderful time is very good for you, helping to heal the winter ills and give you faith in life – and the Solstice is very much about faith, appreciation and joy.
HOW WE CAN HELP
So the Solstice is an ancient festival when you can get in touch with the turn of Nature towards the time of growing light, celebrate motherhood, understand the importance of gifts and festivity. This should be spiritually uplifting as well as fun, but life isn’t always simple and if you’re going through a hard time it may feel as if all this is passing you by. That’s when you need some encouragement from our wise Readers, to make you see that things can and will get better and put you in touch with your positive side. Celebrate your Solstice by calling us up and really letting the Sun back in.
PUBLISHED: 18 December 2017