Winter Solstice is marked by the instinct to Hibernation!
Imagine a time before the clock and calendar. When the big ball of fire in the sky that gives warmth and light, started to wane, giving way to long shadows and even longer nights. Fears that the sun may be lost to the horizon forever, leaving Humankind and all the Earth in permanent darkness.
Ritual is born! Sacrifice, offerings, dance and song are made to appease the God of the Sun. Gathering to fortify against the growing night, in hopes that the light would return.
For those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice is nearing. A day when the sun stands still. A day that marks the beginning of Winter, and yet the return of the sun. Gaining 3 whole seconds of light on December 22, the Sun starts the slow, but sure, return.
(Rosemary considers December 22 to be the Light Bearer or Bringer day)
You can feel the tug to move inward, from your once expanded-self, to our now contracted-self. Bundled up against the nip in the air, or fortressed in our climate-controlled homes, it is easy to ignore what the pending season has in store for us. The call to slow. Slow way down. Like Tortoise – not Hare. Maple – not Honey. Bear – not Hummingbird.
Gather! Gather as one or many. Feast on roots, not shoots. Sing out into the long night. Bask in the last of the light, taking notice of the long shadows, the evergreen and the bare branched. Revel in Nature as she surrenders herself to the darkness, for you too shall follow.
Winter invites us to turn inward and down, to warm ourselves by the hearth of our own heart. In the darkness we heed the call to root-down, planting ourselves deep within the loamy soil, safe from the frost and Winter’s chill. We gather by the fire, to bathe in the radiant flame, illuminating our path, and showing us the way.
Penned Musings by, Tadimdia Bridges
Here is a poem that speaks to this very time of year and potentially what we are longing for. In this deep return to the darkness of Mother Earth’s embrace.
The Shortest Day, by Susan Cooper
And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us—listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.