The focus at the winter solstice and other holiday traditions this time of year is the coming of light. Whether it’s literal light, the light of a savior, the light of magic, freedom, or even en-lightenment, it’s a theme.
On this day when we are the farthest from the sun, we might light a log or a candle (or even a candle on a log cake or decoration!) to remember that the light will return. Let’s spend a moment to appreciate the darkness before rushing into the light. If the dark doesn’t get its due respect now, then when?
The yin, the womb, the receptive, the earth, the void, a gap is the place where things form. That darkness, undefined by light, is a place of all possibility.
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When the structures of life break down we have an opportunity to be reborn. Gestation requires patience. I call it “hanging out in the unknown,” and it’s good practice to visit that ultimate reality beneath our constructed world. When jobs, relationships, home, or even identity are uncertain, chaos reigns and it’s time to go dark.
Preconceptions, ideas, plans are all irrelevant. Be comforted by the deep and eternal nature of the darkness. There is so much we can’t know right now, so stop trying to figure things out. The meaning of our times will dawn slowly, eventually.
“The opposite of despair isn’t hope, it’s clarity.” – Leonard Cohen
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Tonight turn off all the lights and sit in darkness for a bit. Offer up all your desires as intentions, then let them go when you finally light the fire. It’s what our ancestors did when they placed written wishes in the yule log to burn and be released into the ether.
The night is darkest before the dawn. Rest. Have faith. Embrace the potential, because who can truly know what comes next?