The Blessing of Winter Solstice
As the long night slowly yields to daylight,
We too, yield to our higher nature and move toward
Our natural state of Light.
The winter teaches us to go within and contemplate, Our inner work, Our inner abundance, Our inner completeness,
As we prepare for the outer learning that lies ahead, We reflect on both the natural and spiritual nature of What is meant by Eternal Life.
My clan of northern European Scots/Irish/Swedish descent gathers in the waning light each Winter Solstice for ceremony and celebration. We perform the ritual of ‘shriving’, an old Scottish word meaning: release or reconciliation. To begin, we spend a quiet moment, in the midst of festivity, to recollect, contemplate and privately write all that we wish to release for the year ending. I try to deeply notice where I have been affected and have affected others by that which now begs to be released. The idea is to acknowledge perceived failings and regrets. We write rather than simply think these things because we wish to bring our thoughts and vows into the present in order to transform them by fire. We commit our scribbled slips of paper containing our personal pain and all that which no longer serves us, with an appreciation for the learning it rendered, into the fire.
We yield to our higher nature and move toward
Our natural state of Light.
We are a hopeful, resilient clan in spite of our problems, misunderstandings, heartaches and fears. So as we continue, we contemplate what we wish to bring forward into the New year. We each light a candle and speak aloud our own prayer, wish, desire, goal or intention to make manifest and be witnessed by our community of family and friends who are gathered in love and support of one another. Each one speaks their heart, although this is not a mandate! This has always been a high and holy moment to be gathered in a circle, blessed by the ones who love us most.
We reflect on the natural and spiritual nature
of what is meant by eternal life.
There is reverence for our ritual and there is also reveling! The table is laden with the bounty of our kitchens and our glasses are raised in joyful toasts to Life and Love, Family and Friends and the imminent Future. For almost 30 years this is how my family gathered to ignite the longest night. For me, it has been the way we begin our Holiday Celebrations of Light which continue (for me) on through to Epiphany on January 6.
Two years ago we were sitting in an Australian hospital with our son, Ocram, while he recovered from surgery. We did a quiet meditational version of our ritual there while he slept. It was summer down under and the fires were raging.
Last year, Tom and I were without family in our new home in México, but we had imagined introducing our wonderful celebration to our new friends and neighbors before the Covid virus ended all gatherings. So that was another difficult year for me with no children or sense of winter holidays in this tropical paradise we now live in.
This Year Is The Year!
May The Beloved Holy One Bless Us All
and bring us Glad Tidings of Comfort and Joy
In This Season of New HOPE.