Yesterday was the Winter Solstice, the point in the celestial year when the days begin to lengthen and the nights begin to shorten. Hopefully you took some time with family and friends to celebrate the survival of another year. Hopefully you did some feasting and loving.
I’d like to talk about what you do to carry the Solstice forward. From a primal perspective, the time leading to the Solstice is increasingly dangerous. The darkness grows longer and longer. The night hunters are dominant. The cold rules. It might seem that this would continue until there was nothing but night. Then, it begins to wheel back. The nights shorten, the days grow stronger. The rule of the sun returns.
Clearly, this was one of the early celestial patterns that became understood, even if they weren’t sure why. Many early forms of spirituality revered this day and it is still celebrated in a number of cultures.
In some ways, our current understanding takes some of the fun out of today. It’s just a far point in our elliptical orbit around the sun. It’s just gravity and easily explained with a few mathematical calculations. But today, I think we would to good to let go of some of that and allow our minds to open to the experience our ancestors had about the solstice
Yesterday we feasted and celebrated, but today is the day of proof. Yesterday was the predicted end of the growing darkness. Today we find if that is really true, if the light will begin to grow again… and it will.
Face it! 2016 has been rough for a lot of people. There have been a number of celebrity deaths, which mark the ends of eras. A number of people have been struggling with making ends meet and finding footing on their path. To many, it feels as though the darkness has been growing and growing and eventually that will be all there is. It’s not true.
Today the light begins to grow. This will be true for the sun, but it can also be true for the light in our lives. I firmly believe that we have a lot of influence over what we have in our lives. We have the power to manifest good and light in our lives, but we can’t be passive about it. We have to be very active.
We can begin growing that light at any time. It won’t be instantaneous. It will take consistent, extended effort. But, we must know that we can do it. We must know that there is no force that can take the light away from us, that we can surround ourselves with love rather than fear. Feast today, but tomorrow begin to do things to grow your light.
Here are some suggestions:
- Turn away negativity. This does not mean that you bury your head in the sand and don’t expose yourself to problems. We need to be aware of the world and we need to be willing to stand up against those who would harm us and our way of life. However, surrounding yourself with endless interpretation and debate on these things does not help. Get the facts, work them into your vision and move forward. Pay attention to things that are causing you anger, fear, and despair. If they are not driving you to useful action then maybe they are not good sources. They might be news channels, social media feeds, or people in your life. Be willing to limit your exposure or turn them off completely.
- Count your blessings. Yes, there’s some rotten stuff going on in the world and for each of us personally. There are also good things. Are you spending too much time with the negative things and not nurturing the good? What we give our energy to grows. Are you ignoring the flowers while you nurture the weeds? Again, this is not pretending that there is nothing bad happening. It’s choosing to give more of your energy to the good things in your life and raising them up above the negative.
- Use your power. We all have power to manifest. You have the ability to visualize what you want in your life and to focus your energy on bringing those things to being. This is not just wishful thinking. This is the miracle of our minds. When we look to politicians, bosses, spouses for permission to manifest what we want we let them decide what we can have in our lives and what we can do. When you believe yourself to be helpless, you are correct. Does this mean that we simply sit and think about what we want in our lives and wait for the magic genii to bring it to our door? No! We take action in that direction, but we know that it is our own energy and action that makes the most difference and not what others give us. When we need help we ask for it with confidence, knowing that it is right. When we take our own action, we also do it with confidence, knowing that it is right.
- Practice your spirituality. If you are reading this, you likely have some sort of spiritual perspective. Are you acting on it? Are you actually doing the things that you believe make a difference to you? Are you praying, or performing rituals, or meditating, or whatever it is that you believe makes a difference? Spirituality is not something to simply learn so you can win debates. It’s active. You must not only know it but you must do it. If you find that you don’t have time for spiritual things because everything is a mess, consider that you are living out an important part of cleaning up that mess. Start simply, but start. Bring your spiritual practice back to your center and use it to energize all of your other efforts.
- Lead with love rather than fear. We cannot eliminate the thing we fear. The hermetic principal of polarity says that opposites will always exist. We can’t eliminate them, only balance them. That’s a tough concept, but it makes sense when you look at the nature of things. Nature is filled with forces that grow and nurture alongside forces that break down and destroy. When the balance is right, new things grow and flourish while dead thing are broken down to nourish the new growth. When things get out of balance things grow too wildly and use up the resources, or things break down too much. Much of what we are experiencing right now is the result of a lot of imbalance. If we can rechannel these energies back to their useful purposes we’ll flourish, just as the garden does. So, we have to not think of destroying what we fear, but reshaping it into its constructive purpose. How do we do this? We do it with love.When we act through fear we are in a fight or flight mode. We are panicked. We do whatever we can to end things. We accept whatever solution that will just make it stop. Our reason is suppressed in exchange for a mode of pure survival instinct. Unfortunately, that animal brain is not always right. Sometimes the right solution is not the quickest end to the situation. Sometimes more difficulty or pain is demanded to correct things properly. Think of an animal that is caught on something. Fear cause the animal to thrash in ways that may do more harm than good. When we help that animal we use love to sooth it and release it safely.
Acting through love rather than fear is very difficult at first. With practice it becomes easier, though it may never become perfect. However, acting through love rather than fear probably does more than anything else to make a difference.
Today is a great day, because today the light grows and the spring is coming. The wheel of the year turns. Let today be the day that your light grows as well. Manifest what you want and spread that to the people who surround you. This ripples will echo out and out and out and they will make a difference.
Happy after solstice!