Yule Blessings to all my friends,
This letter brings my heartfelt wishes for a truly joyous holiday season and an abundant New Year. The Winter Solstice (December 21st in the Northern Hemisphere) is one of the most important Celestial events of the year. In all cultures this phenomenon was celebrated in some way. People knew that winter could be hard and so they found a way to feel hope in the period of dark.
It stands to reason that cultures would make the Winter Solstice a festival of lights. In Celtic societies, Yule was a time to gather in families around warm fires with a Yule log burning. In Scandinavia, a girl representing Santa Lucia wears a crown of lighted candles to this day. Festivals of light exist in virtually all indigenous cultures, and it is just as important in the traditions of the Southern Hemisphere where Winter Solstice occurs in June.
In our culture, there is so much emphasis on the light that we have gotten away from understanding the balance of opposites and we often fear the dark. However, the wise elders found darkness to be simply the other side of light. Consider the following aspects of darkness: the image of Yin with its center of white within the black, the shadow side of our psyche, the release of our consciousness into dreaming, and the emergent creative power of the void. The following lyrics really capture this well:
On the longest night, we search for the light
And we find it deep within
As we open our eyes, we embrace what it wise
And see the light of our souls shining
Enter the night and you’ll find the light
That will carry you to your dreams
Enter the night; let your spirit take flight
In the field of infinite possibilities
From Lisa Thiel, Circle of the Seasons CD
Please take some time for your selves to go within, especially after all the guests are gone and the holiday is over. Many of us feel a kind of let down, even a bit of depression, not only because ‘the party’s over’ but also because of the long hours with less sun. But you will find powerful insight, creative images and new vision when you close your eyes and enter the darkness to honor the wisdom you find there.
Try lighting a candle in a darkened room and notice how the illumination is magnified. Then recite your favorite chant, song or prayer and feel it carry you to your dreams. Happy Yule to everyone!