Dec 21, 2011

Winter Solstice

From ancient times, the winter season has been seen as part of balance of nature...a time where the balance point changes between the darkness and the light.

As with the falling of the leaves, it is a time for change and a natural time for letting go of all that which seems dark within one's life. A natural time for making choices to bring in the light...both to lessen the darkness within, and to open ourselves to life's full grace and beauty.

Throughout history, in all of the world's cultures, through belief systems, festivals, traditions and practices, the changes in the cycles of birth, death and rebirth have been intrinsically and symbolically honored. From this honoring comes our holidays...our 'holy days.'

When we walk between the veils of one season and the next......or one change or one emotion and the next...or even one 'holy day' and the next....we find ourselves always balancing our emotions...balancing the dark emotions, the very ones which create power and change, or the light emotions, the ones which bring in joy and abundance.

Winter Solstice falls on December 21 (Northern Hemisphere) or December 22 (Southern Hemisphere) and is the moment when the earth is at a point in its orbit where one hemisphere is most inclined away from the sun.

Solstice is of a Latin borrowing and means 'sun stand', referring to the appearance that the sun's noontime elevation stops in its progress. It is both the shortest day, and the longest night of the year. Many cultures the world over perform solstice ceremonies. At their root is the ancient fear that the failing light would never return unless humans intervened with some vigil or celebration.

The Winter Solstice has always been associated with the birth of a divine king in many different cultures, long before the rise of Christianity and the blessed birth of the holy infant, Jesus.

Since the Sun is considered to represent the male divinity in many pagan traditions, this time is celebrated as the return of the sun god where he is reborn of the goddess. Other cultures have similar beliefs and associations.Many cultures celebrate or celebrated a holiday near (within a few days)of the winter solstice... Yalda, Saturnalia, Christmas, Karachun, Hanukkah, Festivus, and Kwanzaa.

Christmas, like all holy or holidays, is a special time of remembrance of both the birth of the new divining power and all of the symbols of home and family. It is a time when we can most acutely feel the greatest darkness or the brightest light...a time of giving, of receiving.....or for some a time of loss of light, and a feeling of going into the dark.

This is a deep time and a sacred space, a time and a symbol for all of us about being lost, facing those emotions and feeling the sadness, the yearning, and the grief that such loss brings into our lives.

But with that darkness, comes the sacred birth of a new light and all of the wisdom, power, and knowledge that this sacred birth created and brought into our lives for transfiguration and rebirth.

We create our gifts of abundance, we manifest blessings and peace, and we enter into a new place of well-being and joy. Celebrate with the gifts of nature, the gifts of our hands, and the many blessings and gifts from our hearts.

Happiest of Holy Days from the light of my heart to yours.

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With Heart and Hands: Winter Solstice

© With Heart and Hands,
Michele M. Bilyeu

Michele Bilyeu Quilts With Heart and Hands for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Join in my Liberated Quilting Challenge...and buy or donate a quilt, today!! We are changing the little quilt at a time.


Miki Willa said...

Thank you for this beautiful post. I am going to share it with my husband who is having a very difficult time facing the first day of winter.
Blessings to you.

Anonymous said...

This is so beautiful and touched me so deeply. You have such a special gift with words. Thank you so much for sharing this piece with us.

♥Duff said...

Joining you in light, love, and spirit; a perennial prayer for peace.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...


Kristin said...

This is really lovely, especially the photo.

Unknown said...

Loved your words Michelle, brought a tear to my eye and had to share them with my hubby. They resonate so much at the moment, as family members struggle against the tide and are finding it hard to dig deep and find that inner'll come I'm sure. Blessings to you and thank you again for sharing x

VivJM said...

Lovely post Michele, thank you xxx

libbyquilter said...

"when we walk between the veils of one season and the next" LOVE that~!

a beautiful and interesting post.

here's to more light every day~!

Angie said...

A beautiful post from a beautiful spirit. You are so delightful, and you never fail to expand my knowledge...Wishing you love, light, peace, hope, joy and many bright magical moments, my dear friend!
Love and hugs,

Magpie Sue said...

Another lovely post. You do such a good job of reaching into the depths and bringing truth into the light. May yours be a blessed holiday season.

Anonymous said...

An amazing piece. This was so wonderful and I understood a lot of it in me. Finally I think I get why we get depressed or lose ourselves during the winter. Thankyou so much Michele. You reached me.

Wendy said...

Happy Happy Happy Holidays to you and your family!!!