Dec 21, 2021

Bringing Forth the Light

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.

As with both the winter and the summer solstice, the balancing of the dark and the light is part of the deepest of the shadow work inside, as well as outside of ourselves. Everything and everyone is connected and our connection to nature is the deepest and truest example of this balancing and the deepest of needs for that connection.

Winter Solstice can vary because of place or time but it falls on December 21st or December 22nd  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. Yet with all connections this same archetypal pattern is also seen in other belief systems around the world.

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.

Yule and the burning of the yule log, is deeply rooted in this cycle for it is a ritual based upon our own facing of 'the dark night of our souls', and the springing forth of the sparks of hope, the Sacred Fire, the Light of the World, and that which was known in Celtic lore as Coel Coeth.

 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. It is a time of immense spiritual and energetic power. But because of this, it is also a time when emotions can quickly spark and even inflame and overpower us.

It is therefore a time, to face these deepest aspects of ourselves, known as our shadow self, for it only with the coming of the light that we can cast and therefore be aware of our own shadows and the role they play in 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.

It is the greatest, and most powerful time to face the truth of your own shadows, to ground yourself by connecting your own heartspace to the deepest and most sacred truths of the heart and joy of the world and unite into the balance point of all we know and feel in the deepest parts of our true selves as being holy.

Once that bell has rung and heard within our consciousness, we do not turn away from that which is in the shadows, but we acknowledge them as being a part of ourselves and turn ourselves into the light.

This wonderful New Moon in Capricorn, and the relationships to the placement of the other planets is a call to action and leadership in our own lives. It is not simply the call to revolution that so many seek to manifest outside of ourselves, but within. Change your own mind, change your own actions, and change your beliefs.

We do not get what we want in this lifetime, we get that which we believe. Change those beliefs and how you choose to emote and to manifest today, and change your life and be the leader in that life that you were meant to be.

We are all warriors of the spirit. Amazing women and amazing men who choose to manifest that which is light within themselves and not that which is the dark shadow self. Both are needed for the balance point but we have the power to choose and to manifest the powers in that side of ourselves which creates goodness and godliness while learning from that which creates empathy and understanding for others

Find that creative manifestation of this gateway, and walk with power and the inner truth of love, joy, and power through the gateway of wisdom and power.

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, and my home, to yours.

With Heart and Hands: Winter Solstice
Michele Savikko Bilyeu

(Posted originally in 2013 and updated and reposted in 2021)

The 2021 December solstice takes place on Tuesday, December 21 at 15:59 UTC (9:59 a.m. CST; translate UTC to your time). It marks the Northern Hemisphere’s shortest day (first day of winter) and Southern Hemisphere’s longest day (first day of summer). Happy solstice to all!

shown above:

Burning a yule log on my beloved Sandy Beach in Savikko Park in Douglas, Alaska on one of my own most powerful and meaning filled Winter Solstice evenings.

Michele Savikko Bilyeu
Douglas Alaska/Salem Oregon

Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands

Still placing in top 50/100 of all quilting blogs on feedspot ratings. So grateful for all of you who have continued to follow me and read my blog.

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One of the last things my beloved father said to me was to ask if I was a teacher or a writer. Oh yes, I said. I've always taught and always written. I have a blog!


Angie said...

This is my most favorite picture of light and dark---and of you!! It's one of those pictures that makes you wish you (I) had captured. You have such a beautiful way of defining occasions with your words. Once again, I would love to have permission to share this post (I think in it's entirety) on my blog?? Happiest of Winter Solstices to you, my dear friend. (We were just given the news last night that a beloved Brother-in-law has Lou Gerig's disease. We are devastated.) Candle light and prayers please.

jenclair said...

It is a lovely picture, capturing all the beauty and mystery season. We should all have more time for contemplation and solitude, time to appreciate the approach of longer days, journey back to light.

Peace and Good Will to you and yours, Michelle.

Michele Bilyeu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I always appreciate your research and writing about the rituals of our world.

Scrappy quilter said...

Love your writing. You always have such a beautiful ways with words. Hugs

Winifred said...

A beautiful post. Have a wonderful Christmas Michelle & many blessings in 2015!

pollyanna said...

That was so beautifully well written that I wanted to read it twice :) Happy Solstice :)