The meaning for us this time of year goes deeper than we generally treat it. It’s bottomless, really, the well of knowing we can tap into right now. You feel it, don’t you? There’s nothing else like that feeling we call Christmas Spirit. Our hearts swell bigger, and we get choked up at the drop of a John Lewis ad. We smile in crowds, and even talk to strangers, and we just feel happy. We feel more generous. We give more. We spend more quality time with the people we love. Joy is palpable this time of year. We all feel it, and it doesn’t matter what religion we practice.
It’s not made-up, that energy. That spirit. It’s not something the ad agencies came up with. Not something they could. There’s just something about this time of year.
For some, the opposite is true. For some the pain of loneliness or loss take on a sharper edge in contrast to the joy all around us. The reason for that is something we'll explore more deeply, but its basis is separation from our Source. Our Higher Self is always joyful, and when we are not, we feel cut off from the biggest, most important part of us. That's another topic, and one we'll address very soon. In the meantime, just know that if we're still here on the planet, then there's a reason. A special, personal, unique reason that only we can fulfill. Everything has purpose. Everything is lining up the way it's supposed to, and it gets way better very quickly. Please hold on, because the world needs you and your unique purpose.
Older Than Time
For countless centuries, the Winter Solstice has been observed by the earliest iterations of human, and by whatever came before human. The shortest day, the longest night, have never gone unnoticed by intelligent earthlings.
It marks a moment of death and rebirth. The sun has been rising later, and setting earlier every day since Midsummer (Summer Solstice, Litha, circa June 21.) Now, at Midwinter (Winter Solstice, Yule, circa December 21,) our Star reaches its weakest point. And there’s a moment, right there at the pinnacle of midnight, where all is perfectly still for a measureless sparkle of time.
And then with the next tick of the clock, it’s a new day, and the sun will rise a little earlier, and set a tiny bit later. It’s like a newborn right now, but every day it grows stronger.
The Deeper Meaning
One promise implicit in this miraculous cycle that continues on year after year without fail, is that we, too, might wane and appear to die, only to transcend in that instant, and be reborn.
Another promise revealed to us in this perfect, eternal, predictable, reliable cycle is that there is no death. That at our very darkest time, no matter how black and cold it might seem, light is just a tick away. Just a sparkle of an instant away. And then off we go, reborn, renewed, growing brighter every day.
We feel it to our bones...
The unending nature of life is the very fondest hope of mankind, and the very deepest truth. It’s so deep that we somehow know it has to be so. It has to be so. We knew it before we even thought it through. We’ve known it forever. We see it reflected in nature all around us, over and over She shows us this deep truth. Night always gives way to day. Winter always gives way to spring. Death always gives way to life, and so death as we know it, is an illusion. There’s no death. There’s only a pause between heartbeats.
We’ve existed forever. And we’ll go on forever. We know these things to be true. Our very soul recognizes these things as true.
What about Jesus?
The promise of life’s eternal nature is what this time of year is about at its heart. That’s the very reason Christians chose this sacred and meaningful time to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Everything he represented was already being observed at the Winter Solstice, and had been for untold centuries. It made sense to celebrate his birth at this time of year. He was and is the season’s promise personified. This post takes nothing away from that beautiful tradition. But it’s a new addition to the ancient and timeless observation of an energy that has always been.
So at Winter Solstice, my heart swells with a feeling of joy I cannot contain. The energy of our star, our sun, permeates us all. It can’t do otherwise. And so as our star’s power wanes, as less and less of it touches us, we feel that. And that moment when it turns the other way, we feel that, too. And as it grows stronger, we do likewise.
The moment of the solstice, is a sacred moment when we can choose to leave behind anything from the year gone by. We can let the darkness of the longest night take it. With the sunrise on the 22nd, we can be reborn with new ideas, new levels of understanding, new purpose, new hope, new everything!
Let us evolve forward into the new solar year even wiser, stronger and better than we were before.
I write down all those things I’d like to leave behind, but I’m careful in my wording, because I know they aren’t real. They are merely flaws in my perceptions. And I also write down all the new things I’m looking forward to in the new year. I leave out the traditional offering of cookies and milk, and at moment of the solstice, burn the old list. I keep the new list for the coming year.
This year, however, my list won’t be so much “things” as it is perceptions. My perception of myself, my perception of my home, of my business, of my pets (for example.) None of those things need to change. Only the way I perceive them. So what I leave behind are the veils over my perception, and what I take forward is the ability to perceive things the way I want them to be.
The solstice is Friday, and the exact mid-point of the longest night will come at 11:35 PM EST.