These Dark Times Require Grounding Principles
by Maia Duerr, guest contributor
"Buddha Moon - Buddha Stones" (photo: H. Kopp-Delaney/Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)
Winter Solstice. The longest night of the year. The other day I was wondering what it must have been like to be one of the early humans, before there was a body of cultural and scientific knowledge built up to assure us that the light would, indeed, return as we turned the corner on this day and headed once again toward spring. It must have been terrifying to see the sun drop lower and lower in the sky each day and the night grow longer and longer without really knowing if that trajectory would reverse.
So this is a dark time — not only astronomically but also the world feels dark right now.
Making the Darkness Luminous: Celebrating Winter Solstice with My Family
by C. Hawk Croft, guest contributor
"Yalda Night" (photo: S.Ali.Al Mosawi/Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)
“”[W]hile we can’t stop the earth from turning, we can choose to experience each revolution so deeply and completely that even the dark becomes luminous…”
—Starhawk, in The Spiral Dance
At first glance, it might seem odd to spend the longest night of the year celebrating the return of the sun. It’s dark. The days are short and cold. The warmth of the summer sun seems hidden in the fuzziness of your memory as you sit huddled around the wood stove, wrapped in a blanket and wearing two pairs of old, faithful socks.
For many of our Pagan ancestors, this was the essence of the winter solstice mystery.