The Winter Solstice
Here in the Southern Hemisphere we are about to celebrate the Winter Solstice – the time when the sun appears to stand still, as it pauses in its journey before returning to the Southern hemisphere again.
Of course, this is all an illusion. In reality, it is the earth which changes its wobbly tilt, so that we on earth think that it is the sun which is moving, not us!
We do have an disproportionate sense of our own importance!
Illusion or not, we all - here down ‘south’ - comment on the shorter days and the lack of warmth and light.
We even have developed a ‘syndrome’ – the winter ‘blahhs’ – or lack-of-sunlight-caused maladies (also known as S.A.D., or Seasonal Affective Disorder)!
One can only imagine what the ancients might have been feeling when the Solstice drew near. Without the calendar and knowledge of the seasons that every modern schoolchild learns, the increasing cold and darkness must have been terrifying! One can understand why ways of keeping track of what was happening via massive stone observatories were developed, so that the Solstices could be predicted and prepared for.
With all of our modern accoutrements, winter cold and summer heat are little more than inconveniences that we take in our stride.
Nevertheless, it would be useful to go beyond the obvious, physical effects and look at the inner effects of the winter Solstice.
Light calls us to action – darkness suggests we turn inward, to our inner being, to be still. At the darkest time of the year, we are most sensitive to the inner self – to the messages from the soul.
It is the ideal time to Meditate, to focus on the inner life rather than the outer world with all of its noise and chatter.
That is why, every year at the Winter Solstice, Di and I renew our vows to teach. It is a time of great importance and meaning for us, as we call upon all present to witness our vow and aid us in keeping it.
Perhaps it is a useful time for us all to review our life purpose and commit to pursuing it a little more fully?
Often, in this busy, 24/7 world, we forget that some of our world weariness is due to forgetting to be still - to take time out to listen. We sometimes ask for guidance but never stop to listen to the answer - and then we wonder why things don’t seem to work out!
Perhaps let the Solstice mark the beginning of a new cycle for you – one in which you really find your purpose for being – and really follow it.
Light a candle in the dark and focus in the stillness on what you need to be, to make a contribution in this world right now.
Then, celebrating the Solstice will be a time of enrichment and purpose for you!