Have you ever wondered why cultures in the Northern Hemisphere have so many Holidays in the middle of Winter? If you live a bit North of the equator which rings the Earth, November through early March can be the darker, cooler/colder, and often the damper time of the year. The winds can blow cold. The frost can accompany a brisk morning (or more snow and ice than is great to work in…) Where I live, mid-December days are barely 7-8 hours long and heavier sweaters are a mainstay. Some people enjoy, or at least tolerate, the cool, gray days of the PNW better than others. We have “Snowbirds” who head for the sunnier Southern climates for relief during the November-March time frame. S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is very real the further North you go. And, we have holidays to gather family and friends together from Halloween into Thanksgiving and then the mid-Winter Holidaze of Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s.
The ancient (& current) Pagans as well as many indigenous cultures have celebrated the mid-Winter around the Winter Solstice (December 21st most years) to celebrate the shortest day of the year, in the Northern Hemisphere, and the return of the Light. The Sun will then begin to shine a bit longer each day until the Summer Solstice in June. But, many cultures also use this time of darker days for self-reflection. The New Year can bring a re-birth and a time to start fresh and to begin anew. If you like the gathering of your community, you also have time to reflect upon Gratitude and the sharing of Love. These focused reflections warm the soul in the dark days of the year. Much can surface regarding “Giving,” “Sharing,” and the offering of service.(We tend to volunteer more and donate more during this season.) In fact, we should be doing this all year long, however, the quieter times of reflection can bring this closer to the surface AND there is more need for the community to pull together to survive in the harsher climates. So, let’s look out for one another.
It seems strange that in this darker time of the year, in the Northern hemisphere, there appears to be more Light. The light of generous giving of time, energy, and resources. This light shines on the people bestowing the gifts as well as those receiving these gifts. Does it “Brighten” your life to give to someone? Does your heart warm? (If not, you are giving for the wrong reasons or there are strings attached…)
With the “ReBirth” around the Winter Solstice Season, you can use this as a time to do a year end review and to set new goals for the fresh new year. It is easier to head down your life path if there is a plan and positive desire to use as the “carrot on the stick” for your soul to guide you. Consider how you can share your wisdom and how best to be of service to our Universe. Come in from the cold and brighten the lives of the people you connect with on your path through life. This is great to remember to do year round, and this is an especially great time of year to reflect upon how you want to get this done.
You are an essential Miracle! Thank you for being you! Be the Love! Feel the Joy and the Love!