According to the old religion, at 12:11pm, EST, on December 21, the goddess will begin her journey from the underworld back to the light of day, eventually giving birth to spring in just a few short months. Trust me. If you’ve shoveled snow in the past week like we have you don’t care who brings spring, just as long as it comes!
Yule, or the winter solstice, brings the beginning of winter according to our modern-day calendar. But according to the original beliefs that brought us many of the observances during Christmas, the “winter season” actually began November 1. How can that be? The plants and animals know that winter is coming and prepare accordingly. They are not bound by arbitrary dates.
Part of the answer lies in the old fable of the ant and the grasshopper. The ant prepared for the future, but the grasshopper played and played and played, until the cold was upon them and he died due to lack of preparation.
Modern society can be a lot like the grasshopper. We aren’t willing here in the western world to deal with some pretty serious issues until it is either right in our face or hurts our wallets. Take being “green,” for example. I grew up in a part of California where water rationing, recycling and caring for the environment was second nature. That was over four decades ago. Only in the past decade has it been “cool” to be green. Now corporate executive are almost as concerned about the earth as us tree-hugging hippies were back in the 60s.
Our ancestors watched and learned from nature. Signs of winter have been with us for weeks, just as signs of spring come long before the snow melts or the calendar turns. We can benefit from watching our environment and remembering the old stories. The current story upon us is Yule. It indicates a time when light, or the hours of light, take over the darkness. It’s a great time of the year to look at the darkness in our own lives from which we need to be released.
Take a look at the shadows of your life as the winter solstice rolls around this weekend. Is there something under a rock nearby that you’ve been ignoring? Is there a relationship you need to heal or a physical situation that needs your attention? Have you been a wise steward of your finances or perhaps still feeling stuck in your job? Any myriad of things might be going on in your life, hidden in the shadows, skulking in the background.
Be willing this week to look closely at what might be in the dark corners of your life that is holding you back from being the magnificent creature you are. May your life unfold in light, love and joy as our planet begins its journey to the long days of summer.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,