Winter Solstice: Shifting Shadows, Offering Gratitude as Light Returns

Winter Solstice: Shifting Shadows, Offering Gratitude as Light Returns December 7, 2018

As solstice nears, the nights have become unbearably long. I can’t wait to go to bed just so I can wake up and find the sun again. All I want to do is sleep through the stretched shadows, to hide from the way the year unfolds, again and again.

To hibernate.

To dream.

And the dreams come, surely and swiftly. And sometimes they escape in nights of insomnia, the nights when I wake up and don’t know what to do in the dark.

Credit: Irisanya Moon

 

Spells and Wishes under the Moon

During the new moon, I found myself awake and alone. I found myself in the space between and the moments before the eve of my initiation.

Just as quiet. Just as still.

But I pushed myself out of bed and traveled to my tea cup. I hadn’t been asleep long enough for it to cool. I walked to my office, to the place of altars and to do lists.

In the hours before, I had cleared away all of the altar items, all of the statues, offerings, and other things that accumulated over the year. The not-quite-done candles were already burning in the bathtub, releasing and going to stillness.

In the middle of the dark, I began to put the altars back into order, into the arrangements that could hold my wishes and my gratitude.

I moved the Aphrodite statues to one flat surface. She’d been spread out before, but needed to be closer this year.

I moved books to other shelves and dusted off the incense residue and ash.

I shook out the pearl lined cloth and placed it at Aphrodite’s feet. I set a glowing pearl beside her. I let the light glow for a while.

I put Hecate’s offerings back in place, though dust free. Oils and owls and keys.

I removed all of the things that were cluttering my desk. All of them. I made way, made room, opened up to possibilities.

And I wrote on a small piece of paper the wishes of my heart. I tucked the paper beneath a shell. I breathed into it. I hid it away.

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The Light Returns

I am careful to say that light always returns. I know that the moon changes, the sun rises, and what I thought would never end, eventually did.

I know that starting on Winter Solstice, the days will become longer — slowly.

I know that when I change my altars, I will feel better. I will feel receptive and open. I will know what should have my attention — and what should not.

I know the godds will be happy.

I know my heart can relax when I’m surrounded by possibility vs. expectation.

What I haven’t said is what I buried and burned, what I poured out and what I placed in the trash.

Some things need to die in the dark. Just as some things will die in the light.

Solstice is a time when I know I am going inward, fighting it all the way. It is a time of quiet reflection and mystery and hope and release.

But these times are scattered around the wheel too.

So I take this time for gratitude. I accept the space of quiet as a gift.

I am grateful.

I am grateful.

I am grateful.

I may need to take several breaths in order to fully embrace it. I may need to wake up in the middle of the night, outside of people and time.

Beyond the space of logic and into the space of magick.

Into the space of dreaming and being and believing that even when the night is so intrusive, the light returns.

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