Today is the shortest day of the year, tonight the longest night.
Frequently, when people speak of the Winter Solstice, they speak in terms of the return of light, the birth of the newborn babe (and not just THAT one–Mabon and many others predate the one that is named in the current most dominant religion), and the fact that the wheel of the year turns ever on toward the summer and warmth.
But what if we took a moment to sit in the darkness?
Here too is power and truth.
Yes, the light will return. But it's not here yet. And we are.
We are. Right. Here.
In the shortest day, heading into the longest night of the year.
We fear the dark because we have been taught to fear the dark. We fear the shadow because we fear the power that lurks in it. Even in New Age circles and among witches and Druids and shamans, very often the focus becomes all about shining love and light (and light and light and light and light) at the exclusion or even detriment of the shadow.
But the shadow is part of us too. Darkness is part of day. Death is part of life.
And here we are, in the dark, in this moment. What might happen if we choose not to use this time to get ahead of ourselves, making promises about what we will do when the light returns? What if, instead, we choose to sit here in it, in the darkness. In this moment.
What if we choose to inquire of it: What have you to teach me?
What if we choose to face whatever fear arises in us and refuse to turn away?
What might we find in our darkest night that we could birth (later, later, later, patience, dear one) into the light?
While tonight is technically the shortest night, there are several days around the Solstice in which the difference in length of night is almost imperceptible. This gives us several days in which to sit in darkness.
And then, right around some randomly chosen date of, oh, say, the 25th or so... the night shifts toward light again. Imagine how amazing it will be, having sat in truth in the darkness, to light up the tree at that point and celebrate the wheel beginning its slow turn back toward warmth again.
Enriched, as we will be, with the experience of having met, greeted, and honored the shadow.
Happy Solstice. May you be blessed. May you be courageous. May you be whole.
[Photo Description: A winter forest at night. Photo credit: Rosie Fraser on Unsplash]
Fen Druadìn (they/them) is anamchara, storyteller, dragon, student of trees, and a breaker of generational curses.
Fen's mission here is to love and remember themself completely, connect deeply with the world, and help others do the same for themselves.
Fen connects deeply with the universe through their relationship with a sacred land in the Appalachians of North Carolina, and shares messages here and elsewhere. When not in the woods, they can be found on Facebook and Patreon.
If you feel led and are able, you can support Fen's work in any of these ways:
You can also contribute to the work of reconnecting with yourself and the world in any or all of these ways:
Stand in front of a mirror, look in your eyes, and say, "I love you." Repeat daily for as long as it takes
Send your love to the trees and stones and water and Earth
Spend time in quiet meditation with a plant or stone person, and listen for messages
Clean up litter in your neighborhood and/or engage in other acts of environmental restoration
Build a personal relationship with the plants and animals in your area by spending time with them and listening for their messages and responding to their needs
Reconnect with your own strength and power and truth via meditative practice such as yoga, guided meditation, chanting, drumming, dance, or any other tool that feels right and helps you ground and connect
Engage in this community and/or other communities committed to re-establishing our right relationship with ourselves and the earth
Wherever you are, on your journey and in your life, may you be well, may you be at peace, and may you always find the next good step.