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 a storyteller, a visionary, and a book midwife.
Fen's mission is to change the world for the better, one paradigm-shifting book at a time.
Fen works with CEOs and consultants who care deeply about their impact on the world and want to enhance both their legacy and their personal effectiveness through the power of a professionally published work, in their own words.
Fen has applied the magic of more than two decades of professional storytelling, an impressive business background, and a deeply rooted, trained connection to earth-based medicine and spiritual practice to develop a system that helps clients do their most focused, powerful work, and produce a book they're proud to hold in their hands.
When they're not working with clients or writing their own books, Fen can usually be found wandering the woods alone, sitting around a campfire with friends, or swimming in the cold spring waters native to the Southern Appalachians.