21
Dec

Winter Solstice Essay

   Posted by: earthkat   in essay, Sun Holiday

by Aurora Star Light Bringer

Of the eight sabbats in the Wheel of the Year, Winter Solstice is nearest to my heart. This is because its messages are so enduring and have meaning to last the whole year through—similarly to the way the messages of Christmastime “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all” are valid all year long.
At Winter Solstice we find ourselves on the darkest day of the year—we find ourselves in our darkest hour. In the same way our ancestors sat in the dark night wondering if the sun would ever return, we find ourselves in the dark night of our soul wondering if the obstacles and challenges before us are insurmountable, whether the dark times in life will ever resolve, when we can’t imagine lightheartedness returning to our routine.
I wonder how many Winter Solstices we have a year. How many times do we ask “Is this challenge too great? Is this the mistake that will end my relationship? Will my health ever improve? Will my loved one recover? Will I find a job? Is the small difference I make in this world too significant?” When we find ourselves facing questions like these, in times of hopelessness and doubt, no matter the time of year, we are having a Winter Solstice moment.
Winter Solstice teaches us that there is no darkness without light. That just as we must anticipate the sun’s return, we must expect that light will return to our lives. Marking this holiday formally helps us to renew our understanding of this message and to help us carry it throughout the year. I think the reason why Winter Solstice strikes home for me is that when you pare down my spiritual practice of Earth-Based ritual, when you take away all of the things that make ritual ritual—the quarter calls, the candle lighting, the chanting—what I have left is FAITH.

When I find myself in a Winter Solstice moment, I have a phrase that helps to sustain me and urges me to persevere.  “Tomorrow the Sun will surely rise”. That no matter what is happening tonight, right now, no matter what personal turmoil I find myself in, that sun will rise above the Earth and fill it with light once more. Somehow this fills be with hope, it teaches me to hold on, to recognize that tomorrow is a new day, a solution is on its way. It fills me with Faith. Faith that since the sun surely will return, that dark situations will too resolve into new horizons and opportunities.
As Unitarian Universalists, since our religion is free of dogma and creed, we sometimes wonder if it is also devoid of faith. We wonder if it can sustain us through the hard times. But our drawing from our multiple sources provides us with a wealth of lessons that allow us find our faith and understand our on personal faiths in a way that drawing from one source may not fully provide.
This is what drawing from the teachings of Earth-Centered religions has done for me. Eight times a year I am reminded of the cycles of life, and once a year I wait up all night anticipating the arrival of the sun.
If this is your first Winter Solstice celebration, I hope you take with you the message of faith that this sabbat brings. If Winter Solstice is part of your tradition, I hope that this marking of this sabbat renews your sense of faith.
Faith that no problem is without solution, that now obstacle is insurmountable, that you are loved, you are part of a supportive and loving community and that yes, tomorrow the sun will surely rise.

Winter Solstice–Raven Bishop

Of the eight sabbats in the Wheel of the Year, Winter Solstice is nearest to my heart. This is because its messages are so enduring and have meaning to last the whole year through—similarly to the way the messages of Christmastime “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all” are valid all year long.

At Winter Solstice we find ourselves on the darkest day of the year—we find ourselves in our darkest hour. In the same way our ancestors sat in the dark night wondering if the sun would ever return, we find ourselves in the dark night of our soul wondering if the obstacles and challenges before us are insurmountable, whether the dark times in life will ever resolve, when we can’t imagine lightheartedness returning to our routine.

I wonder how many Winter Solstices we have a year. How many times do we ask “Is this challenge too great? Is this the mistake that will end my relationship? Will my health ever improve? Will my loved one recover? Will I find a job? Is the small difference I make in this world too significant?” When we find ourselves facing questions like these, in times of hopelessness and doubt, no matter the time of year, we are having a Winter Solstice moment.

Winter Solstice teaches us that there is no darkness without light. That just as we must anticipate the sun’s return, we must expect that light will return to our lives. Marking this holiday formally helps us to renew our understanding of this message and to help us carry it throughout the year. I think the reason why Winter Solstice strikes home for me is that when you pare down my spiritual practice of Earth-Based ritual, when you take away all of the things that make ritual ritual—the quarter calls, the candle lighting, the chanting—what I have left is FAITH. When I find myself in a Winter Solstice moment, I have a phrase that helps to sustain me and urges me to persevere. “Tomorrow the Sun will surely rise”. That no matter what is happening tonight,

right now, no matter what personal turmoil I find myself in, that sun will rise above the Earth and fill it with light once more. Somehow this fills be with hope, it teaches me to hold on, to recognize that tomorrow is a new day, a solution is on its way. It fills me with Faith. Faith that since the sun surely will return, that dark situations will too resolve into new horizons and opportunities.

As Unitarian Universalists, since our religion is free of dogma and creed, we

sometimes wonder if it is also devoid of faith. We wonder if it can sustain us through the hard times. But our drawing from our multiple sources provides us with a wealth of lessons that allow us find our faith and understand our on personal faiths in a way that drawing from one source may not fully provide.

This is what drawing from the teachings of Earth-Centered religions has done for

me. Eight times a year I am reminded of the cycles of life, and once a year I wait up all night anticipating the arrival of the sun.

If this is your first Winter Solstice celebration, I hope you take with you the

message of faith that this sabbat brings. If Winter Solstice is part of your tradition, I hope that this marking of this sabbat renews your sense of faith.

Faith that no problem is without solution, that now obstacle is insurmountable,

that you are loved, you are part of a supportive and loving community and that

yes, tomorrow the sun will surely rise.

This entry was posted on Monday, December 21st, 2009 at 8:53 am and is filed under essay, Sun Holiday. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a reply

Name (*)
Mail (will not be published) (*)
URI
Comment