The Inner Solstice

When I think of the Winter Solstice, I think of the ever present cycle of life giving way to death giving way to life. It is the breath, the fullness and the release, like the ocean rising and falling with the pull of the moon. There are many mythologies associated with the solstice that go back to the ancients. Most carry a message of hope for the return of the light.

And what of our inner solstice? How do we experience the return of our own light? When our day wanes dark and the night reigns, do we feel the gathering of hope? Do we feel a quickening in our veins as we approach that moment when the sun stands still? A pause in the great cosmic breath is a perhaps a place for reflection before we begin the arc to fullness once again.

There is a very real lesson in the mythology of the solstice. It has to do with faith, acceptance and humility. Do we believe in that darkest moment that the light will return? Even in our highest moment, do we understand that darkness will reign once again? How can we allow space for the inevitable return of darkness without giving way to hopelessness? And how can we step with joy and humility into the fullness of our returning light?

As someone who has worked with others both in addiction recovery and through dreamwork, the mythology of the great cycle of life is encountered over and over as we face into each issue. Faith, acceptance and humility can't be found in idolatry or temples or the greatest teacher, but must be found within. And, it is not a singular event but one which we must continually return to. It is a process of becoming balanced, surrendering over and over to the great cycle.

When we live in the bated breath of anticipation of life and also learn to honor the embrace of darkness, we can find our own discernment within the rhythm of living.

Here is my winter solstice dream from a few nights ago:

Dream: I see doves peeling out of the earth from a mass grave that is around a huge old oak tree. As each dove peels free from the dirt, it rises up into the sunlit sky, first one, then twos and then small groups.
Blessings to you during this darkest and longest you rest in the belly of the divine mother...may you find faith in the return of the light.

"Spirit Rising" by Marina Petro

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