The Deep Darkness of Winter Solstice

The Pathdeep is the darkness,
with no light at all,

before and behind,
and to either side

I love this text from Stephen Mitchell’s translation of Gilgamesh. It invites me into the truth of this season. It is dark. The darkness is deep and long, and will be at its darkest depth this weekend. The hours of darkness overwhelm those of daylight.

I was recently in Anchorage, Alaska visiting my sister’s family for Thanksgiving, and it was still dark at 9 am! We took the kids to school in the dusky darkness. By 4 pm, it was dark again. It was really dark before and behind, and to either side.

There have been times in my life where this has been true, too. Deep is the darkness, so deep that I can’t see around me, with no light at all. At such times, it’s helpful to remember that we have choices. We often fumble around trying to see in the deep dark. Instead we can practice surrendering to its depths. And we can seek the light.

Winter reminds us of the mystery of dark and light, of their entwinement, of their ultimate embrace. Each cannot exist without the other—if there were no darkness, we would have nothing to contrast it with, nothing “light.” And without the light, what would “dark” be?

So, as winter invites us into the deep darkness, can we surrender to it, allow ourselves to dive in and become familiar with its depths? What might we find in the darkness? What visions, dreams, gifts, might be there for us to uncover, for us to release into?

Winter Solstice and the other wintertime holidays mark the beginning of the return of the light, at the cusp of winter. Winter Solstice falls on Sunday, December 21st at 5:03 pm CT this year. As we surrender to the darkness of wintertime, we also, paradoxically, are reminded of the light, which will grow ever so slowly from this day until Summer Solstice.

deep is the darkness, with no light at all,
before and behind, and to either side

If you’d like a hand to hold as you walk along your path, I’d love to offer you a free Discovery Session to find out how my Women’s Holistic Health & Wellness Coaching might support you.

If you’d like to practice surrendering to and gleaning the gifts of the dark, consider joining me on January 31st for The Way of the Happy Woman®: Winter Yoga, Meditation & Life Balance Mini-Retreat. 

And to create some light in the darkness, you might want to join our next Sacred Chant Choir series, starting January 14th.

This winter, how will you enter consciously into the darkness?
How can you surrender to winter’s depth,
and at the same time allow the ever-returning light within
to slowly and faithfully guide you along your way?

Author: Katy Taylor

I am a regular person, like you. I am an earth lover, a seeker, a singer, a gardener, a partner and friend. I have attended a lot of trainings and continue to do my work to grow and deepen and become a more loving person. If you're interested, you can read more about me on the About page.

2 thoughts on “The Deep Darkness of Winter Solstice”

  1. Dear Katy ~ ~ Many thanks to you for this. It is a wonderful reminder to me to not seek to avoid the depth of the darkness but to surrender to it and to whatever it needs to convey. To bow and receive what is beyond me. And then to wait for the light. Thank you.


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