Winter Solstice is just about here.
Friday, December 21st, at 4:23 pm Central Time.
This is not a human-formed celebration, but an earth event, a turning of the earth wheel that happens once each year. As we are inhabitants of this earth, earth standing on two feet, this longest night of the year is happening not just to us, but within us, in rhythm with us—we are in rhythm with the Winter Solstice.
“…everything is potentially a sacred text through which God can speak to us.”
~ Christine Valters Paintner, in her book Lectio Divina, p. 20
By acknowledging this darkest night of the year, viewing it as a sacred text, we can participate consciously in the turning of the year, in the unfolding mystery of nature through which God speaks to us.
We can participate consciously in the sanctifying of time, the sacredness of this natural earth rhythm, this holy turning of the year through which God/True Nature expresses:
- in the darkest depths of night
- in the stark, cold of winter,
- in the birth of the new light.
What might this look like?
Our ancestors experienced a sense of “original participation” as Owen Barfield called it, or, “participation mystique” as other authors have named it.
It is the experience that we are not separate from nature, but of nature, one with nature. The darkening earth, the cold, the birth of the light are all mysteries of our own being, not just something happening to the earth around us.
Mysteries happening to us, in us, through us. As God speaks to us, in us, and through us.
To enter into this embodied experience of Winter Solstice, you might ask:
- What is alive in my darkest depths? What is deep down, inside me that feels dark or perhaps even endarkened?
- What in me is cold, perhaps hibernating or perhaps needing warming?
- What wants to come to light in me? What spark might I tend and allow to grow into a flame and life-sustaining embers?
I invite you to create your own ritual to honor this turning of the year, something as simple as considering the questions above. And I would love to hear your answers! Please post in the comments below or feel free to contact me.
If you are in the Twin Cities, and would like to celebrate in community, please join me:
On Friday, the 21st at 7:00 pm, we’ll be celebrating this darkest night of the year at Unity Church Unitarian if you’d like to join us in a family friendly, music-filled, participatory ritual.
And we’ll be caroling to welcome the light in the evening on Sunday, December 23rd in my Selby-Lexington, St. Paul neighborhood.
Contact me if you’d like to join us.