The longest night of the year is upon us. Ancient mythologies pry their way through the veil, and lure us toward a threshold of rebirth. From Scandinavia to Serbia, Russia to the British Isles, an earthen goddess awaits. Known by various names, from Beaivi (Sami) to Saule (Lithuanian and Latvian), she protects and carries the sun between her antlers through the darkness. A creaturely mix, just as the reindeer of the North are guided by the female through the womb of winter - she who retains her antlers (unlike the buck) and is stronger and larger - the great Sun Goddess is an edge walker who accompanies us through a dying that is also a birthing. She is the guide of ancestral trails, and knows how to wisely wander the depths.
The peoples of the North and the reindeer are woven together. They depend on the reindeer for survival as they follow their migrations. Milk, food, clothing and shelter are all the gifts of the great Mother Deer. With antlers often depicted as the tree of life, sheltering birds and the cosmos, this earthen deity of regeneration and transformation straddles the liminal.
It is for this reason that, though the Winter Solstice is a time of rebirth, it is also a time where the in-between places are traversed. That which has been hidden in the depths is granted the possibility of passage from the less-known and unknown to the revealed. It is also a time for death and dying. What we once held true falls away toward a composting forest floor. What we once thought ourselves to be perishes in the moonlit darkness.
In this longest night of the year, how might you tend to the fire awaiting its birth? What ceremonies might you create as a way to wisely wander the darkened trails of your Soul? Could it be that the Earth wants something more from you? Could it be that these ancient and ancestral cosmologies are desperately hoping that what was once forgotten is given place and space once more, and that our modern amnesia is blown away by the breath of the sacred?
What treacherous revelations might you have on this longest night of the year?
Copyright (C) 2018 Wild Earth Medicine
This page is currently being updated. Please check back soon for additional articles and essays.