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
Here we are, stepping towards that threshold of a new year, where days, weeks, and months reach their apex and symbolically present us with a doorway. A liminal gap in the fabric of time where we offer up to the fires of change something we hope to let go of, to help die or transmute. Previous ways of being in the world, former relationships, old beliefs all become yule logs welcoming both the darkest night and the simultaneous birthing of the sun. For it's out of darkness that light is born.
Setting intentions for the new year can either be an act of fancy with little intention behind it, or it can be a cauldron of possibility. Invoking the psychospiritual potentialities of one's existence, an intention can be a ceremony with rituals that call in the greater forces of the cosmos. Forces that help to both dismantle and create.
Such forces have a way of tensioning the threads of our life, as if it were a bow. Drawing further and further back, the bow string grows taught, readying for a release. Though we might seek to release the growing discomfort that such tension can create, if released too soon our arrow might miss its target.
Tension in our lives readies us for great journeys. Journeys of the heart, mind, and soul.
In moments where progression seems elusive, and resistance abundant, the body and the mind become a psychospiritual bow. The hands of Mystery draw us back, and back, and back still, waiting for just the right moment when we'll be ready to let go and fly.
As you celebrate the coming of a new year - that place in time where death and birth meet in a sweet embrace of remembrance and farewell, lulling our eyelids closed, drawing us deeper to where dreams of a possible future await - perhaps it would be wise and fruitful to magnify the current tensions of your life.
Spin your gaze, as if it were a dancing dervish, toward the complexities and paradoxes that seek, out of love, to work you toward your own evolution. Come to know that which you are readying yourself for, and that which you are ready to release. For there is both a launching forward and a letting go in the hands of the archer.
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