Winter Solstice 2009 occurs at 9:47 am PST, 5:04 pm GMT on December 21, 2009 (22 Dec. in Thailand and points east.) This is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and from now on the Solar force will get longer and stronger, a welcome relief for those of us who need lots of sunshine to keep our dispositions equally sunny.
by Robert Wilkinson of Aquarius Papers
Today is the shortest lit, darkest day of the year. It is a time for many- to let go of old influences, differences- to say or write of the things you wish to relinquish- to see leave your life. This is where, in times past- the yule log came in. The ritual began many years back to ignite a log and to burn in it's flame- messages on parchment, bark or some kind of medium that one might write on or draw pictures to symbolize the intention. And then, the same exercise would begin again with drawing or writing of what you wished to see come into your life. Again, the intentions would go into the flame, one at a time or all in a list or perhaps upon a pine bow, one might say, "Joy please come back into my life, I wish for happiness to fill the spaces left open by all the things I do so intend to let go."
History tells us of pagans (who were really just poor peasants, many of them country people- not heretics or heathens as the church back in the day would have all believe because of their odd tendencies to worship nature- the sun, moon and stars,) just plain and simple folks who cherished the divine in every living thing... and in each other. The herbs the good earth gave them thereby curing many of their ailments were gifts treasured and often spoke of in ceremonies. And to this day, we still use the old ways to cure many common ills.
These days when people speak of pagan or being a pagan- to me that just means they choose to believe as their freedom dictates. Nothing scary, or evil....isn't it funny how we often give the unknown, the misunderstood a cloak and dagger of sorts, declaring them unchristlike or even worse, devil worshipper?! That always tickles me in a way, and sometimes when an actual pagan declares to me that they are pagan, I say- Good for you, I'm Terry! Almost always I am then met with a very quizzical look, then kindness- that agreeing to disagree thing, willing to uphold the divine in each and every one of us- regardless of the little tag dangling from our character! Usually brings about an understanding, an acceptance- clarity then rears it's bright and shiny face and in that same light- we all dance.
To believe in one's personal God or Goddess or Baby or King or Candles or ???? To each his own- Every one of those beliefs have the one thing in common that this day lacks- Light. In the following days...in longer lit, lesser dark times- may we all begin again to truly live in the Light that is the Divine in the all and everything.
Joy to all-