“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.”
In yoga, and in astrology, the sun symbolizes the soul. The word “solstice,” in Latin, means sun standing still, so in a sense, we could say the soul stands still on the solstice—maybe even long enough for you to catch a glimpse of it, as some legends say you can at this divine time of year. The darkest night contains the most magnetic power, too; this is a time to draw forth what you want, to incubate your best intentions. As you enjoy the longest night and the brightest lights of the season, please remember this: your soul is the light of the world. You carry the light within you. You shine.
The Solstice is a time of quietude, of firelight, and dreaming, when seeds germinate in the cold earth, and the cold notes of church bells mingle with the chimes of icicles. Rivers are stilled and the land lies waiting beneath a coverlet of snow. We watch the cold sunlight and the bright stars, maybe go for walks in the quiet land. . . . All around us the season seems to reach a standstill — a point of repose.
These longer hours of darkness allows us to see into the deepest and darkest parts of our soul and presents us with an opportunity to go within and become aware of the subtle stirrings within our beings.
Winter darkness has a positive side to it. As we gather to celebrate the first turn from winter to spring, we are invited to recognize and honor the beauty in the often unwanted season of winter. Let us invite our hearts to be glad for the courage winter proclaims. Let us be grateful for the wisdom winter brings in teaching us about the need for withdrawal as an essential part of renewal. Let us also encourage our spirits as Earth prepares to come forth from this time of withdrawal into a season filled with light.
The winter solstice celebrates the return of hope to our land as our planet experiences the first slow turn toward greater daylight. Soon we will welcome the return of the sun and the coming of springtime. As we do so, let us remember and embrace the positive, enriching aspects of winter’s darkness. Pause now to sit in silence in the darkness of this space. Let this space be a safe enclosure of creative gestation for you.
~excerpt from A Celebration of Winter Solstice” from The Circle of Life by Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wiederkehr.