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Sunday, 21 December 2008

Latha na meadhon gamhradh

Mid Winter's Day - The Solstice
Well, here we are marking the important day by rising before dawn and walking to the top of the ridge to get a view of the rising Sun at the turning point of the dark half of the year. We Celts have celebrated this day, and tomorrow (the Dead Day), for a verra long time. It is the death of the Sun; death of the year; death of all that was. All those present moments and future ideas of 2008 become the "past" over the next two days. It is a time of introspection, of tidying up the memories and laying them in the mid-winter fire. Then, on the 23rd of December, we begin again; the Sun is reborn, for out of death always comes new life.

(What did you think the fat man in the red and white furs was for? giving you presents? No, that's St Nicholas. The man who comes down the chimney to the hearth fire brings the Sun back. Read The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett and everything will be clear).
As you can see from these photos, not much evidence of Grandfather Sun this solstice. A near gale force wind buffeting us as we climbed the ridge.

Not a day to inspire, no?

Well yes. We have reached the mid point of darkness; we have come to the end of a cycle within our lives, with a new one just beginning. What is not to feel optimistic about there? It's akin to coming to the end of a job, with new ways of being ahead. It's like graduation without knowing what is next; it's like finally saying goodbye to a relationship (with all that it had) and looking to a new future.

We can respond with fear, paralysis; as many of us do.
-AND-

We can respond with engagement, plan, aspiration.

In the middle of the coldest, darkest part of our calendar, this is when we plant our seeds beneath the ground and shelter them in small pots. What seeds will sprout into seedlings fo
r us by the spring equinox? Well, it depends what seeds we plant today...

Le Meas, le Durachd, le Bennachdan
Scot AnSgeulaiche

P.S. Here is a Solstice song for you to enjoy: "Solstice Bells"
by Jethro Tull
Go out for a walk and enjoy the constant beauty of nature. When it comes down to it, your good health and the natural world are all the really matter. May you enjoy an abundance of both in this new year, and may the seeds you sew, or the door you open, or the pallet you paint on be of your own choosing.

Solstice Greetings, Samantha

1 comment:

  1. Samantha! I can't believe I didn't stumble upon your blog yet! I love your description of Outlandish Spirits. I love the winter solstice--it's such a spiritual time of year...

    ReplyDelete

Outlandish Spirits are welcome to contribute here.