Quite apart from it being my birthday tomorrow, Dec 21st will be auspicious. It is the Winter Solstice, the shortage day and longest night of the year. It is also is first time since 1544 that that a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse falls exactly on the the Winter Solstice. That was 456 years ago!! A time when the Catholic Inquisition was already active and the Protestant Reformation was heating up, bringing religious persecution and “witch” burnings all around Europe.
Two friends of mine, Jodie Evans and Cristina Biaggi, have passed on what shaman friends, Starhawk and Vicki Noble, have to say about what all this means.
Winter Solstice is a time of darkness. But as Starhawk says, “Dark is a place of potential, of gestation, the black, fertile soil where the seed puts forth roots and shoots, the dark womb where new life is nurtured. But being humans, we also have a natural affinity for the light, the time of growth and new beginnings, of warmth and color and bright new hopes. Solstice reminds us that no darkness, no loss, no grief or disappointment is final. Out of darkness, light is born. Every ending gives rise to a new beginning. Out of disappointment and despair comes new courage, new hope. Over the coming year, this seed–planted in the darkness of Winter—will sprout and grow, becoming something manifest in our lives by the fall harvest time. What is it you would like to bring to birth in this coming year? What do you care about and want to protect? It’s a night to take a good look at what you want to shed. What are the behaviors, the beliefs, the patterns that no longer serve? Let them go. Make the commitment to change. What act of power can you make that would transform your fears and doubts into confidence and empowerment? How can you improve your health, your job, your relationships? These are the ruminations I would suggest you entertain on this powerful Winter Solstice; make it count!”
One ritual I do at this time of year is write on strips of paper the things I want to let go of, rid myself, even the world, of. I put the slip or slips of paper in a can or bowl and light them on fire, watching the smoke rise and focusing on those things I am saying goodbye to. Feeling them go up into the ether. I believe that, along with prayer and meditation, rituals like these can help our psyche move in new directions. This is a time, this evening and early morning, to envision the future you want to create.
Then, on top of this, we will witness a total Lunar Eclipse, the first —as I said, to fall on the Winter Solstice. A total lunar eclipse happens when the Moon passes behind the Earth so that the Earth blocks the Sun’s rays from hitting the moon. This only happens when the Earth, the Moon and the Sun are exactly aligned with the Earth in the middle. And, unlike a solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse can be seen anywhere on the night side of the Earth.
Tonight and tomorrow, “Imagine the best,” says Vicki Noble. “Do something useful and refrain from doing anything harmful or destructive, since most traditional people around the planet believe that the eclipse magnifies and multiplies the effects of our individual and collective actions. We know that this eclipse is more potent than most (given that it takes place on the Winter Solstice), so let’s make it our business to do something powerful and POSITIVE. That doesn’t mean being overly serious or heavy; I think it’s probably a lot more effective to have a fabulous time doing something joyful and expressive.”
Clearly I have a lot to celebrate!
Blessings and Peace to all of you. Love, jane