Today, on my side of the world, it’s the slow tilting of the globe from shorter to longer days. Everyday from now on brings more daylight and less darkness. Many cultures around the world celebrate the solstice so it’s no coincidence that Christmas also falls around this time.
I’m always interested in how different cultures celebrated the winter solstice around the world before the arrival of Christianity. Since my ethnic background is Celtic, I did a quick internet search for some specifics of their traditional celebrations.
Druids, Celtic shamans, cut mistletoe, a symbol of life from the sacred oak trees, to give as blessings. The Yule log was also a Druid custom to light the darkest 12 days in winter, banish evil spirits and bring luck for the new year. Bright colored objects would be hung on pine trees to symbolize the sun, moon and stars as well as the souls of friends and relatives who had died.
As I found many of our current holiday decorations, traditions, foods and celebrations began with our ‘pagan’ ancestors. It just shows how important it is to our bodies, minds and souls to connect with the world that holds us and the universe that surrounds us.
Let the light in.
How hard life was then. Yet even with all our technology, innovations and inventions, we still struggle with darkness. Night falls. Seasons change. Life is a cycle of birth, growth and death.
Our ancestors around the globe were wise. They survived and thrived by honoring the importance of light from the sun and the soul.
How do we find a way through it all? By letting light in. Even if it’s just a pinprick of sun, a candle flame, a twinkle of a light through a window.
Most important is finding the light inside our souls.
We receive light from our planet. We contain light. And we can give light.
May the Solstice bring even more light to your soul.