Friday, December 22, 2006

Celebrating the Victory of Light

Tomorrow will be 0m 4s LONGER.

Evergreen trees are covered with lights. Candles brighten windows.

As my grandmother used to say, "Christmas on the hill!"


  1. I feel compelled to write something positive about Winter and the time of Darkness.

    In Northern cultures, Winter traditionally was the time when labour ceased to be unremitting, when the fields lay blanketed by snow and families were kept at home. In the warmth of a fire, stories would be told and crafts would be undertaken to keep minds and bodies occupied during the time of 'rest'.

    Winter is a season when Nature slumbers. It is a season when the light of the Sun is supplanted by the light and warmth of the hearth. I love Winter in the North.

    It is a season of small lights and warm fires rather than a season of suffocating heat. It is traditionally a season of rest and meditation. Unfortunately, Western consumerism has robbed the season of most of its tranquillity. Instead of shopping compulsively or desperately in many cases, people should spend quiet time with their families and loved ones, honouring old rituals and traditions and creating new ones.

    The celebration of the Winter Solstice is the promise of rebirth and the celebration of Christmas is an actual celebration of rebirth. The birth of the Divine Child in a cave symbolises the rebirth of life in the womb of the Earth. The presence of the Animal Guardians, the shepherds (representing the old pastoral cultures) and the Magi (representing the urban culture as well as being the guardians of arcane knowledge) bring all elements of this world together in a celebration of rebirth. The 'Lord of Light' is reborn at the darkest hour of Winter. One needn't be Christian to enjoy the beauty of this ancient tale. After all, it is a tale that predates Christianity and is found in many ancient mystery religions.

    One of the most beautiful traditions of Yuletide is the Christmas tree. To bring an Evergreen into the house, decorating it with lights and ornaments, placing gifts beneath it, is to perform an ancient and powerful ritual of faith in eternal life and light. The Tree is the symbol of the World Tree itself. The Christmas tree bedecked with hundreds of tiny lights, bearing 'fruit' in the form of ornaments symbolising everything that is treasured and cherished by humanity as well as gifts for loved ones, is a glorious tradition. Again, it is an ancient tradition that has been incorporated into Christianity but one that belongs to all of humanity.

    The World Tree is the ladder to heaven, a connection between Heaven and Earth. Its roots are underground, its branches are steps that ascend from Earth to Heaven and its tip pierces the sky in a sacred marriage between Heaven and Earth.

    I do not fear the Darkness of Winter. Without the presence of Darkness, Light would remain undefined. It is in contrast that creation is found. I always thought it would be terrible to live in a place where night never arrived. Night and Darkness are kind. They allow us to sleep, to rest from our cares and labours. The Night is a blanket that surrounds us and cradles us as we regain strength to greet the new Dawn.

    That is my own feeling about the Winter Solstice and Yuletide.

    Freyashawk, on the occasion of the Winter Solstice

  2. Greetings! Time Freyashawk started her own blog, methinks, with things as weighty as this to say!