Today is Dec. 21, 2011, and it is the longest night of the year. Its technical term is, the Winter Solstice, and in meteorological parlance it marks the beginning of Winter. The Winter Solstice, along with the Spring Equinox, the Summer Solstice, and the Autumnal Equinox are related to our Earth’s 365 day, course around the Sun, and the affected, play of light and dark as it relates to earth’s 23.6 degree inclination. This cosmic phenomena equates also to our four seasons, and to the four quadrants of earth, North, East, South, West. Through out antiquity humans have recognized the cyclical movement of the four quadrants, and have aligned its movement to their lives. For instance, the American Indians believed that each quadrant was associated with unique powers: the North, with endurance and strength, the East, with renewal and growth, the South, with potency and flourishing, the West, with harvesting and completion. When the tribe or band would embark on new initiatives or personal endeavors they would first invoke the blessing of the four quadrants. They stand facing to the North entreating its blessing, then to the East entreating its blessing, then to the South, entreating its blessing, then to the West entreating its blessing.
Many of us believe the above rituals and similar, are based on superstition rather than solid, scientific facts. After this calculation we have a nice niche to fit all similar rituals on, superstition. Listen to what William Wordsworth says about our lack of awareness to the workings of Nature:
“The world is too much with us, late an soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not”…
More accurately, I believe, the cause for our unawareness is ignorance and fear, that a deeper look into Nature would disturb our self imposed order. It is a sickness of soul-a soul left derelict while experience, feelings, things are neatly colored, fit and formed together; a safe grid were everything is fixed.
Nature points with crawl, with bleat, with eccentricity, to the essence of things. In Her the whole of life is reflected. Therefore, jump into the River of Nature; join it as you would your mother and father; lay back and enjoy the ride home.
My wish is that you have a wonderful holiday and that the new light of the Winter Solstice brings you good fortune.