Winter Solstice 2016

December 21, 2016


We must believe that it is the darkest before the dawn of a beautiful new world. We will see it when we believe it.-- Saul Aulinsky

The breaking of the darkest night, the shortest day cannot arrive soon enough. Those final days before the Winter Solstice -- December 21 -- tend to be the most challenging. We’d all love to stay in bed a little longer and nurse our woes a little bit harder. It’s quite tempting  to revel in some midwinter, "are the-holidays over yet" blues before the grand shift back toward the light.

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, it feels like it’s dark outside by the time you have lunch. When the days are so short and light so scarce, it certainly can have repercussions on a psychological level. How do we keep the candle burning within? We have no choice but to be the light we wish to see in the world, especially when the world seems to be teetering on egomaniacal Alt-Right destruction.

The Solstice is a powerful time to turn inward and prepare for the big shift into a new year. The Sun also changes signs from expansive and visionary Sagittarius to practical and constructive Capricorn. Over the next few weeks, our focus will shift toward what’s useful and lasting. The current Mercury Retrograde so close to Pluto in Capricorn deepens the inner work and reflection. What did the elders have to teach us? You may be missing your grandparents and other wise teachers more than ever. Feels like we are entering a deep journey through the underworld of everything we are unconscious of in our communication, thought processes, and "mindset." We can learn from our elders (Capricorn/Saturn). My great grandmother used to get so irritated with guests on the Johnny Carson show who would say "you know" and "like" as filler... and I caught this in my own speech habits recently. Of course this might seem like a superficial revamping of communication but there are always deeper layers to language, our choice of words, speech patterns, inflection, voice quality and even pace of speech. I realized this is the perfect opportunity over the next few weeks to really "listen" with new ears to ourselves and others and become conscious of our "voice".

We have the opportunity to build our inner integrity and foundation now. This is one of the most powerful and spiritual days of the year as it holds all of the energy of the darkest-before-the-dawn moments of our consciousness. As Amma says: Don't be discouraged by the darkness you see in the world: light your candle and step forward.

We have proverbially hit bottom and there is nowhere to go but up. There is a powerful rebirth taking place, a newly born moment coming out of vast darkness. The light is returning and the days will slowly begin to get longer. There is always something uplifting about knowing that we are on our way back toward spring, not to mention a year that is NOT 2016.... right around the corner. Trying to see in the dark can feel ominous. Surrendering to the unknown and staying deeply present is our best candle now and always.

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