Monday, December 20, 2010

Silence and Solitude: A Winter Solstice Meditation (20 December 2010)

Tomorrow night is the Winter Solstice, and this year I’m looking forward to a Full Moon and the lunar eclipse that will be visible here after Midnight tonight.  I hope I’ll be able to see the eclipse here, but if I don’t, JPL has an eclipse-watching site up on the web where people can put up their pictures over the course of the evening.  Tonight I’m immersing myself as much as possible in the darkness of this ‘next to longest’ night of the year.  The house is lit only by a few candles and the lights on the Yule Tree.  To keep myself ‘occupied’ (so I don’t just sink into meditation and ‘stop’ – however pleasant that might be, tonight), I’m baking a rum cake and listening to Loreena McKennitt's CD “To Drive the Cold Winter Away.”  This particular musical tapestry always tempts me to floating away into imagined mystical scenes, as if ‘on the other side of the sídhe.’  If I allow myself to follow where the music tempts me, this may be my night of poetic dreaming and travelling, tomorrow night then being more focused on the natural landscapes of Winter Solstice Night, enhanced by a Full Moon’s light!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Embracing the Darkness (12 December 2010)

Original versions posted on 12/21/2007 and 12/01/2008 at MySpace

Tomorrow is the first day of Yule, and as I sit at the trailhead of my journey to the Dolmen of the Winter Solstice, aware of the ice and snow and awaiting inspiration, I turn to embrace the darkness that is growing around us every day. A major thrust of my spirituality at this point involves affirming Nature as-it-is and striving to understand myself as a part of Nature. As such, I never associate ‘darkness’ with 'evil.' Darkness is 'the absence of light,’ as the old cliché goes (a statement of the obvious); yet it is much more, poetically and existentially—and I continue to find rich rewards in meditating upon the darkness and reveling in it as the Winter Solstice approaches each year. I dwell deeply in Earth & Spirit, affirming darkness as 'natural' and even 'necessary' to our pathing of wisdom’s touchstones. To be ‘earthen’ in a spiritual sense we must embrace darkness and befriend it; for we seek the wisdom that darkness embodies.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Anticipations of the Winter Solstice (1 Dec 2010)

Thanksgiving now behind us, I await the Winter Solstice.

It is not a revel I anticipate, but a solemn pilgrimage. I am beyond the emotional highs of Christmas-tide celebrations and the myth-induced fervor of my younger days; yet I am vibrant, awake and spiritually expectant as Winter Solstice draws near. Winter Solstice is a natural event, and it is full of wondrous possibilities for experience; both imaginative as well as in the ordinary daily rounds of work, play and rest. So, as I become aware that the Winter Solstice is just three weeks away, I grow silent and still_ full of an adventurous energy_ for Winter Solstice is coming; inevitably, as always—unstoppable and ineluctable.