Each Winter Solstice I feel the effects of the pacific northwest's winter quietude, darkness, and liminal space as we transition out the time of the sun and move into the time of the moon and stars, the night and deepening of shadows.
I use this time to review my past year and prepare for new projects, recommit to continuous inner learning, and releasing what no longer serves my wholeness, and embrace what expresses and confirms my inner authentic self. I call this time my Soulstice, the time of my inner star or sun's inner journey. Here in the darkness, the wet thought and emotive leaves cover and add weight upon my presence. My inner winds dry the landscape and leave an extended canvas of faded colors and crispness of breath.
Much like the image above, I am a shell, at rest, in the darkness, holding onto my inner light. Precious it is, in need of continual attendance, and I let it lightly dance within. Its relevance takes on meaning as the winter deepens, the intimacy of day retreats and I relearn how to embrace the evening shadows. This is my metaphor. It means my shell must be solid, my light well fueled, and my focus trustworthy to the task of quietude not wasted. Each turn of the spiral strengthening my fortitude of presence, the thickness of the walls confidently holding at bay any ill winds and unwanted intrusion.
This year I make another full spiral of my shell. I wrap up another cycle of experience and prepare for another. This is my testament to myself that I am still here, living and walking my own path through choice and sometimes serendipitously on new paths.
In review of the year, before I journal the year and archive it for future reference, I find this spiral more thick, more tight, and yet larger in circumference. It has been a full year, filled with awareness of so much more than my own experiences. And would venture to say, so are each of your finishing spirals. The storms that have tossed and turned our minds and hearts, forced insults of intrusive events by ever-shifting sands of controversy, and it will close with unfinished and unreconciled events, at home and away.
In the image above, the shell seems to hold no living tenant. Perhaps it hides, retreated into the deepest upper tip of the spiral. And yet, the inner light radiates from within, confirming there is still life, still presence, and a will-to-be here. The heart and soul of the conch is fiery and radiant, energetic and seen.
As you approach this winter solstice,, make it more than a gathering, more than a party, make it a soulstice. See the light you carry home have meaning. Bring home a light you could add to a fire of hope and healing, of light that warms where there is cold and sorrow. Think deeply upon the abundance you have in a shell that protects and coddles your inner self. Set aside for longer than a moment, a lengthy time of gratitude.
Some of us will be in sorrow, some walking through loss, and others hunger and without shelter. Some will be wearing masks of joy to fit into expectations. Others will be standing outside looking in and wondering what went wrong.
While I know the Solstice is a time of gathering and culturally there are many ways of honoring the changes in the length of sunlight. Many gatherings, celebrations, rituals and creativity. We are all in the biggest transition throughout the world. The results of our choices have begun to present us with cost of selfishness, arrogance, and ignorance. And by all means, take some time to enjoy each other and engage in the solstice event.
In closing, what I am suggesting is this; make solstice more than before, more than the usual, and not just for yourself. Make it deeper. Bring the Soul into the moment, the inner sun-star. Be the yule log that holds that radiant hot ember-spark, that will carry through the liminal space, across the realms, and into the shelters, the bombed out areas, the troubled homes and fading lights as others experience loss and others welcome new life. Be the light, the Soul-light, a humane candle, that in the deepening, holds true, with integrity, offers hope, and holds the balance as we shift into what is next. Soul-sing into the night as the hot breath is swirling before you (in the north), connect with the stars and the constellations of ancient stories. Feel the dance of the aura borealis as the sun's unseen rays pierce the night veils and shimmer in potency. And send that out into the world on Solstice. Make it a Soulstice.