*Trigger warning: Mature Content*
I know the Solstice "officially" begins at 10.59am EST tomorrow, but we tend to write these things as and when we feel and see the energy moving.
I must say, i'm almost surprised we made it to the end of the road this time. To get painfully candid with you all, this year has been arduous, breaking and seemingly unrelenting for me. I'm honestly surprised i'm still here. In fact, it's been one of the worst of my life, and it seems a lot of people have been feeling the same in some kind of way, to greater, middling or lesser (okay... you caught me, I rewatched Geralt slaying a Stryga, sue me).
As it's tradition on each of the Crossing Days, I find myself here again to explain the energy and mechanics of the Tides and Seasonal Rhythms... trying to make sense of the currents and forces laying within the Inner World and Her Mysteries, only this time I do so with an abject heart, with a fair bit of remorse, pain and awe-full perspective that would have every right to make me cynical and cold, and maybe it has. I don't really know at this point.
It's been a year of great highs, new experiences and open doors, sure, but also one of the most traumatising, difficult and heartbreaking things I've gone through in a long time. As I sit here writing this, perched on the edge on my window staring out at the field, seeing the first frost glisten over the leaves in my garden under moonlight, I feel Old Man Winter biting in the wind, and I can't help but think back to August and the last Tide when I wrote about feeling there was a coming storm, ushered in with a feeling of dread and anticipation.
Looking back, I've lost 5 people this year, due to old age, Covid, crime or suicide. I went through heartbreak with people I thought could never possibly hurt me, feelings of being used, betrayed and abandoned, I was even in hospital twice, having recently been Rona'd myself! To tell you all the honest truth, i'm completely broken, but's that's okay. And yet, all of us still somehow showed up and did the best we could with where we were at. So i'm also proud.
I suppose you wanna know where the energy is in all this? Or I suppose, the better question is why does it even matter? Honestly... it matters because you say it does.
And in case no one told you, I will. You matter just because you are you, you don't have to be perfect or show up for anyone, do anything to prove your worth or show someone how good a friend you can be. You are important because you exist. And you deserve happiness, whatever that looks like for you.
How we feel is important. It's really important. But the interpretations we attach to our emotional experiences, the centres and perspectives we judge them from, the labels we attach to compartmentalise how we feel almost always come from our ego, and they aren't always true. You can identify a feeling or situation as one label, but it can change quicker than your mind can comprehend, leaving you feeling stuck, in a period of suspension.
It's no coincidence I did a tarot reading recently to see the true nature of my situation vs how I was perceiving it. I ended up getting the Hanged Man for how I thought everything was going and The World for how it really was. Read into that what you will.
The word Solstice comes from the Latin solstitium, meaning "point where the sun stands still", and was always a bit weird to our ancestors as the big ol' fire ball seems to rise and set in the same place for a few days either side of the main date, so things seem to be in a period of suspension, and almost womb-like temperament.
On a physical level, right now is the point in the year where the Earth -and Land, is furthest away from the Sun, hence the other name Midwinter. We're at our darkest point physically speaking. Since the Summer Solstice in June, we gradually began our journey away from Light and have come to the darkest and coldest point of all. But within that, comes a sense of hope that it is now time to begin our journey home.
From the 21st onwards, the days will begin to get longer again as Light cascades down through the spheres. The weather might still be freezing, and we have a long way to go before Summer, but we can rest in the knowledge that the seasons have changed and there is hope for a return to warmth.
Think about how that must have felt for your ancestors the first time they figured out the years and seasons repeat in a cycle? It must have been terrifying, huddling together in the cold, fearing the end of the world only to be greeted by a return of the Unconquerable Sun. Above all, the energy of this time is that of a realisation that life goes on, no matter how dark things get.
Given the various festivals celebrated around this time of year, whether it be Christmas and the birth of Christ, or the older Roman Sol Invictus, at its heart the Winter Solstice celebrates the incarnation of Light into matter.
Whoever or whatever that Light is for you doesn't really matter, whether it's Jesus, Mithras, Lucifer, Belanos or your own soul incarnating into a body, all of these are myths that embody the same idea...
It is in our darkest moments, both physically and esoterically that Light is reborn and found again. We are not a part of Nature. We ARE Nature. She reflects us, as we do Her. Just as the Sun returns at the darkest moment, so too is our own light and inspiration found within the darkest parts of ourselves, we just need to be willing to let go of everything we are to find it.
On the Astral right now, things are churning. The Solstice marks the moment the next Energetic Tide is released, and this coming wave of energy will ground and manifest around January/February and usher in Spring. You may need no to explanation to feel it, but the Tide gushing forth from Her Divine Womb right now is that of Cleansing, Purification, Renewal and Rebirth.
This energy is going to sweep away everything that is dead, rotten, decayed and no longer serving you... making room for a fresh start and a chance to rebuild. Make no mistake, this isn't a gentle Tide. Cleansing and Purification will easily burn and scorch away the old and outworn if we hold too tightly to our perspective. This coming Tide can either be a gentle Spring rain or a devastating Winter flood, but that's on you.
When it comes down to it, let me tell you (yeah, YOU specifically, reading this) what I needed to hear someone tell me this whole year, only to realise that I could have told it to myself.
No matter how hard it gets, no matter how hard things hit, get up. It doesn't matter if it takes you all the time in the world to do so, just make sure you get back up. You can be bruised, cut or even broken, but get up and keep going, because if you don't show up for yourself then no one will.
It doesn't matter if you've made mistakes, because even if you repeat those mistakes you learn eventually. I understand more than anyone what it's like to think it's over. Humans break, we're stupid, make bad decisions and don't learn easily. But look how far we've come.
Embrace yourself, because even though it seems you're the only one out there, you're not. I hate to break it to you but sometimes suffering... is just suffering. It doesn't make you stronger... it doesn't build your character. It just hurts. And you need to accept it and get on with it.
But when you give yourself a chance to see a broader perspective, you can begin to see those light pillars breaking through the clouds and the ground start to thaw. And it's in moments like that that you realise if Nature works in cycles, so do we.
Let yourself be in the womb and break. Humans have internal seasons too, so let yourself reform and allow Spring to show up for you, and all the flowers and seedlings you planted will burst through that cold, dark exterior just like the Snowdrops and Bluebells in the forest in February.
Above all, we have a chance to rebuild. And for that i'm forever grateful. I wish you all a happy Solstice, Yule, Christmas, Saturnalia or whatever it is you're doing this time of year!
*Art by Rob Rey: https://www.robreyfineart.com/collections/114297
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