On winter solstice the light is born.
Maybe you’d like to think we can leap
straight from the darkest dark
to the lightest light.
A leap of light!
Perhaps here’s where you’d like that quick fix –
the one that’s been promised by
too many who knew better,
or could have known better
if they weren’t buried by their own
greed, their own personal agendas,
their own false hopes,
their own fears of the darkness,
their own denial of their traumas,
or the ice of their own illusions.
The illusions of how things work
going from darkness to light.
Even in the outer world
there are no harmless, sustainable quick fixes.
We don’t go straight from
the winter to the summer solstice.
There are six l-o-n-g months between them.
And freezing or even below-freezing cold.
Feet of snow you have to shovel
or it will turn to ice.
Ack! The hard, back-breaking work of shoveling.
And inches of ice –
hard, hardened, ever so slippery ice –
you have to chip away at or find a way to melt,
or you will slide, fall, crash.
Even though it’s getting a little bit lighter
day by day by day,
this can go on for at least two or three of those
six long months.
And beneath the snow and ice
there is hard frozen ground.
Nothing can penetrate it
from the outside in
or the inside out. . .
until it thaws in its own timing.
deep in the heart of the earth,
our plants are keeping warm,
nourished by the life energy
that returned down, down, down to their roots
from blossoms, leaves, and stalks,
right before the light was born.
And there they will stay,
until ice and snow
are dissolved and melted,
hardened ground softens once again,
and they innately know it is safe
to slowly, slowly grow up and out into the world again.
This is all true in our inner worlds, too.
Starting to birth the light from within out into the world,
we’d like to believe there are quick fixes
that aren’t harmful and are sustainable.
But it isn’t true. . .
and it is harmful to believe it is true.
It is harmful to you as an individual person and soul,
and it is harmful to our world.
For deep in your own underground labyrinths
at the heart of your Self,
is life that you have wanted to protect for years,
since your earliest storms in life,
the ones in which you were hurt and scared,
angry and sad, resigned and hopeless.
The ones you buried deep and covered over with
layers and layers of defense . . .
defense that froze – became harder and harder,
more and more brittle,
and eventually broke off and took on a life of its own.
Hardened life, no matter how it appeared on the surface.
Broken off, hardened life, so very different from the real
life of who you are.
You can’t just trust defense that broke off and took on a life
of its own.
You can’t just throw salt on a frozen heart.
You can’t just chip away at it.
It’s too delicate for that.
You have to melt your frozen heart with
Commitment, compassion, purpose, truth, and the fire of feeling safely.
Feeling all that you have frozen that froze your heart, too.
And when your heart is thawed,
the work will not be over.
It will take place in the warm breeze of summertime,
when the light is full and then . . .
As we enter the new year,
May you continue your journey with the darkness . . .
and the growing light . . .
and the snowy, frozen winter . . .
melting whatever is frozen within you . . .
bringing it out with commitment, love, and truth,
and for the sole purpose of healing.
And if I can be of service to you in the process . . .
Feel free to let me know.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP MAKE YOUR WORLD SAFE . . . FROM THE INSIDE OUT
In your outer world . . .
As I have said many times before . . . abuse of power in our world has been coming out into the light of day more and more and more. It is so far out in the world now . . . you would think it would be undeniable. Yet, there are countless people denying it still.
By the reality of this denial alone, it is clear . . .
Within and all around us are opportunities for healing!
In your inner world . . .
During this time of longer nights and shorter days, remember that the darkness often holds the clues to the path toward our deepest healing . . .
In this “dark” time, explore your relationship with your own darkness. Use this time as a mirror of your own soul . . . reflecting your own need to go into and through the darkness within to reach the light.
As feelings arise in you while you contemplate the darkness, trace them back to your early experiences with darkness, both literally and metaphorically. Explore how your own experience of the dark has affected how you view the darkness within and the feelings you have about exploring this darkness.
If you are able, explore the dark within . . . finding both hidden strengths ready to be utilized, and hidden weaknesses waiting to be healed and transformed. If you need help, reach out and find the help you need, someone who can help you explore safely and with integrity.
And remember: “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” (Carl Jung)
If we can all find the strength to do the inner work in our own dark places . . . imagine what our world would be like!
Someone who first connected with me through this article before I even began my blog, recently sent it back to me in honor of our connection and the Solstice. When I read it again, it felt even more true and even more needed in our world today than it was way back then. I give thanks for the connection. I give thanks for the reminder about this article. And I give thanks for the opportunity to update it and share it with our world again.
NOTE: I know the Winter Solstice is manifest differently in different parts of our earth. I chose to utilize this version of the Solstice — the one with which I am most familiar in the outer world – because of the deeper meaning it offers for our inner worlds. Wherever you are, I hope you will allow it to touch you, inform you, inspire you.
© Judith Barr 2010; edited 2020.