Wednesday, December 18, 2013


         We are those who feared the encroaching darkness. 
Was there a time I have wondered, imagined, that we did not know/were not sure/did not assume that light would return, that days would grow longer? At least not return by itself,  without our intercession. What would it take to bring back the light? Sacrifice? Of an animal, a human? Would prayers and chanting and ceremony bring back the light?  
Did you know that Stonehenge is aligned on a sight-line toward sunrise and sunset on the day of Winter Solstice?

        What did winter mean during the Neolithic? 

During early periods of farming and herding in the Northern Hemisphere? It meant that communities might not survive winter. Starvation might occur. Cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed when snow covered fodder.

          Yet, we humans in the North celebrated Solstice. Though some meat was preserved, fresh meat was available. The fermenting of beer and wine that began in late summer was now complete. The deciduous trees were bare, but the great firs stood green and alive. The Sun God, they realized,  was about to be reborn, and so it was the time of the last great feast of the year.

        And so we still celebrate, though the myth has shifted for some and been forgotten by others, and the event has been monetized. We bring light into the world at the darkest time, and we rediscover giving and charity and some of our best human impulses.  And we hope - keep hoping - that those impulses will remain with us.

So I wish you light and love and a generosity of spirit!

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