This year’s Winter Solstice is a day later than usually expected, we tend to think of it as the 21st of December. The Solstice time actually changes every year and is not a fixed time or day. The moment of Winter Solstice is a moment depending on the sun as it rises, awakening us after the longest night of the year, the deepest of winter darkness. This year it meets us on Monday morning after that long dark Sunday night which coincides with the waxing of the new moon. The solstice is connected to the alignment of planets, creating a stillness, a pause, a moment in time when dreams if dreamt well can be nurtured into life before the next full moon..
Nestling into the darkness I feel it like a cloak that surrounds me, covering the wild of the nature around us, the time for going inward and rummaging in the dark for our creative juice, when seedlings and bulbs feed on the nourishment of the soil. A time for contemplation and pondering. I feel like hibernating and being much stiller than usual, listening to the wind and rain and watching the mists fall and rise, seeking out the place, the openings in the distant clouds, where the light will begin to shine, awakening the newness of the New Year. From over the horizon as the Grandfather awakens and pours forth that golden light across the landscapes.
And this year the Solstice falls on the morning of my birth. It doesn’t always happen that way! So it is a very dream filled solstice for me this time around, I wonder if it is likely to feel different for me? My 54th year here in this world.
I have been slowing right down these last few weeks after traveling so much and it’s been really good to just be at home being creative and spending time with Ben and our Irish she-cat Kiara.
On the 12th I attended a beautiful ceremony with the dancers of the 3rd apprenticeship modules of the School of Movement Medicine, with Susannah and Ya’Acov Darling Khan. It was a deep ceremony, alive, yet mysterious and profound in a subtle way. I began in its subtlety to ask ‘why am I here?’ A very significant night to be asking that question! 9 days till my birthday, 9 gateways of contemplation, pondering on this question, to be in the dark. To feelintomy own roots and the journey from birth till now.
What came to me in ceremony, through a few particular dances, was ‘balance’ the meeting of polarities that create chaos, the rhythm, the engagement of the sensitive soul trying to emerge. I took all of this into my further dreaming and contemplation. 9 days, 9 gateways to create what was needed, to find the medicine and the answer to the question I was asking. A familiar question, a good one to ask now and again I find, particularly at this time of year.
And considering my birth date – it does not surprise me, the time where dark and light meet together. The polarities of shadow and all-seeing, the journey from the depths of darkness to the light of the morning’s eye.
During this time, Ben and I have been having our own small ceremony of creating the mask of our medicine man and woman. Journeying into those parts of us, rummaging in plaster-of-paris, paints and oddments of tools, fabrics, feather and fur. Listening to the drum beat as it weaves its magic and visions for us.
The masks begin to emerge, sharing into the light of day who they are. It’s an exciting process….
We continue with our daily chores and the work we are doing, those bits of administration, editing, setting up programs for next year and me some mentoring sessions with dear students and dancers on the path.
Yet the masks keep looking out at us awaiting their moments of completion. They speak to us, to our hearts and souls, questioning us…’why are you here?’
And we journey with the creative making and binding together. We take it slowly, ensuring we don’t rush in haste, the detail is too important for that.
We head into the Solstice, making way for the new and bringing out what feels really important for us to be sharing. The mask begins to show itself and that same polarity of dark and light begins to manifest, I see its face in the drum journey, it looks out at me and explains to me the significance of each artistic piece that I must create.
The key moment of this winters Solstice will be just as the sun shines forth on Monday, December 22, I was born at 3 am so just beginning to open my eyes, meet my Mama and the midwife who nurtured me into life. It is that moment, of sunrise, that most experts believe was the most relevant at Stonehenge, so I am conscious of those druids of the English countryside, gathering as they have for decades, meeting under the mighty stones and ritualizing this moment. I know I am with them in spirit as I feel into the indigenous of our land and I feel that heritage stirring in my bones. Some of that history long gone but living in the spirit of wolves, wild cats, the elk and deer, the fairy folk lying in the poetry of english soil and the rock and granite we walk upon. The pagan ceremonies, the witchcraft and ways of many crafts known and unknown. Hidden and unhidden, we walk our path.
In my journey I see the part I may have played, had I lived at that time many years ago. I like to feel into HER, her skin her bones, it would not have been an easy life for sure, for if I know myself well enough she did not walk in silken slippers and ivory gowns. For sure
she was the big booted female, trudging the earth and mud, visiting the hedgerows and the fire pit cauldrons. She went undercover mostly, hooded and silent for fear she might lose her tongue. The animals were her friends and the men in dark coats were cautious of hermakings.
And in this dark time I revisit her spirit, hiding away in our little hut amidst the natural surroundings, I will emerge for sure to celebrate, to dance in ceremony and to be witness to the prayers of mankind. And my mask will call out in pride and belonging to her rightful place, her medicine field and her ability to be fully in the world, no matter what she looks like, no matter what her prayer, no matter what her wild non-conformist spirit sings. Maybe I will meet you along the way, to share a creative time together, to dance and sound our voices, to play with some of the dark shadows that hold a mystery ready to be made known.
Blessings to you this Solstice, I wish you a fruitful and heart fulfilling New Year, I wish your creativity to flow and the honesty of your heart to meet with the honesty of many other hearts. Let us dance into that dark night together, dream our dreams steadily, remembering each moment, focusing on what is to become. I will see you on the other side as we celebrate the light and all that is ready to manifest itself…
Mask making and creativity…..Hollow Bone, Middle Earth Medicine Ways – http://www.alchemyinmovement.com/index.php/hollow-bone-a-deeper-journey/