As we have gone through November and December this year I have found myself wearing sandals and a tee shirt… Something is wrong! It should be colder than it is and I should be wrapped up in a scarf with gloves and trying to keep warm. We are walking around the Marine Lake and I am wearing sunglasses. We keep saying to each other that ‘the weather is good today’ or is it? Is it really good for our winters to be getting so warm?
When the scientist predicted the idea of global warming they suggested ‘warm wet winters and cool dry summers’, they were right there. As people prepare for the floods from the various storms this year the sand bags are out and people are fortifying their defences. Yet at the same time there are people on the equator digging ever deeper wells in order to find more water. It this odd? Has the world has gone mad? Or, is this the reality and the beginning of global warming.
The cycles of mother nature may have nothing to do with global warming and the role that mankind has played in warming the planet, who knows?, but there is something odd is happening.
But Christmas is Christmas and the solstice is the solstice.
It is time to see the growing light of the lengthening days and shortening nights. Following the darkness of winter, that has its depth at the winter solstice and the longest night, comes the lightening, as the days draw out. This sense of the light coming to dispel the darkness has been ever present in the psychological cycle of the year. The festivals of Solstice, (Yuletide), originally the three days around midwinters day, December 21st, was gradually superseded by Christmas or ‘Christmastide”. In some parts of the pagan world the festival of ‘Yule’ lasted for twelve days which became the twelve days of ‘Christmastide’.
For many of us Christmas is magical time for our children who’s excitement and expectation is wonderfully infectious. The tree full of lights sparkle in the darkness and many streets seem so bright that they must be visible from the moon. We love the light in the dark. It is like fireworks that give the burst of light against the darkness of the sky.
Symbolically, the magic of these festivals, at this time of year, is in the realisation of the coming of the light back to the world. Psychologically this is the development of awareness and understanding, as the light dispels the darkness, or symbolically, good dispels evil. The symbol of the star shining over Bethlehem, as the light shining in the dark, is the same as the Chinese symbol Yin and Yang or the Hindu symbol of Hatha, both showing the relationship between the duality of consciousness and unconsciousness. Consciousness is the light that illuminate the darkness of unconsciousness.
Christmas is, at its best, a time of light, of increasing awareness, of love and joy, of acceptance, and giving. The gifts given to Jesus were represented in pagan ‘Yuletide’ by the gifts given by the farmers, and the people at the Yule feast, often these were animals that were sacrificed to God as an expression of gratitude for the coming of the light of the New Year. I have never been a lover of dark cold winters, and to know that the darkness is behind me and that ahead is the lighter warmer time of spring and the heat of summer becomes the light at the end of a tunnel.
Perhaps, individually we all have life issues that need to be resolved or worked through. The resolution of these is our journey from our darkness towards our light. Our emotional winter leads to our spring that in time will become the fullness of summer. This time of the year is my symbolic emotional and spiritual ending and rebirth in the new beginning that will become the new year.
We all deserve a new beginning. We all have the right and the power to make our lives good and right.
Enjoy the lightness and love of your festivities, be happy and merry and consciously let past go and allow yourself to move forward.
Have a wonderful Yuletide and a meaningful Christmastide
See you in the New Year