Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Darkness and the Light

I have blogged about the Solstice before (see Winter Solstice, 12/21/08, and Yule, 12/20/09) as well as blogging about darkness (usually at Samhain at the start of November; see Darkness, 11/1/08, and Out of the Darkness, 11/1/09). For me this time of the year is a magical combination of darkness and light.

As un-sustainable and un-ecological as it is, I love the holiday lights and pretty much the gaudier the better. I also love candles and starlight and even bonfires, and I am very aware of how important darkness is to all of these. There is a reason we never see the stars during the day and candles at noon go unnoticed and Christmas lights look silly in daylight and even bonfire are not impressive. We need the darkness to see these lights, and it is the mixture of darkness and light that makes these so inspiring.

This year, the winter solstice was supposed to come with one of the most impressive displays of darkness and light in four hundred years: a full moon with a lunar eclipse right at solstice. Unfortunately, here in New England, we are getting a snowstorm and won't be able to appreciate it. Still the snow is beautiful in its own way and very appropriate for the solstice.

What does any of this have to do with social change? Just that this is why I do my bit towards it--so that we may all have a world where we can appreciate the seasons, and the darkness and the light.

May you have a blessed holiday season whatever you celebrate.

Quote of the Day: "This is the night of Solstice, the longest night of the year. Now darkness triumphs; and yet, gives way and changes into light. ... This is the stillness behind motion, when time itself stops; ... We are awake in the night. We turn the Wheel to bring the light. We call the sun from the womb of night." - Starhawk (Miriam Simos)


Austan said...

What a beautiful evocative piece on the Solstice. I wish you all the hope and happiness the returning light brings.Happy holidays, Moony.

MoonRaven said...

Thank you--may your holidays be filled with cheer as well!

Jerry said...

We didn't get to see the eclipse here either, but I appreciate this post a great deal. When I was young and living on the farm, I used to love one aspect of winter a great deal. This was the awe inspired by the ability to stand of an evening in a field of white and see the heavens just full of stars, planets and such. We no longer have enough darkness, even on the farm, to really offer these displays anymore. It pains me to know how few children (or people at all) get to see this anymore.

As always, peace and comfort MoonRaven.

MoonRaven said...

Thanks for writing this. It's so true.

But who knows. It may be that as energy becomes more and more expensive we will have less and less need to run the lights all night and slowly we will see the stars again.

Peace and comfort to you, too, Jerry. Enjoy the blessings of the season.

Anonymous said...

Yay for darkness and light!

Also, I never knew Starhawk's (birth) name. Funny, it never even occurred to me to wonder about it, and I even spent a couple of weeks with her for a workshop. I just never even thought to question her name. :-)

MoonRaven said...

Thank you and may you, too, have the blessings of darkness and light...

Also, I thought it was okay to include Starhawk's birth name since it's easy to find (it's right on Wikipedia) and in her books the copyright is by Miriam Simos.