As the mid year point arrives bringing with it the darkest depth of night and the shortest day in this part of the world, Seeker reflects on the opportunity this occasion brings to notice the changing seasons of our lives. Winter Solstice occurs in June, as it is celebrated in the Southern Hemisphere and marks a time of introspection, a chance to celebrate the ground gained and to reflect on each lesson buried deep within the challenges faced, like a kernel of potential ready to launch us forward into the next season….
This Solstice I attended a gathering of others who came together to celebrate and reflect on the past 6 months between the Summer Solstice, or longest day and shortest night to where we are now, in the depths of Winter. It is also an opportunity to reflect on where things were at this time last year. The gathering was organised by the woman behind the popular local Facebook page Sisterhood of the Queenstown Pants, started up by Amanda Hanna, Casey Hackmeyer and Heidi Firth. Therefore the following reflection is attributed to them as a guide for celebrating the Winter Solstice. The question “What does darkness mean to me?” was put forth, here I share my own journey into the shadow self, and what this means for me.
“The Darkness, for me is an opportunity to dance with my shadow, to be with that which is not illuminated. Hidden in the depths of our psyches lie our lifelong wounds, darkened, lit by a black moon. That which I turn away from. That which I run from. Dark nuggets of pain which lead me back into the light where I can transform….. ..to a place of reflection. The Dark makes the Light possible. The Dark is the twin of paradise.”
Next I reflected on The Light and what this means to me…..
“Love. Love. Love. Seeing the supposed impossible flow, watching love grow and grow. As I bloom in Self Respect, in Self Celebration, in turn I’ve felt the Sun’s warmth, our family grow. Maizy. Milly. My girls. My light. By Day and by Night, when the moon is ablaze – that too, that soft gaze, adorned in a loving look. Its his arms around me, his presence, his energy. Mingled with mine as my light shines and shines. Its this. A Summers day, my writing, my website, each little win. Friendships, laughter, sleep, any little bit of it. Its a moment. They are all just moments and each contain an element of light and dark in them. We, the alchemists are the ones who tease forth these energies. For every stumble into darkness comes the reward of the upward journey.”
Here I share my intention for the next 12 months which was set on the Winter Solstice night.
“To Honor ALL the parts of me, to collect back up the scattered parts, to love them back to wholeness so that I may go forth and create the life I am deserving of.”
This Intention can be summed up with my word for the Solstice: Honor.
This was a wonderful way to celebrate the Solstice and the chance to reflect and to write while sitting in a supportive circle was something I remain very grateful for. I always try to honor the changing of the seasons in some way, even if it is just a small gesture but this is sometimes hard to do in the context of a busy household and all the distractions that abound. Being able to come away and meet with others holding the same intention, to reflect and to honor the Solstice injected some reverence into the ritual.
I found myself reflecting some time afterwards, about the frustration of stagnation, how it can feel as though time is going by while we get caught up in the net of just living. I myself become irritable and frustrated by a day getting filled up with the mundane chores of making the clogs turn…when my dearest wish is to go back to a more simple way of living infused with more meaning, where each act of the day is bathed in ritual. Is it possible to make a ritual of doing the dishes? Paying the bills? Scrubbing the toilet? I guess the only answer can be Yes, else I will go mad. So I have tried to develop a way to infuse the mundane with a little bit of magic, but it aint easy! I light incense and scatter crystals around the place, feel into my energetic body and give thanks for the things that meet my gaze as I cast my eyes about my daily life. I don’t have to look very far to find the blessings. This Solstice is also a celebration of Matariki, the Maori New Year, which again ties in nicely with the theme of honoring how far we have come, as that is what a New Year means to me as well as the hope that can come wrapped up in a fresh New Year. Therefore, I have decided to feel into the frustration that I know there is a long way to go to build the life I am deserving of and in that acceptance of the frustration comes a little kernel of truth – that it really is the journey that is the gift, the gentle progression which carries us along in the quieter moments, or the roaring tidal wave of change that can rip us from our comfortable beds, all of it is valid and momentous for what may come next or even for what is happening right now. Frustration is also a good thing to be feeling, its a motivator – it says – ‘So, what are you going to do about it?’ Its the warning bell that lets you know when things are out of whack. So, while this Solstice I enjoyed reflecting on the past 12 months and then the past 6, and noticing the ways in which I have grown and the ways in which I have stayed the same, I also notice just this moment right here – in the depths of Winter, a time of darkness and reflection, where the shadows reside and the heart beats soft beats of hope for a better now. I give thanks and I am.