Here in the Northern Hemisphere the Winter Solstice is the shortest, darkest day of the year – tomorrow the light begins returning as the Sun makes its way back to the north. Of course, we all know the Sun isn’t doing anything, it’s our Mother Earth that is wobbling as she orbits the Sun. It only appears from our Earth perspective as though the Sun moves south in winter and north in summer.
In old pagan times this was the time of the birth of the Sun God – he died at Samhain (Halloween) and has been at rest until his rebirth here at the Winter Solstice. Peoples of olden times lived close to the Earth and her cycles. Their entire cosmology or view of life was centered around the seasons, movement of the wandering stars and the moon. Because of this, they realized that change is a part of life, as is death.
I have believed for some time if we want to understand where we came from and where we are going, its only necessary we look at Nature and look to olden beliefs when people were a whole lot more in tune than we are.
Back to the Sun God – he has a lot to teach us. He is born from the Goddess at the Winter Solstice. He brings longer days, more light, warmth, and hope for new life – at the darkest, coldest time of year.
By the Spring Equinox when the days and nights are equal Mother Earth is coming back to life from her long winter’s rest. The Sun God participates with the Goddess in fertility rites – life is honored and celebrated. New life covers the planet.
The Summer Solstice is celebrated as the peak of the cycle – abundance, warmth, the crops are in the field, Mother Nature’s many gifts are upon the Earth.
And, finally, the Fall Equinox when days and nights are equal again. Only this time the Equinox is bringing the end of the cycle – death. Crops are harvested, leaves and nuts fall from the trees. It’s as though the Sun God goes out in a glorious symphony of color and bounty to sustain life through the darkness until he returns at the Winter Solstice.
Have you ever wondered whether reincarnation is true or a fiction created by optimists, just think about this cycle – every year the answer is right before us.
If you’ve ever attempted to hold on to a time in your life – maybe your youth, or your years as a parent, or a time at the peak of your career, or maybe a time when a sane, left leaning person sat in the US White House! – you get the idea – you most likely found out fairly quickly that life moves on despite your desperate desire for it to stay the same. Remember the seasons. You will die to one cycle and be reborn to the next. Winter – Spring – Summer – Fall – in a never-ending cycle of change.
I think every wisdom teaching I’ve ever read has its own version of – let go and trust the flow of life – and death – and rebirth.
The Sun God is born, matures and dies only to be reborn again.