Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Tail of the Secular Year

It's Christmas Eve. Happy Christmas!

Whether you've been stressed out, rushing around, trying to get everything done, or excited, happy as a clam, or relaxed about it, at some level - for most people - the arrival of Christmas is a relief.

I doubt the solstices were ever that big of a deal in places close to the equator, since there isn't a dramatic change in the length of days and nights, but the further away from the equator you get, the more profound it becomes to welcome back the daylight. It's certainly a big deal in the United States where we celebrate many different versions of the solstice rite. The Jewish solstice is Hanukkah, the Christian solstice is Christmas. Pagans celebrate the solar solstice and in the secular world, January 1 marks the solstice.

I believe we are hard-wired to enact sacred dramas to honor and celebrate the return of the light. It's a mid-brain activity which can not be rationally explained away. Light and warmth are necessary for survival. We sense the solstice at the deepest level of body and being.

The cards and gifts we give are offerings to Brother Sun, a way of showing him we wish for the return of longer days and more warmth. We give them to each other, mostly. It's also our custom to be generous at this time, to give to those in need. This, too, is a wonderful way to honor Brother Sun. Offerings are a part of almost every human ritual. It probably doesn't matter to whom we give, only that we're generous.

When the longest night finally arrives, however you mark it, at an instinctual level, it's a relief. Even the most blasé about the holidays can sense the change. The gifts are all wrapped, everything is in place. The sun is reborn and now we can celebrate its return. Our work is done. We can finally relax. Cheers!

After Christmas, in the U.S. we enter the odd tunnel between the old and new secular year. There are people who go to work, because they must or because they're required to. The office workers who go to work between Christmas and New Year's puzzle me. All offices should be closed. What can be accomplished? I mean really. There is a strange kind of non-energy between Christmas and New Year's. It's hard to be productive. I think maybe we should try not to be productive, to rest. Maybe.

The astrology of this Christmas is powerful. In the auspicious environment created by the movement of our extended family in the sky today and tomorrow, it would behoove you to visualize carefully how you'd like 2015 to unfold. Set in place the pattern for the months to come, in your mind and heart at least. How are you doing in body, mind and spirit? What do you need in the coming year for ensoulment, completion and wholeness?

Imagine only the best year for yourselves, ok? OK. And may it be so.