19 Days of Illuminated Darkness-Day Nineteen

All Hail the Winter Solstice!
December 21.2018
11:28a.m.

Sun in Capricorn
Sunset is 4:39p.m.(EST)

Today is the final countdown and we welcome the longest night, now knowing that we carry the flame of newborn light within. This day is marked astronomically by the moment the Sun  reaches its southern most point in the sky, its orbit aligning with the earth’s horizon at the astrological demarcation of Capricorn. Saturn and Pluto also share the Capricornian energy of this day and the energy of earth is more pronounced.

Saturn, having just transited into Capricorn today, calls us to beginning the process of re-structuring what we have claimed as our baggage or our gifts.  And, if we are resistant, Pluto reminds us of the necessary endings so that what lay in the future may be birthed from what has past before. In fact, Pluto has been working on this agenda at the level of our earthy perceptions for several years.  The returning strength and duration of the Sun’s light provides the highly illuminated backdrop for what we wish to bring into this changing of the waning and waxing solar year and chronologically what we wish to renew and carry forward into the New Year.

And, the earthy quality that is abundant is that of manifestation. This is the opportunity to use the manifest gifts of corporeal form to create your own space of light and growth that naturally evolves from that source. This turn of the year, after all, points us towards Spring and Summer’s verdant splendor. Now, on this day, we create the structure that will use what lessons have been crafted in the past and can become the new life that springs forth in our future endeavors.

We have moved as the Hermit within and sought the blessings of a lantern that remains ever lit; our breath of intent fanning its light that it may show us the path. This is the walking between the pillars of the High Priestess’ Throne and wielding a magick that weaves its light drawn from a source of Divine inspiration and the bounty of a manifest and purposeful life.

Carrying the Flame into the Dawn

If you are able set your your alarm for 30-60 minutes before sunrise tomorrow morning. Plan to go outside where you can see the first rays of the sun’s light. As you wait in those last 30-60minutes of darkness, recall the work you have done these past 19+ days. Call up the energy of thought and feeling that bubbled to the surface as you began to respond in an illuminated way.

Give some reflection on what may have changed within you, as well as deepened as you stand in anticipation of this morning’s dawning. And, I take you back to the start of these days…

….The night is cold and I stand facing the darkness; thick and almost opaque in its veiling. I think on all that has brought me to this point of the Great Wheel and call to myself the memories of lessons learned and shadowy places uncovered needing nurturance and cultivation. Each memory is illuminated from within and I feel the heat of my Inner Sun flaring out from center’s core; extending light filled streams of connection to each treasured sensation and image.

Tingling energy moves across my back affirming my growing anticipation of the promise held in the rising sun as I await the dawning of the Solstice Sun. I think on the moments of waiting I have seen at this same cycle of time the many years before and how each has held its own joy of new expression. I breathe into these thoughts, envisioning the flame of sunlight growing within myself. I breathe deeply into the joy of being able to turn the focus of that light outwards as the sun gains strength in the sky above and I attune to that same solar cycle within.

I look ahead and see rays of filtered light flowing around and through me casting their long slim finger-like beams on the snowscape in front of me. The time is now. One more deep breath in affirming the strength of the dark that has come before, and I turn to face the rising sun. Dawn of the Winter Solstice has come and with its rising so too does the rising of my illuminated self; forever changed….

And, as the last of these words and images fade, the Sun is rising, the Dawn of Light renewing all that it touches and your illuminated light in the darkness has lit the way!

Friday December 22.2017
Sunset at 4:40p.m. (EST)

Many blessings of this new journey into the waxing year…. Robin

Need a little refresher about Sun in Capricorn?
As Above, So Below: Sun in Capricorn

The Hermit, The High Priestess and the Magician..

19 Days of Illuminated Darkness: Day Nine
19 Days of Illuminated Darkness: Day Ten              and….

Tarot for Troubling Times:The Magician
Tarot for Troubling Times: The Magus (Toth)

Although about Pluto Retrograde, information in general about the mantle of Capricorn..
Back to the Middle and Around Again

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19 Days of Illuminated Darkness-Day Eighteen

A Simple Contemplative Ritual

Today the offering is a simple ritual you may wish to use on this eve of the Winter Solstice or tomorrow. We have been seeking the light within and now we are ready to call forth that light and as we call to the Solstice and the longest day of darkness.

What you will need:

  • A quiet space where you will not be disturbed and is or can be darkened;
  • Something comfortable to sit on;
  • Any color candle and holder;
  • Matches (preferably the long ones)-not a lighter;
  • A warm cup of cider, hot chocolate or tea.

Establish your space in whatever way aligns with your practice, calling it forth as a sacred, safe and quiet space for your working.

Settle in to whatever chair or other bodily support you have chosen. Make note of the strength of it as it supports the contours of your body. Make note of your physical form resting gently in its support and the feeling of density of your manifest form.

Begin to take notice of your breath; the rise and fall of your chest and expansion and contraction of your lungs. Sit back, deepening yourself in your chair. Make note of the comfort you are feeling right now.

Reach out and pick up your cup and begin sipping whatever hot beverage you have brought into the space with you. Make note of the warmth as it trickles down your throat. The warming sensation into your stomach and the general state of well-being that you feel. Envision this warmth spreading into every cell of your body; filling you with heat and comfort.

When you have finished your drink sit back and just simply “be” in the warmth that has now been generated within you. Allow yourself to envision yourself snug and cozy in your bed. It is Solstice night and the darkness surrounds, but you know that the warmth you are feeling within will soon be brought to light in the Dawn Sun’s rising. Make note of how these images make you feel.

Now, reach out and take up a match. Breathe deeply and push the warmth you are feeling out and into your hand and fingers as you strike the match. The flame catches and a min blaze of light flickers and sputters. Take a moment to see it in its complexity and beautiful simplicity and then light your candle.

As the flame of the match touches the wick of the candle, light sputters once again, the warmth of your light responds and in your mind’s eye envision the Dawn and the brilliant light of the Solstice Sun that marks the return towards lengthening days.

Sit for as long as you wish, looking into the flame that has lit the darkened space.  Offer the intention of knowledge that you are both that lighted flame and the dark that surrounds. You are the rising of the Solstice Sun and within you, now will growing a light of brilliance that will peak at the Summer Solstice.

When you have received all that is needed, blow out the candle and envision the afterglow of flame. Breathe in deeply and as you exhale see that flame and light grow. Take a few more deep breaths and then allow the image to fade returning you to whatever level of light is in the space you have chosen.

You may use this candle anytime during the year as a reminder of the power you hold within to bring the return of light.  Give thanks to the energy and yourself that have made this an experience of beauty and deepening. And, return to whatever activities you have planned for the remainder of the day/evening.

Blessed Be!

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19 Days of Illuminated Darkness: Day Seventeen

Waking Up

Breathe deeply. The time is almost here. We stayed out in the sun’s full light and knew that the days would shorten and the time for quiet and rest would be ticking down to the day that soon will be.

We’ve waited through the first harvest, as wheat and grain were cut and the grain lord nourished and filed our bellies. We’ve waited through the second harvest and the last of the root and sacrifice of the animal gave promise that we would survive the increasing darkness ahead.

We called to the ancestors and stood at death’s gate seeking the way and offering up plates of food and drink to those beloveds long past. The veils parted and their gossamer form billowed out in the chill of purposeful winds. And, the cry of the banshee cut sharp and strong like shards of ice.

We settled in deeply to hearth and friends and family. Each providing a warmth of their own and each demanding its own space of sacrifice and offering. We turned within, contemplative and reflecting on a light that we sought as external source. And, still the darkness came, minute by minute, day by day.

Soon we will stand in the night, long and cold hoping for light that will grow minute by minute, day by day. Soon we will wake up and the morning’s sun will illuminate the darkness and the gift of the Solstice will fill our hearts…

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19 Days of Illuminated Darkness-Day Sixteen


Today’s Post is an offering of astrology and seeking the gifts of the New Moon as we approach the Solstice. Click here for the post…

The Dawn Rises on Middle Ground

Enjoy!

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19 Days of Illuminated Darkness-Day Fifteen

Just Breathe…

The Light Within the Shadow-Part Three

Read Part One here..
Read Part Two here..

Now, is an excellent time to begin a practice of meditation and reflection. Meditation can take many forms, not just the traditional pattern of sitting quietly in contemplation. Any time we spend in reflecting on our inner nature can become an act of meditation. Be sure to breathe deeply into these moments….

In meditation, I allow my breath to slow and deepen into the darkness and move along the paths of my own creation that I have tended to in the previous months in preparation for this time of going within. These paths are often mired with the thorns and treacherous roots of inertness, illusory thoughts and judgments that I have used as the trappings of who I am in the world. My Shadow has nurtured each and knows the weakness and strength of each because in this space of darkness what is revealed is often seen more clearly in its true form than in the blinding light. When I finally relax and surrender into the wisdom of my Shadow the first striking of the match of greater light is drawn across the rough surface of my resistance, and the resistance is transformed into the tiny sparks that ignite the part of myself that is receptive and waiting.

In accord with the energy of the Solstice, I allow the weakening resistance of my Holly King to be replaced with a renewed sense of purpose and the strength of my Oak King. My Shadow self is resistant to being brought forward, knowing that bits of it will be released in sacrifice and other parts will be transformed so that its darker nature can work co-creatively with the strength of my light self. I call to the Oak King that he may bless and enliven both aspects of myself as we move forward into the new year in anticipation of what can be seeded at the Spring Equinox; and accepting the knowledge that his wisdom will be transformed as the Shadow begins to strengthen its work at the Summer Solstice and the rising once again of the Holly King.

At those points when the darkness seems pervasive and overwhelming and the light is barely visible I am reminded that without the necessary shade to prevent the seedling from drying and withering from an overabundance of the light’s unfiltered rays, the beauty of new growth and radiant and healthy flower will not come to fruition.

May the blessings of the growing Light and the wisdom of the Dark create the quickened space for a prosperous, enlightened and informed Yuletide season.

Breathing Into the Shadow…

During the day…

1. Spend sometime outside today;
2. Focus on the light of the day and how this energy fills you;
3. Close your eyes, now and focus on the darkend light behind closed lids;
4. Make note of how this light remains brilliant and bright in the day, despite your closed  lids and the appearance of shadow cloaking it. 

This is the light that remains within you shining brightly, despite the cloaked shadow you provide to it. Take several deep breaths, each deepening your experience of the past few days. Breathe deeper still and relax into the power of who you truly are… 

Tomorrow’s Post: The New Moon of Sagittarius and Solstice Arrows

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19 Days of Illuminated Darkness-Day Fourteen

Image: Val Trulinger

The Light in the Shadow-Part Two

The Battle Begins

Read Part One here…

The time of the Solstices allows for a deeper awareness and exploration of what impact we have in this world and how we may use the information we learn about ourselves to move in appropriate and fulfilling ways. It is the time of disequilibrium to bring about the eventual balance that is actualized at the Equinoxes. Neither of these energies are about everything being measured and being exactly the same amount of something on each pan of the scale. Rather, they are the states of balance that are dynamic in nature, moving and flowing one to the other and arriving at an informed state of equilibrium at some point of the process. It is again about the process of polarities and the allowance of a void or lesser amount of one thing, so that it may be filled and quickened by its opposite. There is also the component of sacrifice within these thoughts in that we must willingly acknowledge that something must be given up to make room for that which would be drawn in.

This is the battle of the Holly and the Oak Kings, as each gives way to the other and also resists the relinquishing to the other of its power. One holds the promise of the growing Light and the other the refuge of the increasing Darkness. And, although they are one in the same, in order that the cycles may continue and a newly formed energy can be birthed into being, one must relinquish a parcel of its power to be subsumed into the other; temporary imbalance as brothers become enemies and in the final act, become allies in the process of transformation. The Light of the Oak King birthed from the darkening and lessening of the Holly King.

We call forth to the return of the Light-filled Oak King and celebrate the waxing of the Light half of the year. But, in order for that light to shine in its fullest way, we must also embrace and celebrate the remaining vestiges of the darkness of the Holly King. The darkness of the months that persist of winter’s cold. The darkness that becomes the expanding shadow as the sun shines increasingly longer and brighter around us. And, the darkness that we can retreat into to find those hidden sparks that yearn to be nurtured and brought to the full light of day.

As the weather remains or becomes even colder, the natural inclination is to seek out the warmth and coziness of home. And, so I retreat into the welcoming warmth of my home and settle in ready to study, meditate and reveal more of myself to myself. I embrace the early evening darkness as a cloak that I step into so I can more fully appreciate the sun’s light of day. I move within both physically, settling into home and family and spiritually as I dig deeper into the recesses of my own nature. I seek out and call to the inner spark within and stand ready to embrace also the Shadow of my nature as it rises to the surface, revealed by that light.

More contemplative work and the afterglow of the Holly and Oak…

Sitting quietly, think on these questions…

1. How will you charge ahead in the battle for light?
2. What piece of yourself will you claim as victory?
3. What have you allowed to be slain on the field?
4. Where is your place of retreat and solitude that provides a respite from your battles?

Review the story of the Oak and Holly Kings here..
19 Days of Illuminated Darkness: Day Three

Tomorrow we will just breathe into the darkness as we light the way…

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19 Days of Illuminated Darkness-Day Thirteen

Image: Ellen Vaman

The Light Within the Shadow of the Solstice
The Work of Self
This is Part 1 of a 3-Part Post

For most of us the turning of the Greater Wheel to the Winter Solstice is one of welcoming the return of the Light of renewal and strength, the promise of increasingly longer hours of daylight and anticipation of warmer weather and a more outer world focused time. This change is subtle in physical form as this is also when the cold of the Winter  will remain for a few months more prompting us to retreat indoors as the early arrival of evening’s darkness envelopes and calls us into the warmth and light of home.

Each year, I do my work of Self, both within my Tradition (The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel) and personally to call forth this return of Light. And, I also find myself retreating more deeply into the shadows and taking refuge in its landscape of shadow; being intuitively drawn towards the deeper work of spiritual quickening. This is the energy of the Hermit Key of the Tarot (that I’ve shared in earlier posts) and my time to move into the darkened areas of my own inner landscape so that I may welcome and bring forth the Greater Light within. This is also the time of relying on my Shadow self to provide the necessary absence of light to guide me through those darkened paths in a constructive and informed way.

In all spiritual practice, the thought of the physical being holding the Inner Flame of Spirit or The Divine Spark of Light is offered up as a basic concept; although the semantics may differ. The way in which this Inner Light presents itself and interacts with conscious awareness may also have different ideology. And, the tools and methods used to quicken its energy may be worlds apart in intent and function, but the premise remains the same. In the space of our dark nature lay a light that is luminescent and brilliant that may be called upon to enliven and transform our spiritual and mundane pursuits. If we take it a step further, this transformation is the direct result of collaboration and embracing the dark and the light natures of our consciousness and using each as support and spiritual catalyst of the other.

This dark nature that I am referring to also has many names, functions and philosophies attached to it. I will simply call it the Shadow (Self). There is an inherent polarity in all things and this Shadow is that polarized image of our Light nature. I am intentionally not using words that are negative in connotation for the Shadow, because it is not anymore a negative aspect of our being than the Light filled self is. Both are states of being that are subject to all the permutations and scales of intensity and impact that any other state of being is. In reality, if we did not have the antithesis or opposite of something, how could we ever enjoy and fully embrace the thing that is being opposed? So, how can this Shadow state be used during the waxing of the Light and engaged to work co-creatively upon those parts of myself I Will to be quickened and primed in alignment with the increasing state of light?

Beginning steps and contemplative work..

Sitting quietly:

  1.  Think on all of those traits/qualities that you feel comfortable in displaying as who you are. How do each of these traits/qualities make you feel? Smile with each thing called up; this adds a kinesthetic quality for neural memory. Breathe into the ease of this gift of light.
  2. Now, take  deep breath and think on those traits/qualities that you hide from others. Those that make you feel dis-ease with yourself. What is your visceral reaction/ response to each that presents? Make note of how your body tenses and the kinesthetic energy that is patterned by this discomfort. Breathe into the difficulty of this acknowledgement of the shadow or hidden aspect of yourself. 
  3. Envision the co-mingling of these traits. The balanced expression of each in being lit or shadowed by the other. How is each modified? How do your feelings strengthen or soften from what is birthed anew?

In all likelihood, this exercise will feel like an inner battle with yourself. The you that wishes only to reveal to the world what you perceive as light and the you that knows a shadow is cast from that light. 

Tomorrow we will dig deeper into that battle and what can be conquered and what survives..

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