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Every year at The Winter solstice I write an entry of great thought the type that best happens in the cold bleak midwinter. [1] In this annual meditation I want to wish Spo-fans in both hemispheres a happy new year/season’s greetings and I try throw in a nugget of inspirational wisdom. The Winter Solstice entry is The Spo-reflection equivalent to The Queen’s speech at Christmas. Lord only knows how Her Majesty manages to do this year after year but if she can do it so can I.

If modern man bothers to celebrate The Winter Solstice at all it is a quiet time to light some candles or the fireplace and drink wine or hot cocoa. [2] In my comfy chair with a roof over my head it is hard to imagine how frightening and foreboding it was for my ancestors to witness the retreat and standstill of the light into darkness. Every year my ancient ancestors had the collective angst the winter sun may not return. Lighting fires at The Solstice wasn’t a jolly celebration but a fearful ritual imploring the gods to bring back the sun which was Life. [3] There was also the worry about food supplies: would there be enough food to last until spring time.  It was a dark and ominous time.

2018 seemed a slow slide into darkness and ignorance. I won’t rehash the politics and events; you know them yourself. The minds and hearts of the nation – nay world – resemble my Vikings ancestors with their fears will we see the return of light or sink into Hel? [4]  On a hopeful note perhaps like the Solstice we have hit the nadir and it is ‘all uphill from here’. This day of Winter Solstice I once again light the candles to welcome light and say a prayer for the return of light and wisdom.

 

[1] The PC name for this month’s solstice is The December Solstice to remind us as half the world isn’t experiencing winter but summer. My Nordic genetics finds this a hard one to do, so I will continue using The Winter Solstice. Please don’t write in. The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections are Nordic as the Northern Lights and won’t get a herring.

[2] If you are Urs Truly a good snort of scotch.

[3] Sometimes sacrifices were done to help with the petitions. You would think the yearly return of the sun would comfort their worry but it didn’t.

[4] In the Norse mythos Hel was a frozen dreary place; it was where we got our word for Hell.

Every year at this point in the calendar I write an entry for the Solstice. My Nordic blood bubbles blithely at this holiday; this causes me more than ever to express myself through writing.  There is something archaic and comforting about lighting a fire on the darkest day of the year in order to welcome back the sun from its retreat. I light some candles, stare into their flames, and become cozy and comforted. It inspires scribbling out my thoughts.

I suspect solstice celebrations of yore were more social and boisterous than ones I have. They probably resembled one of meetings of The Board Directors Here at Spo-reflections  with a contemptuous topic. I want to scribble something spiritual and erudite on this blessed day. As I sat down to write this year’s entry, I kept returning to the theme of the return of light during the darkest time of life.  2017 felt to be a very dark year indeed what with the present government shredding reason and truth for power and profit. At home there were a couple of nice trips  but otherwise 2017 wasn’t one of great growth or Journey. I saw myself settle into a banality of work, chores, tasks, and not much else. Even the house slowly set into disrepair. As I light my solstice candles to welcome light I also welcome change – proper change with personal growth.  I have great plans to shake things up in 2018 both at home and in myself.  Let us hope so.

I sit in darkness. The moon outside my window is a mere sliver of the waxing type – how apt for the winter solstice! Like its mate, Moon is slowly returning to full light. I have a radiant red candle burning, bright and bold as blood. I can almost hear the wax dripping into the brass holder. Harper sleeps soundly on the comforter on the bed; I will soon join her in a long winter’s night sleep. I hope tonight to have sweet dreams of waterfalls and ice cream.

Happy Solstice everyone. May this new year and the return of the sun bring you light and hope.

winter-solstice

Every December I am keen to write a Winter Solstice post. On the darkest day of the year (at least in these parts) I sit in the glow of candles to commemorate the nadir of Light. It is a clear night; the winter constellations are burning bright as beacons. It is also quite quiet; the only sound I hear is a distant coyote call.

When I lived in the Midwest The Winter Solstice marked the pending dark cold days of January and the slow return of warmth and daylight. Solstice portends the time of waiting; it is a time to stay in, keep warm, and feel a standstill. If I could I would enter into hibernation.

Alas, this year the turning of the earth in its orbit portends ominous events. This time the spring’s arrival doesn’t feel so jolly. Like a lot of people living in the States I am anxious about the future.  he expression “Winter is Coming” from The Game of Thrones takes on meaning in 2017.

The main lesson of The Solstice the promise despite The Darkness The Light will return. We have to endure somehow and not succumb to despair for someday – maybe not as soon as we would like – things will be better. Cycles continue.

So, on this particular Solstice I pause in The Darkness to wish you well . May The Light  soon return to bring clarity, nurturance, and Truth – all to shine away the doleful and despairing Darkness.

winter-solstice

 

21 December is the winter solstice. I try to write something thoughtful on this day – something illuminative. Spo-fans who are interested can go back to my eight other winter solstice entries.  At this time of year my Nordic blood bubbles a bit to be in more touch with my ancestors. They slept the week away only waking long enough to tend the animals. Sometimes they had boisterous parties full of light to welcome back the sun. If I had a working fireplace I would have a log burning. Alas, I do not. But I light some candles to illuminate the darkness. It is a thoughtful day for me.

Living in Arizona takes some of the glow out of the season, for we have far too much sun as it is and the notion of it coming back in its ardent brilliance is not too welcome. I would like to hibernate until February, getting in touch with my inner-bear.

Alas this solstice is far from quiet or somnolent.  Hosting The Other Michael has been jam-packed and fun-filled and no time to meditate on the darkness. We saw The Star Wars movie; we just finished baking gingerbread boys.* As soon as they cool down I plan to go to bed.  If I had my druthers I would fall asleep with a candle burning. But someone won’t have it. I will light a candle, think on my ancestors, blog out the candle and dream of snow and hibernation.

* The Other Michael modified the gingerbread boys a bit. Please don’t tell my mother.

winter-solstice

According to the almanac, the local December Solstice occurs on 21 December at approximately 4pm.  At that moment I take a deep breath in and say a nonspecific prayer of thanksgiving and hopes for the new year for all.

I’ve written about the day before; I am very fond of the winter solstice. I suppose my all-Northern-Hemisphere bloodline (going back to the Vikings) is integrated with the celebration of Yule. It is not a boisterous holiday. Rather, it is very quiet, like the dark winter’s night. I light candles. I sit still. I feel the earth spin around the Arch of Time.  Lovely.

In this spiritual introverted state I retreat into the inner department of my mind where I wonder at Life’s mysteries.  I feel connected to the past, not only my past but the past of countless generations.

I sleep well at this time of year. I get sleepy soon after dinner and I wish to retire quickly.  In my hibernaculum I wish to go to sleep until March – I really am “bear”. This is not depression; it is quite the opposite. It is the serene satisfaction of being right in the world. The earth has tilted away from the sun; it is a time for peace, sleep, and deep somniferous thoughts.

Happy Solstice. Happy Yule.

winter-solstice

The Winter Solstice is here. I am quite fond of the holiday. There is nothing spectacular about the day; I don’t anything extravagant. In the dark of the longest evening I light some candles and sit quietly within my thoughts.“To Drive the Cold Winter Away” with its quiet seasonal songs plays in the background. It is soothing and comforting and so unlike the cheesy stuff day that blasts forth from daytime radio.

I have the quiet satisfaction my Christmas shopping is done. I think Someone will like his ‘prizes’. Every year I fret a bit about what to get him; I want his Christmas to be pleasant. Poor Someone. It’s his turn to have the awful flu I’ve had for the past fortnight. His seems to be more virulent, and he breathes queer, when he is breathes at all. He’s asleep in the other room, so the house is silent other than Lorreena singing “Snow”. There is a cozy serenity  to the place, which only comes on the eve of winter.

The Winter solstice is simultaneously the darkest day and the one with the most hope. The light will return as Mother Earth continues on her spin around the sun. Many people get depressed at this time of year, but I feel cocooned and at peace. I wish I could hibernate as bears do, asleep in my winter thoughts until spring.  I suspect I will sleep well tonight, deep into the dark of the winter solstice.

Happy Solistice.

Happy Mayan Day.

Yesterday afternoon Frogdancer (the dear!) sent me a note it was 12/21/12 in NZ, and there were no signs of Mayans, renegade planets, fiery visions, or even signs of rain. I tried to tell as many people as I could in town. Most were not surprised. A few shook their heads this assured nothing: Mayans are on Central Time so the end was still near.  Like Mr. Rove on election night, they would not call the end.

Today starts not the end of the world, but the “Christmas weekend”.  It looks jam packed and fun-filled. Tonight Someone and I are meeting a couple of Mayans at the local watering hole for mescal and human sacrifice. If we survive, tomorrow is opera in the morning (Les  Troyans) and drag show fund raiser in the evening (now there is a combination for you).   On Sunday night we have supper with another couple (not Mayans).  Jolly good fun.

But first I need to get through the work day. I will try to write a bit more anon, if there is a ‘no show’ or there is a major fluctuation in the spin of the globe.

Happy Yule !

 

Urpso.

I’ve contracted a stomach bug. I won’t go into the details. It has the usual conglomerate of malaise, aches, abdominal abominable, fluid loss, and personal guilt. Happily there is no fever/chills or throwing up. I feel decrepit.  What I want to do is still home, crawl into a ball, and have some nice intern insert an IV tube and periodically check on my wants.

 

Doctors usually are near death before they call in sick, and I am no exception. Between GI flu and lack of sleep, my bedside manner wasn’t so jolly. When tired,  I tend not to suffer fools.  A handful of patients came in in hysterics and I was in no mood to do the empathetic hand holding routine, given some of them have been this way for years. “Don’t you want to hear about my problems?” one said, repeating the same catalog of complaints for the umpteenth time. As I lay dying, faded from dehydration and tedium, I had to bite my tongue to thwart the felicitous reply “No, not really”.   I will be better after the Christmas season is past or when I can eat again.

 

Meanwhile the sun is low and sits still on the horizon for the winter solstice. This is supposed to be a quiet time, of darkness, serenity, and lit candles of meditation. I will avoid all drama, including MSN, CNN, Yahoo, and (worse of all) Facebook.

 

Provided The Mayans were wrong and I don’t develop dehydration induced orthostatic hypotension I will write some more anon.

Time for bed and my beauty sleep….

Video Snapshot

Every week my friend Eileen reads my Tarot. This week’s spread was littered with reversed and nasty cards. The summary card is the Two of Swords (reversed). You will have to trust me this doesn’t herald well.

Her advice? – “Fasten your seatbelt”.

I woke this morning to find next to me in the bed a large pig’s ear. Harper has been doing a lot of this lately. It felt like a scene from The Godfather. It was rawther unsettling.

Today the office receptionist received a lump of coal from her Secret Santa.  This created instant talk on whether or not this was funny. If I received such an item, my inner-Midwesterner would immediately interpret it as a cutting remark. I haven’t received yet my Secret Santa; I hope it is not a pink slip.

Dinner was interrupted this evening by a high pitched screech and the smell of burned rubber. I first took as a sign Henrik is back. But it was only the washing machine, choking to death when Someone tried to wash Harper’s bed cushion.   We’ll try to summon a repair man tomorrow, who will no doubt tell us it is cheaper to just go ahead and get a new one.

Then there is the mania about the Mayans.  Apparently there is mass hysteria in various pockets around the world. I have yet to purchase any Oreo cookies, but perhaps I should stock up. Not so much from the sense the world ends in three days, but if I trip over any more dog treats and become bedridden I want something to eat other than pig ears.

It was a full weekend between social activities and getting caught up at the office. Whenever either happens, my time for writing and reading blogs dries up quicker than rain in the desert.  My mind feels dried up as well; the Muses left early for their winter holiday with the Fates.   This leaves me with the Norns for inspiration and consultation.  Of course, they want me to write about the winter solstice.

As I drove to work this morning in the predawn, I remembered this week is the ‘darkest week of the year’.  I rather like the winter solstice. I suppose my Northern latitude genetics makes it so.  I try to make it a quiet peaceful time, with plenty of candles to welcome the returning sun.

Unfortunately this year’s Winter Solstice tranquility is being marred by all the Mayan nonsense.  I would readily dodge it all by turning off the media, but patients keep bringing it in as a source of angst de jour.

 

th

 

Someone (not my Someone) recently pointed out the similarity between f the Mesoamerican calendar and the Oreo cookie.  Rather than prescribing tranquilizers, I am going to tell the new-age anxious to make Oreo truffles:

|

36   OREO Cookies, finely crushed, divided

1  pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened

16oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted

RESERVE 1/4 cup cookie crumbs. Mix cream cheese and remaining cookie crumbs until blended.

SHAPE into 48 (1-inch) balls. Dip in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.

REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm.

I plan to ‘celebrate’ this week with as much peace and quiet as possible. Someone (my Someone) is always concerned my mania for lighting candles will burn the house down. This would be a fine ‘end of the world’ indeed – our own little personal Gotterdamurung. Thanks Norns.

So that’s all the Spo-thoughts on his bright but brief winter morning. I will try to keep you abreast of the news if I happen to see any Mayans or Oreo cookie sightings.

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