Winter Solstice - Sitting Down in the Dark

Winter Solstice is upon us once again.

During this longest night of the year, we get ample time to sit in the darkness of our shadow.  The Crone archetype LOVES to bring us here, because in her many years she has developed the ability to see in the dark.  She can see how the places that scare us, the places that we reject and run away from, are the very ones that offer us the most power and stability, once we honor them properly.  We sit in this long, dark night with Crone beside us, letting her show us the way to our own wise, resilient, powerful selves.  As the sun rises, we are reminded that the dark is not permanent, and it is now time for the sun to come closer to our true selves, one sunrise at a time. 

While sitting in prayer this morning I was greeted with the image of a ginormous dusty pink rose blooming within my pelvic bowl. At its core was a hot burning coal. Initially I was very startled by this, but then found the supportive directive to look deeper. As I relaxed I could feel the medicine of the fire steadily and easily burning away at an issue that has been buried deep in my psyche. I suspect this deep wounding of wanting to be liked by everyone is the same for the collective, as so many girls came to the earth as free and loving spirits, ready to love and be a part of healing the sacred feminine, but finding themselves rejected.

Here, my guide Mary Magdalene in her infinite Mother-Crone wisdom whispers to me, “We are not meant to be liked by everyone, Erika.” Feeling into her guidance, this is what I know. Not being liked is how we learn boundaries and self-respect. It is a gift for someone to not like us because it gives each of us the opportunity to learn who we are when we are not accepted. We learn what gifts we have to offer, even if they are not valued by others. We gain a healthy self-respect by choosing significant boundaries, upholding our honor, and attending to our needs. This is the medicine the Winter offers us, and Winter Solstice marks the transition into this power along with its lessons and wisdom.

Here’s what I know:

Winter is stillness. When we learn who we are even when not accepted by others, we learn stillness in our own centers. We no longer pull ourselves from situation to situation, grasping for acceptance. We accept who we are and find stillness in our center as a result.

Winter gives us a time to appreciate what we have. As the Squirrel Totem teach us, we need to store just what we need for the winter—no more, no less. To make it through the winter we need to cultivate gratitude for the life-sustaining gifts seeing us through. It is our ability to honor what we DO have rather than what we DON’T have which keeps us grounded and moving forward in the winter with grace and ease, knowing the spring will indeed come. Relying on others to appreciate what we have as a prerequisite for our own appreciation is an act of giving your power away— and we all know that nothing good ever happens when we choose this route.

Winter demands respect. The harsh conditions of winter, especially here in the North East, are nothing to scoff at. If we do not love and respect ourselves enough to take measures to dress appropriately, maintain a supportive house to find respite in, and tend to our body’s need for warmth, we will succumb to frostbite, possible illness, and even death in extreme cases. We must offer winter the respect it deserves and attend to our needs to survive it well.

In five-element Chinese medicine, Winter is governed by the element of water, whereas Summer is governed by the element of fire. Both offer the magical medicine we are all looking for theses days, the medicine of transformation. The Tao teaches us to use the seasons and elements as a means to ride the waves of life and death. When we approach our lives in this way, holding ourselves as safe and supported, deep and profound transformation is always at our disposal. It's just a matter of our willingness to let go of our old selves, align to our heart’s advice, and surrender to receiving loving, supportive guidance daily.

Winter Solstice marks the very necessary time of sitting down.

Sit down in your pelvis.

Sit down in your spirit.

Sit down in your present life.

Sit down and allow the Tao to carry you through.

Deep Bow


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