Sunday, 20 December 2015

A candle in the window.

The 22nd is the longest night of the year, when darkness is deepest.
As the sun rises on Wednesday we witness the birth of a new year.

The winter solstice sunrise at Newgrange.
Photo by Anthony Murphy © mythical ireland.com

The seconds of daylight will slowly increase and the sun will climb higher in the sky bringing the promise of spring. Until then we keep the fire going, stay indoors and gather with family and friends
to celebrate a rebirth.

3,000 years ago ancient people, in the Boyne Valley and elsewhere, were probably doing much the same. 


They too prepared for an important annual occasion,
the return of sunlight into the centre of the great mound,
Brú na Bóinne, now known as Newgrange.

We can only imagine the meaning of this phenomenon to our ancestors yet despite the change in
date and beliefs across the years, we continue the magic of this event in our modern traditions.


As we decorate the tree and light our candles we perform small acts 
of sympathetic magic to encourage the return of the sun.


On dark evenings when we gather indoors and close the curtains the glow of tiny lights
reflect the star filled, winter sky outside.


Beneath the branches lie gifts from loved ones, memories of childhood
and mementoes of our ancestors.

Although it is often said that this is a time for children, we adults also sense the magic of 
the turning year and feel the hope that a new year brings.


Irish tradition includes placing a lit candle in the window on Christmas Eve, 
symbolising a welcome to those looking for shelter on that night.


In our own window shines a golden light, a symbol of the returning sun and a sign that there 
is a place beside the fire for those in need.

May you have warmth, food & companionship this winter 
and feel the hope embodied by the reborn sun.

8 comments:

  1. Winter Solstice is for me a time of inner work, a time of inner cleansing and preparation. A time of the Self a time to own my inner love.

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  2. Thank you Heron. The darkness at the solstice is indeed a time for our own reflections and preparation for the coming year.

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  3. Lovely Jane, have a wonderful solstice.
    Love and hugs
    Margaret, xxx

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  4. And to you and yours Margaret! hugs xxx

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  5. The darkest season of the inner mind , subconscious spectors need facing and fears overcome ,leave the last year behind and walk forward into the light of the new . The holly king battles the Oak King and looses to the god of rebirth ,growth ,perhaps the green man.

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  6. Ooh I loved this post, Jane! You have shown me something of the real magic of Christmas again. I am charmed by the idea of liting a candle in the window for the returning sun and for those in need. What a beautiful idea!

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  7. Thank you Paul - it is indeed the darkest deepest night when we face those hidden parts of our Self. Blessings of the re-born sun to you & yours. xx

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  8. Val - thank you for your kind words - I do love this time of yea. Have a magical Solstice! x

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