Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice — Great Yule, the beginning of the Twelve Days of Yule.
In the Hokku Calendar, the Winter Solstice is the point at which the Yin force reaches its maximum — Yin being cold and dark and still. But as you will recall from previous postings here, when either Yin or Yang reaches its maximum, a tiny seed of the other appears within it, and will begin to grow.
What that means is that Midwinter is the time when the forces of Yin not only reach their maximum, but because of that, they also begin the long transformation into their opposite, Yang, which is warm and bright and active. So just as Midsummer’s Day is the height of Yang, it is also the point at which it begins to give way to Yin, leading into autumn and winter. And Midwinter’s Day is the height of Yin, but it is also the time at which it begins to give way to that tiny spark of Yang within it, that will take us to spring and summer. And so the Wheel of the Year continues to turn.
For our ancestors, Midwinter’s Day was the time in which to celebrate the “rebirth” of the sun — that time when the sun, which had been declining in its course across the sky, would pause, then begin to rise progressively higher in its arc again. So though it is the shortest day of the year, with the longest night, it is also the beginning of the return of the light and warmth, and that was a cause for rejoicing.
So, however you may celebrate the Midwinter Festival or whatever you may call it, happy Yuletide to all of my readers.
And please do not forget the words of the old Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol:
“We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices.”
So if you find yourself fortunate enough to have abundance, please remember those who do not this Yuletide. Bring a bright, warm spark of happiness into someone’s life. Whatever your circumstances, do your best to be a light in darkness to others.