Here we are at the magical moment of Winter Solstice, having delved deeply into darkness, and the mysteries of light keeping. Myths & traditions from around the world center on carrying, keeping, guarding, and listening to, the light during times of darkness, and also of generosity, giving gifts and keeping warm.
This is all a metaphor for keeping our own inner light alive during cyclical personal and cultural dark nights of the soul. Through the traditions of candle making, lantern walks, hearth building and gift giving, we find metaphors that help us make the inevitable dark initiations productive, transformational and strengthening rather than traumatic or defeating.
It can be difficult to keep the fires burning when all we see is darkness growing. I for one know the dark pretty well, and it seems that each visit to the darkness feels new and never ending…
But now, this morning, we arrive on Lights doorstep.
As we leave our journey into the longest night, we also meet the returning light, the coming of Spring and nature’s demonstration that darkness turns to light. It is a time for candlelight circles, yule fires, folk stories, sharing nature’s gifts, rejoicing with gratitude and the ringing of bells!
Traditionally time was marked by the ringing of bells. Special days and seasonal changes received special peals of bells clanging though the town.
Find a bell this season.
Ring in the Light on Solstice morning and mark it with the emergent Light.
Imagine waking to the sound of village bells on Solstice morning. Start a tradition. Tell your friends.
More importantly, keep your bell around, to ring in times or trouble and despair.
Use it as a balm to your soul as life makes its transit through your being.
Wash it in the Light and stow it in darkness.