Greetings from Ireland as we enter into the portal of the winter solstice (Grianstad an Gheimhridh), which lasts for 3 days and 3 nights. In the northern hemisphere the winter solstice is the time when darkness dominates and yet that darkness is not static it actually yields to the birth the new light born from that darkness. This is embodied in the amazing drama of light and darkness played out in Newgrange (Bru na Boinne) monument over these 3 days in December. See video link.
These words from a John Lennon song have been rattling around in my head for the past few days “And so this is Christmas and what have you done another year over and a new one just begun“ And what a year it has been! It has been a year like no other I have experienced. It has been a year filled with challenges, choices, crisis, possibilities and many gifts. This year has challenged all of us in so many different ways and perhaps awakened in us deeper ways of knowing ways of knowing, more nuanced than those found within the rational logical mind. In this time of winter solstice the energy of Samhain reaches its climax, the triumph of darkness over light. However, this triumph of darkness is transitory and the journey back to the triumph of light begins here as we move incrementally towards the growing light.
This darkness is not empty, but is alive with potential. This is the void. The dark and empty space from which all new life emerges.
Darkness is greatly feared within our current culture and so we try to avoid it and in doing so miss the potent gifts held with this space, those gifts which might be present and available to us, if we are willing and able to sink into it and allow it to work within our hearts, our minds and our souls. If and when we can allow ourselves to embrace this darkness as it comes into our lives, we will learn to breathe into it and through it and be present to it and what it evokes in us. If we choose to avoid this space we also miss opportunity to embrace the potential fecundity also there.
“Grace fills the empty spaces but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it and it is grace itself that makes the void“ – Simone Weil.
If we (you and I) can detach sufficiently from the pandemic of fear currently rampant with in our culture we may experience, even momentarily, the grace also present within the void of these dark times. So often fear forces our heart to shut or close down, when this happens we are unavailable to receive the grace also present in these situations.
My prayer for you and all of us this Winter Solstice and Christmas time:
May your heart remain open so that you can receive the Grace flowing into our world from the other dimensions of our universe.
May the light in your heart shine forth and be a beacon of light for others as we all navigate this passage into a new world.
With blessings, Dolores Whelan.
I will be offering online courses in different aspects of Celtic Spirituality beginning in the 3rd week of January 2022.
Details will be posted in the second week of January 2022 on www.doloreswhelan.ie.
The Brigid of Faughart festival in conjunction with An Tain Arts Center will host an online event on Tuesday Feb 1st 2022 at 8pm GMT. Details will be published on the Brigid of Faughart festival website www.brigidoffaughart.ie and bookings will open in the second week of January at www.antain.ie