Winter Solstice December 2021 

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.

Reproduced with permission. Newgrange by Moonlight by Patricia McAteer, Irish Mythic Artist

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  

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 ​ and bookings will open in the second week of January at