Winter Solstice Blessings 2021

In Daoist tradition, the winter solstice, dongzhi, is the time when yin has reached its peak and will recede so yang, still delicate, but certain, can emerge. Welcoming the light back to the world; honoring the natural turn of seasons, is a traditional response to this time of year all around the world. It’s reflected and symbolized in every human spiritual tradition practiced to this day. Even though we’ve got quite a while left of cold weather, now is the time to begin planting seeds for the spring. It’s a good time to set aside some quiet space amidst the celebrating to meditate, seeking in the still dark hour that tiny portal of light that is your connection, your spark to life and belonging.


In honor of my ancestors, the Scots, the Irish, the Welsh, and Italians and who knows where else, the Americans, too; also the Chinese and Japanese sages and those from India who shared their wisdom with others so that it came on its way to me, I am grateful. To those who came before me who lived their multiple faiths, as true to the bone as they could- Pagan, Christian, Daoist, Buddhist, Hindu, Celtic, or Indigenous- and who lived so that I could live, I offer this post in hopes to inspire anyone who may need it. We are all One; this year, my heart is lit up large with the idea of this.


May the end of this year be like a collection of blessings for you to carry into the new year for your health, prosperity, and happiness.


Blessed be. Amen. So be it and so it is.

Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas, Season's Greetings, Have a Cool Yule, and all that jazz!

Cyndi


 

Poems, Recipes, and Music for the Season


The Shortest Day

Susan Cooper


So the shortest day came, and the year died,

And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world

Came people singing, dancing,

To drive the dark away.


They lighted candles in the winter trees;

They hung their homes with evergreen;


They burned beseeching fires all night long

To keep the year alive,

And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake

They shouted, reveling.


Through all the frosty ages you can hear them

Echoing behind us—Listen!!

All the long echoes sing the same delight,

This shortest day,

As promise wakens in the sleeping land:


They carol, feast, give thanks,

And dearly love their friends,

And hope for peace.


And so do we, here, now,

This year and every year.


Welcome Yule!




New Year Resolve/ May Sarton


The time has come

To stop allowing the clutter

To clutter my mind

Like dirty snow,

Shove it off and find

Clear time, clear water.

Time for a change,

Let silence in like a cat

Who has sat at my door

Neither wild nor strange

Hoping for food from my store

And shivering on the mat.

Let silence in.

She will rarely mew,

She will sleep on my bed

And all I have ever been

Either false or true

Will live again in my head.

For it is now or not

As old age silts the stream,

To shove away the clutter,

To untie every knot,

To take the time to dream,

To come back to still water.




Aaron Burden, Unsplash

The Most Optimistic Poem on Winter Solstice

Fan Chengda (1126-1193 AD during Song Dynasty)


寒谷春生,熏叶气、玉筒吹谷。

Spring sprouts in the cold winter; the aroma of new vanilla leaves fills in the valley.

新阳后、便占新岁,吉云清穆。

After the sunrise tomorrow, it would be a new wonderful year.

休把心情关药裹,但逢节序添诗轴。

Don’t be thinking about medicines all the time; write a new poem at the solar term.

笑强颜、风物岂非痴,终非俗。

It’s not a forced smile; I merely revel in fantastic nature.

清昼永,佳眠熟。门外事,何时足。

The day is long and I slept well. But when will things outside be satisfactory?

且团栾同社,笑歌相属。

It would be better to gather with like-minded friends to have a great time on this day.

著意调停云露酿,从头检举梅花曲。

We make good wine and study the ancient musical notations.

纵不能、将醉作生涯,休拘束。

Even though I can’t be drunk all the time, I am free at the moment.




Prayer to the Earth:


"Cold and dark, this time of year,

the earth lies dormant, awaiting the return

of the sun, and with it, life.

Far beneath the frozen surface,

a heartbeat waits,

until the moment is right,

to spring."


Wigington, Patti. "12 Pagan Prayers for Yule." Learn Religions, Aug. 2, 2021, learnreligions.com/about-yule-prayers-4072720.





Jakob Owens, Unsplash

Solstice

by Lloyd Meeker


Of my blood, my generation’s now the oldest, the link

between the lives before and lives unfolding behind me;

carries a slow simplicity, imperfect and complete.


Ancestors circle, surround me tonight, I hear them

more plainly every year. This night they ask

questions that have no words, and no escape.


Tomorrow when the new year’s sun

strikes the keystone of my heart, what light

I’ve kept alive, all I have to give, will answer."




A Winter Solstice Prayer/ Edward Hays from Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim.


The dark shadow of space leans over us. . . . .

We are mindful that the darkness of greed, exploitation, and hatred

also lengthens its shadow over our small planet Earth.

As our ancestors feared death and evil and all the dark powers of winter,

we fear that the darkness of war, discrimination, and selfishness

may doom us and our planet to an eternal winter.


May we find hope in the lights we have kindled on this sacred night,

hope in one another and in all who form the web-work of peace and justice

that spans the world.


In the heart of every person on this Earth

burns the spark of luminous goodness;

in no heart is there total darkness.

May we who have celebrated this winter solstice,

by our lives and service, by our prayers and love,

call forth from one another the light and the love

that is hidden in every heart.

Amen.



Recipes for Winter Solstice:



Music for the Winter Solstice, Christmas, Yule, and some random stuff, too:





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