I remember the first time I heard about today — December 21, 2012 — the end of the Mayan calendar. The end of the world! Of course I was fascinated. Because doesn’t everyone love a great apocalypse story?
Isn’t it odd how fixated our culture is on the fact that the world will somehow end? Look at the popularity of post-apocalyptic entertainment. It’s a genre, for gods’ sake!
I blame it on the fact that many people in America are descendants of extremist religious folks who’d rather face the perils of an ocean than worship in a way that didn’t jive with them.
I also think that’s why many people are so willing to grasp at any sort of doomsday prophecy. They’d rather the world end than live in a way that doesn’t jive with them. It’s just that so many don’t realize they’re living out of harmony with themselves. The world doesn’t have to end for that to change.
There’s been much publicity around today, and unfortunately not so much because it’s the Winter Solstice, which is one of my favorite holidays. Sure, it’s the darkest day of the year, but it’s always darkest before the dawn right?
While I don’t think the world will end in the apocalyptic sense, I do think this holiday serves as an usher into a new way of living for all of us. As one of my witchy friends wrote so well:
My hope for this coming year is that we are able to see past our differences (political, religious, social, economical, etc) to the many ways we are the same. I hope we can see that our words and actions always matter, for better or worse, and that our intentions and focus shift from the individual to the collective. Blessed be!
In the past weeks I have been drawing the Six of Pentacles over and over for my daily Tarot card. Of course at first I thought it just meant the giving and receiving of gifts, as is tradition this time of year.
But look at the scale. This card is also about balance. It’s about sharing and equality. That’s also what the Winter Solstice is about. Although it’s very dark in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the lightest day on the other side of the planet.
The planet forces us to share our lovely star with others on this rock; it brings a natural balance to our lives even at the most dark and extreme of times.
And I hope that example of us so graciously sharing the energy we get from the sun will spill over into other parts of how we live in the next years, decades and millenia to come.
When we share our energy, be it wealth, food, smiles or hugs, every one benefits. We move through the natural seasons of our life with the help of those around us. We go from living in an apocalyptic state to a state of grace.
So happy Winter Solstice to everyone! May all our efforts from here on be to make all of our lives here on this planet more cherished, balanced and delightful.