Winter Solstice 2012

Today is the Winter Solstice, that shortest of days and longest of nights. It is also the traditional start of Yule. It is time to think about the previous year and contemplate where to go in the next.

If your climate is amenable to such things, the Winter Solstice happens in winter and most of nature looks a bit dead. We know that it is not dead, of course, but is merely sleeping. Most of the plants and animals entered a dormant state or shuffled off to warmer climes. There, they wait.

To our ancestors' point of view, this was a pregnancy of sorts. All the life of nature had returned to the womb of the Earth, there to gestate until being reborn in spring. On this longest night, we take time to contemplate this pause and the coming rebirth.

What have I done over the past year? What could I have done better? What opportunities did I miss? These questions do not come out to tear down the actions of the previous twelve months; what is done is done. We ask these questions to learn from our experiences.

Take this time to think about your life in the past year. What lessons can you learn? Can you use those lessons to make the next year better?

This night is the start of Yule. In twelve nights, it will be time to celebrate the renewal and rebirth of not just nature, but of ourselves. You will have the intervening time to contemplate how to make your life better in both big and small ways.

Good Yule and Happy Solstice!