Belated solstice blessings, ye Pagani, and a merry christmas to those who celebrate today, too. (Earlier I was saying to Adonis, christmas is really the same holiday as solstice, you think Jesus was really born in midwinter?) I celebrate christmas when I'm with my parents and sister; growing up, it was always a special day in our house, and I don't mind continuing that. I like the candlelight service and carols, the special breakfast, the gifts. But I haven't missed them this year, as we've stayed home.
The solstice tree is sparkling, we've had special food, and we had a very sweet ritual in the birthing room on solstice night. For me, the solstice is about honoring the simplicity, darkness, and quiet of the season, so gifts are wintry and warming; this year I gave Adonis long underwear, flannel pajamas, and a new turtleneck the color of his eyes. There is a wreath on the door, soup on the stove, and cookies in the oven. Friends are stopping by to visit. Family are calling on the phone.
Last night Adonis tossed and turned and had unusually vivid dreams about moving through tunnels and greeting unexpected angels at the door. "Prepare, make way, the time is nigh." I thought immediately of all those dreaming men in the bible, men like Jacob, the Pharoah, and Joseph. The women, it seems, never dreamt, but instead were visited while awake by angels (Sarah, Elizabeth, Mary). Why is this?
I always appreciated Sarah's skepticism ("a child at my age? tell me another one") over Mary's obedience ("I am the lord's handmaiden"), but now I see, too, that to experience pregnancy and birth is to give oneself over to forces not of one's own ego and will. I made a conscious decision in the last couple of years to open myself more and more to the magic of what happens, to ride my life rather than try to steer it. I don't know why that works better for me, but it does.
That is my Pagan prayer for the winter solstice: to open to magic and mystery, to earth and the fullness of being human; as much as possible to bear witness to my own life without judgment; to love, to hope, to have faith; and to try to feel all of it.