The darkest time of the year, which we are now quickly approaching, affords no abundance of food, natural beauty or temperate weather. It is dark, cold and wet. Nothing grows. We naturally light fires.
Jesus was called “sol invictus,” the unconquered Sun. He was called that because for ages before his time, the Romans and the Celts and other indigenous Europeans celebrated the Unconquered Sun at the Winter Solstice. At that precise moment when darkness seemed the victor, light, heat, the Sun prevailed and was reborn, as it were.
Don’t we have moments like that? Don’t we find ourselves at bottom, low, spent, out of ideas and then, as if from some untapped place, sometimes a new spark appears?
In these days of approaching Winter, try this practice, especially if you find yourself feeling empty and spent. Get to a quiet place, and light a candle. Turn out all of the other lights. Allow yourself to notice the surrounding darkness, first. What does it mean to you? What is its message? It need not be negative, necessarily. In fact, you may find the darkness of deep Winter to be like a comforting blanket.
Then, allow yourself to focus on and connect with the flame of the candle. Notice how it seems to take its energy from the surrounding darkness. There is a rarely noticed kind of abundance here. The wealth of darkness at this time of the year can become a stillness, a quiet surround, an invitation into Silence often unnoticed at more vibrant times of the year. And the flame? Can it be your invitation to enter into the Silence and find your Source?
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