Following the darkness of winter, that has its depth at the winter solstice and the longest night, comes the lightening, as the days draw out. This sense of the light coming to dispel the darkness has been ever present in the psychological cycle of the year. The festivals of Solstice (Yuletide), originally the three days around midwinter’s day, December 21st, was gradually superseded by Christmas or “Christmastide”. In some parts of the pagan world, the festival of “Yule” lasted for twelve days which became the twelve days of “Christmastide”.
For many of us, Christmas is a magical time for our children whose excitement and expectation is wonderfully infectious. The tree full of lights sparkles in the darkness and many streets are so bright that they must be visible from the moon.
The magic of these festivals at this time of year is in the realisation of the coming of the light back to the world. Psychologically, this is the development of awareness and understanding, as the light dispels the darkness, or symbolically, good dispels evil. The symbol of the star shining over Bethlehem, as the light shining in the dark, is the same as the Chinese symbol Yin and Yang or the Hindu symbol of Hatha, both showing the relationship between the duality of consciousness and unconsciousness. Consciousness is the light that illuminates the darkness of unconsciousness.
Christmas is, at its best, a time of light, of increasing awareness, of love and joy, of acceptance, and giving. The gifts given to Jesus were represented in pagan “Yuletide” by the gifts given by the farmers, and the people at the Yule feast. Often these were animals that were sacrificed to God as an expression of gratitude for the coming of the light of the New Year.
Congratulations to Ed & Bethan who received the greatest gift of all a little boy William Charles Lamb arrived. Happy, healthy and bringing joy and love to so many people.
Enjoy the lightness and love of your festivities, be happy and merry.
Have a wonderful Yuletide and a meaningful Christmastide. I’m off to see if Santa’s been.
See you in the New Year with something very special!!