Soul Path Sanctuary’s annual Winter Solstice-hinged e-retreat, Descent and Return of the Light, begins on Monday, November 26th. Here is the introduction to this season’s unique energy from the first of the daily e-mails that guide participants through a candle wreath ritual going toward and then traveling out of the Solstice.
Welcome to the first half of the 2018 Winter Solstice-hinged e-retreat and ritual: Waiting with the Dark.
Weekly themes stay the same each year as we do this waiting – cultivating gratitude, connecting with the ancestors, opening to dark nurture, releasing what we don’t need to carry into the next year – because the Sun is consistent in its movements. But the Moon travels shifting paths through fullness and newness as it makes its way through different positions in astrological signs. As constant Sun and shifting Moon move together each season flows with a unique energy. And for those who tend the sacred at this time, a special gift awaits in the dance of dark and light.
During the 2018 season we begin our descent as the Moon, too, descends from its fullness on November 22/23 in the astrological position associated with the the Tarot’s Lovers walking the challenging way of the Eight of Swords/Air. In this position – shown as a bound woman below – Love seems blocked, even impossible. Perhaps we no longer perceive Love in our lives, or are bound to a vision of Love no longer visible. Maybe our Love spilled onto the ground when the container that held it broke.
As we descend through this season, we are invited to shed our challenges to Love. The dark can receive what we need to let go of. The dark can hold our hurting hearts. The dark can foster the seed of a new vision. Then at the Solstice the returning light opens a doorway to the new and the next supported by Sun and Moon dancing in light together.
The day after the Solstice – the day that lengthens just a bit – the next full moon traveling the path of The Chariot through the Two of Cups/Water arrives. As seen above, cups being offered by one to another are the central symbol for this card. This Solstice full moon coming in the Two of Cups position shines on each of us the offer of a new container for our Love.
Our time in the dark and dissolution have opened our eyes and freed our hands to receive this Love. It’s new form may be surprising or expected, human or more-than-human, personal or political – or a combination of all. Emerging from a tending of the depths, this Love will be vibrant in a way that the writer James Baldwin describes “as a state of being, or a state of grace – not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.”
Renewed Love in our lives is the secret gift awaiting us in this year’s Solstice season.
Note on the images: Central cards from the iconic Rider Waiter Smith deck. Other images from Dark Goddess Tarot, Lovers supplement to The Elora Tarot and Tarot of the Moors.