So HAPPY NEW YEAR!! YAY! I’m not sure why I’m so jazzed it’s a new year, other than 2013 is over and hopefully 2014 is better than last year. So yeah! The end of the old year gives birth to the new year!
Speaking of that… I thought I’d write some post Yule/Winter Solstice thoughts, since now that I’m over my little depressive moment, I’m a little more clear minded and can actually make sense!!
So here we go!!So who has heard of “Rankin & Bass”? If you haven’t, I’m terribly sorry! They are a movie production company in the United States that created a multitude of movies that to this day remain favorites and are filled with many, many childhood memories. With a distinctive animation style, I guarantee that once you realize who they are, you will be able to spot a Rankin & Bass production right away. Some of their most famous works include:
- The Hobbit (animated 1977)
- The Return of the King (animated 1980)
- The Last Unicorn (animated 1982)
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (starring Burl Ives as the Snowman, 1964)
- Frosty the Snowman (animated 1969)
- Jack Frost (stop motion animation 1979)
- The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (1985)
Yup, those are some of the ones that are most famous and recognizable!!
Anyway, so one of those holiday favorites not mentioned is “Rudolph’s Shiny New Year” in which Baby New Year disappears and Father Time asks Rudolph to find him before New Year’s eve, otherwise the Old Year wouldn’t end. Something that really struck me as significant as I got older was the representations of the seasons and the subtle imagery that I associate with paganism. Father Time (aka The Old Year) is a wizened old man with a long beard. He is the modern representation of Chronos, God of Time (which is where we get that word “chronological” by the way). Then you have in the film, “Happy” the Baby New Year. In the movie it shows the significance of the Baby New Year and that as the year passes, he will grow and age, until eventually he becomes the “new” Father Time, awaiting the birth of the New Year, thus continuing the cycle. If that isn’t a pretty good analogy of the Pagan Wheel of the Year, I honestly don’t know what is. The only thing missing is the Mother Goddess image (though in many of the Rankin & Bass specials, there is a Mother Earth figure who rules the land).
So when you look deeper this movie shows us the life cycle of the God of Light in a way that is considered “secular” to mainstream society as it has nothing to do with Christ.
Some of my own meditations this year (I’ve also been following Christopher Penczak’s free Solstice Meditations 13 days of Meditations. They also have free audio downloads of the meditations available! Start with Day One: One Mother’s Night – The Great Goddess), I’ve been looking at deeper meanings for the season. Trying to get over the inherent avarice that seems to be so abundant this time of year. So I’ve gone back and looked deeper. I’ve seen the seed of Death, and the seed of Life at long last in the Yule season. I’ve noticed that each of the Sabbats seem to contain these seeds, but it’s harder for me to see them in some. Last night I was doing a meditation following Christopher’s daily solstice offerings, which I’ve found immensely interesting and enlightening. So last night, featured Scorpio and the Guardian. In this meditation, I met with the Guardian of the Gates of Death and Rebirth and was reminded of something I’ve always known, but hadn’t really understood. There is a chant in the pagan communities that states “All that Falls will Rise again”, which is stating that at Death we will be eventually Born again. That to be Born in the physical realm, you must “die” in the other realm. That when your physical form dies, you are “Born” in the other realm. And this cycle repeats itself. Kind of like the Child of Light, the Sun God. He is Born, Lives, Dies and is Reborn anew each year.
When we celebrate the Winter Solstice, we act as Spiritual Midwives, helping to birth the new Sun each year, lending our energy to the Mother to bring about the New Year. The night is long, dark and there is a stillness to the air that most don’t even notice, except perhaps on a deep subconscious level. There is an energy of anticipation as we wait for the dawn to come and for Light to return. We know that while right now, we are still locked in the cold of winter, that with the Birth of the Sun, the days will begin to grow longer, lighter, warmer. And we rejoice with feasting, gift giving, and joy because we know that winter is coming to an end. In my meditations where I became a “midwife to the Great Mother”, I realized why we still remain in winter after the Sun is born. I’ve actually thought a lot about it over the years, and of course there was my “humorous Wheel of the Year” that I created some years back, but it really connects to this. So when the Sun is born of the Great Mother, She needs rest, and for human women, when we give birth we also need rest immediately following labor and delivery. For six weeks (typically, it really is different for each woman) after the birth there is something like a menstrual flow that occurs called lochia which is the remains of the uterine lining leaving the body. So when you look at this and put it into a spiritual context, the Goddess gives birth and for the next six weeks until Imbolc, we are still in winter, the Goddess is in Her postpartum period, recovering from labor and delivery.
Of course, we’ll talk more about that postpartum period later on, but I thought the immediate effects of labor and delivery was rather significant for this point of the year. Something to give people something to chew on and think about. I’m weird like that, lol.
So with the New Year, I saw my 17th anniversary with Steve. It was nice. We spent most of the evening home with the boys and then went to our friends’ house to light off some fireworks and socialize. All in all, it was actually a pretty tame evening. I enjoyed myself.
I’ve been thinking about how I want this new year to be, as it really depends on me and how I respond to situations and what opportunities I make for myself. I have a lot of goals, things I want to accomplish, and ways to deepen my relationships with the people in my life. I have ideas and projects that I want to do that are tumbling around in my mind, and I’ve been focusing on my own spiritual growth as well. I hit a plateau a couple of years back, and having just finished working through The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft and learning new methods of meditation and ways of looking at the spiritual world, I’ve grown and seen some big changes. A few things threw me off my stride a couple different points in time last year, but for the most part, it was really good. I’m happy with my progress, and I know that I’ve still got a long way to go… I’m looking forward to this next year.
So anyway! That’s all for now, I just thought I would share some of the thoughts I’ve had in the last couple days while they were still fresh in my mind!
Happy 2014 everyone, may your year be filled with Light, Love, Happiness, Good Friends and Family!