In recent weeks, I’ve found myself in a bit of an unclear situation spiritually. I’m honestly in a bit of a slump. My life has been so dialed in on my schoolwork and mundane life that my spirituality and my magick have fallen by the wayside. Perhaps, then, it is a good thing that Yule is coming up.

The thing about most of the world that celebrates a holiday around the Winter Solstice is that there is a major focus on the Light. For the Christians, Christmas is the coming of the Light of the World, Jesus, and the star that marked His birthplace. For the Jews, Hanukkah is also a festival of lights, celebrating a single night’s worth of lamp oil burning for 8 nights. And, for the great majority of Pagans, Yule is the Solar holiday, honoring the return of the Sun and the birth of the God. But the Dark is often ignored this time of year, especially with the frenzy of decorating and the blinding light displays fueled by neighborhood decoration rivalries.

And people wonder why I’m not fond of holiday decorations.

There’s a different perspective, and one that I think is important for modern Pagans to consider for this time of year. It’s important to remember that, even in the “love and light” varieties of Wicca and other new Pagan religions, the Dark half of the year is a time for introspection and self-honesty. It is time to quiet and rest, and take stock of ourselves for the coming months. In the rush to participate in the secular holiday and family time that Christmas has become, this often is forgotten.

I’ve been wondering for the last couple of years what these Solar cycle holidays really mean for me. I’ve never really jived with the focus on the Light that’s pervasive in modern Paganism. I think that there’s something to be said for finding a personal meaning for your holidays. It’s easy to go through the motions on the prescribed meanings of a holiday, but if we wanted to do that, we’d likely not have converted. If we didn’t want our holidays to be personal and meaningful, we’d probably never really been concerned about what faith we were practicing.

One of the major teachings across the Pagan board is to seek balance. Some don’t consider that this balance is not limited to learning to control the flow of your own personal energies, but also to be in tune with the Light and Dark halves of the year. I’m not saying that everyone should be Gray, but the energies and symbols of the seasons should influence your life. To truly be in tune with the cycles of the Wheel, you have to acknowledge and honor Light, Dark, and Everything in-between.

So this year, I will be keeping vigil on the eclipsing Moon in the dark hours of Solstice morning, contemplating myself and my place in the world and in the Universe right now, and celebrating the peak of the Dark’s power on the longest Night of the year.  Though the Sun may be reborn, the Dark Gods still rule until the Equinox, and Their challenge to us is to consider our selves.

Rejoice, take joy and happiness in your families, and celebrate the birth of the Sun, but consider the Darkness at Its peak on Solstice Night. Think about the Dark Gods and your relationship with them. Open yourself up to Their desires and lessons for you, and consider that your magick may need to be focused inward.

Darkest Blessings, and Blessed Be.

Yours in Moonlight and Shadow,
Mystere de la Nuit