Long, long ago, before we had something called a calendar, the ancient people had only the seasons and cycles of the Sun, Moon and the Stars to help them track time. They did not know that our Earth traveled around the Sun, only that there were seasons when the days were shorter and much colder and that there were seasons when the days were long and the temperatures warm. They also knew that it was the warm, long-day season in which they could grow food and hunt for meat without the hardships of less Light and frigid temperatures. Those seasons of shorter days were perilous for them. They did not have the life-saving inventions we have today – the ways to keep warm, the sources of fresh food – there were so many things that kept them in fear of the darker days. Because of the importance of knowing these things, they learned ways in which to track the Light of the Sun and to know when the days would get shorter and when they would get longer.
To this day, all over the world, there are giant rock formations and other structures that mark these important events. The time that marked the season when the days began to grow shorter were marked with celebrations showing gratitude and thankfulness for a plentiful harvest season. They wanted their gods to know how much they appreciated their gifts. When the days began to shorten and the cold set in, the people were afraid of what the winter cold might bring. They knew it would bring disease, hunger and frigid temperatures from which they might not survive. They knew there would be loss of life, for it was inevitable. To them, the return of Light meant a return of warmth, a return of green and the ability to once more produce food. The return of Light was a return to Life.
The day that marks the return of Light is the Winter Solstice, for that is when we shift on our axis and our Earth once more turns toward the Sun for Light and warmth. Clearly it is a slow process. It is not an abrupt change but rather slow, but at the moment of the Winter Solstice, the change begins. As a result there was great joy among the people for it meant that warmth was returning. Soon they would be able to till the soil. Soon they would be able to grow food and their livestock would be able to graze on fresh new grass and they would soon no longer have to fear freezing to death should their shelter fail them. People all over the world celebrated this event. Each culture has its own mythology telling how and why all of this happens. It is a time filled with hope for all people, regardless of the religion they practice. A Return of the Light brings hope to all people everywhere. You can imagine the joy felt with the return of the Light.
As individuals today, we might view this Return of Light as a tiny spark bursting from our hearts – the first spark of change – the first spark of creation. We can take this hope within and find it in our own hearts, see our own spark, we will see that this is a beautiful Light of Hope for All.
I am the Source
I dream the dreams
I am the spark
Creation lives in me
Creation lives in me
~ Song by Jana Runnells~
Deanne Quarrie. D. Min. is a Priestess of The Goddess, and author of five books. She is the founder of The Apple Branch where she mentors women who wish to serve as priestesses. There she teaches courses in Feminist Dianic Wicca, Druidism, Celtic Shamanism and Northern European Mysteries. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Ocean Seminary College. She is the founder of Global Goddess, a worldwide organization open to all women who honor some form of the divine feminine and publisher of The Oracle, and online magazine for Goddess Women.