Before entering the Christmas "delirium", intense days, full of emotions (joy, sadness, fear, anger, etc.) and meetings, I wanted to share a heartfelt wish with you, who supported me and also a little endured this last year in following my dreams 🙂 🙂
today winter begins, today is the Solstice, exactly at 10.48 pm Italian time… soon!!!!
Winter Solstice… which represents the shortest day and longest night of the year. Darkness reaches its peak and it is at this very moment that change and transformation happens.
The two terms "sol" and "sistere", "Sun" and "stop", in fact make up the Latin word solstitium, which can be translated with the expression "Sun that stops", because the Sun gives the impression of stop, reaching the lowest point and therefore the lowest possible height above the horizon at noon.
For the ancient Greeks the solstices were "gates", passages between Space - time (Back Heaven) and non-space - non-time (Early Heaven); the winter solstice was the Gate of the Gods, the access to the Earlier Heaven, the return to the origin as opposed to the summer solstice which was the Gate of Men, the beginning of the Manifestation and of the Identification.
For the Romans, the guardian of the gates was Ianus, the double-faced god, to whom Ovid makes him say: "I alone guard your universe and the right to turn it around on his hinges is entirely in my power..."
Not to mention the celebrations of "chaos", such as the Roman Saturnalia (our current New Year's Eve) in which the primordial time of Kronos was called to reabsorb and recreate ordinary time. The Bingo ritual, or a similar gambling game, seems to express man's need to "replace" himself in the cosmos at the beginning of the new cycle.
A few days after the apparent "death of the sun" we celebrate the rebirth of light, the day in which the "Sun - child" begins to demonstrate its ability to re-emerge from the darkness ("Sol invictus" of the Romans).
In some of our regions we still celebrate St. Lucia (December 13), which until the fourteenth century, due to the different structure of the calendar, actually corresponded to the solstice. Whether it is St. Lucia or the Infant Jesus, however it is light that returns, accompanied by gifts, often consisting of nutritious foods, which on the one hand represent the ability of light to nourish life, on the other an invitation to "nourish within of itself" the light that has just manifested itself. The fact that they are often sweet makes those familiar with Traditional Chinese Medicine think of the Earth and its function as the central pivot of the seasonal cycles.
The Christmas holidays of Western civilization have a high symbolic value in relation to inner work, starting with the Christmas tree, a representation of the Cosmic Tree of Life and of man centered between Heaven and Earth. Moreover, various other plants are associated in various cultures with Christmas, such as Juniper (Italy), Hawthorn (Great Britain), Holly and Mistletoe which in the Celtic tradition is considered an emanation of the gods towards the earth).
The traditional representation of the Nativity scene is full of these correspondences, from the hut-grotto scenario, Gate of the Earth, dominated by the comet star, the light of the celestial Yang, which guides the inner search ("...have direction in going..."), to the characters who animate it. Baby Jesus, the light that is reborn from the earth, is contemplated in silence by his parents (Yin and Yang of Later Heaven) and by the shepherds. Silent and persistent contemplation, a state of attention immersed in the center of the scene is in fact the essential nucleus of the Nativity scene, but it is also a state that is induced, albeit subliminally, in those who observe this small miniature world with a relaxed mind. The Child is warmed by the breath of the Ox and the Donkey (the Taoist alchemical tradition typically used images of animals of different builds and strengths to synthetically summarize different degrees of breathing intensity – intention applied in the inner work). To conclude with the Magi, representatives of Inner Knowledge, offer their precious gifts: Gold (royalty and power = completion of the Work), Incense (sacredness, communication with the subtle planes of being = mediation function), Myrrh ( healing power).
The winter solstice represents the moment of maximum immobility, silence and darkness (Yin), and the strong seasonal forces, which manifest at this moment, facilitate the journey towards the root of our interiority.
We are in the water phase - not the clear water of the sea on an August day, but the water of the sea on a winter night, which does not allow us to see the bottom: this phase has the following characteristics: in nature it is the night, the moon, the black, the north, winter, the energy that is eclipsed… in our “daily” life it is depth, will, old age, conclusion, fear and it is related to the kidney.
The transition from autumn to the coldest winter affects our emotions and our mood. We may be feeling homesick, lethargic, and melancholy, and our fears are likely to come to the surface these days.
For all those who practice meditation, today is a unique day! remember ... "One day of practice at the winter solstice equals six months of practice."
“The power of the dark night that holds its breath to give birth to the new day……”
Here are two excerpts from Huangdi Neijing, the Yellow Emperor's Canon of Internal Medicine
"These days, people have changed their way of life. They drink wine as if it were water, overindulge in destructive activities, drain their jing (life energy), the body essence stored in the kidneys, and deplete their qi (energy). They don't know the secret to conserving their energy and vitality.
Seeking emotional excitement and momentary pleasures, people are ignorant of the natural rhythm and order of the universe."
"During the winter months all things in nature wither, hide, come home and enter a period of rest, just as lakes and rivers freeze over and snow falls. This is a time when yin dominates yang. Therefore one should refrain from abusing yang energy. Go to bed early and get up with the sunrise, which is later in the winter. Desires and mental activity should be silenced and subdued. Sexual desires in particular should be restrained, as if one were keeping a happy secret. Stay warm, avoid cold and keep skin pores closed. Avoid sweating. The philosophy of the winter season is one of conservation and storage.Without such practice damage to the kidney energy will result. This will cause "wei jue" or weakness, muscle atrophy and coldness in spring, which manifests as stiffness, exhaustion, arthritis or degeneration of bones and tendons."