Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Solstice and the Gift of Eagle

The longest night of the year, and I cannot sleep. Rather than tossing and turning in bed hoping for slumber, I am instead fully awake, fully experiencing this night.

Winter Solstice, the turning of the wheel of the year, the returning of the light. When the days once again lengthen and the sun returns. Darkness gives way to light. Endings. And beginnings. Death. And rebirth.

The shortened days and longer nights this time of year lend themselves quite easily, if we allow, for sorting through our shadows, the darkness that is part of us all ~ each in our own unique and individual ways. It can be ugly, it can be painful, it can be downright depressing to own up to that which may hurt others or harm ourselves. But at the same time, by looking squarely at our darkness, we can see that which needs transformed, left behind, or embraced to better serve who we are meant to be. Our darkness can be our greatest gift.

I have danced in and out, unaware then deeply involved, distracted then fully engaged in celebrating and honoring the celestial holidays such as Solstice. Yet it has been a day (or night) to give pause simply because countless other cultures throughout time have noted its worthiness. In past years I have created rituals, lit candles, and given thanks, but I don’t think I ever truly connected from my heart with what this time of year represents. This year feels different.

This year I actually feel a darkness lifting, I feel my inner light glowing, I feel the beginning of the stirrings of actually feeling free! No, I’m not quite there yet, but I feel the warmth of a glowing ember!

My gift this year, the darkness that I am embracing, has been my own sense of power. Or lack there of. By power, I mean not power over, but the power that comes from within. Empowerment. Being power-full. For much of my life I have given my power to others. I have given away my very center. I have expected others to fulfill needs that in no way was ever theirs to tend to. I have lived through others hoping that through proximity, I would become like them. I would become frustrated because I needed others more than they needed me. I did not see that my own center was shifted outside, away from myself onto others. This year, especially this season, has been a time to face this imbalance squarely and see what I have been doing. It is time to reclaim all that I want to be. All that I am meant to be. I am done looking to others hoping that their light will illuminate me. It is time to light the inner flame that is in the center of ME.

While I was facing this shadow side of myself, during these very short days with much darkness, I was also given a gift. Recently I have been focusing more on being present. On being aware. And I was delighted to see that this exercise has its rewards! Not once, but four separate time in 24 hours I was greeted by Eagle. Alas, not the flesh and alive winged one itself, but in images, stories, artwork, and lessons. The first time Eagle showed up I didn’t take much notice, but by the fourth time I was on high alert.

The Eagle is a symbol for many, many cultures. Representing strength, freedom, and yes, power. But I have learned more about this fascinating bird, it has also been a symbol throughout time for spirit, creation, healing, and illumination.

And so Eagle appeared, during the darkest time of the year, to remind me of my own spirit, of my own creative abilities, that by reclaiming my power I am healing myself, and that ~ with the return of the light of this Solstice ~ illumination awaits!

Blessings to all this Winter Solstice! And many thanks to Eagle.

This Eagle, and many others, can be found at

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