It is the start of the festive season again. The dark nights of winter allow the fairy lights and decorations to sparkle in every town and village and through the windows of homes up and down this little island. People, even those who already look harassed by the work, expense and extra busyness of December, smile at each other for no reason and offer greetings. It seems as if we somehow respond to the colour and light in the darkness in a way that transcends the everyday stresses of modern life… as if the inner child sees the wonder of the sparkling lights and understands their significance.
Midwinter celebrations have always been with us… long before Christianity came on the scene, mankind paused in the dark time of the year, looking to the rebirth of the light. The stories vary with time, place and faith; the Child of Light can wear many names, even the abstract name of enlightenment. But the story is always the same too… in the darkest of times, a light will shine.
Beyond the fairy lights, there is fear and uncertainty abroad in the world. Many feel powerless against the looming presence of darkness. We worry for the future, for our children and grandchildren. Alone, we face a shadow that often seems too overwhelming for one small human being. Yet we should not need to stand alone; we are members of a single human family. Like any other family, we have our problems and they are often thrown into sharp relief at times when we should be coming together to celebrate. Sadly, just like any other family, some of those problems seem irreconcilable. All we can do in the face of such a problem is take responsibility for our own lives, do our best to be who we are and can be, and carry the light within.
Today, a small group of us will visit an ancient site where the movements of the sun were once observed as it sank into darkness. The site is bleak and exposed, looking out over a winter landscape, a perfect symbol for where many now feel that we stand. We, who come from different backgrounds, who hold differing beliefs and follow different paths, will come together there in a quiet visualisation.
Creative visualisation is taught by psychologists, self help groups and esoteric schools as a valuable tool for change. The subconscious mind sees no difference between the real and the imagined, only the conscious mind draws such distinctions. Nothing is created without it first being brought into being within the imagination and it is in the imagination that any change is born. Add the focus of conscious intent to that visualisation and it becomes a powerful creative act.
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