I always have mixed feelings about this time of year. The growing darkness creates in me a need for introversion and contemplation. So I am torn because of the equal desire to be with family and friends.
The Winter Solstice is connected with the traditional celebration of Yule, that pre-dates Christianity. This celebration was associated with the return of the sun at the solstice as the days become longer and the sun gains in strength. Sacrifice was a common element of Yule. In this context, the act of sacrifice can be entered into consciously and becomes a ritual in service of something greater. And so, this can be an opportunity to let go of something that no longer serves us so that we can allow something new to enter our lives. I had the wonderful chance to do that this morning
The images of this time of year abound with the archetypal pattern of death and rebirth, a reflection of what has been and the preparation for the new and the arrival of the divine child imaged in the birth of the sun for another cycle.
2012 is particularly laden with the theme of death and rebirth with the so called end of the Mayan Calendar which brings to a close a 5125 year cycle. 2012 has been the subject of numerous doomsday and apocalyptic predictions. But you are receiving this which means that we are still here. Carl Sagen was quoted as saying - "Since the beginning of time there have been literally hundreds of thousands of predictions for the end of the world, and we're still here." There is, however, no doubt that we are living in stressful times.
Psychologically, there may some truth to the end of the world as we know it. The world is changing at a pace that we have not experienced in the history of the human race. All of the outer planets - Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, and Saturn - have changed signs. Outer planets reflect the archetypal background of the psyche that manifests in collective movements and trends. When they change signs, there is a corresponding chaos as the new Zeitgeist emerges and settles. We have witnessed the revolution (Uranus) of outmoded power structures (Pluto) with Arab Spring, the fall of various dictators and other political tyrants, and numerous occupy movements over the last couple of years. This trend will continue and for some, this does feel like the end of the world if it touches you personally. I think it is helpful to remember that new life always follows endings and to be patient in the process of transformation.
As I write, I am preparing for a new venture for me - the retreat in Mexico with astrologer Julie Simmons. We are both very excited about this retreat. We have called it "The Journey of the Heart" and the material will build on the work that I have been doing around the spiritual aspects of individuation and its link to our connection with the divine. I hope to have some pieces of writing on this topic in the future.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours the best of the holiday season and a prosperous 2013.
Christina Becker is a Jungian Analyst, Alchemical Astrologer and Consultant with a private practice in Toronto, Ontario Canada. She is graduate of the C.G. Institute Zurich. Her practice purpose is to empower individuals, couples, teams and organizations on their path of transformation. Her website is www.cjbecker.com