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The Other Side of Everything

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Written on December 17, 2004, and categorized as Secret and Invisible.
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We are 5 days away from New Year. I mean,the festival the Christians stole, Yule. The Winter Solstice, the longest night. At this time, the Sun King is Born. Once born, he is very weak, and like a baby he must be kept warm and nourished, but from solstice on, Sun starts the slow climb back, first to parity, and then to a long Summer ascendancy.

Right now, Dark Rules, and this is her finest hour. It’s miserable weather as well, which doesn’t help the feeling of gloom and horrible finality that the lights and festive frolics try to keep at bay. Push is coming to shove, the year is ending, the light is absent, and everyone is gearing themselves up for KWITHMUTH with it’s annual round of social obligation and head ache, inebriation, indigestion, missed romantic opportunity and bitter family disappointment.

It’s different nearer the equator, where the wheel is less wobbly – dark and light measure up equally against one another year round, night falls at 6pm and day begins at 6am. Being so far North, we pay for our long Summer evenings where we sit outside casting warm twilight shadows until 10.30pm or later. We pay it back in days where we awaken in darkness and come home in darkness, for weeks and weeks. If the sun doesn’t shine, the world can feel like it’s about to end.

Christians jolly us along through December as Christ Is Born, and for a while, churches are shiny and full. But where are they in January when you are knackered and broke, staring at 3 months or more of work until the next holiday break? Still after your money, you can be sure of that.

Our Northern Pagan myths and legends made sense of the gloom and deepened appreciation of our place, literally our physical, geographic place in the world. These days, in secular denial, stripped of our spiritual, mythic roots, we try to quench the deep fear of night with fairy lights, tungsten, neon and strobe, we drench the tired sadness with alchohol, numb it with Valium, lift ourselves up out of it with Prosac, ecstasy, cannabis and dance music, and call the annual slump in spirits S.A.D. – seasonal affective disorder.

I will take my annual Winter Holy Day on December 22nd, one of two days each year I never work, and I will spare a thought for the millions who have to suffer in ignorance, having had the understanding of their ancestors tortured out of them by two thousand years of Christian repression.

The Eye of the Needle is this part of the year, and we must all pass through it as best we can.

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