These traditions go back to the Old Ones. The ancient Celts celebrated this time of year with a salute the returning sun. The Roman festival of Saturnalia was marked with lots of candles and gifts. In Persia, ancient people marked Dec. 25 as sacred to the birth of their sun God. In Sweden, Dec. 13 was sacred to the Goddess Lucina – Shining One – who was also goddess of childbirth; her holy day was a celebration of the return of the light. Vikings lit bonfires to honor Odin and Thor. And on.
Today, we need light more than ever. Our world is feeling turmoil in every corner, and that turmoil feels dark and dangerous.
Here, I think, we cannot just look for the light, although that is a good idea.
Just the other day, I was rummaging through my collection of vintage Christmas items. There, waiting to be recognized was a grouping of flocked brush trees. Then I found an elfin figure carrying a lantern with its pipe cleaner hand. And then it struck me.
We must be the light.
Sure, we can wait for someone else to bring the light. We can wait for a leader who seems to be shining with light. Or we can choose to search out the light within ourselves.
In mining our own light and carrying the lantern, we find enough light for our journey. And we can share our light so that others may feel it and find the light of their own. It reminded me of the venerable Tarot card known as "The Hermit."
As the Solstice day fades, I have found my prayer:
“Let me be the bringer of light.”
And may you also be the bringer of light, in this world that needs every spark.
Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP, is an author, trainer and psychotherapist who promotes, practices and teaches experiential methods including psychodrama, Family and Systemic Constellations, sand tray, mindfulness and Tarot imagery.