Three weeks ago, I sold my spiritual store.
Two weeks ago, I did my last hairstyling client.
One week ago, I made my final move to Oregon.
Two hours ago, I had my first, in my 44 years, truly clear moment about the darkness of winter in the North.
What the fuck? I totally thought the same thing.
Prior to a few years ago my only opinion about the Winter Solstice was centered around being grateful that the amount of light was going to increase each day.
Even as my path became more meandering and shady I hadn’t touched the darkness in the Earth cycle like I did tonight.
Our modern societal experience is flooded with light. Both natural and artificial.
Sounds like modern spirituality too.
A day in my life as an adult employee of corporate America began at 6 am with full lights on and a shower.
I spent about an hour commuting to work surrounded by beams of light coming from every angle.
From the time I arrived at work until the time I left there was zero darkness.
The commute home was full of light, no matter what season.
Stopping at the store for groceries...again more light than heaven.
The first thing upon opening the door at home was flipping on the light switch.
The only time we play with dimming light is when we are soaking in the bath or trying to get laid.
This description doesn’t just apply to that situation. From the time we are born to the time we die our days are saturated with light.
I had no clue what walking the wheel of the day was like during the dark time of the year. It hasn’t escaped me that this is not the norm compared to the rest of the Earth’s population.
The questions that come to my mind are many.
How do I connect with ancient wisdom about living in the darkness if I cannot access the darkness?
Many of my friends and family have commented that it is amazing to be out in the country and able to see so many stars. I love that too.
I guess the deeper question for me is about living in the space of darkness.
Anyone can visit the darkness by turning off the lights or finding a cave to hang out in. What I’m experiencing is something altogether different.
I am currently living with my best friend and two dogs in a 19-foot travel trailer.
I now have no commitments other than those of my own choosing.
I create content for my sites, record podcasts and am writing a book.
We have lights in the trailer but two days ago they stopped working and we need a new converter. This is when it all changed.
We have small lamps that we use to see but the darkness is so present.
We live in the country with little light pollution. Hmmm, first time that term has hit so close to home. The sun rises now around 7 am and sets before 5 pm.
When you are not busy being busy the hours between 5 PM and 10 PM can be long.
This is the darkness I’m looking into.
I am generally a quick study and this was so true when it came to being busy. Idle hands and all. I know I still do that even now, possibly with writing.
I am trying to be aware of and allow for time to just reflect. Be calm.
If I lived in a bigger family group we may all doing things around a central fire and occasionally doing things together. They are different activities.
I think the difference too is that I am not a farmer nor do I grow any type of food. This may be another reason for the disconnection between honoring and living ancestral ways and moving into the future or even just modernity.
I didn’t really expect this thought train to go down that track.
What does it mean to experience this type of darkness as someone who doesn’t sustain themselves by producing their own food and living the growing cycle of the year?
I wouldn’t have had the time to ponder that if I were still overly illuminated by the fluorescent lights at the grocery store.
What type of dilemma does that leave us in?
Many people are trying to find meaning and place in the world.
We are separated from the Earth.
We no longer live as the ancient ones. Their wisdom is rich I know. The wisdom of the Runes is rich and appropriate.
Where is the crossroads where it all comes together and we gain clarity? I know this must be individual.
For me, it’s the Runes of Northern Europe.
I call them, and by so doing categorize them, transformational. While this is true, this is just one aspect of them. I could write about them being so many things but for me I’ve known them mostly as transformational.
Because that’s what they’ve helped me with, shifting and changing into a human who lives closer to what my core being is.
Someone who takes responsibility and is accountable for my actions.
Someone who sees beyond the instant gratification of this disposable life we live.
So what do the Runes have to say about this situation?
What clarity can be gleaned?
Let’s pull some Runes and find out.
I ended up with four aspen rounds in my hands. I tossed them out onto my blanket.
Two were face up and they were etched with Sowelo and Ansuz. The other two face down were Hagalaz and Nauthiz.
My first impressions were that during this dark time of day we are cleansed of all of the light. Maybe a better way to express that is that it balances out the light.
Another impression I received was that in the stillness of this time of day we receive illumination and messages from the Otherworld.
To expand the meaning further we can look at those rounds that landed face down. Hagalaz and Nauthiz are beautiful Runes.
I would say that this is the path less traveled nowadays and that it takes focus and skill to walk it.
The ability to create fire by rubbing two sticks together is no longer common in Western societies.
This is a path of the unseen, even a glimpse into navigating the afterlife and Otherworld. You must be able to “light” your way. Provide your own guidance. Trust in what you experience and sense.
If I ask them to sum it up the impression I get is that this dark time is for a ritual cleansing of the light from our bodies
so that we may commune with the dark as a lover, a mentor.
Lay next to it in the lustful bed and be touched by the silky strokes of night.
Come to know the ecstasy of silence and the orgasm of traversing the worlds led by you. Your soul. Your intuition. Your instinct.
They are often much more sexual than I allow for in my interpretations.
The last part was given to me through impressions as a sat quietly in the night.
Like my path, this article had meandered more than I knew possible in the beginning. We have this dark time of the wheel for many things including sleep, which I’ve gotten lots of lately. The message for our current time is revealed in the paragraphs above. May you and I both take it into the night to experience what it has to offer.