Friday, December 23, 2011

Sol Invictus (for Joe) - Reprise

Sol Invictus [The Undefeated Sun]

"In pre-historic times, winter was a very difficult time for Aboriginal people in the northern latitudes. The growing season had ended and the tribe had to live off of stored food and whatever animals they could catch. The people would be troubled as the life-giving sun sank lower in the sky each noon. They feared that it would eventually disappear and leave them in permanent darkness and extreme cold. After the winter solstice, they would have reason to celebrate as they saw the sun rising and strengthening once more. Although many months of cold weather remained before spring, they took heart that the return of the warm season was inevitable...The winter solstice... is a time for introspection, and planning for the future."
From Yule Lore (December 21st)

"Yule, (pronounced EWE-elle) is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, much celebration was to be had as the ancestors awaited the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth and made her to bear forth from seeds protected through the fall and winter in her womb. Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were "wassailed" with toasts of spiced cider.

Children were escorted from house to house with gifts of clove spiked apples and oranges which were laid in baskets of evergreen boughs and wheat stalks dusted with flour. The apples and oranges represented the sun, the boughs were symbolic of immortality, the wheat stalks portrayed the harvest, and the flour was accomplishment of triumph, light, and life. Holly, mistletoe, and ivy not only decorated the outside, but also the inside of homes. It was to extend invitation to Nature Sprites to come and join the celebration. A sprig of Holly was kept near the door all year long as a constant invitation for good fortune to pay visit to the residents." 

Here at The Fahm, we have oranges, apples, evergreens, cloves, flour, fire, and holly near the Side Front Door so we're all set.  Tonight after dinner Raj and I are going to step out into the very, very coldy cold & windy night with lit torches in our hands to rail against the darkness.

I happen to LURVE this time of year, and expect to even more so here, where the seasonal shift is so IN YER FACE; since 2003 when I rented my first art studio, I have noted that the span of time between Christmas and approximately April is richly productive for me in terms of creative output. It is as if I have the Itch all year, and it is only during this period that I get to the bottom of SCRATCHing that itch, and it feels SOOO good, and I can't/don't wanna stop.

I have only ever thought of this quirk in my creative flow as a personal phenomena, something entirely internal & mysterious, an idiosyncrasy. To note the possibility that there is something Larger at work here is both strange and awesome.