Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Turn of The Wheel

Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women's Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul.

For those of us who look upon the natural world around us as proof of The Divine, Winter Solstice is an affirmation that on some level all is right in the world. In ancient times, the people were connected to the land in a way that most of today’s population is not.

Can you even imagine being so in tuned with the world around you that you would notice the difference in the amount of light there was between the Darkest Day and the next?

There were no clocks, no calendars in the day of the hunter/gatherers or earlier. And yet our ancestors learned how to mark the passage of time.

Winter Solstice marks the longest night and the shortest day of our year. For me, personally, it is my New Year’s Eve because it heralds the returning of the light. If you follow the waxing and waning of the Moon, Winter Solstice starts the waxing of the Sun that represents light. From now until Summer Solstice, the Sun gains in strength. On the Summer Solstice that starts to wane as darkness becomes more a part of our lives.

One of the things that fascinates me is how our ancestors kept track.

Stonehenge and other stone and wood henges, The Great Pyramids of Egypt and pyramids and ancient temples are aligned with the stars, planets and the position of the sun and moon on particular times of the year like the Solstices and Equinoxes.

And when the Judeo-Christian religions took hold and grew, many of the traditions from earth-based traditions were incorporated. There are several books on the subject if you are interested in learning more.

For those people who celebrate life, Winter Solstice gives them a focus.

For those people who have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) it is a sign the days will lengthen and we’ll be out of winter soon.

For those people who prefer heat to cold, it reminds them that Spring/Ostara, the vernal equinox, when day and night are equal in length, and flowers are not far away.

In my Sacred Women’s Circle series, my heroines celebrate the 8 Sabbats, holy days that mark the turning of The Wheel of Life (Samhain, Winter Solstice/Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Summer Solstice/Lithia, Lammas, and Mabon). And, they each marry on a Sabbat. (For more information on Sabbats and other earth-based spiritual practices, check out my Judith Ashley blog where I post every Monday).

If you are curious about how Sacred Women Circles come together, start reading Lily. In her story, you can learn how to create your own Circle and your own Ceremonies. Sign up for Connections, mynewsletter and get a free copy of Lily.

Regardless of your spiritual path, I wish you all the light you need to show you the way to love.

You can learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series on my website.

Follow me on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

I’m also on Facebook

© 2016 Judith Ashley


Linda Lovely said...

Interesting post, Judith. I'm all for more light and happy that we've turned the corner. Your concept for your series is terrific. Best wishes in the new year.

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks, Linda. Best Wishes for you also. 2017 will be a fantastic year for the Genre-istas!!!

Robin Weaver, Author said...

Interesting post, Judith. Happy new year!

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for stopping by, Robin. Happy New Year to you also!

Maggie Lynch said...

Connecting to the natural rhythms of the earth can really make a difference in how you see the world. Since we've re-incorporated cats into our lives again, it's been interesting to see how they react to the changing of the days. They are certainly much more in tune than I am.

When hubby and I honeymooned in Scotland and Ireland, one of the places we visited was Newgrange in Ireland. It left a lasting impression on me. It is what is known as a burial mound, passage tomb constructed more than 5,000 years ago (before Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids). The passage and chamber are aligned with the rising sun at the Winter Solstice. At dawn, at the time of the Winter Solstice, a narrow beam of light penetrates a roof-box and reaches the floor of the chamber, gradually extending to the rear of the chamber. As the Winter sun rises further in the sky it eventually lights the entire chamber. This event only takes about 20 minutes.

Though we were there in May, they simulate the experience by turning out all the lights and then slowly lighting the chamber as it would at Solstice. It pointed out to me how important the seasons were to ancient people and how the solstice played a spiritual part in all ceremonies. This connection with the seasons and the earth and heavens is something I believe too many of us have lost. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the turning of the wheel.