Winter Solstice—the longest night of the year. Today, in our Wiccan mythology, the sun is reborn. Each year the Great Mother labors through the long night to give birth again to the new year, to hope and light.
This year the darkness has intense. The bright hopes of last year are worn and tattered from obstructions and betrayals and compromise. Our personal health and the health of all the life support systems of the planet hang in balance, and how can we tell whether we’ve inched forwards or been sucked back into deals and appeasements worse than what went before. Last year we hoped for an end to war—this year we see war escalate. Last year we chose a road of change; this year it looks only too much like the same old road we were on before.
But the message of Solstice is this: hope does not come once into the world and fulfill itself. Hope and light must constantly be reborn, over and over again. They wax and wane, and must be renewed.
That renewal, that birthing, requires labor. Labor means work, commitment, perseverance through that time when it seems you just can’t push any more. The cervix dilates slowly, pang by pang. The child begins to emerge, is drawn back, pushed forward another increment.
We are the laboring Mother, we are the spark of light. New possibilities kick and squirm within us. No, it’s not easy to bring them forth, but we are strong, and we are made for this work. Bear down…breathe…push. This morning the sun rises; each day a new world is born.