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Molly Hall

Mother Night

By December 21, 2007

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These are the days of Winter Solstice, a sacred turning point that symbolizes new life created out of the darkness. Also known as Mother Night, it's the end of the cycle, when everything goes to seed or becomes bone. We're enveloped in the dark, but from that the seeds will start to grow. Winter Solstice reminds us of our mortality, while being a hopeful sign that spring will return. In some earth-based traditions, the womb and tomb were one and the same. Maybe you caught the live stream of the solstice clock at the womb-shaped Newgrange cairn. A ray of light enters the dark, at the moment of the solstice sunrise. Winter Solstice is the moment when the end and the beginning meet.

Today I have a new niece, and when she's old enough, I hope to tell her about her special birthday. For me, it's a moment of joy with a sprinkling of sadness because we lost our Dad this year, too. Winter Solstice is a time to experience the paradox of the birth, death and rebirth cycle. What's come to its natural end surrenders to the earth, so that new life can grow. What do you need to cast off, throw into the fire, purge from your life -- in order to begin anew. It's a good time to grieve the death of the old, so the new can be born. For earth-based spiritual traditions, Winter Solstice is followed by the season of Yule, with its evergreens and holly as reminders that life goes on.

(c) Magda Skale
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