The Long Night

The darkness of the longest night of the year has fallen upon us. Like a comfortable cloak, it wraps itself around me. I am standing watch through this night to the dawn of new light with a kindred spirit, Lady Imbrium. This is not much of a chore as I like the night for its peace and quiet.

The candles and the colorful lights of the Yule tree give the room a warm glow. It isn’t the same as sitting around a hearth fire, but it’s close enough. The weather forecast is calling for strong winds by early morning. Howling winds would complete the wintery atmosphere often associated with this time of year. It is a good time to stay inside and rest… rest like the earth.

I hope the winds come from the north or the west. Daughter RavynStar told of a Chinese goddess called Xi Hou who is the mother of ten suns, in her blog yesterday. She also tells of a Chinese belief that winds from the east or south at this time are considered an ill omen, but winds from the north or west are favorable. The prevailing winds where I live come out of the southwest which has often brought mixed blessings, so maybe there is something to this Chinese lore. Regardless, any wind at this time of year in northeastern Vermont is generally cold and best accompanied by a hot cup of tea.

The dark cycle of 2012 seems darker than previous years. Perhaps it is due to the so-called Mayan doomsday prophesies. I have been surprised at the number of people who seem to have succumbed to the media hype. It is rather reminiscent of the Orson Welles’ 1938 radio broadcast of “War of the Worlds.” It was a well known story when I was in school, but it may have been forgotten by the modern purveyors of media. A lesson forgotten does NOT qualify as a lesson learned.

While there seems to have been a subtle “madness” in the behavior of the general population this year, there was nothing subtle about the madness that created tragedy in Connecticut seven days ago. The public response to this real-life episode out of a horror movie has been (naturally) emotionally charged and reactionary. Unfortunately, the preventative measures being suggested seem unlikely to succeed because they appear to be addressing the symptoms rather than the causes of the underlying problem: our society is ill.

If this seems far-fetched to you, consider that these things are layered on top of the on-going effects of an economic collapse four years ago, concerns of global climate change and “peak oil,” and the endless rhetoric of ridiculous politicians pressing towards a “fiscal cliff.” People are simply stressed-out… extremely! Why wouldn’t they be?

Irresponsible and unscrupulous media sensationalizes anything that might make money, including alleged doomsday prophecies. Irresponsible and unscrupulous leaders want to tax the poor and suffering to solve our economic problems while protecting the rich (even when some of the rich admit that they should be taxed more!) These leaders have the same profile as King John in the Robin Hood tale, and they do not even try to hide it. How can anyone fail to recognize that our society is ill?

The dark cycle of 2012 does seem darker than previous years, but it is time to prepare for the dawn and the reversing of this trend. How can we reverse these trends? Let’s discuss that… the day after “doomsday!” Blessed be.

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2 thoughts on “The Long Night

  1. I’m honored not only by the signal boost, but mainly because you stood watch with me. It was not an easy night even though I prefer the night generally speaking. The wind and rain were rather severe, and I, like so many, was just plain tired. It’s interesting to see the same thoughts I was trying to express over on another blog echoed here, more eloquently of course. We are an unwell people. We are not a docile species, we are not a sedentary species, and we, like most animals, do not respond well to captivity. We’ve built ourselves the biggest fanciest enclosure in the biggest fanciest zoo, but we can’t shake the feeling that we’re trapped. Maybe we can begin to at least spread the awareness. Maybe we can work toward healing not of the symptoms but of the base causes. May this year be better than the one before. May this year be the year we start fixing things. I wish for you And yours, my wise friend, all the blessings of the returning Light in this season and beyond.

  2. Of course I stood watch with you. It seemed like a good idea considering how things have been going. I think we take too much for granted, so standing watch sounded like a good idea to me. The last few hours were a little tough, but it wouldn’t have been much of a sacrifice or offering if it was easy.

    We got some very strong winds here, and they did howl. I saw signs of “sweeping” change with some people suffering for their ways. Unfortunately, I also heard on the news that some people may be without power until Christmas Eve in some parts of Vermont. This is not a good time of the year to be without power for several days.

    I do believe that “awareness” is the first step on the path to real healing. Be certain that if we do not start fixing things this year, things will get worse. I likewise wish the blessings of returning light upon you and yours.

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