Grianstad on Gheimhridh

We are at another peak moment on our cyclical journey around the sun. Since the Sun peaked over our heads in the sky at the summer solstice we have been noticing each day as it gradually appears closer to the horizon. As it does so the time of brightness shortens and the darkness lengthens. These days we are as far away from the sun as we will be.

We believe that our ancestors were very afraid that this time was the end of the road. The Irish translation for Winter Solstice was Grianstad an Geimhridh – the ‘pause’ or ‘stop’ of the sun. They saw life gradually disappearing – life closing down and going underground, growth ending, leaves falling, animals and birds gone to hiding, their own energy changing, fading.

In these ancient times people lived close to nature, were part of nature and not just outside observers. In the modern world it has become much more difficult for us to stay in tune with the rest of nature. However these spectacular peak moments in natures cycle act as an invitation to take time to tune in with nature.

  • As we tune into the energies of this Winter Solstice let us take time to acknowledge the hidden transformations taking place in the darkness of the depths of nature.

  • In the looming darkness of planetary destruction, large scale human suffering, pandemic, and personal pain let our belief that darkness does not exist except in the context of light be our source of strength.

  • In our western Christian Story it was in the depth of winter’s darkness that the light was born. ‘The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.’ Believing that the Light triumphs over darkness let us go into this Christmas season with faith, hope, love and joy in our hearts.