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Imbolc: Traditional Celebrations for a Modern Time
Samhain: A Time for Introspection---and Activism
Anti-Witch Bigotry: Still As Popular and Deadly As Ever
The Dark Half of the Year
The Halloween Witch: Sense of Humor or Sense of Ire
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Traditional Yule: Make your Own Homebrewed Mead
Winter Solstice By Any Other Name
The Beltaine Storm
Spiritual Aspects of Yule
Yule and the New Year
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Lughnasadh: The Deeper Meaning
A Celtic View of Samhain
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Alicia Meets Grandmother Autumn: A Children’s Story
Witches Lost in Halloween
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Winter: A Joyous Holiday Season
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A Story For Autumn
Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American Witch
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The Meeting at the Crossroads-Samhain
Reconsidering a Historical Eostre
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Beltane -- Holiday Details and History
You Call it May Day, We Call it Beltane
Beltane -- Enlightening Links
Beltaine - Our May Morn
Beltane: Return To Feeling
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The Dark Half of the Year
Article ID: 12912
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Crick [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: October 19th. 2008
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As I walk along a secluded creek, deep within the woods, the presence of Spirit is all about. It is a subtle awareness ebbing and flowing through the fibers of my being.
The dark half of the year is following its ancient course. It is a migration of time and ancient customs. It is a moment of pause and reflection and the joyous celebration of creation itself.
All along the creek the summer blooms have gone to sleep. Quietly portraying, a mystical cycle of life and death and rebirth. Their seed lies dormant awaiting the warm breath of Deity to once again call them forth. And while glorious in bloom they are just as beautiful while at rest. For they contain the remnants of what was and what will be. For Deity is eternal, with the ending of one segment, marking the beginning of yet another.
The sound of the frogs that ranged along the creek has gone silent, and yet the song of nature continues throughout the dark half of the year.
If one listens with their soul, one can hear the Sylphs as they dance amidst the reeds and the fallen leaves. An unrehearsed dance that is as old as time itself.
One can hear the creaking of the trees as they settle in for the somber season ahead. As each one, readily pays tribute to Deity with a splash of brilliant colors. With one exception: that of the evergreen that stands in silent vigil as each season passes. A somber reminder that life continues throughout the light and the dark aspects of the seasons.
One can hear the babbling of the creek as it echoes the sounds of a distant past, which is forever changing and yet forever present. For life in and of itself is constantly changing and yet a reminder of what was and what is and what can be.
The dark half of the year gives us a period of time to dwell upon and to determine where we are within our spiritual travels. For just as the clear cold creek follows its channel, we follow a similar path of our own design and direction. For all of life, is inter-connected as bits and pieces of creation, which Deity has cast forth as part of our reality.
Ahead is a large rock, bleached white by the rays of the golden sun above. Thrust forth from the bowels of the earth by the gnomes to present a timeless beacon of endurance and solidity. And yet even the boulder eventually gives way to the insistent down pouring of rainfall. These globules of water alone would have little or no effect, but in essence portrays its power through persistence in numbers.
As I sit upon this rock for a moment of reflection I think about how our very lives are shaped and formed through similar actions on the part of those who share this realm with us. Of how each person represents a drop of rain that is constantly falling upon others in the way of thoughts and actions. And I wonder, are we as resilient and enduring as this boulder sitting silently in the middle of the woods? But then such are the thoughts that are entertained by an old witch during the dark half of the year.
One can hear the timeless chorus of the geese above as they wing their way South. A sure sign, that the dark half of the year is taking its place in the events of life and is moving slowly into our consciousness as it has done for eons. A regal heralding that the mysteries of life are continuing their cycle, though such may not be fully understood by those whose psyche it touches. And yet it is such a lack of understanding that could serve as the impetus to seek out such answers to life as we journey forth. To do otherwise is to fall prey to the apathy and resistance to spiritual growth that seems to plague our species.
Quietly and with unbridled amusement I watch as the bushy tailed squirrels canter to and fro in search of food. For they know instinctively that this is their Final harvest as the dark half of the year looms before them. Their instinctual labors will determine the outcome of their existence through this period of solemn rest and profound deliberation, as Spirit takes a deep relaxing breathe before proceeding forth yet once again at the advent of Spring. Humankind could learn a great deal from such preparations in regards to their own personal spirituality.
One can feel the silence of the woods as if many of its inhabitants had fled to some far off place. But in all reality, they are still present. As each creature seeks solace in the secure grasp of Mother Earth. Some are burrowed deep beneath her surface while others are tucked away beneath the protective bark of the surrounding trees. Only humankind seems out of step with the natural balance as we rend and tear Gaia apart to serve our own self induced desires.
And yet we hold our own destiny as a species within our grasp, if only we are astute enough to realize and act accordingly. The dark half of the year gives us a moment to ponder upon and realize the errors of our ways and to make amends as Deity quietly watches our progress or perhaps lack of any responsible steps.
As I walk through the woods I can sense the days becoming shorter and the nights longer. It is as if the time for making amends in ones spiritual direction is also becoming shorter with each passing day. That the veil is drawing ever nearer as we diminish the light that Deity set before us when we began our journey within this realm as a species.
Perhaps this is why Deity has given us the Light and Dark halves of the year, a constant reminder that one without the other is incomplete. That action without contemplation is foolhardy. That contemplation without positive change is useless. And yet as a species we continue along the path of self-destruction. Are we actually heeding the voice of Deity?
These are my thoughts on the Dark half of the year. As a witch I find myself uncomfortable and often at odds with those of my species. But when I am walking amongst the woods in solitary contemplation, the presence of Deity reminds me that none of us are ever truly alone.
How we incorporate the Dark half of the year into our lives is an individual choice. We can utilize the moment to enhance our spiritual growth by expanding our awareness of our actions both past and present and thus influence our future or we can squander the moment and ignore the voice of our chosen Deity.
Such a decision rests with each of us…
Location: enHaut, Pennsylvania
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