Midwinter’s eve is the time before the winter solstice, the day the sun is at the lowest point on its arc, and the day before it stands still for three days before turning around again and beginning to rise higher and higher in the sky.
I’m feeling itch, scratchy, can’t settle to anything, ideas buzzing through my head like a swarm of bees, and a deep, dark part of me wanting to be still, still, still.
The stillness will come, but not until Saturday as the Standstill begins. Until then I must feel the itch, allow it to pervade me, fill me with discomfort. It stirs the cauldron, brings all the stuff to the surface that I suspect I’d rather not know about and deal with, befriend. I feel this every year, you might think that by now, 70 years down the line, I’d be used to it but we never are. We never should be. Every year the cauldron must be stirred, the shit come to the surface so it can be skimmed off and put in the compost; only through composting can it become new good earth and soil again, growing medium for new ideas and somewhere for Upperworld to seed its new concepts into.
So here I stand, on the brink. It feels like standing on the brink of some tremendous waterfall.
This pic is Plodda Falls, Glen Affric, Scotland, I was there a couple of years ago and stood here, on the viewing platform right over the edge of the top of the waterfall! That’s how it feels today!
I’ve got to jump off, jump down there, very soon.
I remember the long fall from other years of doing this; long, slow, like flying. Watching the cauldron pool below come closer and closer until I dive in. Yes, I always do seem to dive in, not just plummet like a stone.
And the pool at the base of the waterfall really is a cauldron, it swirls me down and round and down again until it finally spews me out of the top, clean and wholesome again. It’s like going through a washing machine! And sometimes I bounce off the rocks on the way down; that can be painful.
It’s about washing and cleaning and getting rid of the emotional, mental and physical baggage I’ve collected over the past year. We all do it, collect baggage, and if we don’t have a clear-out once a year (at least!) we get as smelly and disgusting as our cupboards would if we didn’t do them 😊. And this is where otherworld send me on my midwinter journey. They’ve been sending me here for most of my life but I never saw it for real until 2017 when I was there on holiday with Fiona. it was like coming home, gotta go back sometime.
But I land in the pool, come out of the swirling-cauldron washing-machine, and swim into the calm waters.
Your journey might be quite different, that’s fine and it’s always good to hear other people’s visions of how they do this. Hearing other journeys can spark off all sorts of things.
But do something over the 3 days of Standstill between Midwinter on 21st December and Sun Return on 25th December. Clear yourself out, review the past year, remember it and learn from it. There will be good memories as well as bad.
I do a 2-column list, Good/Bad, and list things under each, then I sit with the list over the 3 days and befriend each event both good and bad, both have gifts for me even if some are uncomfortable! Then, on Sun Return, the 25th, I celebrate the coming of the New Year.
Astronomically, the time the sun begins his upward arc, the time we begin to get more light each day, that is the real New Year, not some date on a human calendar 😊.