Welcome to Soundings! The blogsite of Caitlín Matthews.

Exploring Myth, Divination and the Western Mysteries.

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Wednesday 22 December 2010

Midwinter Stillpoint

I sit and write at fall of dark.  Outside, all is white from the freshly fallen snow upon the earlier snow that lies ghostly over every bush, tree and building.  The stillpoint that is the fulcrum of the year, the stillness from which our energy arises is here with us and I honour it with remembrance

From here on we enter into the magical intercalary days that our year-making ancestors had left over from their division of the year into months and days.  In these days out of time, the magic and myth of the first creators is remembered.

Across megalithic Europe and here in Britain and Ireland, the chambered monuments with their long sun-seeking tunnels, conduct the first or the last rays of the midwinter sun into their depths to awaken the ancestral bone-ash and waft it into immortality.  At Maeshowe in Orkney and at Newgrange in Ireland, the ancestral dust is rising as I write.  Ancestralization of the dead was a two stage business in ancient past: first the initial burial or cremation with the loss and mourning and then, months later, the gathering up of the bones or cremated ash into another place of honour so that they might rise up collectively from their human state into their ancestral condition. 

In these magical days, the animal ancestors also come to visit us in the many disguisings that take place across Europe from now until the loosening of winter’s grip in February.  Animal disguising, where the guardian animals come out to walk and dance the streets, still happens here in Britain.  The hobby horses, straw bears and other spirits come to knock on our doors and remind us that the wild is our ancestor too and that our instinctive cunning, our lust to be in union with another of our kind, our ancient wisdom memory are inheritances that we share from the animals.

What tales do you tell at Midwinter?  What are the legends and stories that keep faith with your spirit?  I mean the original, deep core stories that arise from our oral memory and not the media-driven images of tv or film.  If you lost electrical power now and had to tell a story, what story would it be?

The Christmas preparations and holiday travel often displace the stillpoint at which we refresh ourselves.  So we go on through the holidays void and lacking in energy because we forgot to stop too.  Even when we are on holiday, there is little stillness and too much stimulus.

If you are missing the stillpoint of Midwinter because you are rushed, distracted and hassled, here is a way of returning to yourself, a small meditation whose results will always be helpful to you and whose results will please you.

* What is the place that gives you strength?
* What is the gift you share/inherit from ancestors?
* What is the blessing you were born to deliver?

Consider your answers and find symbols for each – easy to remember ones that are significent and original to yourself. Visualise the place symbol as being beneath your feet.  Feel the symbol of the ancestral gift as if in the core of your body.  Be aware of the blessing symbol as a crown, head-band, or guiding symbol over head.  Whenever you feel scattered, you too can return to the Midwinter stillpoint and centre your souls – yes, we have more than one soul.  (See my Psychic Shield (in USA) which is called Psychic Protection Handbook in UK for more on our different souls.)

I sit in the grey darkness now as the last light leaves.  The sky is reflective of the earth-bound snow.  It is still and silent everywhere.  I am going to turn off my computer to rest now, as I shall rest during the twelve days that mark my own still point.

From The Book of Ancestral Welcome – a book in progress, by Caitlín Matthews