Mid December in Vermont.
We should be plunged into deep cold that matches the depth of this darkness...perhaps I ought to write about the Hermit Card in anticipation of this retreat we take, this pull to our interior worlds, accessing wisdom on our solitary path - solitary, while befriended by ice and deep, white drifts of powder…
Not this blog entry. Not this December.
Just ahead of Solstice, as twilight settles around us at 3:30 in the afternoon, the air is mild and ground is bare. Making a snow cave and ice lanterns aren’t on the menu for this year’s celebration of longest night.
At this moment, resonating so powerfully-- is the Hanged Man card.
Inverted, world turned on its head. Tightly bound and suspended in a liminal space.... the waiting, oh, the waiting. The Hanged Man experiences a wounding, this wound a portal for the entrance of Spirit. Hours pass, then days. Hanged Man doesn’t fight his way back, doesn’t chase his breath as it escapes him. Surrender becomes a path to enlightenment.
Before enlightenment, making a sacrifice is essential. We are ready to lay our burdens down in the North of the wheel. Our bodies prepare for the snow to drift down, the snap of cold to kiss our lips. To make a “sacrifice” means giving up to Great Spirit that which we held as holy. The sacrifice has worth, value, weight. Our hands should quiver a bit as we lay it down on stone, our sense of longing to snatch it back should well up. Time will tell you it is time to release.
So, on the altar of stone we released the Summer heat, the harvest, the hopes. By now we have even released the grief of loss, as leaves tumbled down and returned to earth. We have released the release!
We know that darkness has us captivated. But this year, instead of the surety of cold wind coming to meet us, we might feel a sense of extended sacrifice as we hang swaying in the unseasonably mild breezes.