Winter Solstice: From Darkness to Light



The Winter Solstice has, in our human history, held great mystery.  It is the longest and, some would say, darkest night of the year.  The sun reaches its southernmost point in its arc.  Would the sun rise again?  Will the earth enjoy the warmth of its light?  Would life continue?  It has long been believed that the veil between spiritual and physical planes are at the thinnest point during the time of the solstice.  Then, the sun rises, and we are renewed, reborn, resurrected.  Hope and life go on.

Picture this:

You are sitting in the middle of the largest cathedral in the United States.  It is the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City.  Its immensity is breath-taking, soaring pillars surround you.  One can barely see from the entrance doors all the way to the altar in front.  The lights are dim.  An ethereal darkness pervades.  On a stage before you, a tree is bathed in an icy blue light.  The tree bears chimes and bells.  The sounds you hear are the groanings and twistings of the darkest of winter nights — clanging, beating, rippling interspersed with primeval animal voices and wind sounds.  Mysterious in its power, the darkness continues and the dissonant music plays.

Then, barely visible at first, a dimly lit disc appears.  A dimly lit disc at the altar.  The disc begins to glow more brightly as it begins its ascent.  It moves ever upward and you recognize that it is a large bronze gong representing the sun.  Suspended next to it is the percussionist, slowly and regularly beating the sound that introduces the light.  You watch as the light spreads , little by little, pillar by pillar through the cathedral, bathing one pillar and then the next.  As the sun rises in its fullness, the cycle is complete.  From the darkest night, the sun has again risen. Life will continue.  All is well in the physical and spiritual realm.

Such is the experience in the annual Winter Solstice Concert offered at this cathedral.  The resonant sounds and music is the work of The Paul Winter Consort.  Being present for this program is a powerful and arresting experience.

What does all this mean?  It could represent the darkness of events in our lives and the light “at the end of the tunnel.”  It might be telling us something of the dark night of the soul, the place where pain and sadness are at depths where we might doubt that light will ever come.  We might be thinking about the psychology of depression and how the long dark days influence  many people.  A myriad of other possibilities exist.

To me, what is of greatest importance is recognizing that the Light is not something outside of us.  That it is within us at all times.  You don’t  have to look for someone or something to bring it to You.  YOU are it!  YOU are the Light of Love.  The Light of Truth. The Light of Compassion.  The Light of Kindness.  YOU!  Yes, YOU!  Even if you doubt it, it is true.

There are those who enter into the world to bring the Light to us, to make it tangible, to guide us, to teach us of the Light of Divine and Eternal Love. such is the one who is celebrated at this time of year, for Christ Mass. Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, brought this message. We are blessed to know it and what his true words meant.

Gloria in Exccelsis Deo!

Believe in the Truth! YOU are the Light of Divine and Eternal Love. Nothing less!

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About deannemincer

Deanne Mincer has been a long time student of religious and spiritual studies. For many years, she was a practitioner of yoga and in the late 1980's she was drawn to share her enthusiasm by becoming a yoga teacher. Her certification, from the Himalayan Institute, was a comprehensive two year program including the study of anatomy, diet, nutrition, Ayurvedic medical practices, the methods of teaching hatha yoga, the science of breath and the study of raja (the royal path of yoga) philosophy. She has taught yoga, meditation, and spiritual classes for more than twenty years. In the mid 1990's she became a follower of Siddha Yoga where she experienced a spiritual awakening called shaktipat and her teachings took on a new and freshly informed understanding. As Deanne continued her studies, she learned level one in Reiki and also sutdied with Henry Grayson, Ph.D. where she refined her work with muscle testing and the complex of energy healing methods Dr. Grayson has developed for use with his patients. Dr. Grayson's work is illuminated in his books, Mindful Loving and Use Your Body to Heal Your Mind. Deanne teaches group and private classes in yoga as well as stress reduction programs and meditation in many forms (sitting, walking, whirling, meditation in action, and "sleeping" meditation called yoga nidra). She has developed methods of using yoga in treating those with life threatening diseases as in the programs she designed for Gilda's Club and Friends in Deed in New York City. She was a consulting producer on an alternative health program for CNBC's Alive and Wellness, and she has demonstrated yoga on network television. Deanne created the audio DC, Inner Light Yoga with Deanne Mincer and she has spoken widely and demonstrated meditation in many venues. Deanne is an enthusiastic and joyful teacher. She is known for the keen interest she takes in her students' physical and spiritual development. She stresses that each student should work at their own pace in a non-competitive and caring environment. You can read some of the comments her students have shared in the Tesimonials Section of this site. Her teaching is grounded in her own steadfast spiritual awareness - that each of us is a being of eternal light and love and that we can all come to knowing this truth for ourselves. She is eager to help guide you on this joyful path of body, mind, breath and spirit.

2 responses »

  1. Dear Deanne,
    There must be truth to that idea that as we do, so we become, because the more posts that you write, the more beautiful, spiritual, and inspirational they are. These last two are like glimpses into not only your eternal soul, but a light shining into ours as well. God bless you for your gifts to all!

    • Dear Connie,Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words. They and you warm my heart and your light shines on me and on all those around you.  I am blessed to have you as a dear friend.With love and namaste,Deanne

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