Tag Archives: Symbols

Thoughts on Midwinter solstice

Mid winter is a difficult time for many, for many different reasons. For me if I put aside the never-ending reminders that it has become a time for families to be together, something impossible for me in the circumstances, I think the difficulty is in what the midwinter solstice represents, how it allows us to interpret the shortest day and longest night and of course the change in direction towards more light and warmer days.

The two solstices have a feeling about them, a sort of stillness where the universe, having come to the end of range, holds it breath, hesitates before moving back in the opposing direction. Now yes, I know at the solstice is a local phenomenon, earth bound and experienced differently in the two hemispheres but we are not considering cosmology here but how this local turning of the wheel expresses its self to our limited senses and intuition. And remember everything is connected, everything impacts and guides the path of everything else, so a local phenomenon, a local point of inflection can, and does have universal impacts.
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Now Winters come and the Earth does sleep

6 seeds sit upon her plate
6 seeds enough to seal her fate.
To bind the Sun the curse to keep.
Now winters come and the Earth does sleep.

Now Winters come and the Earth does sleep.
Dark nights long and snow drifts deep.
Keep hope alive, the spring to seek.
Now Winters come and the Earth does sleep.

The Holy King supreme does rule,
O’er land and sky and sea and all,
His hand extends through darkness deep,
Now Winters come and the Earth does sleep.
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Sparkling lights, Souls of the Ancestors

Sometimes I stand on the Sand dunes looking out to sea or up to the heavens to stare at the stars and the glory of the moon as she turns all around me to magic.

On cold, clear night, especially when there is a full moon you can see sparkles dancing around you. They whorl around and at the slightest breath of breeze dance away only to return as if they were curious about you and want to connect with you.

They seem to have a light, and a life, all of their own like tiny fire fly’s glinting and dancing before and around you.

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A rag on a poll!

“Sharpe: Do you really believe men will fight and die for a rag on a pole, sir?



Hogan: You do, Richard, you do”



Sharps Rifles.

The quote, for a book by Bernard Cornwall, clearly shows both the power and danger of symbols. Now Shape, a fictional soldier in the British army fighting Napoleon during the peninsular wars, was referring to a flag but one with religious meaning to the local people who it was hoped would rise up if the flag was flown. What that simple quote shows is that symbols, especially those that embody religious meaning, can inspire fanatical loyalty and deep reverence in people. It also shows how difficult we find it to understand why others feel the same way about their symbols.

Part of this dichotomy is probably in the way that symbols, particularly religious ones, are given their meaning. Possibly the most powerful part of religious symbology is that it provides the wearer a way of identifying with the group that they belong to. This feeling of group identity is very powerful, as can be seen with the way that groups will behave in a way totally different to that of any of the individual members. This group dynamic can be seen in the football fans following their team or in the ‘esprit de corps’ developed by military groupings.

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