If you observe Sol, our star, every day at precisely the same time each day, and at precisely the same location for a year ; and plot on a graph where he appears in the sky, you will end up with a shape that resembles a diagonal infinity symbol, called an analemma.
Though it may seem as though we are watching our sun "move" through space around us, what we are really observing is our planet's rotation and orbit around our star. He is rounding the bottom loop of the figure 8 in a clockwise motion, but his movement seems to have stalled. He seems stuck in his tracks.
Our senses tell us that something isn't quite right. The forces of darkness appear to be conquering the light. To alleviate the discomfort we ignite candles and lamps. We sing cheery songs and gather loved ones around to evoke collective joy and warmth. We enthusiastically indulge in food, spirit and spending. We create mini suns. Lights in the darkest time. Whether it's genetic memory from our ancestors or collective unconscious, there is a near universal superstition that if we celebrate light and life, our example might entice the sun to step back from death.
Be joyous. Give thanks. Join in the merry making to your heart's content. But sometimes it feels inauthentic. Whether or not we allow ourselves to recognize and name the darkness, it is undeniable. There are demons that may lurk in the shadows as we peer back to the last time the sun closed out his cycle.
So I invite you to also go in. Go deeper. Go into the darkest, deepest recesses of the pain and all it entails. Make space and time for yourself, and sit alone for 10 minutes. Smoke some weed. Grab a notebook, or a few sheets of paper and a pen. Set a timer on your phone for 10 minutes and write continuously and do not stop until the time is up. Sit down with the intention to write something about your year, but then let whatever comes up, come out.
Is it negative? That's okay. The exercise is meant as an anecdote to the force contrived jolliness. Purge it. Write down everything that comes to mind, no matter how silly or trifling. If you feel like you want to write more, go ahead. Write for 30 minutes. Write for an hour. Write until you can't write anymore.
It may hurt.
It might be sticky. Heavy.
Try to take a walk when you're done. Walk around the block, or walk for an hour. Or do some yoga if you're able. Just aim to move your body and let yourself step away from what you released on to the pages so you can integrate the release. Breathe deeply. Breathe in so fully it has to enter those dark and foreboding corners.
Find some light. Gaze into a tree strung with lights and allow the evergreen smell clear out the stagnation. Breathe in the light. Allow the small, created suns illuminate and brighten any gloom.
Stay aware of the "should be's and "supposed to" thoughts this time of year. What we or someone else decide what things should look like this segment of time around the sun could use some reviewing. Perhaps consider the situation from a different relative position. Perhaps it is not what you think. Perhaps there are things you just can't conceive of at work.
Because as it turns out, the sun is not moving in the sky at all. In fact, we are moving around the sun. What our sense data tells is us the slowest time of our year is when the Earth's orbit is actually the fastest. We are seeing things from a different vantage point. We are innocent in our mistake, but it an error nonetheless. We can't know until we do. It may seem that we are at the bottom. The darkest point seems to be the lowest.
Right now is perfect. We are collectively turning the corner, and the days are increasing incrementally by precious seconds.
The Sun is invincible. And the return from the void has already begun.