In a few minutes (in my time zone), the shortest day will officially begin: Winter Solstice. Tomorrow morning will be the latest sunrise of the year, and in the afternoon, the sun will set at its earliest (or something approximating that, anyway). BUT - after tomorrow, each successive sunrise will be a little earlier, and each successive sunset will be a little later. Thus, the days will begin to lengthen. This brings me great joy.
Although I know that Winter still lies ahead - and that it's not generally a happy time in the good ol' Pacific Northwest - I am able to take solace in knowing that the darkness will be reaching its maximum, and that the light will be returning, more and more each day. In the meantime, I will do as the fishermen did when they were unable to sail, and mend my nets - so to speak...
This morning, I noticed that a mark in the bracelet I recently made for myself resembles a rune which is quite appropriate to the bracelet, as well as the timing of the discovery. It is "Nauthiz." It essentially means need, but also encompasses restraint, innovation, and the power of will to overcome distress. I needed a new bracelet, so I made one.
As for the timing, it was a pleasant reminder, as I have drawn this rune before, in another time of restraint. This time, however, I am feeling a sense of restraint imposed by inhospitable weather. This rune instructs one to exercise patience, perhaps even to embrace the current restrictions by utilizing the opportunity to "mend your nets," or in other words, to do some shadow work.
Nauthiz is also characterized by "major self-initiated change." I find Winter a perfect time to go inward, and do some internal house cleaning. After the Autumn of discarding unneeded beliefs, I can now search the shadows of my consciousness and pull out those things I have tried to hide. When I dust them off, shed some light on them, and polish them up, I will find that the aspects of myself which I sought to hide are truly some of my greatest assets. This is the essence of shadow work, but it is a difficult and complex task.
Fortunately, the light is returning to my world, and I shall open up my whole being to it :)