Dance, then, wherever you may be!
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you on wherever you may be,
I will lead you all in the dance, said he.
We dance ever slower as the leaves whirl and spin,
And the sound of the Horn is the wailing of the wind,
The Earth is wrapped in stillness and we move in a trance,
But we hold on fast to our faith in the dance.
Now we light the candles and rejoice as they burn,
And dance the dance of the sun’s return.
I’ll live in you, and you live in me,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.
The moon in her phases and the tides of the sea,
The movement of the earth and the seasons that will be,
Are rhythm for the dancing and a promise through the years,
The dance goes on through joy and tears.
From 'The Lord of The Dance' - Traditional
Winter sunrise on The Isle of Iona
As I sit in my little house and watch the waters of the beck swirl and rage down through the valley, scouring out ever deeper channels in the dark, stony, peaty land, I give thanks for the fact that I am warm and dry and safe. My heart goes out to those who have recently suffered the devastation of slimy flood waters invading their homes, destroying their most loved possessions and sweeping away any sense of home and security.
Most of us are currently preparing for the Christmas and Solstice festivities. For many people, Christmas will be a time of coping with the loss of loved ones, or struggling to begin the long job of repairing flood damage, or other challenges. As I so often do, I find myself looking for the wisdom teachings hidden within this season of wild and unpredictable weather, as the days shorten and the nights grow longer.
Many of us are also tuning into the fact that soon we will have our shortest hours of daylight, ending the current solar year, before the sun begins its ascent again towards the warmer days of spring. The Winter Solstice has been a sacred threshold for human beings for millennia. Our Celtic ancestors feared the loss of their sun into the dark womb of the earth, as it sinks below the horizon on the shortest day, and had rituals and practices to ensure the return of the light to the land. Today, our spiritual practice is about promoting the growth of the inner light of our own hearts and souls. In so doing, each one of us adds to the web of light within the world, as well within our own lives.
Newgrange, the Stone Age Passage Tomb in Ireland, is testimony to man's deep desire to honour the return of the light in the darkest places. At dawn, the sun's rays enter the passageway and reach into the darkness, to pierce the deep womb of the earth.
For me, Celtic spirituality is a way of seeing, a way of perceiving the world that retains a natural kinship with the dark. The Celtic vision celebrates both light and dark as essential elements of our world, of our lives and our way of being. For many people, this time of deepening dark in the Northern hemisphere can feel like a time when there is a sense of encroaching shadow, relieved by the frenetic activity around the festival of Christmas as a consumer-driven celebration.
There is another way to navigate the darker days of winter. For those of us who find nourishment and healing in working to re-establish our natural relationship with the rhythms and tides of the seasons, there are deep gifts in connecting with the Winter Solstice and its emphasis on the rebirth of the light. Spiritual wisdom has always taught us that sometimes the real treasure can only be found in the heart of darkness.
'Celtic consciousness' offers us a way back to our souls' wisdom. We remember the truth that lies just behind the veils of illusion, if we have the eyes to see it reflected back to us by the miracles of nature and the compassionate actions of others.
The rebirth of the light that happens once the shortest day has passed, and the days begin to lengthen towards spring, can be seen as a rebirth of our own light, the soul light of our own hearts, as well as a return to lighter days in the outer world.
In the words of 'The Lord of the Dance' -
"Now we light the candles and rejoice as they burn, And dance the dance of the sun’s return. I’ll live in you, and you live in me, I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.
The moon in her phases and the tides of the sea, The movement of the earth and the seasons that will be, Are rhythm for the dancing and a promise through the years, The dance goes on through joy and tears."
May you find the dance of joy to carry you through the coming days of winter, and into the dance of spring.
with love and many blessings of the season
Three CDs - Spiritual Harp Music Offer
I I plan to release a new album in 2016. As I am coming to the end of current stock of some of my albums, I would like to offer you this special opportunity to purchase the music - as a gift of music for peace and healing for yourself or your loved ones. Please note: I cannot guarantee UK delivery for Christmas if you order after 14th December 2015.