Through a Jungian Lens

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Rituals and the Presence of Soul

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Rituals and the presence of soul

Yes, it’s the first weekend of December and our apartment is looking a lot like Christmas even though we are in China for Christmas. We have been decorating for the season in some fashion or other for as long as I can remember as a family. Lights, a tree, and an assortment of other decorations including garland, stars and coloured balls take their place in various places in our main room. As I am writing this, Christmas music is playing and the lights are dancing.

I have to confess that this Christmas season has nothing to do with a religion for me. The lights, the colours, the music, the greenery and the good cheer that animate our home at this time of year are connected with something more primal within.  If anything, this joyful celebration is a deliberate act to help the spirit navigate the darkest time of year, taking the spirit back into the light of a new year.

Winter’s solstice has been celebrated almost from the beginning of awareness within humans. The celebrations were invocations to the gods to bring back the light of the sun that seemed to disappear more and more each day. Fear of increased darkness and cold, fear of the loss of light encouraged humanity to cajole the gods, to invite the return of the sun and warmth.

I don’t find any relation between this season and the religion of Christianity. For some reason, the Christian face of the season became corrupted with commercialism. I dislike the practice of gift-giving and shopping for these gifts. I want to give the gift or relationship and the sharing of time, food and good drink – the celebration of being alive and together. I guess this makes me a pagan. Somehow, I think that this also makes me a truly spiritual person, living with my heart and soul rather than out of a creed of rules that separates the saved from the damned.



5 Responses

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  1. “Winter’s solstice has been celebrated almost from the beginning of awareness within humans.”

    How many “christians” alive on the planet are even aware of the equinox’s and solstices? Their “seasons,” unnatural as they are are marked by “Black Friday,” the “4th of July.” So far removed from the natural world of which we are all members, except when we forget because we are blinded by the needs of the material culture.

    John Ferric

    December 3, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    • Modern man has had his holy days co-opted by commercialism leaving him hungry for food for the soul.


      December 4, 2011 at 11:58 am

  2. Pagans were close to Nature and the unconscious. In choosing the civilized route except for our dreams, we have lost that natural connection.

    My feeling is that the pendulum is beginning to swing the other direction and more people are realizing that we need a living connection to the natural world. Metaphorically, it’s as though we are in the Winter Solstice of consciousness with the difference being we have the capacity and the tools to make the darkness end.

    Whenever I feel beaten by the collective, I come here to look through a Jungian lens and the lens of those who comment on your posts. It helps a lot.

    I like the picture with this post. It looks colorfully pagan and makes me smile.. ( :


    December 4, 2011 at 9:54 am

    • I do hope you are right, Jane. And thank you for the positive comment regarding this blog site and its readers who comment. 🙂


      December 4, 2011 at 11:59 am

  3. A good suggestion for me – to look at Christmas a different way. I haven’t really enjoyed Christmas for much of my adult life and am part of a family that goes all out for the holidays. Your perspective appeals to me (to see Christmas celebrations as “deliberate acts to help the spirit navigate the darkest time of the year”). I feel inspired to try this – it could be very freeing.


    December 5, 2011 at 5:01 am

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