January 2nd, 2008

nieuwjaar

For the Birth of a New Year

I love the atmosphere leading up to the New Year. But when it has arrived I never fail to experience it as dreary. Still there is this brand new year stretching out before me. The following prayer came into my mailbox this morning. 

Prayer: For the Birth of a New Year

God of winter morning,
Of new day born from the waters of night;
A feeble cry from Mother Earth's horizon,
A murmured moan from lingering stars;
Infant soft, blue-veined is your child, Dawn.
Into the waiting arms of Your people
You gift this newness to us...

O God, help us to look with awe-laden eyes,
Let us hear with soft-edged hearts the first cries
of the New Year, of a new day,
that we may come running as if life,
fragile and tear-stained,
awaits us.

O Creator, lover of life,
What child has been born as Day this hour?
Stretched across heaven and earth,
Arms wide open
Waiting for us to return the embrace --
To count fingers and toes of light and rivers,
bird and flower,
woman, man, and child.
Straining to hear a whispered word --
A song of peace,
A hymn of promise,
A lullaby of justice.

God who was, now is, and will still be,
Show us the way of newness --
conceived by Your desire,
born of Your Love's labor,
made visible,
embraceable.

O Lord,
In this now toddling year,
we move, outstretched in hope, toward You.
Amen
      Pamela Hawkins 



To come out of my dreariness I have consulted the tarot with a part from this prayer: "Oh God, show me the way of newness". The card that I have pulled is Ace of Quills (Swords) from the Jane Austen Tarot. 

                         

There is a contrast in color in the picture. The quill and the book are white and the background grayish-black. Book and quill attract attention that way. The whiteness of the book and quill make me think of the newness of the year. Still, I think the way of newness is not to keep the pages blank. The way of newness is to inscribe the book, to write in it through living, day by day, from moment to moment, filling the pages of the year with deeds and thoughts and encounters. That makes the long stretch of the year that lies ahead bearable for me.
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death 1

Twelve Days of Christmas, Eighth Day, Snow Day

On the second of January we may realize that the hardest and longest part of winter has yet to come, despite the arrival of the winter solstice. The theme of this day in the Twelve Days of Christmas is the winter. This is not traditional. This theme is made up by Matthews, the writer of Winter Solstice, the book that I have used as a basis for these spreads.

No time to post the spread of this day, but its subject is the winter. It asks to look at the challenges of the winter as a blessing. People find it hard to interpret the cards in the spread, so it is not the best spread in the Twelve Days, although I like the idea behind it.

I’ve picked a card for this question from the spread: “What is the blessing in the challenge of the frost for me?” I felt my fear of frost physically while shuffling and picking the card. I fear slippery roads. Because of my fragile yet longish build the doctor once forbid me to go out when it was slippery. I felt very special and I was impressed. But I do go out. I have rubbers under my shoes with spikes.I have pulled Nine of Swords from the Inner Child Cards as an answer to the question. 

                     

The blessing in the challenge of the frost is that I come into contact with my dread for slippery roads, for this blazing dragon made of ice, and the need to overcome that fear.