The Grove

You know the type, or think you do.

Hot-headed young thing… thinks he knows it all… is pretty sure he’s seen everything… speeds around in a flashy car pumping out

tunes. What could someone like that possibly have to offer?

Quite a lot, actually.

With chill fingers Winter spreads its shroud over all. The start of the season sees the days shrink, growing increasingly shorter & at

last culminating in a point here the shortest day meets the longest night at around the 21st of December. Winter Solstice marks a turning point, both seasonally & otherwise. Soon after the days begin to lengthen again. Yule brings about the rebirth of the Sun & awakening of its divine children.

You might be more inclined to think of jolly fat men in red suits or babies that got kicked out of the Bethlehem Hilton & forced to shack up in a manger somewhere at this time. Its pagan counterpart might tend to get overshadowed by the mainstream Christian holiday these days, but in its own way Christmas also acknowledges the birth of the ‘sun’ & in this way celebrates the rebirth of the Divine Male in all his forms.

Consider golden-haired Apollo. The son of Zeus & Leto, & twin brother of the virgin huntress Artemis for that matter, takes the hot-headed thing quite literally. After all, he is the quintessential solar deity. There’s more to him than just his role as god of the sun,

though. He’s an all-around bright guy, in every sense. He governs the realms of prophecy, foresight, archery, healing ( & ironically, the plague ), music, & poetry.

Aside from driving his sun-chariot across the heavens each day, Apollo is best known for establishing the oracle at Delphi. Forget anything you might’ve read about, say, Mel & Oksana. The lives of the Olympians easily put such tabloid fodder to shame Zeus has always had an eye for the ladies. This time he managed to get his plaything of the moment pregnant. Perhaps understandably wifey didn’t take the news too well. One version of myth has Hera once sending a creature known as the Python, serpent-like & carrying with it stench & the spread of mischief, to harass Apollo’s mum. She couldn’t find a safe haven to give birth anywhere thanks to this. Soon after his birth, Apollo took revenge & killed the beastie. Afterwards he buried its corpse under Mount Parnassus & on its surface built his temple.

Not only was it the home to oracles, Delphi was also known as the centre of the world. Zeus proved it when he released two large eagles from opposite ends of the earth, & where they met in the middle was Delphi. Dionysus, the god of wine, had perhaps grown a bit comfortable there. Apollo allowed him to stay for three months of the year whilst he was off visiting the Hyperboreans up north of Thrace. Dionysus represents the allure of madness & the wild freedom of ecstasy, where Apollo stands for orderly structure & a rational mind. Consider how they share this sacred site. Apollo’s gift to us is balance. He reminds us that too much of one or the other ultimately won’t work. Both are valid in the right amount & the proper season.

At this time of year the coldest part of the season is yet to come. However, don’t forget that this is a time of rejoicing. Remember

Apollo’s promise. He will return, no matter how dark the days might seem to get, bringing with him new light & warmth to renew us. His ultimate lesson is one of faith. Have faith that the seasons… literal, emotional, or otherwise… will inevitably turn.  He is the

light of all light. Let him guide you. Do you have any habits or issues that are holding you back? Now is the time to let them go. Be

reborn with the sun & step free of winter.