The energy of the winter solstice is infused not by the sun, but by its absence. To understand what the winter solstice energy means for your relationship, look to the story of the sun goddess Amaterasu, of the indigenous Shinto religion in Japan. According to the Ancient History Encyclopedia, in one of the myths involving Amaterasu, she is visited by her brother Susanoo, god of the storm. Susanoo had previously offended Amaterasu with his destructive tendencies, but when he comes back, he promises that he will prove that he's learned his manners by undergoing a ritual test. He asks Amaterasu for some of her jewels, and when she gives them to him, he cracks them open to reveal five gods inside. Just before Amaterasu began to believe in his good will, he got so excited by his magical feat that he went on a rampage that destroyed everything in the world.
Amaterasu shut herself up in her cave in grief. With the sun gone, the Earth became blanketed in brutal, cold dark. No matter how the other gods pleaded, Amaterasu refused to return. Winter remained until a Shaman goddess named Uzume began to do a strip tease on top of a washtub, and all of the gods began to cheer her on bawdily. Amaterasu didn't understand how people could celebrate without her light and called out to her friends to ask what was going on. They responded that they had found a better goddess than her.
When she opened the door to her cave just a crack, Amaterasu became stunned by a mirror that the other gods and goddesses had placed before her door. She became caught within her own reflection, dazzled by her own splendor. The gods and goddesses tied the door to her cave open so she would never disappear from the Earth.
This winter solstice, your relationship will be influenced by the lessons from Amaterasu.
1. You Will Learn The Importance Of Time And Place
The winter solstice is the time of year when the sun makes itself the most scarce in the sky. It's absence allows for the cycle of life, death, and new life to continue on the planet. The energy of the solstice encourages you to reflect this energy into your relationship.
It will be important for you and your partner to spend some time apart this holiday season. Instead of combining Christmases, consider spending separate time with your own families. There's a time and place for both of you to be together, and a time and place to spend time apart. Neither is permanent. Finding a balance between togetherness and separateness will nourish you.
2. Balance And Grace Are More Nourishing Than Willy-Nilly Destruction
As Susanoo's temper tantrum proves, a gift isn't really a gift if destruction follows in its path. Judge the quality of your relationship, not by the material items you bestow upon one another this Christmas season, but the way in which you treat one another every day. Approach your interactions with your loved ones with a sense of grace. Don't think they owe you anything, either, just because you have gifts.
Amaterasu asks you to look for the places in your relationship where you are acting like you are out of control or being inappropriate. Do you sometimes keep fighting even when it would be better to let the argument go? Do you lash out in anger at your partner after a tough day at work? Treat your love life with a greater sense of ceremony and treasure the time you have together. You'll feel your love life flood with a greater sense of grace.
3. Make Space For Celebration
Amaterasu only comes out of her cave because the other gods and goddesses are having a party without her. If you're single or going through a breakup, this is the time to dance your cares away. Indulge in good food. Spend time with the friends who make you laugh. Before long, you'll find that the sun comes peaking out of its cave again.
If you are in a relationship right now, then the story of Amaterasu encourages you to really enjoy your times with your partner right now. If you've been more focused on your career than your relationship, take a long weekend with your partner and spend it in bed. Celebrate your love however it deserves to be celebrated. And know what is really of value in your relationship. Your connection is the jewel, not the gifts you have under the tree.
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