The Light Persists: Musings at the Winter Solstice 2022


I have a sometimes complicated relationship with the Winter Solstice. In part as a legacy of growing up in the subarctic, I have a tendency towards a semi-annual Seasonal Depression. Being aware of that fact I have certain coping mechanisms I deploy, including trying to make sure I have links to a few key songs that have helped stir me out of my mood either by a degree of wallowing in it or by distracting me from it. Nothing was helping this year.

The last few years have been difficult for me and my family. My Partner was the victim of an assault and in a medical coma in 2019, I nearly died in 2020 from congestive heart failure, my partner had a stroke in 2021, and this year’s autumn saw a number of setbacks in particular as the place I work was sold to new owners, who do not provide insurance, and who have cut hours. I was also sick in bed for a few days a couple of week-ends ago, I am still recovering. I’ve been at a point of mental and physical and spiritual exhaustion, not even able to find solace in my writing or in conversations with friends.

A good conversation with a friend, even if it has nothing to do with what is bothering me, will often help me to recharge and reexamine things in a new light.


The metaphor we all work and wrestle with this time of year. It can be terribly difficult to kindle or rekindle within ourselves sometimes. Especially when it seem so much or our world is sinking into darkness and deplorable behavior and driving us to despair. The rises in Homophobia, Anti-Semitism, Racism, Economic Injustice, anti-Science, anti-History, Conspiracy culture, Fascism and Oligarchy over the last several years have each been onslaughts on their own and collectively building upon one another. In response to these I have often tried to remember the words of one of my Honored & Beloved Dead, Harvey Milk who reminded us “You’ve got to give them hope!” Other times I have held on to that refrain from Dylan Thomas “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

Nothing seemed to be helping me this year. It was all seeming… so. very. much.

Then I came across a story in the news. Members of the Posner family, grandchildren of Rachel Posner the Rabi’s wife who took the now famous photo of a menorah in their windowsill with the flags of Nazi Germany flying on the streets at Hanukah in 1931, had been invited to light their menorah in a windowsill in the home of the President of Germany for Hanukah 5782 (2022). Now some may find it strange that a Gentile may be so touched and so moved and so inspired by this story. It is possible that they need to work on their capacities for compassion, decency, and empathy.

I found myself crying. The sheets of ice and inertia and misery in me cracking and beginning to melt away as if at the return of Spring. A phrase rang out within my head and heart…

The Light Persists.

The. Light. Persists. Even when we cannot see it. Even when we are unable to find it within ourselves. Even when everything in our lives and the world around us seem against it. The Light Persists.

I was forcibly reminded of the liminality of Yuletide. Winter Solstice is a crossroads that we are brought to again and again, year after year. Each time we come upon it in our life’s journey we are given a profound and special gift. The gift of choosing. Choosing to lean into the light. The gift of *choosing* joy. We are given the chance to make our highest ideals and the values of our ancestors manifest. We can share in the blessings of and share our blessings with families of blood and/or choice, with our communities, with those less fortunate, with friends and strangers alike. We can embody and invoke and evoke generosity, hospitality, kindness, compassion. We can elevate stories of joy and knowledge and family. We can choose to be the persistence of light.

May each of you have a very blessed Yuletide.

Bliss and Blessed Be,
Pax / Geoffrey

People of The Library: Hekate Limnal Rites by Sorita d’Este & David Rankine

First published in 2009, This is an invaluable addition to the library of anyone engaging in a relationship or a working with this popular and often misunderstood or misinterpreted Goddess.  This reference style work reads more like an academic survey of a topic rather than an occult manual.  Being something of an off-again on-again history and research geek I don’t mind this a bit, although I must admit that I went into this book somehow expecting more of a ritual guide and presentation of lore and ritual.  It was not what I expected, but I have repeatedly returned to this book as a resource in my own relationship with The Queen of The Earth, Sky, and Sea.

As someone with a strong mytho-poetic streak I do wish they had included some translations of more of the ancient texts and hymns although the extensive bibliography gives one a wealth of resources along those lines.  The entire book and its structure, including the early chapter detailing the ancient primary sources surveyed and being cited, encourages the reader towards resources for deeper learning and understandings of this Goddess and her mysteries.  I am looking forward to getting my hands on more of their works regarding Hekate.

Coffee and Current Events

Hello Friends,

So it started, as things have lately, over on Mastodon, which I am enjoying immensely. I also bopped over to Discord for a bit, but things are relatively quiet this morning in my groups there so I left a couple of responses and bopped back out. I have spent my time waking up and sipping coffee and reading some news and information pieces of my choosing and contemplating the world.

It can be so very easy to become overwhelmed by things, I find, unless we are careful in HOW we consume the news and from where. I have more than a few ideas and theories about this but that is a rant for another day. Today is about sipping some coffee and exploring before I pull myself together to try and get some things done before work.

The first domino in today’s scrolling was a link to this article over on CrimethInc about the Boobs not Bombs initiative, a group of activists creating homemade Estrogen HRT for private distribution. This lead to some rummaging around the Internet to a few different sites and resources that I’ve bookmarked for a deep-dive into later, including this link about Mutual Aid. From here I bopped over to NPR and this article about recent changes to the gun laws in Oregon and concerns from LGBTQIA activists that the new laws vague wording and giving local Sherriff’s and Police Chief’s to determine who qualifies for fire arms permits. I also updated myself on a story I had listened to earlier today on my way home from the overnight shift, about the current and massive Covid surge in China.

From there I checked up on Reuters news service, who I find do a good job of unbiased reporting. This story about a recent vote in the U.S. House of Representatives sending a bill for an Independence Vote for Puerto Rico to Congress caught my eye, because Central Florida where I live has such a large Puerto Rican population. I then noticed this story about how Russian manufacturers have apparently been able to skirt a U.S. embargo to get high-tech computer parts from U.S. manufacturers to construct drones for their War on Ukraine. I also noticed this story about President Biden blacklisting certain Chinese micro-chip manufacturers.

News, knowledge, and information, are what we make of them. They can overwhelm us into retreat, or inspire us into thought and action. I am currently choosing thought, and some judicious sharing in the hopes of starting conversations.

What recent news stories have been catching your eye and stirring your thoughts?

Bliss and Blessed Be,
Pax / Geoffrey

Note Upon the Journey: December 12th 2022

Notes Upon The Journey
12/12/2022 Monday Day of the Sun
2:16am Hour of Jupiter
Waxing Gibbous Moon


As mentioned, I have been very sick the last few days. Mostly sleeping, only one day of seemingly endless coughing and sniffling and occasional sneezing. I can’t find the thermometer so haven’t taken my temperature but the way I find myself sweating with a little too much exertion or drinking black and herbal teas tells me I am likely running a low fever that wants to break soon.

The weather outside is cool and still, The night is mostly quiet,, the far of rustle of traffic sounding like a running river in the night.

Despite recently writing about Language as a tool of magick, and on the metaphor of language itself as a tool of being in the world and in right relationship with it, I forgot to listen to myself, to my body. Much was going on at work and much needs doing at home, I have fallen once more into the old familiar bad habit manta of “Nicotine, Caffeine, and Stress, Oh My!”

Now was it entirely not taking care of myself? No, others at work called out recently and at least one co-worker ended up in hospital; it is time to mask up again and to hunker down. I have not looked at hospitalizations and numbers in my area, but with a return to Winter I am sure the numbers are far from what they should be.

Time to engage in the centuries old rituals of turning inwards at the turning of the year. To take time for tea, and needed preparations for the coming year. To remember to listen to body and soul as well as the subtle speech of the world around me.

It is a lesson I keep having to return to.

So having read online to still my mind as I sipped my tea and refilled my waters and prepared for bed, I am hoping to sign off, but I wonder…

Does anyone else have certain life lessons that return to them again and again, and you say “Aha! Now, I have learned…” until the next time?

Bliss & Blessed Be,

Notes Upon the Journey: December 5th 2022

12/5/2022 Monday the day of the Moon
7:56pm Hour of the Moon
Waxing Gibbous Moon


I am doing much better. In retrospect I was rather optimistic that I was done processing all the stuff raised for me by the news of the Club Q shooting. I was done with the worst of it, I guess?

One of the things that helped was pulling back and into other focuses for my mind, working on a collection of essays & poems that I will be trying to get published next year, doing some real world stuff to get my finances back in order. I have also been trying to re-evaluate how I am engaging in digital citizenship and communication with others online and off. I am trying to be more open and genuine and to a degree more vulnerable in my interactions with others.

Obviously, there’s some risk involved in that, and I did end up blocking someone in one of my social media streams for only the second time ever, but I believe that sometimes by risking we can find great reward.

An example of this comes from a conversation I had with a new online friend Cooper.(@witchkingcooper on Twittter), he’s an interesting and creative guy with some very interesting projects going on around media and magick.

Cooper tweeted:
“It must be so comforting to believing in a Guiding Force to the universe that tends toward good.”

Pax responded:
“On it’s own? Oh F no! Bending the arc of the universe towards the good is work. Work in body, work in & with spirit, & work in society; in ways as great or as small as we can manage, individually & collectively, day in & day out.”

“Exactly! I’m struggling to give an answer to “why practice magic?” that isn’t “it’s possible to make the world better by changing it.””

“When one engages fully & sincerely in the practices of magic, one is forced to learn about oneself. Our best, & our worst. As we learn about ourselves, we are developing our intuition and instincts, we learn to see & interact with the world differently, more effectively. 1/?”

“It is not just about self knowledge, or self improvement; it changes how we carry ourselves, it changes how we interact with others & the world around us.
It opens our eyes to new possibilities & ideas. 2/?”

“To paraphrase a very wise author; humans need magic to be human, to be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape. The fact that it also appears to have affects on the world around us, all so often for the better, is the merest of side effects of the journey. 3/3”

December 2022 exchange on Twitter

Now I blog and write and have done so for many years, on and off. I have some confidence in my ability to string words together, although Gods know I sometimes get ridiculously wordy and convoluted… but at the same time that is how my mind works and I do take a delight in the complexity and poetic possibilities of the language. I would rarely call myself eloquent or inspired, but in this one tiny conversation, I am rather proud of what I wrote.

At the same time as a result of this little conversation, I find myself realizing that some of my best work has been the result of conversations and dialogue with others. This can be tricky and dangerous in our digital world where take downs and out of context quotes and a lot of shady behavior is the new normal.

At the same time though? I am remembering that growth doesn’t come without complexity and risk and messiness. You’d think someone whose built a portion of their spiritual and life path around metaphors of the Journey and of Chrysalis would remember that.

Anyhow, look for me to be speaking up here and there a little more often, and let me know if there are any lessons you keep having to learn and re-learn in the same way I am in the comments here.

Bliss & Blessed Be,