For those of us in the northern hemisphere, December is one of the darkest months. The days are shorter. Night comes earlier. Each morning I eagerly await the dawn, the potential sliver of sunshine seeping through my window and warming my otherwise cold wintery skin. For those of us who struggle with seasonal depression, December can be difficult. The colder and shorter days cast shadows on our spirits as we yearn for the warm glow of light. Each December as we inch toward the winter solstice, I am reminded of the Goddess of the Dawn, Aurora, and of the unique ways in which a variety of wisdom traditions invoke the coming of light amidst the stark December night skies.
So, this December I welcome Aurora into the vast witness of Holy Women Icon with a folk feminist twist that I feature each month: Virginia Woolf , the Shulamite, Mary Daly, Baby Suggs, Pachamama and Gaia, Frida Kahlo, Salome, Guadalupe and Mary, Fatima, Sojourner Truth, Saraswati, Jarena Lee, Isadora Duncan, Miriam, Lilith, Georgia O’Keeffe, Guanyin, Dorothy Day, Sappho, Jephthah’s daughter, Anna Julia Cooper, the Holy Woman Icon archetype, Maya Angelou, Martha Graham, Pauli Murray, La Negrita, Tiamat/tehom, Mother Teresa, and many others.
Aurora is the Goddess of the dawn in Roman mythology; each morning she soars across the sky to announce the arrival of the sun. As the nights grow longer and longer, I can think of few other goddesses I hope for more than Aurora. In fact, many faith traditions invoke the coming of light during this month of long nights and short days.
In my own tradition, we are not yet celebrating Christmas (despite the capitalist consumer onslaught that has been on full throttle since October). Rather, we still dwell in the deep blue darkness of Advent, when we wait, long, and prepare for light to be birthed into our world. For most Christians, a candle is lit each Sunday during Advent and the light grows brighter as they anticipate the birth of Christ. Continue reading “Painting Aurora by Angela Yarber”