Death and Winter Solstice

Happy Winter Solstice. It’s the shortest day of the year and the longest night, and I am sitting here in the dark with pieces of my spiritual house strewn about in no particular order.

The election reopened wounds dealt by my evangelical roots that were well on their way to healing. And it opened my eyes to this: evangelical Christianity will never honor my humanity, not fully. It will never acknowledge that I, a woman, am also made in the image of God. Despite small, secret hopes I’ve been harboring, I will never return to the spiritual home of my childhood.

So I am walking away for good.

One morning, early in November, I drew The Tower – a card about the complete breakdown of familiar structure. It is a violent shaking-up of the status quo, a sudden interruption in the way you’d really prefer your reality to look like.

And since then, more than any other time I’ve been reading tarot, I’ve been drawing Death. In theory, it’s my favorite card – one about letting go of what isn’t working anymore so better things can come along.

In practice, it’s hard. I want to hold onto what’s spiritually familiar. (Who doesn’t?) I have been frantically trying to rebuild the Tower that’s crumbling around me.

But instead, on this longest night of a dark, dark year, I’ll stop picking up the pieces and just sit in the ruins for a while.

What is my religion? I’m not sure.

What do I believe about scripture? I don’t know.

How do I practice my spirituality? We’ll find out as we go along, won’t we?

Sometimes, when you’re sitting in the middle of a Death process, it looks like you have nothing because you let it all go.

But here’s what you do have – space, to move and stretch and grow and gather. Space to be. Space to take stock of what you’ve been carrying and feel what it’s like to put it down. And space to walk away, if you need to.

I’m giving myself that space. Maybe you need it, too.

Eventually, I’ll take stock of what I lost and decide what to pick up again. Eventually, I’ll rebuild that spiritual house.

But for tonight – for a while – I think I’ll just sit with the pieces.

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