The one thing I look forward to this time of year is the Winter Solstice. And when I think of this celebration of light, my thoughts go to the Major Arcana card the Empress. She is representative of the Great Earth Mother within, and the image of the great goddess Demeter, mother of Persephone (Proserpina), who freezes over and blankets the earth for six months of the year in desparate search of her abducted daughter for whom she mourns so deeply.
I've heard it said that the Winter Solstice is like the birth canal and the physical experience of mothering, but also the inner experience of the Great Mother: discovering that the body is something valuable and precious and that we ought to celebrate the pleasures in nature and in life.
We experience being part of nature and how we are rooted in natural life. Without Demeter the Empress and Great Mother, we cannot appreciate our physical selves. We are connected to the feeling of safety and trust in life and the wisdom of nature. There is a deep understanding that everything moves in cycles and ripens and comes to fruition at the appropriate time.