Solstice of Winter. The Grand Legal Lodge of Portugal.

Elapsed the Equinox of Autumn, the Earth describes an arch closer to the Sun and arrives to its closest point, the point of the Solstice of Winter. In the North Hemisphere the sun is directly overhead at noon along the Tropic of Capricorn. We are not sure how long humans recognize the winter solstice as a turning point of the year. It seems probably 4000 years before the birth of Jesus. In agriculture cultures as the Celtics, the Mesopotamians or the Egyptians, the Solstice of Winter was a time of celebration as an ancient fear that light would never return unless humans intervened in celebration existed. Christians adopt the solstice ritualism and make it the birth of Christ, exactly the day ancient people celebrated the Solstice, the 25th of December. The date symbolizes a time of reflection, of defense against the rigors of winter, of parsimony, of reuniting energies for the labour of spring. As inheritor of these traditions, Freemasonry spares its energies for the works that lay ahead of it, a new Master in the chair, a new team of officers, new plans for the future. As one may foresee what the future would bring us is not certain or taken by granted; it needs many hands to raise a building, several efforts to grow a tree and even many efforts to write a book. The construction of the inner Temple is an individual enterprise but the fulfillment of the Egregora is much more demanding. In life always exists those who succeed and those who fail. We are not alone in the Universe; we depend on each-other, giving hands and strengthening our spirits. But adversity happens, waiting for us, whatever we like it or not. Aristotle said that some people were born to lead and others to obey. Some overstatement exists in that affirmation but any human enterprise needs a leader and a team to show the way ahead. Almost two decades passed since a bunch of visionaries aim to create a regular Craft on Portugal and succeed, after difficult struggles, and a lack of support in the ranks of universal freemasonry. A couple of doors opened to their passage and few Obediences were present to recognize them as its equals but they finally succeed with perseverance and sweat. As the gallery of portraits is embellished with a new face it is important to remember the past in order that we may bet on the future.