For me, Christmas time, or Yule will always be a time of darkness and light swirling within a dance of introspection and melancholy. In the days following the Solstice and the retreat of Krampus, we go into a kind of dream state where the veil between worlds and consciousness is continually flexible and fragile. Within the flickering of the burning Yule fire, spectres dance while embers become combustive phantoms in the form of meteorites from other dimensions which carry the eternal mythos from other worlds and into this one.
As a child in the 1970's I recall watching this BBC classic and feeling all the above emotions and sensations during the Yule season - which should last until January 5th - and which affected me far more deeply than any gift or forced TV frivolity. As a young child, something about watching The Signalman told me that this was what Christmas should really be about.
The Signalman is one of the BBC's finest moments in creating a period drama, which (accidentally) served as a sort of mortar between the increasing commercialisation of Christ People and their sterile Christmas magic, and the ways of the ancestors. Inducing fears and terrors of the unknown is a part of the season which allowed our ancestors to unleash the Shadow, take personal and collective ownership of their Shadow, and from this, then process these echoes of necessary negative states in order to begin the new year ahead. Like the Signalman in this story, by entering the tunnel of horror and fears, we all have to enter the darkest labyrinth of our own consciousness. We have no choice.