The Winter Solstice is an auspicious time for deep contemplation of the mystery.
In the midst of constant change nature provides a few certainties. As expected, the sun will change its course (in one direction or the other depending on where you are on the planet) on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 10:44 UTC. Click here to find your local time.
In this moment between the end of the light-dimming cycle, and the beginning of light’s expansion – feel the thinning of the veil, and send into its magic a humble request to feel the love that bridges life and death, dimness and brightness. Awake a love that loves them equally, bridging without judgment what is similar and what is not. Love is the glue of the universe. Ask for a taste of its mysterious presence, and maybe you will be graced with an archetypal vision of the unique form love takes to remind you – specifically and uniquely you – of its supportive constant presence.
After the kind of election year the USA just lived through and the results we are already witnessing, contemplating mystery invites added layers of meaning, and turns me to the ever-deepening questions about who I am, and what I am here to do. Where else can we turn if not to those fundamental questions to generate wider consciousness, more commitment to life and to love, and deeper connection with our communities?
Regardless of where we stand politically or apolitically, I fear our world is preparing for difficult times – so should we. I do not like to be a Cassandra, but wherever I turn my concerns are validated. I have the privilege of being in contact with people all over the world, and there has not been ONE person in the last few months that has not invited a conversation about these changes. As many other health professionals working with groups and individual clients, I have seen anxiety and uncertainty escalate after November 8. I hope to be wrong, but it is definitely better to be wrong than sorry.
Doubt and uncertainty on this scale prompt me to look unflinchingly to where I stand, what I am willing to do, what I am ready to risk, and especially what will keep me strong, connected and positive without closing my eyes to reality. I have no idea how things will unfold, but regardless the only lasting gifts we can give to humanity are consciousness, wisdom and love. They determine the vibrations of the atoms we leave behind at death, which will be recycled into other forms of creation.
When I feel the brunt of doubt about where humanity, as a consciousness and a species, is headed I find myself turning to physics and to philosophical poetry. Because both help me put things into perspective, and remember that indeed we will never die.
One of my favorite scientists, physicist Carlo Rovelli, in his slim but precious book “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics” beautifully explains that we are indeed made of the same matter as the stars, and that we have inside a universe as mysterious and vast as the one we are surrounded by. He serenely writes:
“I believe that our species will not last long. It does not seem to be made of the stuff that has allowed the turtle, for example, to continue to exist more or less unchanged for hundreds of millions of years; hundreds of times longer, that is, than we have been in existence. We belong to a short-lived genus of species. All of our cousins (the dozen or so of Homo strands that have lived on the planet) are already extinct. What’s more, we do damage. (Yet,) there are frontiers where we are learning, and our desire for knowledge burns. Here, on the edge of what we know, in contact with the ocean of the unknown, shines the mystery and the beauty of the world. And it’s breathtaking”.
The immense grandiosity of the cosmos will continue with or without our species, moving forever forward in its search of evolution and experiments with its own nature. But the atoms that are “us” will be there for as long as this universe exists. I feel deep gratitude to be one of the surviving cousins and be allowed to behold this magic experiment at organic life.
These two poems feel just right for this seasonal change and for what we can tune into in the transition experienced by western civilization:
Let us remember within us
The ancient clay,
Holding the memory of seasons,
The passion of the wind,
The fluency of water,
The warmth of fire,
The quiver-touch of the sun
And shadowed sureness of the moon.
That we may awaken,
To live to the full
The dream of the Earth
Who chose us to emerge
And incarnate its hidden night
In mind, spirit, and light.
~ John O'Donohue ~
No meaning but what we find here.
No purpose but what we make.
That, and the beloved’s clear instructions:
Turn me into song; sing me awake.
I remember when there was no urge
to cut the land or each other into pieces,
when we knew how to think
~ Joy Harjo ~
And if you are in the mood for food for thought, here are few recommended reads:
- Susan Heinz, artist and astrologer on 2017
- Kylea Taylor, President of SoulCollage Inc on consulting her cards to find wisdom for these times.
- Charles Eisenstein, author and speaker, offers a balanced and clear-eyed reflection on the elections.
- Jim Garrison, President of Ubiquity University, on what good Trump could herald if he avoids disruptive politics.
- Clarissa Pinkola Estes on how to be in these times.
- Robert B. Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California writes an intelligent blog
- In an interesting article no longer available on the website: “America’s Shadow: The Real Secret of Donald J. Trump”, Deepak Chopra writes (quotes selected by me):
“There’s a powerful way to explain the rise of (our new president) that most commentators have missed entirely or undervalued. The standard line describes (him) as a bizarre anomaly….But in reality (he) isn’t bizarre or anomalous. He stands for something universal, something right before our eyes. It’s an aspect of the human psyche that we feel embarrassed and ashamed of, …: the shadow. ….The rise of civilization is a tribute to how well we obey our conscious mind and suppress our unconscious side. But what hides in the shadows will out.
When it does, societies that look well-ordered and rational, fair and just, cultured and refined, suddenly erupt in horrible displays of everything they are not about: violence, prejudice, chaos, and ungovernable irrationality. In fact, the tragic irony is that the worst eruptions of the shadow occur in societies that on the surface have the least to worry about. This explains why all of Europe, at the height of settled, civilized behavior, threw itself into the inferno of World War I. When the shadow breaks out, what’s wrong is right. What to do in the meantime? A few things come to mind.
1) See (this) for what it is, a confrontation with the shadow.
2) Instead of demonizing (it), acknowledge that the shadow is in everyone and always has been.
3) At the same time, realize that the shadow never wins in the end.
4) Find every opening to reinforce the value of returning to right and reason in your own life.
5) Don’t fight the shadow with the shadow….”
Cyclical change reminds us year after year that the equilibrium between light and darkness is constantly shifting. Every Solstice is a renegotiation between these two essential and inextricable forces that dominate all of creation. Use this day to renew your awareness of the perennial dance of opposites.
Whether you are in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere, if you are a SoulCollager you might want to experiment with this inquiry to celebrate the Solstice:
- Pull a card asking it to teach you about love.
- Pull a second card and ask it to teach you about resilience, determination, and inner strength.
- Pull a third card and ask it to teach you about resting and relaxing.
- Pull a fourth card and ask it to teach you something about your instincts.
Then look at your four Neters, and ask them to guide your next step in this celebration to make this Solstice memorable until the next turn of season. You can create your own specific question or just ask them to tell you what to do next to make this moment special and meaningful for your heart and soul.