image, Dugald Stewart (1753-1828)
Here’s a question to ponder, no right, no wrong. Just right now and what comes up organically when you trust yourself, and listen to your own inner voice.
What happened over the weekend? What was the theme? Who were you with? How did you show up to you, your needs? What was most meaningful?
To what, whom, how, did you arrive?
On the earth path, we consider where the tide of nature is in its seasonal energies, and where the moon and sun are in their cycles, too.
This past weekend was the dark moon–the last dark moon phase–of the winter, or season of the dark. The dark or reflective energy of life orients us to awareness that is hidden, shadowed, or that we are not conscious of, as much as it also is associated with rest, renewal, rejuvenation, restoration, nutritive descent, and disintegration of one form in order to emerge with one anew. It connects us in rich ways to process as the whole.
Dark as metaphor for winter is North on the medicine wheel, the phase of death and dying, the element of earth, and time spent underground. Over the weekend, with the alignment of the dark moon, it was a rich and wholesome time to embody this medicine in ways that were natural and complete, as we were simultaneously at the end of a natural cycle of nature.
The earth continues on in the completeness of this process of eternal regeneration. Yesterday, the last day of winter, I heard my first osprey! A seasonal, coastal bird of prey, Osprey has long been an organic sign for me of the earth changing seasons. As well, the week prior I found a fresh and tender patch of chickweed in the muck of swamp tidelands. Such sweet green, this little weed is a spring cleanse–I just LOVE that I happened on her in the decomp and decay of the swampy bogs!
And so it is that the tension of dark catalyzes new growth. The Vernal or Spring Equinox, today in the northern hemisphere, occurs when the center of the sun and the center of the earth pass.
This is a transition time, when we are literally in-between! Because of these orbits, we experience equal amounts of day and night on an equinox, or of light and dark. So we are in between equal dark and equal light right now as I write this at twilight. Literally the center line of the yin/yang.
Holding both. The light and the dark.
This is a powerful space right now to deepen this metaphor. No judgement, no shame: what do you consider is your light side, what do you consider your dark? How do the two overlap, how are you at allowing one side to inform the other? How are you at holding your own balance, relating to each? The yin inside the yang, the yang inside the yin.
Spring medicine turns us eastward on the medicine wheel. It is the element of air, and aligned with the seed breaking out of its casing to send roots downward, and to send first green shoots upward, again the medicine of both, and…! Instead of one or the other. It is time for birth on a continuum, specifically as birth is connected to the death of one form during winter and how that motivates growth and motion now.
From today onward, sunlight gains in minutes every day until we peak at the longest day on the summer solstice. We enter the season of light when energy is activating, in motion, and most apparent above the ground.
We gradually move into the time of year for engaging growth and change outwardly in your day to day!
I say gradually so that again, we do not miss the potency of in-between, of holding both, which is what the Equinox is all about!
Be well, friends! Be true to you. Begin within, then go on, get out there! Have fun.
Don’t let them tame you~
In Oregon the Breitenbush river is a color of steel-teal that exists no other place on the earth and this must be partly because of the non-negotiable trees. It is easy to be grounded and feel at one in your place in a place like this. It is easy to revere the miracle of dirt: seasons of evergreen, of winter’s death and dying on into spring’s plenty and rebirth. Steps in the same dance. Willamette!! Land of gushing fat waters and springs, land of special color of trees. You taught me long ago the way of tree breath. Fog drip drop drinking, drinking in-out rhythm of water-air. How it feels when the trees give gifts of this. Subtle pine touch. The gentle sweetness of pine breath on skin.
The new moon was Monday. I was coming down from the Mountain which makes me laugh to write it but no for real, North of the Bay California on up to the Olympics, for me it’s one long extended two decades now of retreating then coming down off various mountains. Learning to speak bioregion. Unlocking the practical wisdom of the earth’s cyclic codes. So yea retreating and returning at once, had to catch me a plane back to the east coast.
The dark moon phase, that VOID CHAOS SPACE of deepest dark, was this past weekend.
So this past weekend, as the daylight grew shorter and shorter towards the peak of our year’s longest night tonight!!–the moon fell to her darkest phase, hidden from the totality of the sunlight. Sunday we experienced not the longest night of the year, but the darkest.
I was sitting with poetry in the Hot Springs on retreat with my brother Paul and Sita his dear love. They are Creative Advisory members of the Free School and they held space for me at their home in mountainside to dip in to that depth of deep sweet, yummy darkness, inky blackslide into mountainside stone, inky slide into infinite space oh those healing waters of surrounding mountain chains. Deep in, to do my own cleanse before winter~tonight~begins.
The dark, winter, death, the depths, dying. The dark, yin, passive, rest, renewal. The dark, anima. Realm of the Feminine. What some Catholics or mystics call Sophia. Gateway to the Soul.
Dark moon of the month on the dark moon tide of the year. And into tonight, the longest night. The entryway to Winter. We move now North on the medicine wheel. At sunset tonight we tend this passing, and it is movement that will show itself if you get outside, or take time to soften and relax inside of you, too. Transitory, transition. IN Between Space.
I just adore that winter is North on the wheel because that is associated with forward direction. And Winter’s element is Earth, and mama Earth at this time teaches us about dormancy. So the true direction, our next right step together? North? The needed ingredient for rebirth.
Let rest be our forward, healing direction.
Sacred Rest. Sacred Rest and internal, deep reordering, metabolic stillness the thick softness of slumber to help us reset.
Winter Solstice is a time connected to the Divine Mother. It is when we revere our matrilineal lines, and all our ancestresses. The holy power of birth as Solstice is too the celebration of the Return of the Sun and darkness decreasing! How only from the dark the light comes. How this darkness initiation gives way to life, how this wisdom teaches of life’s changes, we celebrate the many small deaths, the space this creates, the room for new growth, ever onward in a long cyclic dance. How the wisdom of the feminine is the wisdom of this fluidity, is the wisdom of the necessity of every aspect in the continuum.
Demetra George reminds of the many names of the dark aspect associated with the feminine, and it’s a meaningful meditation for the year. The world around, stories and cultural, sacred, and religious traditions root us to an archetypal realm full of depth for our exploration. The dark feminine “is called Kali in India, Hekate and Persephone in Greece, Lilith in the Near East, Fresh-kigal in Sumeria, Morgana in Britian, and Hel in Scandinavia. Moira, the Fates, the Fureis, Medusa, Medea, Crice, Nemesis, Nyx, the Gorgons, the Sirens, the Black Madonna, Cerrwiden, Nepyths, Black Isis, Oya, Coatlicue, Mother Holle, Baba Yuga, the Black Dakini, the Terrible Mother, the Bad Fairy and the Wicked Witch are some of her other names(p 29).”
Knowing my own dark feminine has meant courage. Courage at night when I can’t sleep, in morning meditation time during struggles and prayers to keep my heart in the game anyhow, courage keeping my tongue in relationships that are hard. Courage to challenge the self-thoughts of judgement and shame, the particular scrutiny of perfection addiction, that specific internalization of misogyny that only women can know.
My dark feminine knows what it’s like to live in a culture that says her stories are dark. Are the dark reflection of society. Are demon and dark, satanic or occult. Are not allowed to connect me to my unique narrative and exploration, sexuality and emotions, sensuality and biology. Are used against me to keep me out of my own body, to marginalize being in my own skin.
The Dark Feminine Narrative and Stories, if we reembody them, or encourage each other to tap in and rewrite them as our own, we know what it’s like to live in a culture that calls this sin.
Embracing this kinda darkness requires the grit that only living with this kind of darkness could create! We were made for these times. Sing it from the hills.
So I left the Mountain. Left too the Oregon Coast where I was celebrating the wise women. These spiritual, soulful elders that have shown me how to walk my walk a day at a time laughing and reveling, courageously cackling, all the way. These elder wise women. Time on the Mountain only counts when you embody it day to day. But to do that the body needs time. This Time on the Medicine Wheel leads us in to dropping in and relaxing. Celebrate. Drop in and transition. Drop in to bed! Let the reset happen. Man or woman, how does the feminine as sacred exist in your life?
I send my roots down to the Earth as the circle of the year turns us North and Winter here is barren and life lives underground. I root to my roots, send thanks and honor, prayers and love to the lineage of strong females whose lives and hands and hearts midwifed lives and hands and hearts that midwifed lives and hands and hearts all the way down to mine in a million different ways, that I do the same that I do the same that I do the same,
my dark feminine soaks in this infinite wish, and sends love~
To all beings blessings and love, in the light spiritedness and whole soulfulness, in the body, in the heart, of unconditional love may all beings be blessed and
Happy Winter to All.
~ ~ ~
prayers and love to beth and paul h and ana and amy and kristina and jotto all of whom hit me up in the center of this reverie with poetry, prayers and love and prayers and love reader, to you~
Nothing teaches you the patience life requires better than life itself. A basic axiom that even kicking and fighting each of us are tasked to learn: Letting go. That is the medicine I am finding myself practicing this week, as we enter the stillness of the lunar reset, the void chaos-rest space of the balsamic moon. I don’t know about you guys but my energy is sure on that wane. Being reminded of the power and the struggle: accepting that over other people, and over the variety of possible manifestations of the future in the right now, I have no control.
Ohhh life!! And how I’ve learned and relearned! That in letting go, space is always created. And spaciousness allows softness, tenderness, the capacity to move, to relax, to receive. To grow…
This is the medicine of right now on the year’s wane. This week’s new moon is the gnostic entry into the Underworld, the third and final harvest rite. The women’s wisdom or celtic earth path calls this Lunar Samhain and the women in my women’s circle seemed all to resonate to the same theme: Finally, We Enter Darkness. Sacred Invitation to Rest.
First, however, the pitch and UnRest! Of Lunar Samhain.
Traditional Samhain, known also as the more mundane Halloween, is about the relationship between peak fruition of fertility into the lean of life force completing its whole potentiality by decreasing and dying. We hate death and dying, ward off the dark by dressing up as the creatures and monsters we fear at Halloween. But what of the wisdom? What of the medicine of the dark? Letting go and surrendering is a process of absorbing and reflecting all at once, holding all the growth and reintegrating all of the different aspects this year of “Us”. Accepting, no judgment, no shame. All of the experiences that lived through you and who and how you’ve been shaped. This is now a distilling process, clarification by review of all this, and release…
And that can feel tense, flat. Still. Exhausting. Remember, it is the dark moon motion to hold us in a entropy feel. The moon cycle that will come after will increase the length of nighttime darkness more and more until winter is ushered in. For me, with a small gentle sigh and lean, it has felt like the active alchemy of opening my heart even though I don’t want to because it’s getting dark!! but trust is an action word, so allowing what I am carrying this year, all that I have fed and tended and grown, to fulfill its course with or without my control.
Patience, acceptance, letting go. Lunar Samhain: trusting the process of dark, of what we can not see. Of the passive power of energy wane, of decrease… and renewal.
Harvest season exists the world around and is one of the most ancient of all rites. Every person every place has a place that raised her and as long as there’s been life on MaMa Earth, this holds true. Her seasons move in increase and decrease, and so at Samhain we allow this letting go. It is time too of the religious holidays of All Saints and All Souls Days and Sukkoth, as well as the reverence for ancestors and death as a divine power of life during Los Dias De Los Muertes, and is also connected to a variety of both ancient goddess venerations and modern agricultural festivals. The weather changes, it is reflected in the length and depth of dark shadows, the steady motion of wind whisper in the tops of trees, the burnish bronze of late season light in the leaves and colors. We go on hayrides, drink hot cider, pick pumpkins and other seasonal gourds.
I like the earth path because our custom as American’s is the Harvest tradition of Thanksgiving, but gently tending blessings and harvests now, and letting go and space-making through out the Fall usually helps me walk into the holidays mindfully and with minimal chaos. This week especially we mind mind, note tensions and what is living, what is lost. What makes us feel uncomfortable if we have to hold still! We note life’s living/letting go wisdom, the transient power of bittersweet joy/pain over getting to experience without always being able to control. When we consider the station of Fall and the West on the medicine wheel, we think of sunset, of that precious moment of last light on the horizon. We recall that ultimately, all things pass.
And the new day will come again.
And so it is often my practice at Samhain tide to revere, among my blessings of the year and what must be let go, my ancestors. When I remember those that are no longer here, I see the ways in which I am a living growing example of their seeds. What a miracle this is, how I get to be tilling the ground for my own life’s accumulations and legacies tomorrow, and how none of that could’ve happened without my own ancestral and community webs.
From what and where do we seek our values, and how? How do we practice this, and how do our energies align? What is our legacy, what will we leave? How do we repay the gifts our elders have bestowed upon us, and how do we practice accountability and responsibility to any ruptures, injuries, or wounds? To whom are we connected, and how? Am I accountable?
How are my relations? There is not a more powerful time in our history, as far as the four short decades I have been here that is, to ask questions like these.
The power of consciousness: choosing to witness and be mindful in your own life. To say thanks, to tend your tides of growth and release, of the season’s fruits being turned back to the earth. Marking with reverence the accompanying cycles of letting go, rest, renewal, death, rebirth. Knowing that all we can do is be true to our own self right now, and take whatever small actions we can just for today, allowing the heart to soften into the knowing of right now is plenty, is enough, embodying such wisdom… These, the lessons of reflection put into practice as the natural season ushers in the Underworld this week with Lunar Samhain. How that can burn, to open the heart in such a posture of releasing and allowing, how it can feel so counter to life’s frenzy, to pause right now. Be still. Be still with the wane. The release. Acknowledge the power of the season of the dark.
What a year, no? Our first moon cycle in 2017 inaugurated a man as the leader of our metaphoric house who bragged about the exploitation and objectification of the female body. Our values supported this.
The normalization of exploitation in this house is unacceptable.
The female body. The female body. The female body.
How is your house? How are you tending your one true sacred space?
At home–here on earth, our first and most taken for granted body–what’s it been like for you? What level of your own shame stories, meaning your internal narratives about your worth, about being or not being good enough, about your rights, have you become more aware of this year?
How mindful of the stress you are carrying, its physicality, are you? The stories that your body is carrying about you and your experience?
How well have you been at declaring your own right to your own path of unique heart, spirit, soul?
From an earth-based perspective, the growing season of the year relies as much on what has decomposed being turned under, transforming to nutrients, as it does on the potentiality of wild starry fruits blossoming from a single seed. It is an endless continuum of stages and cycles, from dying and dark to birthing, blooming, fruiting, and harvesting, too.
When the moon is dark she is between the earth and the sun, and her other half sends the light of the sun back at itself. We here on earth fall still in her darkness, a holding, receptive gravity.
The moon holds all, receptive and active.
When she is active or full she is at the height of light, actually reflecting the light of the sun back on us here on earth.
Between these two polarities are the fluidity of transitions of dark and light. Metaphoric, yes. And also cyclic and specific. Both applications, and all their subtleties, are necessary. Again, the feminine holds all.
From a menstrual perspective, we track our personal moons. Chances are our personal moon doesn’t follow the actual moon. So we use the moon’s phases as a metaphor to understand both the biology and psychology of the feminine psyche.
The new moon as metaphor is day one, or when we first bleed. When we first bleed, we are dying and birthing at once, as now we re-engage the solar or ovulatory, fertile aspect of our selves. As the days of our cycle accumulate, we track where we are. We learn to re-embody the fluidity of the inter-lobal functioning of the female body, for again, the feminine holds all. For example, at stage four, the Gibbous moon, which can be anywhere from about day 7 through day 17 depending on your unique, beautiful and powerful body, we undergo an abrupt rise in the neuropeptides FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone). There is a rise in estrogen level and left hemisphere brain activity and simultaneous testosterone and right hemisphere activity and increase in libido. Read Dr. Christiane Northrup’s Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom to learn more!
Our discharge is known at this time as E-type mucus, which is when small tubules are present in our discharge that hold sperm! This is us in our fertile, almost full cycle. At stage 5, our metaphoric full moon, G-type mucus immediately follows the release of our ovum, and this sort of mucus actually keeps us from getting pregnant. Like the moon at her peak active phase when she’s full, our bodies too lean from our full momentum back into ourselves. And so at peak fertility we start again towards the reflective, recycling, dark and dying phases.
The growing season on earth follows these 8 stages, too!
Lammas, again using the metaphor of the phases of the moon, can be understood as stage 6, the Disseminating Moon. Like for the year! Disseminating moon, according to Demetra George’s Mysteries of the Dark Moon is the “first stirring of dark,” when the seed has become what it was meant and the “life impulse must fulfill, distribute energy and disseminate and share the value of the meaning.” From a menstrual perspective, it is “the luteal phase” when “we turn more inward, preparing to develop or give birth from something deep within ourselves.” (Northrup, 2010)
Disseminating moon is the fruiting phase, or harvest. Whether an ovum has been fertilized, or it was the fertility of a new idea that peaked, maybe a transformed inner narrative, or however it was that you lived out this growing cycle psychologically, biologically, spiritually and creatively, the disseminating moon phase from a menstrual perspective is the fruiting time, our first harvest. After peak fertility phase.
And so it is we celebrate Lammas, the First Harvest of the earth’s natural growing year. People who tend these concepts, embodying them and staying close to nature, outside with feet grounded upon her and skin and blood and biology and body in one rhythmic inhalation exhalation of all that is, recognize this as connected to a variety of different anthropological rites. Traditions the world over acknowledge with celebration the bounty of fruit on the vine at summer’s height.
From a lunar perspective, which for me is the feminine-embodied perspective, we celebrate Lunar Lammas when the moon is in the sun sign of Leo and full.
So, ya with me? We learn to track the phases of the moon, and then to metaphorically apply these phases. They can inform the dark and light aspects of our biology, and of the seasons of the year. We too learn to hold all, to think quantum or multi-dimensionally, to hold our still point within, and All At Once at once!
Lunar Lammas is the full moon on Monday, August 7, this year. Already the sun-made shadows of heaping breathy green tree walls here are muddled, that certain angle of soupy dark I so love.
Mind what this moon cycle brings. It is your harvest. What will you reap? Mind what stories live, what experiences happen. Mind your light and your dark. Mind your experiences this month from a reflective viewpoint that holds the continuum of the year, all those spirals of moon around the far side of the earth and back to between the earth and sun, again and again.
What is illuminated under the active light of her reflecting back the height of the summer sun? For that is what happens on Lunar Lammas.
Unplug from your computer or other e-devices. Leave your phone in the car and get outside. Restore your natural circadian rhythm from all that electronic interference.
Give yourself back to yourself. Back to your body. Back to the earth. The natural perfect spheres of rhythm. Happy first harvest season friends~!!
To understand more, make some time and visit my Facebook page. We will spend this month learning more about the moon’s 8 phases.
The dark is the power of the feminine, as death is the power of life.
The dark moon, before she peaks. This is the feminine in her essence. Without the light of the sun, which is the light we see nocturnally reflected at us via La Luna, she is who she is. NO MASKS. Nothing but herself to feel, to witness, to be with, to see.
Take heart dear friends, tonight’s New Moon will move us finally into a real initiatory feeling of light and movement. Some of this tension–WHICH lS THE TENSION OF BIRTH, WHICH IS THE MEDICINE OF SPRING—birth comes not easy, now! Do not quit!! will be surpassed by the new life bubbling within.
But you must claim it. You must set out for it, you must take up, on your behalf, your own fight.
For your light. Your heart. Your soul. Your LIFE.
Trust the flow. Take quiet time right now, dark moon is the most powerful time to get still, to go within.
Be gentle with what is, with what you see or feel there.
This be my prayer~~
Happy new moon friends!
Lunar Imbolc comes early this year, overnight!
It is the New Moon in Aquarius, and is a tide you began to feel when the moon entered her last quarter or wane towards the dark moon, which happened Tuesday.
This is the first seed or sap rising moon, when the subtle momentum of life force starts to stir you awake with true vision for your year!
I’ll say that again–now that the holidays whir is behind us, this is the moon tide that brings VISION for the year to come!!!
For fun, if you journal or record anywhere, look back in August at the full moon–these are cross quarters so these two moons have a relationship continuum.
Prepare, though. This moon cycle will feel a little slow, so rest A Lot! It is mercury retrograde, too. Starts this week.
Making it best to lean in to winter, use her to your advantage! Slow down and just use the cosmic line-up to witness. Witness within, witness your thoughts, beliefs, stories that need transforming. This is the tide! Merc Retros are soul reviews, and with the early Imbolc tide this year, this retro gives us a great chance to clean up whatever still needs attention from basically Halloween onward~
Happy Lunar Imbolc. Stay WILD.
In every place I’ve ever lived I’ve made habit of going out walking. The funniest walk habit that just pops to mind is in Easton and wild crafting out of people’s manicured or otherwise front lawns. I got sick I guess from chemicals once. Here in Laguna Canyon if I go out walking that can mean all through out the nooks and crannies of Hobbit Lane or it can mean an artfest or it can mean an entire little village next to the sea or it can mean to the sea, and even up to the heart of town where my laundry gets done and coffee is roasted. All this on foot.
It also can mean in to the canyon and its million different wild paths…which is where the instinct led me today. First, all thanks under this sacred tide for the fact that the life I wanted to lead, led by my own tides, has come to be. Last year’s intention of commitment and Nature and Hearth and Poet-heart gnosis magic.
I was so into my street bc really, crevices of fairy ribbons and green. All over the place. Like I got home and later before I sat to write this but after the hike about which I write, a little black cat even w the lime green eyes came and stared in my screen. I have seen her once before and that was when she crossed my path last night 🙂
But what I came here to write about is the Imbolc Tide and how that found me, or led me? to the canyon today. Meaning to me that since the moon got into her last quarter wane you can feel the Imbolc archetype in it–in the wild outside. Sap Rise. Nature of things.
It said, like almost with words if words were capable of feeling in your body, which I guess yea they are–how some words like names or places give you a feeling. The words like fresh air on my skin were the canyon, how would it be to be in the canyon today? And also at once I could see-feel the brown and rain-green against the vibrating blue.
So out I went through Hobbitt Lane and then next was wild crafting in the canyon, mostly just checking in with the tender primacy of the new shoots, gathering their smells and basic habitats–growing companions etcetera. And so off I went on one unmarked path, one of the first you hit on the trail at the bottom of my street, and before I knew it i was led to the clearing green, where I have been before bc here it looks out on the sea. But this time there was a labrythn there! And much as it could’ve been there when last I was here, I certainly didn’t see.
And I threw off my bag and ran to the labyrinth and gave out my intention sure as it’s been for this year all along. And round I walked and it was so immediate, how essential, and real. How I knew I was embodying the Imbolc tide, bc this is the Way w Earth Wisdom. To let her imbibe, to not just meditative tend but to be out and fee her. I don’t know who put this sacred spiral off the beaten path. But all thanks bc that was amazing.
I reached the center and constructed my own little offering. I knew with clarity what it said by the center, and what I had melted with in response by the time I reached the end. This is good medicine, a good posturing on the year: highest harmony and love. I talked for a long time then to a dear wise sister friend. Only very few would be allowed into Nature magic like that. It made me remember Spence, the surfer I met on the beach at sunset last year closer to traditional Imbolc. I took him hiking in to the canyon at dusk and showed him to open his sight and we were super dropped in and came eye to eye with coyote in the twilight.
And so, this is lunar Imbolc tide, from tonight until the New Moon of Monday night in to Tuesday. She will move you if merely say yes to the most minor wild whisperings in your soul. Traditional Imbolc is Feb 1, this is Christian’s Brigid’s Day or the Feast of this Goddess/Saint. Goddess of first light, instinct, vision of pre-dawn insight, first seed. Poeticly charged and inspired. My patroness. This magic will therefor last until the full moon of Feb 3.
SO RAD to be out there and let the harmony of earth-wild tide move me. I tended my inner tides in the labyrinth and saw very clearly some of the precious gold seeds ready to grow with the season of the sun. I made offerings about the land and took some newest shoots of black sage. It’s exciting, I have a graduation coming up and then…so much room for fun 🙂
All love, happy tides! Begin within, then go on and get out there!
Today’s New Moon, around 5:30pm in California, marks the end/start of a new cycle. In addition, this evening the sun reaches its furthest point from the earth’s Northern hemisphere, granting the shortest amount of daylight, the longest amount of darkness, and our entry in to winter. We know this as the Winter Solstice.
On the mystery path, we recognize Nature and inner nature as intrinsically connected. Inner nature I refer to here as soul. Outside, excess harvest has gone to rot, the rot turned under will cook and turn to nutrients and rich soil. Life energy wanes, appears still, happens mostly underground.
When the moon is dark, as in the past two days, deep tending of personal darkness happens naturally, rhythmically…Of course as we are human we resist this though! Which lends even more to that holiday feeling of restlessness and exhaust. Seek surrender, embodiment of emotions, of our up down waxes and wanes, soften unto you. With the apex of Night this evening, understand that we have walked hand in hand with our shadows, burrowed deep in the mire of our individual and collective unconscious, all week.
Last night was, literally, the Dark Night of the Soul.
Harried bones and souls seek solace right now, a soul-tired significant of the Sun’s long journey to the furthest axis of sky. Depending on your personal circadian cycle, maybe you do best in the dark! For some this becomes the most creative time of year. For others life energy wanes and increased rest is important. No matter what, the decrease of light has its effects.
Traditionally the Solstice was a time for the women to gather and ceremoniously mark the losses they experienced for the year. As the soul wanes, this is a traditional and normal aspect of the dark phase–acknowledgment of the areas where your inner self or soul is colored by its capacity to grow and integrate more wholly specifically because it has experienced pain. With loss comes the embodied experience of forgiveness, strength, compassion, hope. Ritual bathing, quiet honoring of the journey of this year and your own personal darkness, honoring of the power of death and dark as part of the sacred journey are all intrinsic to the Solstice. On the wisdom path we practice this dropping in and tending with every monthly aspect of the dark moon.
Take heart! Life is a continuum, a long spiral. The Winter Solstice, just as the moon in her new phase, marks the return of the light! Tonight we honor Hope, the return of life. In her darkest phase (the past two days) when life energy and light disappear, it is out of this momentum that the new spark of consciousness stirs. This most precious spark must be nurtured, held warm in hibernation now through the toil of the season of dark. Doing so is how the momentum for life will grow strong. Rest, tend quiet in an active way. The beingness of doing nothing, of activeness of waiting, yearning, and tending. The active embodiment of Hope.
My own embodiment of this path brought me in relation to a personal and ancestral archetype this year. Tending her has been difficult, painful, and deeply wholesome. She has helped me nurture Eros by bringing me to face my most fundamental wounds. This has helped me, most importantly, to understand that I judge and resist my own injured parts, and it is the judging and resistance that makes me most human. As always, wisdom begins here, with deep love, and gentle, unconditional acceptance for these hard, rigid judgy parts inside my own mind and heart. Unconditional love and acceptance for my own broken humanness. Right relations begin within.
To be in a harmonious way with these most shadowed, or disembodied parts of me that I seek to hate or judge, I made the top shelf of my alter an homage to my Ancestresses this week. These women, my grandmother on the side of my most familial wound specifically, became the living spirit of the dark goddess. Grammy is gone from this life, and in death I can recognize in an embodied way the wisdom of loss and how we grow and learn in perspective to this. This sort of dark tending makes the women’s work come alive for me in an incredibly sacred and day to day way.
Tending the sacred with personal sacraments like these extend into my daily life and all my relationships. This is what I mean by embodying and right relations.
Sleep now the dream of winter, hibernate as souls stir underground, in the void, and grow strong in their own essence by being held amid the winter still. Sleep, sleep, sleep. Love, accept, gentleness.
Rest well, honoring the rhythms of birth and growth and life and death and rest, until rebirth. Happy Solstice! Happy Sacred Return.
Valkyrie, at my alter. Norse Death Goddess; image by Susan Seddon Boulet
The wind blows here in Pennsylvania with a giant sweep like the angels have a push-broom going shhooshhh shoooshhhh shooooshhh because they’ve come to scrub slates clean. Another growth season passes, our internal clocks right now take pause, especially with this unique alignment of New Moon. Now more than ever your Psyche says gimmee Quiet, take A Moment! Give thanks for what you can see.
Right now you have light-touched eyes.
Take A Moment. Make it Holy. This is your choice, how to be Wise.
We enter now together the season of dark, when what has grown decreases and dies on the vine in order to become food that feeds next years seeds. What do we honor, cherish? What needs to be turned under and let go of? Learning to honor the natural cycles of birth, living and dying are the true lessons of the soul. this is how to understand rebirth, which every human experiences as we grow.
With the season of dark upon us with a New Moon(the restart/rebirth of every month!) too, here is an important question: From down, deep deep inside, from your own unique, regenerative essence within: What do I wish to grow?
In this quiet space, what are your wildest dreams? Or, perhaps more humbly, what subtle inward shifts do you need? This is the time to be still, take the time to see, to be honest with Self, meet those intentions deep within, and align your heart so they may grow.
From gratitude for this years bounty comes tomorrow, and especially next year’s, seeds.
We enter now the time of Sacred Rest. This is what our souls anciently know.
Honor this knowing today, tonight, tomorrow: Be Still: The Balance is Held. From here we see behind us and ahead with equal wisdom and grace…Bless this time and our eyes that can see. If we choose. Fill the space in between with Hope and great Thanks.
As within, so without.
A good day to look back over your month and consider the growing cycle, as well as mindfully tend what’s been active in Psyche all weekend long…