This Wednesday, we will be celebrating the solstice, the furthermost pole in the sun’s dance with Gaia in our final weekly journey circle of 2022.
You might wonder why it matters to take time and mark these moments of the celestial dance between light and dark, and why our ancestors did so in cultures across the world.
The summer solstice tends not to get as much attention as the winter solstice. Times of sunshine and ease don’t orient us to the sacred in quite the same way as the wintry seasons of darkness, cold, illness, and precarity do.
The same is true with our lives; when things are flowing and going well, connecting with the spirit world simply isn’t as compelling as diving into this world.
My son, who is now 18, got mad at me yesterday for coming into his room to ask him questions while he plays video games. He wanted me to be more like the mother of a friend of his who texts her son when she needs something. “But you’re old! You’d never agree to do that!” he fumed.
And indeed, he’s right on one count: I won’t agree to text the person in the next room. Reflecting on the colony of family life, an experience that encompasses both stings and honey, I realize that my son and I are both right. And right on time.
My son is entering the season of full sun in his life, a time of power, action, and warmth. Abundance is clearly found “outside” himself in the big broad world, much the way honeybees forage out in the fields for nectar and pollen in the season of plenty. The dark honeyed inner realms of Soul and Spirit aren’t even an afterthought for my son who has yet to taste the challenges of winter. For this mercy, I am grateful.
But as an individual, and as a collective, we are tilting toward the winter. Our ancestors were visited regularly by the dark season in a way most of us have not experienced in our lives: a time when material abundance and ease were severely limited, illness and death drew near, and inner spiritual stores proved vital to sanity and survival.
Most of us, even 55-year-olds like me, haven’t tasted a real winter yet.
And so we mark these days, not quite knowing how to burrow deep into the starry silence of our souls, call the earth back from her slumber, or face the pain, the breaking, and the loss involved in tilting toward the dark hemisphere of our lives.
Nor can we, children of an artificial and unrelenting summer, fathom how profoundly we hunger for a honeyed taste of the eternal, the experience of community, or the blossoming into soulfulness wrought by the dark days of winter.
In our Solstice journey circle this week, may we receive an inkling of what our ancestors felt and knew about the power of these dark months. May we use this time well.
I hope you can join us this week.
Our free online journey circle will be held on Wednesday, December 21, from 4-6 pm PST/7-9 pm EST
Feel free to email me at anna “at” gaiashamanism “dot” com for this week’s zoom invitation. All skill levels are welcome.
Drumbeat and preparation for circle
If you’ve never journeyed with us before, or it’s been a while, check out this link to get ready: