Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Winter Solstice!

The Power of the Pause

On this high point of the wheel of the year, I feel connected to the ancients.  They built sacred sites all over the world -- stone circles and pyramids -- that frame the sunrise on this day that celebrates the return of the light.      


The winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, honors the incremental return of light as the days begin to lengthen. Solstice derives from Latin, sol (sun) and sistere (stand still).  Ancient star gazers studied the movement of heavenly bodies in relation to one another and knew that every year, on or around the 21st of December, the path of the sun (as it appears to us on Earth) stops before reversing direction.  The sun stands still.

Not only are we ending a seasonal cycle and welcoming winter, we're also ending an annual cycle and ushering in what I'm calling the Celestial New Year.  In my practice, in keeping with the rhythms of nature, the new year begins today.

Last year's winter solstice  marked the end of a 5, 125 year cycle -- the end of a world age, according to the Mayans.  AND (stay with me!) 12.21.12 also marked the end of a 26,000 year cycle called the precession of the equinoxes.  The Mayan calendar reflects these epochal cycles within cycles and makes us wonder how our ancestors tracked this knowledge over countless generations of sky watching.

What does all this mean to us?  Only five generations in the last 26,000 years have experienced the shift of world ages. We [are] the sixth!* 

Gives you pause, right?

Solstices have been ritually celebrated since time out of mind because we intuitively appreciate their potent energy. We feel the power of the pause. The choices we make when one cycle ends and another is poised to begin are charged with the momentum of the universe!

So on this sacred day let's follow the teaching of the sun.  Be still and reflect on your intentions for the coming year. Write them down, stating them clearly for all the forces at work today.  Why not infuse your dreams and desires with the sweeping momentum of the grand design unfolding around us?

  • Where in your life do you wish to change direction? 
  • What can you allow to go dormant? 
  • What's germinating deep within? 
  • What dark aspect of your life are you willing to let go? 
  • What do you want to shine more light on? Devote more energy to? 

Attune to the tides of time -- the ebb of darkness and the flow of light.  When we do this, we slip into the wisdom-ways of our ancient ancestors. We encircle an inner fire, gaze at the stars, honor the waxing and waning of the moon.

We behold one another, and our place in the whole of Creation, in a new light.

Such is the power of the pause.


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