Seasonal celebrations and rituals - like full moon ceremonies, sun or fire feasts - and moving with nature reminds me of honouring.
Honouring mother nature, life,
the nature of all things.
Honouring the energies of different seasons,
what they bring and require.
When we live in reverence to mother nature, and in sync with our natural environment, we create balance and alignment in our bodies, beings and life.
Befriending our essence and entering into the divine dance with it, instead of struggling against the current, helps us to experience existence as easeful and being in flow with life itself, it allows us to sharpen our intuition and clear our channel. - Because, each of us are a microcosm within the macrocosm of the natural world we are living in, one is a reflection of the other. What is happening within nature, is happening within us, too. And the more we can surrender to this fact and pay attention to what is happening around us at different times, the more we get to understand our own patterns and energy at the time and moreover, our needs and abilities, which ebb, flow and change with the seasons, too.
If we are tuning into nature's rhythms, as opposed to simply going by date based on the Gregorian calendar, then the seasons - four seasons as we commonly know them in Western culture - start with the sun festivals that represent the peak, low and midpoints of the movement of the sun.
These are ideal times to pause, reflect and evaluate, not just for spiritual evaluation, but also for practical purposes, e.g. tending your land or garden (and your own inner garden) which requires supporting new blossoming and regrowth in its natural cycle, as well as the shedding process through harvesting, pruning, cutting back dead growth.
The seasonal cycles embody in essence the dynamically shifting balance between darkness and light, polarity. Two sides of the same coin, darkness is needed for incubation, germination, rest and recuperation, so that light may facilitate growth and maturation.
Summer Solstice Energetics
Here in the southern hemisphere, it is summer solstice time, and winter solstice is gracing the northern half of our planet.
The solstice is the time when the sun's zenith is at its furthest point from the equator, its most southern or northern peak (depending on where in the world you are, summer/winter - here in Australia the summer solstice is in December when the sun reaches its most northern peak, at the same time it is winter solstice Yule in the Northern hemisphere, where the sun reaches its most southern peak respectively).
The summer solstice, Litha,
is a celebration of the sun and the element of fire,
of the longest day of the year and the shortest night.
It is the day of the year when the sun is the highest and spends the most amount of hours above the horizon. Traditionally this day is associated with expansion, growth and great energy. It marks the beginning of summer and also the transition point from the growing tide of the year (from spring equinox to summer solstice) to the reaping tide of the year (from summer solstice to autumn equinox). Its the peak point of solar power and energy of the year before we begin to transition back to the darker half.
We are honouring the associated fire element, or in Āyurveda Pitta dosha which is comprised of both fire and water that alchemize to bring growth, transformation, passion, action, drive and life.
The summer solstice is a time of fruition, ripeness and abundance. In nature, grains and fruit are maturing, the energy of this time of the year is yang, active, extroverted, social and energised. We often find our selves be most naturally socialable, spending time outside, celebrating, enjoying. Spring, the planting phase, got the ball rolling, in summer the energy is in full swing, having its own momentum.
While the solstice (& summer) is a time of high, hot and active energy naturally, it may sometimes call for the opposite to create equilibrium in our being: with the temperature & the sun high as it is, it is easy to burn out our energy and deplete ourselves if we just blindly run with it. It can be like fire meeting fire and the flames dancing so wildly as they enmesh, that it quickly grows out of hand with no turning back, leading to explosion and then burning itself into ash.
Meaning, while in summer it is so easy to be active naturally, if we work too much, go too hard, spend too much time in the midday heat - the result may be burnout, exhaustion, heat stroke. To create balance, it is wise to draw upon the opposite qualities and take it easy, stay cool, have daily moments of relaxation, laying low and going with the natural flow. This "outer season", also relates to our womanly "inner season" of summer, or ovulation (remember, we are a microcosm within the macrocosm):
The energetics of this season are extroverted but actually passive & attracting, meaning that the energy of the season is "doing the work" for us with it already inviting us to be social, outward, follow the heat of passion, desire and joy that the fire element bring. We don't have to try hard to do more/be more/... but rather, simply listen to our bodies and needs and follow our joy at this time and it will bring to us what we need. It's a time when our "work" may look more relational, we easily network, immerse, socialise and build relationships naturally.
Summer Solstice Seasonal Meditation
To allow yourself to tune deeper into the solstice energy of the nature surrounding you and your nature within, you can find a meditation audio recording below. For this meditation, I encourage you to find a peaceful place in nature, sitting on the earth. Bring your journal, as perhaps you want to jot down some reflections afterwards.
This Meditation is partially a script from Arin Murphy-Hiscock with intuitive additions and alterations by Lena Kaliyah.
I hope you enjoy and happy solstice to you,
To learn more, join one of our future seasonal ceremonies or retreats, or work with Lena on attuning more deeply to your inner nature for balance, wellbeing & flow in your life, visit us at www.shambalamargaretriver.org