WINTER SOLSTICE 2017
“If we lose love and self respect for each other, this is how we finally die.” Maya Angelou
The Winter Solstice is always about looking at the light and dark in ourselves and the world, remembering that we are heading towards the light. It is about the festive season, a time to share and remember those less fortunate than ourselves. A time of sadness and joy. Some people will be celebrating with family and friends, others will be alone either by choice or circumstances. There is often a mixture of conflicting emotions.
The beginning of this Solstice has a serious feel to it – a metaphorical groan as we face some personal stock taking. There will be a tension between wanting the company of others and spending time alone to reflect on the past year, the present and the future. What were the lessons learned, what do I need to resolve then let go of, what is still a work in progress? The main focus of the Solstice is relationships starting with the relationship we have with ourselves, our self worth, personal ambitions and authenticity. How open minded are we when listening to other points of view/opinions? Do we people please avoiding conflict, are we easily influenced by others or do we go to the extreme opposite? Being resourceful and creative in resolving differences will be key as well as making decisions slowly.
There are also relationships with those close to us and the larger community. The above quote by Maya Angelou feels very apt. The emphasis for many this year is about self-care, values and respect. Two expressions come to mind: “We can’t give away what we haven’t got” and “We need to walk a 1000 miles in someone’s moccasins before we really understand a different point of view or situation”. Questioning ourselves about self care, ask where are we neglectful, where are we overindulgent, what can we do differently?
Being clear about our values can be an interesting exercise. The order of priority will differ with each individual. We can make judgments like “surely they can see ...”, “why can’t they understand”. This can become a judgment minefield so it would be wise to see if our values are flexible and where they might not be. Finally we come to respect – how well do we respect ourselves? Do we only respect like minded people? How do we balance a need for personal freedom and respecting other people’s needs? Reserving our judgment is a healthier option rather than making them based on hearsay or superficial knowledge.
Putting this Solstice in simple terms, it is about reaching a place of love for ourselves, others and the world around us resolving family feuds and wars.
Spring Equinox 2018
“One of the basic rules of the Universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist. Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.” Stephen Hawking.
Spring always brings with it rebirth in every aspect of our lives and, as with the birthing process, change as well as joy. This year in particular, an element of unpredictability and chaos which is mirrored in the weather. The need to spring clean and declutter extends to the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of our lives not just the physical.
In order to manage the possible chaos, it is important to find time to be still, even reclusive to rebalance our energies and focus. For those of us who have specific spiritual practices it is helpful to ask the question: am I seeking perfection and over complicating my practice? Be aware of acting out of shoulds and possibly superstition, this can be very subtle at times. It is equally important not to judge others over the choices they make regarding spirituality. Some people already practice seamlessly which is the message of this Equinox rather than striving for public perfection.
The Spring Equinox brings with it potential, a sense that everything is possible. We can learn from our creative abilities and how we use them. The theme of self-care and reflection continues from the winter and will help us to stay focused. Where do we need to be teachable and where do we need to step out of our comfort zones? There will be the challenge of paradoxes - on the one hand being organised and on the other easy going, being diplomatic versus pedantic, creative freedom versus limiting self-expression. Alongside this will be a desire to be a pacifist, be of service to humanity against ambition, possessiveness and intrigue. Interestingly self righteous outrage can be very destructive when believing we are doing the right thing.
At this time of year, there are surges of energy and therefore it is helpful to set our intentions for when they happen as this is often when boundaries are pushed back. It is also when a desire to resolve injustices and subsequently to find lasting solutions manifests. Taking space to reflect and practicing when to be seen/heard or not, will enhance our ability to discern whether we are reacting with a purely emotional response or with integrity.
Despite the challenges of this Equinox and a need to simplify our lives, there is great joy this Spring.