Observations of the light and the dark of what is, was, and might be in the Pagan community's expansion and evolution.
In less than a month we will be at a threshold that has been looming for many years. I'm talking about the Winter Solstice of 2012 with all its associated hype and hoopla. For the sake of simplicity, I will talk about the upcoming Winter Solstice, with full knowledge that it is also the Summer Solstice for our neighbors south of the equator. What I have say applies whether it is Summer or Winter. Countless books and articles have been written about this momentous point in time. For some in the New Age and metaphysical communities this has been the focus of their studies or careers for some time. As the owner of a metaphysical shop, I've had quite a number of people ask me whether or not I believe in the Winter Solstice of 2012. Sometimes glibly, I've responded “yes of course I believe in it”, and then I point at the calendar and “say there it is.” Then, if they are willing to listen, I share what I'm about to share with you in this blog.
Personally, I do believe in the sacred science of Astrology and that we are in the transition from the age of Pisces to the age of Aquarius. I also do believe that the Meso-Americans also had an understanding of there being cycles in time larger than the day, the month, or the year. They noted that the Winter Solstice Sun would be in alignment with the dark rift in the Milky Way in 2012. So from my perspective the Winter Solstice of 2012 is a real threshold between one era and another. Not the end of the world, but a change that can be compared to the change from one season to another. Many pagans, myself included, observe and celebrate the changes of the seasons. The Roman poet Ovid wrote in the speech of Pythagoras in the Metamorphoses:
All things change, nothing is extinguished.... There is nothing in the whole world which is permanent. Everything flows onward; all things are brought into being with a changing nature; the ages themselves glide by in constant movement.
I'm fully in agreement that existence is in constant change. The value of honoring and observing those special crossroads in time that we often call holidays comes from the conviction that the rate of change is not always constant. Change itself is in flux.
Before talking specifically about this coming Solstice I'd like to give some of the reasons that I think is important to work with these celestial crossroads. It is my belief that the speed and/or the depth of change increases at these places in time. By becoming consciously aware of the flux and the attributes of change through meditation or ritual, it is possible to attune ourselves so that we can better manage our responses to the changes. This awareness and attunement spans the full gamut from the concrete and mundane to the ethereal and spiritual. For our ancestors, this meant knowledge of how and when to meet their physical needs through hunting, gathering, and agriculture. It also provided them with unique opportunities to interact with their God/des/ses to meet spiritual needs. I think we still do this, but some of the needs and how they are met has changed.The holidays also provide a social and cultural framework. When we come together to celebrate the holidays, we are also creating, building and rebuilding the connections that hold together our families, friends, and communities. It has been said many times that our words and deeds in sacred space have a great influence on what comes into being in our lives. I try to remind myself that the holidays are a sort of sacred space, and that the interactions we have with others during the holidays are imbued with the magick of change and manifestation.
Change itself has more variables than speed, depth, or intensity. Change also has scales and orders of magnitude. Let me illustrate what I mean by scale in this context by using well-known experiences. When we look at the rising of the Sun, Dawn is not a moment but a span of time measured in minutes. For the sake of discussion, if I were to say that tomorrow were the Spring Equinox you would probably not store away all your winter clothing. Spring does not fully come into play in a day or two. What we do know is that every day after the Spring Equinox there is a greater likelihood of it being mild and springlike. Depending upon where you live, over the course of days or weeks you will come to the conclusion that it is truly Spring. When it comes to the change from one era to another, from one Aeon to another Aeon, the scale of change is long. It is my belief that the scale of change for the turning of the Ages is so large that even the youngest reader of this blog will be in the transitional period for the rest of their life.
From my perspective every Winter Solstice is important, but the Winter Solstice of 2012 has greater importance. Whether or not you believe in the sacred science of astrology, the Mayan calendar, Terence McKenna's time wave zero theories, or a score of other things, there is something that is indisputable. In December 2012 there will be a Solstice and the Sun will be aligned with the dark rift in the Milky Way, and that is enough to make it notable. It is a sign in the sky that is a marker for visible change in the world and one that our pagan ancestors would have noticed. I intend to have several meditations and rituals building to that moment so that I can be better attuned to the changes ahead.
By the way, the Mayans also associated with dark rift in the Milky Way with the Great Mother. For me there is a lovely synchronicity here that connects birth and death, the Great Mother, and the upcoming Solstice. If I am right in my guess at the scale and the length of this transition between the Ages, then each of us needs to strive for greater mindfulness. What we do in the next several decades sets the tone, lays the foundation, plants the seeds for the next two millennia.
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