A Solstice Oracle in Three Words

Friends~

I am sitting today musing and meditating in preparation for the Solstice retreat I will be facilitating this weekend as the closing gathering of this spring’s Moon Circle. A group of eight women and I (see photos below from our last circle!) have journeyed together over the last 3 months, and we come together this weekend for the longest day/shortest night of the year.

As I tune in and ask Spirit what I need to know about this gathering and this solstice season, these are the words that show up:

RELEASE ~ TURN ~ ABSORB

I sit with each of these a little more and their meaning begins to flesh out. Letting release swirl through my body and awareness, I see a roller coaster chugging up to the peak of a hill and cresting, on the brink of its downward fall; I see water pooling behind a dam, feel the pressure just before an opening in the wall sends the water down and out. It’s not the kind of material release of any particular object or thing, it’s not the over-used “letting go of what’s not serving you” quip. I ask for more specifics, and it’s more like: Let gravity take you. Resist nothing. Move from the tension of potentiality into unresistant flow. We have reached the peak of the sun’s annual pilgrimage, and now turn our feet back towards the pull of home.

When I turn my attention to the second word, turn—I am transported to the forest where we will spend our retreat. I see the women turning towards and away from each other in a simple dance. I see the time-lapsed movement of the sun through the trees, the natural turning from morning to evening, from season to season. Again, it is nothing sharp or forced—it says that change is upon us, and to follow the natural trajectory of the end of one thing and the beginning of another. It perhaps is a time to try something new, but not in a quantum leap, out-of-the-blue kind of way—its a newness that has been building for awhile now, requiring nothing more than the turning of one’s attention towards it.

I settle into the final messenger, absorb. I am sitting outside and the sun immediately breaks from behind a cloud. I am filled with warmth and relief, and the sense that I get is that now is a time to be immersed in the elements that nourish and heal. Sunbathe. Ocean bathe. Bathe in moonlight and tree-breath. Receive loving touch. Without effort, there is a transmutation that happens when one unhook’s from mechanized time and productivity and becomes saturated by the elemental powers that want all of creation to be well. Whether I am conscious to it or not, my bodies and psyche is constantly absorbing from my surroundings. I feel this word as an invitation (with some urgency!) to take very honest and non-judging stock at what exactly I am absorbing, and to be deliberate in cultivating my environmental choices to align with who I choose and desire to be in the world. There are certainly seasons to pursue with relentless vigor what one desires—but as one of my first teachers says, environment is stronger than will-power, and right now, it seems, the will is waning and needs a little reprieve. Consider now as the time to abide quietly in wholesome spaces and to let what you desire come to you. Go where it is easy to receive, and soak it up.

I’m curious: does any of this connect with your experiences this season? How do these words land for you? Or do you have other messages to contribute? When you sit with a soft belly without thinking to hard, what does this solstice season speak to you? My messages came first in words—yours might come in a feeling, image, sense, memory, song, color, sensation in your body, or just a knowingness. I’d love to hear from you! Please share with me in the comments below, or by responding to this e-mail!

Sharing this is an experiment in opening up about my spiritual/intuitive process. Feels a little risky! My hope is that there is some resonance for you, some sense of being a part of the Earthen/cosmic ecosystem, connected to the whole of creation whose song hums within all parts of the whole.

May Solstice Blessings abound!

With devotion,

Kate

You Made It! And other New Year Non-Resolutions

Each of you is perfect the way you are ... and you can use a little improvement. ― Shunryu Suzuki
 
Your problem is you're afraid to acknowledge your own beauty. You're too busy holding on to your own unworthiness. You'd rather be a schnook sitting before some great man. That fits in more with who you think you are. Well, enough already. I sit before you and I look and I see your beauty, even if you don't.  ― Ram Dass
 
Go you!  You did it.  You made it to another New Year!
 
Winter is a time of taking stock.  At least in the northern hemisphere, the natural world isn’t worried about productivity.  It’s focusing in, conserving, digging deep into the nutrients stored up from previous seasons.  We just have turned the corner of winter's heart, and though we are now in the gradual swing back towards the light, it is still a dark and quiet time, with a view both back at the year we leave behind, and forward to the coming days.  

Puzzling and crafting my year review on New Year's Eve

Puzzling and crafting my year review on New Year's Eve

The New Year tradition of my friend circle is something we call the Year In Review.  We sketch back the previous year, sometimes through story-telling over New Year’s Eve dinner, sometimes through day-long creative vision boarding and crafting, weaving a tapestry that answers this question: What are you proud of from this past year?

It can be surprising the kind of victories, large but more often then not quite small, that make up a list like this.  Big things I am really proud this year include fulfilling my dream of creating a Summer Solstice retreat (2018 dates coming soon!) and taking really good care of my body as I returned to graduate school.   Little things (or more subtle things) include being able to express and process my anger directly in such a way that was truthful but didn’t shame or shut the recipient down and kept our connection; and simplifying my holiday gift-giving to be meaningful and easy.  Even your failures or things you left incomplete can be reviewed with honesty and kindness.  I had plenty of those to include in my review!  This kind of review helps to have the loving eyes and memories of good friends.  Just think: you got enough right that you made it here!

While the culture at large is telling you in oh-so-many ways to get your booty moving to lose those holiday pounds, to get organized, sell more whatever, move up, move out, move on—consider beginning this year with a pat on the back for all that you’ve already done to get here and and a deep bow inward to that which is is already always present, to the great and inextinguishable inner fire of your heart, and the sweet home of your body in which it resides.  
 
Try this: sit a moment, listen to your breath, and notice what it's truly like to be alive in your body.  What words come to describe that experience?  Imagine what it would feel like in your body if, contrary to the messages of almost everything else out there, there was actually nothing wrong with you; nothing that needed to be fixed; nothing out of place or the wrong shape, color, size or circumstance.  And if that were actually true, what kind of New Year dedication of action would you make?  What would your thoughts, words and actions be like?  To what service could you offer your actions?  What, from that foundation of already-whole, is waiting to just naturally flow from you?

New Year's Day alter on the top of Mt Rose, near Hoodsport Washington!  I got my mantra for 2018: I Am Here.

New Year's Day alter on the top of Mt Rose, near Hoodsport Washington!  I got my mantra for 2018: I Am Here.

Flow is a water quality, governed by the moon and the Goddess.  That's why what feels ripe for me as I enter 2018 is a deeper alignment with moon magic in my work and self-care.  As I tuned in to New Year's Day super moon, she brought me my phrase for 2018: I am Here.  This felt like an up-level from last year's I am ready.  Phew!  I'm super glad for that because 2017 was challenging!  I have taken this new message as one of truly embracing who I already am, what I already have, and where my life is already full, ripe, and rich. 

If Moon wisdom intrigues you, you can learn more about living in lunar alignment here.  You can also put the dates for the Winter/Spring 2018 New Moon Dream Circles on your calendar, and if you are female-identified and want to dive deep into feminine-divine spiritual community, Moon Circle 2018 begins January 25th. 

Finally, consider using this template to write your own Year In Review, and to call forth what is waiting to naturally flow from you in 2018.  I added a couple other categories that felt helpful for me, but feel free to adapt to your needs.  Then consider releasing it ceremonially in a fire (this is what I did!) or keep it to stay inspired and check back in over the next year.  And please share in the comments!  I’d love to hear what you are proud of, what you are building on and towards as you step into the new year.

May winter’s quiet and the new year renew your body and heart, bless your thoughts and work, and enliven you with serenity and courage!