A reader made the recommendation for us to speak in length about the Equinoxes and Solstices and their spiritual meanings. Before going into the endeavor I must be honest about the fact that I am not an astronomer or anything related, but I can share my own experience with this phenomena. So, absolutely dear friend, the call then is to speak in more detail about the Solstices, both Summer and Winter.
Allow me to start with the Earth’s journey around the Sun. It takes 365.242 days to complete the cycle. As the earth spins on it’s axis, it also tilts one pole towards the sun, then the other. During Solstices the Sun reaches its highest or lowest relative position in the sky. Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere is the longest day and shortest night of the year, while in the south, it is the shortest day and longest night. Winter Solstice is the opposite. Shortest day in the north, with the longest night.
Summer Solstice, with it’s longest day and shortest night is a tipping point: from here on the days get shorter and the nights get longer. Now on the longest summer day, light peaks, triumphs, and then begins the decline into darkness. If we were to establish a symbolism between summer and winter with light and darkness, we would say for Summer Solstice that the light of the soul is shining its brightest preceding the shorter sunlight days of Winter. It is a portal opening of expansive energy in natural cycle towards inward energy.
During solstices and equinoxes, if getting up early in the morning to watch the sunrise, people will attune themselves to the rhythms of the natural world and invite the seasons of waxing and waning, of birth, growth, death and renewal to reverberate more consciously in their lives. The rest of the year will be shaped by that. These times may be celebrated by bonfires and getting up to greet the dawn. Fire in the earth, fire in the sky. Celebrations may be with rituals, prayers, altars and sacred spaces for people to move with the cycle of nature, becoming a part of it.
Historically, it’s been depicted as a surreal time, when people lose their common practical senses and are carried away by waves of fantasy and magic. As opposed to Winter, when the soul may look for an inward expression, but just as fantastic and magical.
Speaking of such, here I begin to share the Diary of my last Summer Solstice…
Tuesday, June 12, 2012: Welcome to New Mexico.
Arrived to desert land on a Tuesday night. A man I didn’t know received me at the airport. We both were nervous, on his end, he was wondering who I was, what were the chances for me to be a lunatic woman; same thing with me. All by myself, in a land also unknown to me, received by a complete stranger, connecting dots of terror in my head… At first we looked suspiciously at each other, I was shivering, but I took my chance.
Back in Puerto Rico, I quit my job in a corporate office to follow a strange call to the dessert. At work they said that I would have to choose between going or staying. I pondered, and realized the decision was made for me. Back in those days I remember the voices telling me that I was crazy… craziness has layers upon layers… And yes, I was being crazy (and still :p). I was following a path that didn’t make sense to many, that’s why there was no discussion about it. When my mind was made up, magic unleashed in a monumental way.
We were driving along the dessert city and the strange man resulted to be an extraordinary human being connecting with a lot of souls coming to Albuquerque looking for experiences of expansion. He would provide them a beautiful place to stay, asking nothing in return. He provided me the best room I could have ever imagined to spend the one night before heading to the mountain. His kindness was beyond measure.
I remember the days prior to presenting my resignation at work. I was terrified. For so long I’ve lived with just the necessary, facing financial hazards. That work was a blessing through which I could relieve a lot of financial stress, but also a stepping-stone for me to move to London to study acting. Plans of moving myself there were lingering in the realm of my dreams and possibilities. But first, I needed to attend this call of my soul.
One afternoon as I was driving to the yoga studio, I was asking myself: What the hell am I doing?
The answer -as unequivocal- came: You, more that anyone, know that Life and Spirit do not take from you, but free you from things so that you can fly higher, so that you can soar the skies.
Tearful eyes, silence, and joy. The next day I presented my resignation at work and bought a one-way plane ticket to New Mexico. I was to join the global Kundalini Yoga Tribe gathering in Ram Das Puri in celebration of the first Summer Solstice Sadhana of the Aquarian Age.
“Enrich yourself with sacredness and opportunity will come to you from every corner.”
– Yogi Bhajan
To be continued…