Tonight (exact time 2:44am Pacific Time Wednesday morning) is the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year following the shortest daylight: the darkest day. And yet the sun is shining brightly outside my door, a rarity in December here on Vashon Island.
The times feel dark indeed, and yet through the darkening the light shines in us, whoever carries light in their hearts and minds. At this time of year, at this time in our personal lives, at this time in our history, it is a powerful thing to tend that inner light, so you can stay strong and calm, loving and kind as you create the world as you dream it. For traditional shamans long have said the world is as you dream it. Dreaming up the world is a full time job.
Another thing shamans do is stop the world. Don Juan (as named in Carlos Castaneda's books) said the most important things warriors (another name for us) must learn to do, and do, are to a) lose self-importance and b) stop the world. These tasks take lifetimes to do well. Zen monks do the same thing, as do others multiculturally. The winter Solstice is energetically a time for silence, stillness, reflection, reverence for all life, courage, and trust in the turning of the world; holding inner light through the darkest hours, awaiting the life-giving return of the sun. The arc of the sun in northern places skims the horizon, barely rising, traveling slowly, and seemingly stands still before setting early for a long winter's night.
In far northern locations, like Newgrange in Ireland, people enter international lotteries for the chance to wait in the inner chamber for the first Solstice daylight rays to enter the light box and travel the passage of the ancient mound to illuminate the inner chamber. Times were dark, perhaps darker than we can imagine, when this mythic structure was built, and yet, somehow, here we are still, welcoming the return of the light. Feeling small and fragile, wondering what the new year will bring.
Stopping the world links to the energy of winter solstice in the power we have, individually, to hold space, to focus our minds, stop our thoughts, awaken our hearts, become fearless, and still. In stillness, something deeper, stronger and more enduring speaks. As we allow that frequency to enter us and resonate our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies as one, we align with Universal energies, with all of nature, the turning planet, the revolving solar system, the galaxy, the universe. Paradoxically, by attuning to the larger forces, always spinning beyond our comprehension, we are able to stop the world.
So, that's what I'm doing. And in my stillness intention and practices, I am renewing spirit, aligning soul, synchronizing heart and mind, holding space for the light, raising frequency, and sending out big aloha and gratitude for every person I had the honor to work with this year.
2016 work included every type of shamanic service I do: from location work with trees on January 1st, deathwalking souls and clearing spaces both locally and by remote, as far away as France, healing remote journeys for people facing grave illness, divinations and Flash Oracles, energy wrangling and disentengling lots of old ties, patterns, perceptions, and emotions, working with sudden physical needs in a shamanic context, lucid dreamwork evidenced by recipients in many localities, journeys for life changes and personal development, half-day island visits, soul retrievals, teaching people to journey here on Vashon, remote location scouting for a client, following many energetic life threads back through time, and forward as well, and on and on.
As of this last weekend, I added a new service: officiating weddings. This one witnessed a magical crow blessing! Last January's Hestia Stillness Retreat was wonderful, and now I'm creating the upcoming January 2017 Sweet Soul Care retreat. There are a few places left, if you'd like to stop the world with a little help, and the company of others, in a really beautiful place.
Today is the stillpoint in the year. From the deepest heart of my heart to your heart, thank you. Blessings, love and light surround you. May you enjoy the power of presence, give and receive the gift of your presence, and beam out the light within you to warm everything and everyone around you, and create the beautiful world you love as you dream it.