Archive for December, 2016

solstice meditations

December 19, 2016

This morning as the dawn began to lighten the sky, I noticed a star bright enough to be noticeable not only in the approaching day’s light but also from inside my warm home. Earlier I’d ventured out to spot the Moon with Jupiter and Spica and knew Arcturus was watching over them too. But I had to guess at what star I was seeing now. I had a suspicion it was Vega, third brightest in our Northern hemisphere, and one of the three stars that comprise the Summer Triangle, that recognizable asterism high in the sky during the short nights of June, July, and August.

As I settled down to meditate, the thought that this could be Vega rising remained. Here I had almost made it to the darkest day of the year. Changes too numerous to recount have occurred over the past 12 months which offer both the opportunity for congratulation as well as for anxiety. Where will all this momentum deliver me? After all my efforts this year and with a deep knowledge of how difficult and draining this work can be, will I rise to those occasions that will be set before me next year and beyond?

My thoughts returned me to earlier in the year when I witnessed another set of familiar stars rising before dawn. As I stood in the cool August mornings awaiting sunrise, I would observe Orion climbing into the sky over Yellowstone and wonder: where would I be when the Earth made a few more revolutions and Orion was no longer haunting the dawn but traveling across the winter nights’ skies?

Now when I go out to hunt for answers in the New Mexico dawn, Orion is slipping low to the west as if exhausted by his long night’s trek. By the end of next April, he won’t linger long before he follows the sun’s setting, but in early August, he’ll return to the dawn’s skies no matter where I might be standing.

So Vega’s promise of summer is a whisper I can hear and feel deep in my bones. It reminds me that time doesn’t only run straight; it also runs in cycles. It reminds me that there are things I do know – the stars; how to recognize beauty and love; how to be patient with myself in order to allow every thing to unfold as it needs to. What wonderful gifts the night skies offer, especially on these long dark nights. They are shining affirmations of how we are connected to the universe, to our human cycles of ritual and tradition, and to those memories of ourselves that lie deep within.

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