Do you have signs of Nature Deficiency Syndrome? For years as a city dweller, I did.
I moved to Maine from New York City 22 years ago in answer to something that was calling my soul. I felt it as a hunger, a deficit, a pain in my body and spirit. All I knew then was that I was starving for nature, the night sky, the moon and stars, relationships that began in my farm childhood. These relationships had been cast aside when I ran away to New York, hungry for ideas, art, and sophistication. I remember my native New Yorker husband questioned the move to Maine, saying, “You can't eat the scenery.”
After a few years on the coast of Maine. I learned something about myself.
I eat the scenery.
If I can't be on the land, my hands in the dirt, observing the sky, swimming in living water, closely watching the seasons turn, I feel weak and unwell. I am not connected to myself. I know many of you have a similar relationship to nature, or crave one. If you are feeling “nature deficiency syndrome”, get out of town now! Or find a tree to hug daily, keep a cloud diary (take pictures with your phone) and look up at night. Chart the moon's changes and location in your city or suburb for a month or two. You'll feel much better.
Moon, Jupiter, Venus last night
When Nature called me to a mature intimate relationship with her after years of just visiting, she was calling me to be responsive and responsible. The emotional relationship in my childhood has deepened into a relationship of listening, mutual care, ceremony, and respect. Nature is always teaching those who will listen. I listened to the Solstice today, and I'll share the message I received with you.
Solstice means “sun stands still.” It rises and sets at its farthest point north (summer solstice) and south (winter solstice) as measured on the horizon. Our ancestors all over the planet noticed this and felt its sacredness. We still find their monuments and holy sites that mark the solstice and the midpoints, the equinoxes. We don't know exactly what these ceremonies meant to them. They were humans like we are, and lived with the rhythm of nature. Here's what I think the Solstice means.
In Astrology, the Sun stands for consciousness. The Solstice, whether Winter or Summer, is the time when Nature in her rhythmic wisdom calls us to pause, and allow a shift in consciousness. I am pondering what this means to me. My life is changing and how it will change depends on how I let the Solstice shift me, as the sun begins to slide southward along the horizon a few days from now.
How will I make this shift? I take a lesson from wild strawberries. Each year at Summer Solstice, I gather them where they hide in plain sight in the grass. Strawberries bask in the Sun soaking up its rays. In the course of a few hours they'll turn from white to pink to red. They let the sun change them, bringing forth their color, flavor, sweetness, and seeds.
That's what I'll do, and what I invite you to do. I'll trust the Sun to change me.
Solstice is a natural event that has happened twice a year for eons. For several thousand years, it has been changing us, unconsciously, and we have not been aware or taken responsibility. This year, you get to receive this Shift while wide awake!
Whether you are outdoors in the summer sun, or wrapped up in blankets watching a pale winter sun over this Solstice window, let your consciousness shift. Let your awareness of what shifted unfold over the next few hours or days, or weeks. The more you can blend surrender with being awake to yourself and what is calling you, the more clarity you'll have about what to do, and how to do it.
For now, pause with the Sun. Just be. And Shift.
Here's a special solstice gift for you
Here's Downeast, a 3 minute film by Tate Yoder.
Tate Yoder is a high school student in Penobscot, Maine who spent a year making a time lapse video montage of the earth and sky through the seasons. It's surpassingly beautiful, and it will make you want to come to Maine. Come on, we are holding this land sacred for your enjoyment and spiritual nourishment.
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Thank you for being in my world. I hope your Solstice is joyful, sacred and fun. I'll be back next week with more orgasmic alchemy and sacred pleasure.