PART 1 :
THE SUN IS DYING
It’s happening. The sun is dying. It happens the same time every year. It’s predictable.
The physics of the diagonal axis of our spinning globe, rotating the firey ball of gas in center of our solar system, allows for summer and winter to happen. The ‘death’ of the sun happens mid-winter, sustaining it’s lowest arch in the sky for three days. For us in the Southern Hemisphere, our greatest tilt away from the sun is in May, June, July, August.
My white-skinned cold-clime ancestors of the Northern Hemisphere had story about the death of the sun. As far as I know, there are many reported cases of different human groups having big story around this (watch the first Zeitgeist movie for more insights). For those of the cold regions, this death was something to pay respects to for various compelling reasons (all of which are just as instructive and relevant to us in the modern times).
(And, interesting side note: those on equatorial latitudes were/are primarily governed by the waxing and waning of rain cycles rather than length of day)
For those of us born after the dawning of the age of electricity, this can all seem a bit “whatever”. Modern humans in the digital techno sphere dominated by the Gregorian calendar and petroleum don’t have much need to pay heed to the sun’s sky position. Because hey, we’re running on the long-ago captured sunlight from ancient algae transformed into the liquid black gold that touches just about every part of the modern era. Oil and coal.
But get this. Before oil and coal was a ‘thing’, humans existed only by the light of the sun that could be captured via plant and animal life, that could somehow be preserved for as long as possible (which generally lasted for a solar year – meaning for around 12 months). So in those times, when sunlight was respected for the fueling role it had on Earth (which it still very much has), humans paid attention… and revered… the movements of Sol.
PART 2 :
RELEVANT TAKEAWAYS FROM THE DEATH OF THE SUN
This all teaches us some important stuff about being human. Here are just a few relevant takeaways from the death of the sun.
(a) It teaches us about DEATH
The sun stops shining and plants don’t grow as much. Simple as that. For those in really cold climates, plants stop growing all together i.e. they die. Life goes fallow, and it all gets to have a rest. Life has a chance to hibernate and appreciate times of rest. Life recharges and restore in the darkness of winter, connecting to the inner realms. Humans, plants, animals: all of it.
We humans are reminded of the ‘winter’ of the human experience. When our bodies age and eventually die. It happens to all of us. And it’s just as predictable as the sun dying each year, or the moon dying each month.
(b) It teaches us about LIFE
All this talk of death teaches us about life. It teaches us that rebirth happens. The sun rises again in the sky in the Spring. The moon grows luminous again after it’s darkness. The matter of our human bodies cycles back into the flux of the Earth to be transformed into another form with lifeforce.
It teaches us to ‘make hay while the sun shines’ in the summer. It’s reminds us of the fullness of life, and that our bright shining life-force is limited and therefore, precious. Its teaches us to value the freshness of the new. It teaches us to use the time we have as a resource.
(c) It teaches us about CYCLES
This is yet another means to describe the drum beat of the 12 monthly sun cycle: a light-based time marker through which Earth pulses. The moon holds a similar beat but on a mo(o)nthly rhythm. These cycling celestial bodies allow us opportunity to orient ourselves within the midst of these ‘dynamic constants’ as our lives happen – with all the change and unpredictability.
It’s said it’s beneficial to plant seeds with the dark/new moon, working with the idea that water is literally drawn down in the soil profile where the seed roots must anchor. The full moon draws water up, bringing extra life-force into leaf and fruiting matter.
Some apply the pattern to the human experience as well. We can plant seeds of intention into our lives with the new moon cycle and new sun cycle, dropping our intentions into the drumbeat of the celestial rhythms to see our visions grow each month and each year.
PART 3 :
DANCING THE CYCLES IN 12 STEPS
Choreographing our life experience to synch with the beat of the waxing and waning of the sun & moon offers a biorhythmic intelligence for dancing our life intentions in small and digestible chunks.
The southern Winter Solstice occurs around the 21 June 2018 each year. At this time of declining sunlight we can feel the opportunity to plant yearly seeds (think of new year resolutions). We can then watch and tend these intentions as they sprout with the Spring Equinox (September), bloom with the summer solstice (December), decline with the autumn equinox (March), and eventually fall away to allow the next cycle to emerge.
This is a similar pattern we can dance with the lunar cycle I.e. plant seeds of intent with the monthly new moon, see them bloom at the full moon, and dwindle with the waxing quarter.
Indeed, the sun and moon cycles can be used together. ‘Plant’ yearly intentions at the Winter Solstice. Break-down that 12 months of the coming solar cycle into it’s quarters and see these as milestone markers. Then break-down each quarter into the 3 moon cycles they contain. Use these lunar cycles as additional milestones to check-in on the progress of your intentions.
Here’s how that can look in 12 steps:
(1) JUNE (Winter Solstice): Set intentions for the 12 month period following. See these intentions within the scope of your broader life goals, supporting you to practically step toward the greater visions you hold for yourself and the world. Also in June, set yourself the next step toward your intention for the month to come – what will you do through the rest of June to help you grow your intention seed into a thriving plant?
(2&3) JULY & AUGUST: At new moon of each month, set intention for the next step toward your yearly intentions. What will you do through each month to help you grow your intention seed grow roots and establish? See this monthly intention illuminated at each full moon, and die-away with the waning moon.
(3) SEPTEMBER (Spring Equinox): How have your yearly intentions been growing for the first 3 months? See them like a sprouting plant reaching up out of the soil full of conviction. Are they growing as you had hoped? Do you want/need to tweak and refine your actions to integrate current information and context? Reflect and keep your intention growing.
(4&5) OCTOBER & NOVEMBER: At new moon of each month, set intention for the next step toward your yearly intentions. What will you do through each month to help you grow your intention seed into a thriving plant at the Summer Solstice? See this monthly intention illuminated at the full moon, and die-away with the waning moon.
(6) DECEMBER (Summer Solstice): See your intentions blooming amongst the light-flooded longer days of the summertime. There is a lot of energy and heat at this time. Do your year-long intentions need to take a breath in amongst all the outward energy? Admire the ‘flowering’ of your intentions after 6 months of tending to them. Stop to smell your ‘roses’ and appreciate their full-bodied life force.
(7&8) JANUARY & FEBRUARY: At new moon time of each month, set your intention for the next step of your yearly intentions. Your intentions will still be basking in there blooming state – how are you utilising this energy while there is still light around? See this monthly intention be illuminated at the full moon, and die-away with the waning moon.
(9) MARCH (Autumnal Equinox): Since the full light of summer shone on your blooming intentions, what have you learnt and harvested? This quarter equinox point of equal day and equal night allows you to balance as you reap and review from the past 9 months of journeying intentionally. Acknowledge the wisdom gathered, continue on with your blossomed intentions, and tune-into how you can bring completion to this cycle.
(10&11) APRIL & MAY: At new moon of each month, set intention for the completion steps of your yearly intentions. Continue your intentions in these final stages. These are the months for a completion ceremony and resting. This is also a time to contemplate how you will begin the next solar cycle of intentions. See these monthly intentions illuminated at the full moon, and die-away with the waning moon.
(12) And then start again. Utilise any progress, growth and learnings from the past solar cycle to help you move onto the next stage on your life journey.
Life is a precious and limited experience for all life forms. We’re guaranteed that one day our bodies will no longer live in the form we currently know them.
We humans have a potent opportunity to intentionally align our matter with our spirit for an average 8 to 9 decades.
May these insights help you live your deepest intentions and manifest your wildest dreams: step by step, piece by piece through each cycle we’re granted. That way, no matter when our spirit leaves our bodies, we will know we’ve lived fully in each moment we’re afforded.
Blessings to you for each & every cycle!
• AUDIO •
• TEXT •
Showing-up and being seen in Life is:
When we take the opportunity to show-up, to show the truth of who we are in any one moment, regardless of other people’s (or our own) projections and stories about what’s said: we honour Life.
When we show-up in the fullness of who we are, allowing our light to shine simply because that’s what’s happening in Life at that moment: we honour Life.
When we show-up in Life and allow ourselves to be seen… truly seen… even when the going’s tough, when we are at a lull, when we don’t know how things will change: we honour Life.
When we show-up in Life and allow ourselves to be seen for all our sovereign right to be exactly who we are because that’s how the stars were aligned at our birth or who our parents were or what the political context was or what town we grew up in: we honour Life.
When we allow ourselves to be seen, even when it goes against our childhood-conditioned, neurologically-wired, muscle-memory self because we know there’s a deeper truth that wants to express itself as a birth-rite of being a Being: we honour Life.
When we allow ourselves to be seen when we don’t agree with the politics or the economics or the ethics of the majority, but our allegiance and utter knowing of the sacred depths of Life push us to speak-up and be heard: we honour Life.
When we show-up with our heart in our mouths, pulsing fear and anticipation and tears and relief that the truth’s being spoken, without knowing how the other, how the self, will next respond, but knowing we can’t hold the pseudo reality any longer: we honour Life.
When we do these things, we’re doing the only thing we can do. We're using the resources of the present moment, not wasting the potent energy of truth but offering it up so Life can work it’s magic of synchronicity with all those who hear. We allow deep trust to alchemise what IS, and stir the pot of co-creative potential.
When we show-up in Life, we can’t know the impact it may have on others, the unknown ripples through the human experience that might plant seeds, water potential, cull potential, open a door, close a door. We can’t really know.
All we can, and need, to do is SHOW UP & BE SEEN.
First batch of oat milk this morning 🥛🌾 Seeing the packaging waste from bought milk makes me squirm. So for the past 6 months I've been on the journey of DIY milk. Almond milk has been a treat. Using the almond meal by-product to make power balls and hummus has been a hoot 🥜 Oat milk has been an exciting discovery. Oats can tend to slime when whizzed, but they're friendlier on the wallet & more common in my cupboard 🍯 Most alternative milk recipes follow a similar method. Soak 1 cup nut/oats overnight with 4 cups water. Blend, then strain through a nut milk bag or tea towel. I then top up with more water to spread the love, et voila! It'll last for a couple of days, maybe 5, in the fridge 🥄 By keeping my cupboard stocked with all the goodness, I can choose which milk to prep the following day without a scrap o' waste. And lots of by-product treats to indulge the kitchen 💛 Yes it's more effort, but way more fun and satisfying!
With my darling friend, teacher, mentor & collaborator Robin Clayfield in her Crystal Waters Ecovillage garden yesterday ❤️🐞 Robin has inspired many around the world on the power of meeting people with play, diversity and effectiveness so that groups can thrive. She inspires me continually with her potent creative ideas & breakthroughs for new processes & experiences that honour and celebrate humans, and therefore help us honour and celebrate this Earth 🌏💚 I'm truly blessed to have followed my truth in building my skill and understanding of radical people care, and that Robin opened her arms wide to have me journey with her on that path she has pioneered for decades 🙏💛 Big big love to all the elders who pass on the baton of the wise ways to help the younger ones carry them with respect and integrity ✨Robin's still going strong, and if you'd like to check-out her latest project, go to www.patreon.com/RobinClayfield ~
✨Chuffed with my grocery shopping yesterday: I got to carry my packaging in empty, and then carried it out full 🐢Every piece of packaging here is reused. If you can, do it! As wisely sung by @formidableveg 🎶 There's no such thing as waste. Only stuff in the wrong place 🎶 In other words, DON'T BE A LAZY MUG!
Three quarters of the solar wheel have turned. Time to harvest, review, reflect, let go.
🍂Blessed Autumn Equinox for life south of the equator.
🌱Blessed Spring to life in the north.
'Between stimulus & response
there is a space.
In that space
is our power
to choose our response.
In our response
lies our growth
and our freedom'
~ Viktor Frankl
When people gather to attend lifestyle, arts and music festivals, it can be valuable to have a specific space to connect with self and others in our intention for being there; and then to check-out by integrating the festival experience. This is what is offered by the Folk Forum.
In this 5-min vlog, you hear insights into the simple and powerful social technology of sharing circle (aka council) being used in festival setting. Offering the diversity of festival folks an opportunity to hear others and to be heard - one by one - bringing relevant and real ritual to a space where thousands of people gather.
You also hear about the principles holding the space of Folk Forum, providing an upskilling to take into your own community for genuine and authentic connection with your people.
If you have experienced the Folk Forum at a festival, or have sat in sharing circle, we'd love to hear what it meant to you below in the comments!
✨👫✨ The FOLK FORUM is back at Rainbow Serpent Festival with Erin Young, this 26 - 29 January in regional Victoria.
Bringing connection & sharing for festival peeps, the Folk Forum offers up space of intention coming into the weekend & in it's wrapping up.
Share the good word with your Rainbow Serpent mates & come join a space of grounded ritual in this annual gathering of hyper joviality 🌟💜
Read more about the Folk Forum Opening Circle here, and the Folk Forum Closing Circle here!
Recently, I had the opportunity to step over life’s threshold of initiation into marriage. In one word, the quality of the experience = IMMENSE. (And...beautiful)
Getting married is one of the most common and well-known rituals of the modern day human, yet also one held with much controversy, baggage and opinion. My experience of this age-old practice is necessarily unique to me, and I figured it would do both of us a world of good to share this experience… after-all, that’s how we humans learn and grow.
This initial post covers the emotional journey first, because… *IMMENSE*. This is personal. And it’s also transpersonal. So it’s thrown into the collective pot of experience to nurture and nourish others, while allowing me to express something challenging and profound. Another post will follow sharing the community conjuring of the event-planning.
The process was kicked off in November 2015 with my partner, Marcel, asking me to be his wife via message in a bottle, floating in the sea of North Stradbroke Island. It was sweet and surprising. We hadn’t talked a whole lot about going official with our relationship, though the long-term nature of our bond was clear. The process of preparation pretty quickly went dormant though, as it dawned on us the magnitude of what we were working towards... and not quite knowing what to do next.
I hadn’t grown up as a little girl dreaming of my wedding day, and I didn’t quite know where I stood on the field of marriage. Having grown up in a Christian household, I was unsure if this 21st century modern woman was prepared to carry on that tradition that felt quite… obligatory.
After some space and time, a date was finally set for a year following – landing in September 2017. The real dreaming and planning for this event and ritual commenced.
At this point, something interesting beagn. In early 2017, I started to drop-into the realisation of the energetic around the engagement period. Namely, the raw honesty a person must confront within themselves and with their partner before taking on such a lifelong commitment. It was mentioned to me that the engagement time was one of negotiation, where the couple get real clear on who they are, what they want and how they might do that. Thing is, despite the deep desire to do so, this didn’t seem to come so easily. It felt more easy to be in the event planning side of things (e.g. choosing the venue and décor which was such fun); where tapping into the invisible structures and dreams of a long-term committed relationship felt far less tangible.
At one point I felt overwhelmed by the task ahead, and I ended up at the question:
WHERE ARE THE ELDERS TO GUIDE US?
Marcel and I didn’t need to recreate the wheel in our process of emotional preparation – it’d surely been done plenty of times before us. So where were the people we deeply trusted, who had a body of experience in functional long-term relating, who were willing to share and answer questions honestly and openly? Where were people I could go to in person (not through a book or through a website) and riff in real-time?
I felt stunned in realising the culturally-appropriate (to us) support mechanisms for holding a couple in this way weren’t easily forthcoming or openly accessible. Growing up in a church, I saw people receive pre-marital counseling and I attended plenty of weddings. But the reality is there hadn’t ever been much said about what it feels like to process this life milestone, especially for one now outside the bonds of that religious community.
It dawned on me that there was no beaten track of marriage preparation for us – we weren’t in a religious or intentional community where tried-and-tested practices were encouraged. It almost felt we were a limbo of independent living - of our own making no-less. And ultimately, like many an archetypal journey, it lead to self-initiation.
Journeying on in this heart-pondering and navigating, I came to recognise that I needed to do what I needed to do to prepare – and that my emotional preparation didn’t necessarily depend on my partner's participation. Of course, having conversations about the quality of life we wanted together were important, but he couldn’t do the emotional preparation for me.
And so I took the reigns and trotted on my own path.
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