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!
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