June 20-June 21 marks the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere and simultaneously heralds the beginning of winter in the southern hemisphere. In 2012, the summer solstice occurs and summer begins in the Northern Hemisphere on June 20, at 7:09 p.m. EDT.
Whenever I think of the Summer solstice, I cannot forget this same time, in my late hippie teen days when I decided to hitchhike around England with my friend Robin. One day, for no apparent reason, we decided that this would be a nice day to hike to see Stonehenge. We had no idea that it was the summer solstice!
It was amazing and even eerie as the Druids and other Pagans began to arrive. They started to rope off areas as it got later in the day. Druids witness the sunrise on the longest day of the year at the prehistoric site marking the event with religious ceremonies. We just intuitively were in the right place at the right time. Maybe we had cellular memories, but it was a remarkable day.
Today at 7:20 I will be with friends drumming in celebration of the longest day of the year and I am grateful. Grateful for the fullness of my life and grateful for the blossoms and bounty in my garden. You can see in my photos below how my butterfly bush has grown through the years into more of a tree than a bush. My flowers blossom alongside my tomato, pepper, eggplant, string bean, and dill plants. The birds share along with us the delicious blueberries on our small bush in various stages of ripeness and a few cherries are still left for the Robins, Cardinals, Mockingbirds and other birds of this area.
Rose’s fragrant and full adorn the bushes….all this in such a tiny space of a garden. We get so much pleasure in such an array of color and fragrance. All around we see Fibonacci’s magical sequence in the spirals of daisies and Echinacea plants. lettuce and snail shells. Thank you for this moment.
The flowers must first grow through dark soil before they blossom fully. The butterfly must first evolve within a dark cocoon before it can flutter around the garden. So now like the butterfly and flowers, may we shed what ever may have been constricting us and emerge at this powerful time strong, creative and free to blossom fully. Set a positive intention for the rest of the year for transformation and self growth.
Sending love to all of you for a wonderful Summer solstice and may you enjoy the fullness of life.
“How did the rose open it’s heart
and give to this world all of it’s beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light against it’s being,
otherwise we all remain too frightened.”
Today, as we celebrate Mother’s Day, I not only think of my own beloved mother, daughter, granddaughter and mother-in-law… but also the various forms of the Divine mother that have been present in history (her-story).
I think of Kwan Yin, Tara, Mother Mary, the Shekhinah, Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi, and Maha Saraswati. Durga, Primordial Mother, Shakti …I could go on and on as forms of the Goddess are countless! I grew up with the absence of feminine symbolism for God. Joseph Campbell once reminded us, “one person’s mythology is another person’s religion.”
The Goddess was not a myth to our ancestors and I have such gratitude that I have now been exposed to so many traditions today that abound in honoring the feminine aspect of God.
The true symbol of Motherhood to me is pure unconditional love… I think of Mother Theresa as a manifestation of the Divine Femine. She cared for the dying with such love because she saw her Beloved in each of them. In her case her beloved was Jesus.
In these times, I think of Ammachi, the hugging saint, as a feminine aspect of the Divine. She has compassionate love for all. She sees all people as her children. I have seen her sit for hours without a break hugging thousands of people.
Here is a quote by Amma, that was part of her speech given at the Globel Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders. October 7, 2002 on the true meaning of motherhood:
“The essence of motherhood is not restricted to women who have given birth: it is a principle inherent in both women and men. It is an attitude of the mind. It is love – and that love is the very breath of life. No one would say, ‘I will breath only when I am with my family and friends; I won’t breathe in front of my enemies.’ Similarly, for those in whom motherhood has awakened, love and compassion for everyone are as much part of their being as breathing.”
The Dalai Lama shows that the essence of motherhood is inherent in both men and women. I don’t know the source of the photo below of a young soldier and his baby but you can feel that he is overflowing with love for his child.
May we spread love to all we meet. Even when you are walking in the street and you see someone pass that you do not even know, say to them, silently, that you wish them love. They will receive your loving energy. Love is something that if you give it away, you end up having more
Happy Mother’s Day to all! Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti, Namaste! May your day be filled with blessings.
Love and hugs,
We wish all of you a wonderful, safe, peaceful holiday and best wishes for the new year.
The winter solstice – the darkest and shortest day of the year – is a time of peaceful reflection. At this time we celebrate the returning of the light. We welcome back the sun, gradually growing in strength until the Summer Solstice. So many cultures and traditions are celebrating at this time, singing and celebrating to awaken the sun and welcome back the light.
This cold and dark time reminds us go within to rekindle our flame in the comfort of our homes and hearths. It is a time to remember and send blessings to those not as fortunate to have a warm home and shelter.
It is also important to remember that people in the Southern Hemisphere will be celebrating their Summer Solstice which is the opposite of our Winter Solstice. By honoring nature’s balance of Yin and Yang, receiving and giving, dark and light, unrevealed and revealed we can understand the true meaning of peace on earth.
This is the prayer I hold for all of you at this time of endings and renewal: May all negative energies, all negative emotions, all negative thoughts and beliefs be removed from you, us, our country, our planet, and uplifted into the highest realms of Light and Love, where they may be transmuted into unconditional Love, for the greater good of all!
The black moment is the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come.
At the darkest moment comes the light.
– Joseph Campbell
Love to all on this Mother’s Day.
Today I am not only thinking of my own beloved mother, to whom I am so grateful to for all the nurturing, encouragement and loving care that she always gave our family, but my thoughts are also on my beloved friend and teacher the late Rajita Sivananada (Judith Cornell), whose birthday would have been today. She was a mother to me in many ways as well and I am grateful to her for bringing to me and so many others, the mandala processes I teach.
Love to all of you on this Mother’s Day.
This quote by Amma Chi, the hugging saint, says it all:
The essence of motherhood is not restricted to women who have given birth; it is a principal inherent in both women and men.
It is an attitude of the mind. It is love – and that love is the very breath of life.
No one would say, “I only breath when I am with family and friends; I won’t breathe in front of my enemies.”
Similarly, for those in whom motherhood has awakened, love and compassion are as much a part of their being as breathing.
-Amma Chi, also know as Sri Mata Amritandamayi Devi, is a spiritual leader and humanitarian who travels the world offering hugs to millions of spiritual seekers. This quote is from a speech given at the Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders, October 7, 2002.
Last night marked the beginning of Fall – the Autumnal Equinox.
It is a time of harvesting and giving thanks for our bounties while preparing for the winter ahead. It is also a time to think about planning what you want to create… As Spring is a time of birth and new beginnings, Autumn is a time when things begin to shed. The leaves change colors and animals prepare for the coming cold.
This is a time of becoming aware of ones fragility and with the increasing hours of night, a time to go within – not just physically, but to go within our minds as well, reflecting on life’s meaning. As this is also a time associated with the dead, it is a good time to remember those we loved that have passed, remembering the gifts they left with us.
As we put the dying leaves in our gardens for mulch, we can also get rid of old thought forms that may have taught us good lessons but that we no longer need to hold on to. This includes things that made us angry, sad, or jealous. Burn them away, transmuting them into the fertilizer for your new garden in the Spring.
Enjoy the last blast of color from the trees and may you have a wonderful, peaceful, healthy season.
Love and blessings to all.