The seasonal cycle of the year is created by Earth’s annual orbit around the sun. Solstices are the extreme points as Earth’s axis tilts toward or away from the sun—when days and nights are longest or shortest. On equinoxes, days and nights are equal in all parts of the world. Four cross-quarter days roughly mark the midpoints in between solstices and equinoxes. We commemorate these natural turning points in the Earth’s cycle. Seasonal celebrations of most cultures cluster around these same natural turning points.
Perfect balance returns, light and dark in harmony again for the final harvest. As we wheel in the last-lit days of seasonal symmetry, face the coming darkness together with gratitude for what we've learned about light. Autumn's grain is spring's seed; paradox surrounds us with ripening wisdom.
If we lose hope, remember that Hope has two daughters to support our balancing acts: Anger and Courage. Instead of passive hope, embrace radical willingness. The good news is that an organism under attach creates blooming antibodies, devoted to restoring original health to the world's immune system. Activists are that devotion.
The season of barrenness mists her breath on our window panes—a foreshadowing—yet we're full of our gathering visions. What holds you back? Every minus is a plus that just needs a stroke of vertical awareness. Awake, ask what you do want to harvest into your life? Find the courage to move forward into action. Science and love, the two most powerful poles of humanity have been fiercely separated. The truth is, we're all connected; the greatest disability is, we don't believe this. Believe it. Practice powerful participation in the great circus of life. Find balance on the wild trapeze.
Oak Chezar © Mother Tongue Ink 2019
The Gatherer © Chantel Camille 2018
Chantel Camille (Portland, OR) plays with words, and wool in the Pacific Northwest of America. When she is not doing that, she is tending her friends and family, studying ancestral and herbal wisdom, or working in the bookstore she loves.
Oak Chezar (Jamestown, CO) a radical dyke, performance artist, Women's Studies professor, psychotherapist, writer, & semi-retired barbarian. She lives in a straw bale, womyn-built house. She just published Trespassing, a memoir about Greenham Common Womyn's Peace Camp. Whilst working & playing towards the decimation of patriarchy & industrial civilization, she carries water. firstname.lastname@example.org
Winter Ross (Crestone, CO) works in the medium of the imagination as an ecofeminist artist, writer and shamanic practitioner. She is convinced that the creative mind has the power to heal both individuals and the world. Info at ceremonialvisions.com
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The longest night gifts us with time to enter the darkness, fully. We hold our breaths with nature, where life is suspended, waiting in extremis. The stillness behind action gathers as we empty and trust in our renewal. What will you give/lose to the night?
The triumph of light peaks, slides slowly to dissolve. This is the tipping point for everything: democracy, misogyny, racism, climate, freedom. All are on a cliff edge. We've reached the neon-bright entrance to The Great Turning. Change is the only thing that doesn't change. Are we ready?
In simpler times, communities gathered to jump over fires in the fields and participate in the great round of fertility. Listen to the voices of the universe saying YES—the sun shines, the birds sing, the flowers bloom. The purpose of the universe is to celebrate the delight of its existence. May that inspiration hot-wire us into the living voltage of the Mother. Renew your life with others.