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.
Feel the passing of summer; as light lessens, we deepen the rhythms of rebirth. The is the first harvest—a time of abundance, our opportunity to assume conscious collective responsibility for creating the future. In this time of grains ripening, as we can also feel the Great Loneliness that wraps our human world, keep asking: What is it we value? How can we align our lives with that vision?
How can we control our population, transition from fossil fuels, eliminate toxic waste, practice wisdom without the sacrifices of technology? How can we stop feeding the world to our machines?
For most of human time we've lived connected to Nature. Over five thousand years of patriarchal values have bent us in the direction of domination by the few and pillage of Earth, but that's just a blink in evolutionary time. Wicca means To Bend. How can we channel the trust of this season, re-shape our lifestyles and re-join the spiral dance of creation and equanimity? A dormant mode of consciousness is willing itself awake within us. Grasp the authority to be cultural shamans and bend our society back to serving life. Rebirth. Re-shape. Re-join.
Oak Chezar © Mother Tongue Ink 2019
Lemons © Peggy Sue McRae 2014
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. email@example.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?
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.