Our Soul and the Winter Solstice (12/21/17)
Reconnecting with the Seasons
In the fields of transpersonal psychology and spirit centered theology, where I make my academic and metaphysical home, it is affirmed and supported that when a person, a culture, or a nation loses its sense of natural cycles, rhythms, and the message each season has for us, it endangers the soul by keeping us detached from nature. This disconnection more easily allows for ecological abuse and exploitation. As “Geologian” Thomas Berry puts it, “The human community and the natural world will go forward as a single, sacred community or we will both perish.”
It is postulated by soul-centered therapists and clergy that when a person or a culture forgets about the sun and the seasons, they lose contact with the essentials of life, which are the more heart centered, empathetic and nurturing ways that make relationships more enjoyable. This way also fosters a gratitude for life and makes love more sustainable.
Do you feel that our society has lost touch with the seasons? How can we best recover our soul connection to the earth? Perhaps the need to recognize and affirm natural ways, and cycles of revealed truth, is the reason behind growing interest in recapturing many of the Native American celebrations, or the Wiccan and Celtic wisdom traditions – all who clearly celebrate the seasons with reverence and delight.
In astrological and mythological symbolism, the sun has come to represent the core, true individuality of a person, as opposed to the learned personality and cultural ideas and attitudes, which comprise social conduct, behaviors, perceptions, and outlooks.
The Sun is the signature self; how we most naturally relate to what is sacred and holy in ourselves, in others, and in nature; the Sun reveals how we best express the gifts and graces, talents, desires, and skills of this life.
Sun and Seasons in Mythical Literature
Going a little deeper, we can see in the mythical literature a compelling need to look to the Sun and the seasons as ways to define our inner being. In the Upanishads, the ancient sacred texts of Hinduism, we are given a reply to the question the Brahman asks of Ajuna, one of the gods of light and life:
“[Who are you? …
I am a season, and the child of the seasons. I am sprung from the womb of infinite space, the seed of the husband and the wife, I am the light of the year, the Self of all that is; and whatever you are, I am also. …
I am but a phase of the universal life, and a child of the manifest cycles…
I am a spark of the Divine, evolved through the cycle of the twelve stages, and by my means, is all growth accomplished.]”
Moving to the consideration of the solstices as the longest and shortest days in the year, we are given the contrasting images and the complementary rotations that represent the changing seasons of the soul. One definition of the cycles of the year and the seasons is this: A year, in the life of day and night, is the way the soul moves, manifests and matures itself.
(There is a branch of astrology call Progressions, or secondary directions, that outlines each year and the soulful lessons contained in that year… contact me for details!)
Some of the physical phenomena that have mytho-poetic and metaphysical correlations are these:
The two solstice points are the only time in the whole year that the Sun stays stationary or is seen as standing still. This station can be seen as a time of concentrated self or soul energy that reinforces what we know about ourselves, and can affirm the next steps in our path to a more complete self-hood.
The solstice points act as beginnings and endings. The summer solstice encourages the search for authenticity and true definitions, and the winter solstice encourages us to widen and deepen introspection, assessment, discipline and inner peace.
Going within ourselves, these two points at the beginning of the summer and winter act as the two faces in the mirror of our being. They complement one another by showing our psyches our inner make-up, and they place before us the completion of an important life’s task, which is expressing and integrating what we know about ourselves.
The solstice points offer us spiritual opportunity and grace for recapturing and reconnecting our personal and relational missing links- those parts of us that we have previously let go, or places in our lives where we have felt like something is missing. The solstice time period offers us the spiritual opportunity that gives us time and energy to reclaim and reconnect what is missing.
From these seasonal cycles and planetary phenomena, we gain insights into our soul life. From these celestial cycles, we find a path to our inner work and inner release.
As the seasons transpire, circling the cosmos in their divinely ordered rounds, we who value renewal and the potentials for self and soul, are urged to align and attune ourselves to these cycles. We are encouraged to adjust ourselves in order to accept that we are creatures who need to heed the rhythm and flow of both energy and life.
A parting thought, from one of my research projects about connections and correlations between grace and time:
“[We live in a soul-centered universe, and all beings share in the blessed perpetual motion of the world within and the world without. At the very center and circumference of life is the Anima Mundi, the World Soul represented symbolically by the Sun. This world soul beckons us to heed the rhythms of existence, drawing us into the ever-flowing constant relationship to all that is and all that could be. …
These cycles of time and awareness are ours to comprehend; to translate and apply to the complex world of human understanding and behavior. By following the mythic path of The Sun that will reveal out inner and outer connections to a more seasonal, sensual and soulful life, we can find more of the answers to how our restless, wandering souls can search and find our true selves.]”
Happy Solstice… and may the blessings of the long time Sun be with you!
Dr. Peter Lanzillotta
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