Solstices & Equinoxes
Celebrating the Seasons
We had a beautiful ceremony at Green Planet Sanctuary in Houston last Sunday while connecting with the spirit of summer. As the Solstice coincided this time with the first day of the Blue Storm Wavepell, the invitation for this season is to embrace chaos as an opportunity to transform, change and grow!
And, since the seasons are the ones that mark shifts in Nature, I will dedicate this Wavespell to share about it from different perspectives.
Everything in life goes through a cycle of birth, growth, maturity, death and re-birth. Nature awakens in Spring, plants start having their first buds and birds sing happily as the weather gets nicer. In Summer, everything blossoms, the Sun shines and fruits are tasty and juicy. When Autumn comes and it’s time for harvesting, the days get cloudy and rainy and the leaves start falling from the trees. And, finally in Winter, animals hibernate, it gets darker earlier and the days become colder. Nature takes time for renewal by preparing itself for the following Spring when the cycle starts, over and over again.
Celebrating these shifts in Nature is a beautiful way to honor Pachamama, Mother Earth and return to a more natural rhythm and ways of living. What happens to Nature happens to us as well!
Since the beginning of the ages, medicine men and women gathered in sacred circles around the world performing ceremonies whenever a season started. With time, as we entered into the hectic pace of modern society and all the “temptations” that came along with industrialization and technology, we separated from our roots and essence and disconnected from the natural cycles and inner rhythms.
The beginning of each season represents a turning point in Nature and a crossroads in our lives. It’s an invitation to pause and re-connect so we can experience life to its wholeness again. It’s time to reflect and become aware of where/who we are and where/what we want to be.
When does a Season start?
Based on astronomical events, there are four seasons of 3 months each within a solar cycle or annual calendar. Solstices and Equinoxes represent the beginning of each season and the day it starts.
Solstice originates from two Latin words, sol for the Sun and sistere meaning ‘to stand still’. Summer Solstice is when the Sun is at its most northern point and the day is longer than the night. From that day onwards, days start getting shorter. Winter Solstice, on the contrary, is when the Sun is at its most Southern point being the shortest day of the year and, afterwards, the days get longer.
Equinox is the moment when day and night are of equal lengths, representing a moment of balance between light and darkness. Spring is also known as Vernal Equinox, and Autumn as Fall Equinox.
Solstices are in June and December and Equinoxes in March and September. We hear often that a Solstice or an Equinox occurs on the 21st when in reality it happens between the 20th and 23rd.
The seasons in 2015 in the North Hemisphere start on:
Spring Equinox – March 20
Summer Solstice – June 21
Autumn Equinox – September 23
Winter Solstice – December 21
In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the other way around. March 20 is the beginning of Autumn, followed by Winter, Spring and Summer. As an example, we just celebrated the Summer Solstice in the North Hemisphere on June 21, while the South was celebrating Winter.
Getting in tune with Nature’s cycles
In a few words, this is the invitation for each season:
Spring is time for new beginnings, when we plant our seeds with what we want to see growing in our lives. Summer is time for expansiveness, when we enjoy the daylight and feel the warmth of the Sun in our hearts. Autumn is time for gratitude and release, when we thank for our harvests and let go of what no longer serves us. Winter is time for stillness and introspection when we take time to rest and reconnect with our inner light.
Some people enjoy specific seasons more than others and maybe they feel more productive in Winter than in Summer. The invitation is for each person to listen to his or her own rhythms and do what feels best while experiencing the cycle in its fullness without skipping any step.
The four seasons are also a point of convergence where the secular and sacred, ordinary and extra-ordinary meet. What a great opportunity to remember that we are both human and spiritual beings at the same time!
All shamanic traditions and native and indigenous cultures have celebrated solstices and equinoxes for thousands of years. Inti Raymi is still celebrated today around the Winter Solstice, being an Andean ceremony of thanking the Sun for the return of Light and marking the beginning of the Inca new year. In neo paganism, the four seasons are part of the Wheel of the Year, which includes four other midpoint celebrations that complete the wheel: Yule (Winter), Imbolc, Ostara (Spring), Beltane, Litha or Midsummer (Summer), Lughnasadh, Mabon (Autumn) and Samhain. And many religious festivities and holidays fall around those days as Easter and Passover in March and Christmas and Dongzhi Festival in December.
Seasons can be celebrated in many different ways, from parties and potlucks to more ceremonial environments that can last a few hours or several days. It can be based on a specific tradition, none of them or a mix of different ones. There is no “right or wrong” way to do it; it all depends on how you connect with life and what inspires you at the moment.
Celebrating the seasons is a great opportunity to bring the sacred into our daily lives and share special moments with others as we connect, simultaneously, the natural, spiritual, human and material worlds.
Happy Transformational Summer/Winter to all!
In Lak’esh & Munay,
Yellow Electric Star
mariela [at] mayankin [dot] com
+1 (832) 454-3113
In Lak’esh means “I am another yourself!”, a Mayan greeting that recognizes the Divine in each living Being. It’s a message of Unity that reminds us that, when we give, we are also receiving. In this way, the Mayan honored and respected each other, reinforcing the belief that we are all interconnected: what we do to others and to our environment will also affect ourselves in the end…
Munay means both ‘Love’ and ‘Beauty’ in Quechua, the language of the Incas. Munay, translated as ‘To love’, is one of the three principles of the Andean way.
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