by Crystal Pomeroy
The influences Maya has outlined for this New Moon-Solar Eclipse (see Success Guide for December 14) are even more interesting in the light of the traditionally sacred power vortexes of the Winter Holidays that take place during this cycle. The astrologically accentuated breakup of "monoliths of fundamentalist beliefs," coupled with the Sabian symbol of "a group of immigrants" being processed as they enter a new country, remind us of the timeliness of developing inner strength which surpasses our programmed prejudice and judgementalism. Furthermore, in a personal conversation with Maya, she stressed the "love energy that is so strong" for this New Moon. All of these vibrations tap the healing archetypes of Winter Solstice and Christmas.
As mentioned in my Libra New Moon meditation, current world events reflect a chemical reaction between authoritative, patriarchal belief systems and the growing, popular tendency towards individual spiritual empowerment. The latter is clearly reflected in the increasing preference for seasonal celebrations transcending dogmas, such as ecumenical and pagan gatherings, especially in December.
The degree to which each of us contributes to this shift, and to planetary peace, can be measured not only by the outer practice or rituals we partake in, but how deeply we are willing to release our own (often subconscious) dogmatic and judgmental attitudes. This Holidays New Moon is a powerful time--not only to go with the flow of evolving spiritual and cultural expression, but to optimize its promise. This Moon cycles Solstice Tree Blessing is designed to catalyze personal and planetary energies into a healing dimension, as we celebrate the Force which can bring an end to all our holy wars: personal and collective, attitudinal and physical.
The universal essence of Christmas is revealed as we reconnect with the pagan roots of Winter Solstice, in which symbols of trees and light play a perennial role. In the Western hemisphere the solstice tree celebration has been taking place for at least 100,000 to 800,000 years. Third Century Roman Emperor Aurelius integrated the birthday of the God of the "Invincible Sun," and moved the date from the true Solstice to December 25. Under Constantine, the inclusion of the birth of Jesus was an easy adaptation, as there were already significant parallels between the beliefs around the Roman Sun God cult and Jesus Christ. Our thirst for a more universal holiday is further sated by considering that both Hanukkah and the Buddhas illumination are also celebrated in December, as well as homage and mass pilgrimage to the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico.
All these diverse, winter gatherings emphasize spirit and light. In the predominant western traditions, enduring features also include candles, music, opulent feasts and gifts exchanged with loved ones. The most enriching addition of the Christ symbolism is the emphasis on our own divinity, which shows forth at this time of year as unconditional good will, generosity exceeding apparent material limitations, and a willingness to lay down both mental and physical arms. Even warring enemies have traditionally done the latter on Christmas eve.
The rituals and feelings that entrain us psychically to millions of others around the world during and around the Winter Solstice underscore the question, How can war be holy? Jim Rosemergy said it most eloquently almost two years before September 11 :
"Spiritual values are not at the front where people are dying; they are behind the lines waiting for a moment of sanity and for someone to remember that God is love.... If there are to be no more holy wars, we must change our view of God ... we must also cease warring in the name of religion against those who are different from ourselves... Religion must cease warring against homosexuals and the leadership of women in spiritual matters.... When did the theology of separation subjugate the message of love and acceptance?"
"Jesus", Rosemergy reminds us,
"...Ate at the home of a tax collector ... protected prostitutes ... talked to Samaritans. He saved His harshest words for righteous religious leaders." [The] twenty-first century has dawned. Its time to get back to basics. Religion must express the love of God and show through example that every human being is valued by Spirit. If the Presence truly is love, and we are to worship in Spirit, what is our next step?...The true God is saying to us, 'If you love me, love one another.'
"I hope that in the coming years, we will ... banish the god of condemnation to the realm of mistaken beliefs. Now is the time for us to worship the God of love, and then we will know that war is not holy, and neither is condemnation."
After reading this moving article a couple of years ago, my reflections led me to admit that a holy war takes place in my heart whenever I condemn somebody for not complying with my own moral or spiritual standards. One of the egos most subtle games is to use what personal integrity or spirituality we have developed against ourselves, by generating condemning attitudes towards whomever appears to be less righteous than we are. This is demonstrated collectively by the fact that the first holy war in contemporary history was fought by the Hebrews, who were also the first group to develop a religion based on moral standards of right and wrong. So-called holy wars seem to be perpetrated by fundamentalist groups and governments. Since any manifestation in our world requires a critical mass of consciousness to sustain it, we can all contribute powerfully to the Solstice Spirit and the peace movement by laying down the condemning arms of our supposed moral or spiritual superiority over others.
Gary Zukav reminds us of the value of developing loving attitudes even in the face of abuse. If you see abuse going on, he says,
"It is appropriate to do what you can to [stop it], but if there is not compassion in your heart also for those who abuse and oppress--do you not become like them?
"...A compassionate heart is more effective against evil than an army. An army can engage another army, but it cannot engage evil. A compassionate heart can engage evil directly, it can bring Light where there was no Light."
In the highest metaphysical sense, when we focus our energies on seeing the good, in ourselves, in our midst, and in others, we will also confirm that "perfect love casts out fear." Just as holy wars will fade while individuals--one by one--work to stop considering ourselves holier than others, and wars will diminish as we stay focused on compassion, so will terrorism wilt away as we become internally immune to the likelihood of being terrified. Perhaps that goal seems distant to us now, but as we celebrate this Winters Spirit from within, we can do so knowing that the Higher Power, in Its infinite love and power, will be miraculously multiplying our own best efforts.
SYMBOLS OF THE ELEMENTS FOR THE DECEMBER NEW MOON-SOLAR ECLIPSE CYCLE (TO ADD TO OR CREATE SEASONALLY SYNCHRONIZED ALTARS.)
"Just as I appreciate ritual for making some truths clear to me, I appreciate my altar, through which I acknowledge and experience that sacred space within me." Anne Gariazzo
- The Winter Solstice earth element can be present as a tree, or any type of green plant, especially evergreens. Pine, holly, oak, juniper and cedar traditionally represent lifes continuity, protection and abundance. Ivy is associated with fidelity, protection, healing, marriage, victory (especially by spiritual means), honor and good fortune. Any green decorations: branches, leaves, boughs, and sprigs, invite the Solstice spirits. Wreathes are especially meaningful, as the circle is a solstice symbol. Baked goods in circular shapes are also a beautiful, earthy accent (grains are a timely symbol of abundance and fertility).
- You can use melted snow, rain or tap water in an attractive vessel, or sparkling cider or wine in a goblet or bottle.
- Timely symbols of fire could be lit in your hearth, and bright yellow, and/or red and green candles (the latter look very festive and beautiful decorated with ribbon of the opposite color twisted around them).
- For the air element, you could burn pine boughs or incense, and/or play seasonal music.
Those who wish to call on guides and angels at this time to assist in prayer focusing, may choose to include any of the following:
The Angel of Truth
The Angel of Freedom from the illusion of fear
The Angels of Endings and Beginnings
The Solstice Angels
The Angel of Christmas Spirit
The Angel of Personal and World Peace
Archangel Zadquiel and Amethyst (guardians of Atlantis, submerged area still in need of planetary healing that include the seas around New York and Florida)
The Divine Mother Venus, Goddess of Love
Guadalupe (originally TonantzinMother of the Gods and Goddesses in Mesoamerica, Divine Mother of the Americas expression of the Divine Love Principal which is currently working to harmonize the mental vibration of the US.)
The Angel of Planetary Healing
The Angel of Planet Earth
The Christ Mind
If you wish to summon such helpers before beginning your own prayers and meditations, and/or your own angel(s) or guides, and any other beings "of the high white light alone" (a good phrase for protection when summoning spirits or guides, especially during this season), you may call on them out loud or in writing. You might say or write something like,
"I greet you and bless you for your work of divine service and guidance, and request your assistance in freeing my mind from any conditioning which may block the expression of the unlimited power of True Knowledge within me, and focusing of my own prayers."
Solstice Tree Ceremony:
1. Read through this prayerful celebration. It may seem on the long side, but its been carefully prepared so that each step will help stir the highest forces within and around us at this time.
2. Find someone to share this with! If you dont know who it could be, think of a neighbor or someone else who would appreciate a little extra cheer in their lives.
3. Play live or recorded seasonal music.
4. (If you havent yet decorated your tree, bough or wreath yet, do the following welcome as a pre-decoration prayer). Hold hands in a circle. If you have a tree and there are enough of you, make your circle around it.
5. Welcome the tree, bough or wreath into your home (or into your celebration, if done outside) with words such as the following:
"Beautiful Green Being, unique and living symbol of the marvel of creation, thank-you for sharing your healing life with us, for connecting us with one another, and with the memory of our own true nature, which is unlimited love, and unhindered circulation of good. We request your permission to include you in our homage to the perennial life you represent... [if you havent already decorated it, add] and to decorate you accordingly."
6. Each person present can take turns giving the tree, bough or wreath its welcome and expressing thanks in your own words.
7. If you havent already done so, decorate the tree or wreath, with the same loving devotion that you would if you were dressing a beloved child or other cherished being, then hold hands again.
8. Take turns telling the tree what it means to you, how beautiful it looks and why you love it.
9. Sit together in a circle (around the tree, if possible), and take turns mentioning aloud countries, world areas, groups, and/or segments of the human and planetary ecology, that inspire your love, compassion or concern especially at this time. After each mention, all repeat,
"I behold the Spirit in you; I bless you and love you and I will the very best for you."
After the decree for each area or, spend a moment in silence, visualizing them shining with white light.
10. Each participant commits to end sacred wars in their hearts, by bringing to mind one or two groups or people which cause you indignation, or a sense of moral superiority.
11. For five minutes, while each of you holds the image of the person or people that bother you in your attention, slowly decree the following words:
"In spite of whatever differences exist between you and I, I behold the Spirit in you; I bless you and forgive you and I will the very best for you."
12. Take a few minutes to share the perceptions and feelings experienced during this last prayer aloud.
13. Bless your Solstice Tree by repeating together three times (one of you can read aloud while the others follow):
"WE BLESS THE LIVING, HEALING, JOINING FORCE THAT IS IN THIS TREE (BOUGH, WREATHE). AND WE GIVE THANKS, AS WE KNOW THAT THE SAME POWER THAT HAS BROUGHT THIS TREE HERE AND GATHERED US TOGETHER TODAY, IS NOW AT WORK GATHERING TOGETHER AND MANIFESTING GREAT LOVE AND UNLIMITED GOOD IN OUR PERSONAL FAMILIES, OUR SPIRITUAL FAMILIES AND OUR PLANETARY FAMILY NOW, AS IT NEUTRALIZES ANY APPEARANCES OF FEAR OR SEPARATION."
14. Each person present hugs each other once and says,
"I behold the Spirit in you; I bless you and love you and will the very best for you."
(If youve never done this last, apparently simple exchange, you will be amazed at its strength.)
15. Exchange gifts (even candles and baked treats are great, and apropos for Solstice).
16. Feast and make merry.
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