The power of any spirituality is the possibility of insight and transformation that it offers. I never found that in the religions of transcendence. I find it in the Earth herself. And that is what informs my spiritual journey. Nature offers the wisdom that inspires and transforms me. It is visible, accessible, and embodied for all to behold and take nourishment. I bring myself into harmony with the deep rhythm of the Earth’s seasonal cycle, and as the Earth changes, so do I.
The Winter Solstice helps us to focus ourselves, our lives, our soul work on the irrepressible power of a tiny spark of light nurtured within the darkness. We’re reminded that at the darkest moments of our lives, when we can’t see an inch in front of our noses let alone have a clear vision of what comes next, when our lives seem empty, joyless and lifeless, we are about to be reborn.
As much as we treasure the light, the embodied spirituality of the Earth also offers us a very different understanding of darkness. It is the nurturing womb of the Great Mother, not empty but full of incipient potential, making the great magic hidden from view, shaping the yet unseen into a new life that will emerge.
Something new is emerging, at least here in America. Thousands of women are coming forward to share their stories of sexual abuse and assault suffered at the hands of men with power over them. Some stories seem like trivialities we have all learned to live with – a careless grope, a lewd remark. Many others are revelations of the most grotesque and brutal abuses of male privilege and power.
Women have always been told to wait because some other cause, abuse, or suffering is more important. But finally, women’s lives matter. Each story a woman shares is a small spark of light and together, women are illuminating the world. What the world is forced to look at is the truth that we have lived with for thousands of years – that we were abducted and darkness enveloped us.
Thousands of years ago, the ground opened and Persephone was abducted by Hades into the Underworld. Demeter demanded her daughter’s return and cursed the Earth so that nothing would grow until Persephone was liberated. This is the season of that abduction, when life disappears and the cold comes and darkness envelopes us. This is the season we have lived with, that women have lived with for thousands of years.
Each era has an archetypal expression, a spiritual motif that becomes the culture’s discernment of a sacred revelation. The myths we have grown up with have all been male – Moses, Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha. It has been thousands of years since the great myth of the soul’s journey has had feminine form. It has been thousands of years since the Divine Feminine was abducted. Without Her, half of everything is missing.
The story of Persephone is the great story of our era. This is the moment of her emergence from the Underworld, the moment when she carries new life into the world and the world, with her, is reborn. Together, women – supported by the men who love and respect them – are emerging.
Life is returning, the Divine Feminine is returning. And with the returning half of everything, men will also be freed from patriarchy’s underworld and restored to the fullness of their being. There is hope for the rebirth of our beloved Mother Earth who has been stripped of life.
I know this story because I lived it and I wrote about it. Many of us lived it. As the light pours forth. I see this is the moment when history changes. Not all at once, not everywhere, but it has begun. I see the season of new life and rebirth.
With love and blessings,
Winter Solstice 2017