I don't like schedules. They deny spontaneity and stifle flexibility if you stick to them, and if you don't, what’s the point of having one? The other problem I have with schedules is that it's rare that life, the universe in particular, rarely respects the orderly progression of tasks that you’ve so carefully laid out so that everything gets done in a timely manner. This can manifest in things not working out the way you intended, or other people asking things of you that mean adjustments be made, and if you’re anything like me you’ll put whatever it is that has been asked of you ahead of your schedule, ahead of the things you’ve planned (read want) to do after you’re done with the chores on your list of things that must be done.
Inevitably, those desired activities/tasks remain unfulfilled, initiating a stress response, leading into a spiral of negativity and resentment - unless you’re able to embrace true selflessness… a fully enlightened state of being that few of us, myself included, reach in our lifetime.
So what’s the solution? What are the answers or the steps to strive for at the beginning of our golden solar path? I believe it’s a matter of learning how and when to say, “no” or, “not right now,” and not being afraid to take care of self while adhering to the schedule you made; recognizing when you need a moment of and for you, and not feeling guilty for doing so.
Day before yesterday was the Winter Solstice. Mir and I were travelling on that day, back from New York City where we'd been visiting with good friends, and stopped in on the National Museum of the Marine Corp on the way back to visit the statue of Sergeant Reckless. We were surprised also to see a piece of the WTC that we'd seen transported to the museum along the New Jersey Turnpike a long while past now… and remembered the Firefighters on the bridges paying their respects as it passed. To lay my hand upon the concrete and steel was a profound moment… one right for the introspection the Solstice and winter season invokes into a life.
Perhaps that's where my coming journey begins… like a seed, buried in the dark earth, sheltered from the cold and the wet and the external pressures latent in the unfolding year, held together by the protective pressures of my own internal thoughts, like the arms of Mother, holding Her child, who has wandered.
There is one who rules us all. Her name is Fortune.
She can raise the lowest to the pinnacle of success,
or turn a parade into a funeral just like that!
Everyone calls upon her: the poorest farmer
sends up troubled prayers, sailors on dark seas
call out her name, even tyrants pray to her
to keep their spoils. Nomads and high queens
and townsfolk all invoke her with the same words:
Harsh Necessity is your companion, Fortune,
you of the brass hands, you who join and shape
our lives on earth, you of the forge and anvil:
we pledge never to forget your strict claims upon us.
But Hope walks with you too, and Loyalty,
those white-robed goddesses, dear to you
and dear to us. Fortune, we beg of you:
lift up our timebound lives to your Eternal breast.
--Roman poet Horace
The only truth in life is this: that change will come. We cannot know when Fortuna will next turn her wheel, or in what direction she will push us. We can, however, life fully in the present, thanking the universe for what it provides us, finding joy in each moment of this lovely, transitory life.
What a way to start out a book of meditations... with an invocation to the Roman Goddess of Change. All sound very dramatic, very... violent almost as if sweeping in the new year with the roar of a lion, or maybe dragon - some spirit animal, and expression of the inner 'beginning' that many associate with the turning of the calendar.
My meditation on this - on change - came while I was outside in the yard, blowing leaves away from where they have blanketed the yard for far too long. A change occuring before my eyes from the brown, messy blanketed woodland yard full of leaves to the loamy soil beneath, with its occasional promise of new life in the green shoots of grass. I've noticed too, the other day as a matter of fact, that the days are getting longer... it's lighter later.
Meditating on all of this as we worked on the yard, I realise that this is a bit the way I feel... as if I've been blanketed by years worth of leaves, Leaves which haven't broken down to provide nourishment for inner or outer growth, in fact they've perhaps been smothering and stilfling, especially on an inner level - but there is hope. As they are cleared away - blown away on the winds of change that inevitably blow in the New Year, as so many souls around the world who recognise the turning of the year at this moment, create and stir the thought form of such winds - so as they are blown away, I see the green shoots of the lush 'self-grass' beneath. I know the promise is there, waiting to be nurtured and encouraged to grow.
May the touch of the goddesses I work with through working with this book this year assist in that growth, that development and change on and inner level that will affect the outer, rather than, as I fear has been, the other way around. I realise one cannot happen without the other, but I feel change that begins inside of me will be more beneficial to the change, visible and otherwise, on the outside. Yes, I realise that this change is something that could have begun at the turning of the Celtic year, but then I was still covered with the many layers of leaves, but now, liberated and freed from their shroud, I feel I can finally begin.