Reflections and blessings for the turning of the year
It feels a little strange to be writing New Year wishes on 1 January. For me, the real year’s end and year’s beginning happened 10 days ago at the Solstice when we ended our plunge into winter darkness and cold – at least here in the northern hemisphere! – and began our ascent back to the light and warmth. Here in the north of Scotland, the sun has been lazily struggling out of bed at about 9am, rising to a zenith of 9 degrees, and drifting back to sleep at 3.30pm. On cloudy days it barely seems to get light at all!
It’s traditional in the Findhorn Community to celebrate the solstice by ‘walking the spiral’. Each year an inward and outward spiral path is laid out on the floor of the Universal Hall, the edges marked by beautiful evergreens. Over a couple of days, people come when it suits them to meditatively mark the turning of the year. Taking an unlit candle, I slowly walk symbolically into the dark, reflecting on and releasing the year just passed. At the centre, I pause and light my candle from the flame that always burns there, before moving on towards the light and whatever the new year may hold. Once out of the spiral, I dedicate myself to the Earth by placing my candle on a low table, in the centre of which is an illuminated globe. Sitting for a few minutes in meditation, I then choose an Angel Card – one from the deck of the Transformation Game which was born here. This year, I had already picked a card the night before in a process with friends, and so I have two Angels for the year: Transformation and Purpose.
The traditional wish of A Happy New Year seems inadequate and inappropriate in this time of turmoil. Happiness would be a welcome bonus, but if we are to meet the challenge of the crisis of civilization, of humanity, of Gaia, what we need above all else is transformation of spirit and consciousness, and a united, determined purpose. And so, I wish us all - myself, my cyber friends, my readers, the Zaadz Community, and our real communities of family, work and home - a Transformative and Purposeful Year.
Transformation is not comfortable! The hapless caterpillar in its chrysalis is not comfortable or happy as its body dissolves and starts to reassemble itself. And yet without passing through this dark night, when all it knows and values is dissolving, it could not re-create itself as a radiant being bathed in sunlight.
My body and emotions resist and avoid transformation in any way they can. I keep myself busy with ‘important’ tasks and anxious forebodings, I hold down uncomfortable emotions with physical tensions, I ignore protests from my body and subconscious, I project my issues onto others, I fail to stick with a consistent spiritual practice ... If it was not for the love and persistence of my partner, Christine, I’d probably remain stubbornly untransformed.
But like the ice on the river, the untransformed self is brittle and will break if stressed. How much more powerful is the constant, swirling change of the melt water.
And I know that transformation is life. When any organism ceases to change it dies. When my body ceases to change, I will be declared dead. When any ‘soul’ ceases to grow and transform, it is spiritually dead. When any species or civilization ceases to evolve, it is headed for the scrapheap of history.
Our efforts to stabilise the world, to somehow maintain the status quo, to prevent disaster, are misguided. If they work, they will kill through stagnation. If they fail, they will herald unplanned, unexpected, and unwanted transformations.
How much better to embrace life, to welcome change, to promote positive, desired transformations – in ourselves, our loved ones, our communities, our nations, and our planet.
And let’s do it with determined, clear-sighted Purpose.