Earth Medicine, Wheel of the Year

Trust in the chaos of transformation

Autumn emerging on Vancouver’s Arbutus Greenway

Shifting from season to season can be chaotic at times, as the energies transform, at times moving forward and at times clinging or returning to its previous state. And so it has been for us lately in my locale. The summer heat and drought was stubbornly clinging well past its usual time, and then winter stepped in saying “It’s time to release”, bringing the much needed rains, snow and chilly weather. We need this time of rest, to deepen our roots, to reflect, and prepare for renewal and rebirth.

And yet I trust the seeming chaos. It knows where it is going, and will find its way. I flow with it. I get comfortable with the unknown, with the unexpected. Change is analog, not digital. It shifts and ebbs as we find our footing and settle in to new ways of being. 

I share these beautiful words from poet and novelist Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), which reflect my feelings and experiences at this time of year, this liminal time of the transition from Autumn Equinox to Winter Solstice that we call Samhain. It is the sunset of the year, and the turning of a new spiral in the ever moving wheel of the year. This is a cauldron time for me, a time of both reflection and looking forward. 

And I embrace this liminal time, and the two worlds co-existing around me, within me, as — in Rilke’s worlds — one climbs toward heaven and one sinks to earth. I am releasing the stones that weigh me down and reaching for that climbing star, as I stand high and grow.

Sunset
by Rainer Maria Rilke

Slowly the west reaches for clothes of new colors
which it passes to a row of ancient trees.
You look, and soon these two worlds both leave you
one part climbs toward heaven, one sinks to earth.

leaving you, not really belonging to either,
not so hopelessly dark as that house that is silent,
not so unswervingly given to the eternal as that thing
that turns to a star each night and climbs –

leaving you (it is impossible to untangle the threads)
your own life, timid and standing high and growing,
so that, sometimes blocked in, sometimes reaching out,
one moment your life is a stone in you, and the next, a star.

How is this liminal time manifesting for you? Within you?


Note re Header Image

I captured this image with my iPhone, last week, on a local greenway in my Vancouver neighbourhood. Even in an urban environment, we can find the beauty of Mama Earth. 

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