Summer Moon of the Summer Solstice
Light to dark. A continuum and a dialectic. Our inner lives fall, always, somewhere along this line. Our life might be bright, cheery, goals and actions easy to see, our days bouncy and their weight upon us like a feather. Or, our lives might be dark, intense, solemn, our next moves difficult to imagine, our days heavy, weighing upon us like a great rock.
But the Great Wheel shows us a yet deeper truth. Light to dark and dark back to light is the way of life on this earth. In the temperate latitudes this truth is at its most nuanced and its most fruitful. Quite literally. In temperate latitudes, as the Solstices mark out, we go from the Summer victory of light to the Winter victory of darkness.
Though darkness seems to be the dialectical opposite of light-winter the antithesis of summer-in fact darkness gives plant life a time to rest, rejuvenate, prepare for the rigors of another growing season. The light, when it begins to bear down upon the fields and forests, encourages and feeds them, preparing them for the harvest. In the places where the seasons are more extreme, like the tropics where daylight remains equal to night all year round and at the poles where night and day extend for months exuberant plant life can overtake whole regions. Or, at the poles ice can become so thick and vast that it covers hundreds, thousands, of square miles.
The Summer Solstice and the Winter Solstice then are not opposed to each other. The transitions from light to dark and dark to light for which they are the zenith are necessary engines for the well-being of all of us who call this planet home.
Thus we might consider the transitions from light to dark in our psyche, in our soul, as variations necessary for a full and rich life. Of course we need the sunshine of children, of love, of hope, of success. The times in our lives when those can dominate are like the summer, the growing season. Yet, grief and failure are part of our soul’s turning, part of our reaction to and integration of life’s darkness. Also, those practices which can take us deep into our inner life are like the fallow times of fall and winter providing rest and rejuvenation to us.
Today we celebrate the solar equivalent of our live’s growing season. Mark out those matters in your life that flourish, that bring joy and love, that encourage your fulfillment. But, know as well that even events like divorce, like the death of a loved one, like the failure of a dream can enrich the soil of your life, must enrich the soil of your life or else we pretend that the Great Wheel does not turn, but rather stops and becomes one season, to the eventual death of all we know.
The Summer Solstice begins the gradual victory of dark over light, the one we celebrate at the Winter Solstice. Light and dark are not opposite, but parts of a whole, parts of your soul and its ancientrail toward death.