Newsletter #9

Did you feel it this morning? At 11:35 local time, the sun was directly over the equator. Which means that moments later the overhead sun began its slow but certain climb into the northern latitudes. And, thanks to the earth’s tilt, those of us in the northern hemisphere will now find ourselves gradually facing the sun more directly, and for longer, as we march toward summer solstice.

It’s quite awesome to imagine what is happening! I found myself holding a spotty apple on a tilt and rotating it around my head as a stand-in for the sun (which, thankfully, is not in relative size to the apple). It may not seem like it from a glance at the news but we are now on the “sunny side of the street” for the next half year. As someone who is somewhat mood affected by weather and daylight, not to mention living off-grid and reliant on the sun for energy, I am sure a happy clam when this time of year rolls around.

It’s nice to have ritual as part of astronomical milestones like equinox and solstice. One of the things I do is replace the cedar boughs beneath an ornamental drum which sits above my front door. That drum, purchased from an Indigenous-run Native Arts store in downtown Burlington which has long since disappeared, has travelled with me through almost 2 decades of my life.

It was thanks to guidance from a person at that store that I learned about my Native moon sign, snake, with a description remarkably accurate. And a delightful book, The Sacred Tree: Reflections on Native American Spirituality, which describes gifts of the “East” direction, that of spring, as including: renewal, innocence, spontaneity, joy, courage, hope, vulnerability, uncritical acceptance, birth & rebirth.

One ritual not part of my equinox day was walking the labyrinth! Up here in northern Grey County, much of the forest floor is still snow covered right now but with the on-and-off spring thaw the labyrinth path is no longer discernible. Yes, I’ve walked it enough times that I can probably figure out the way. But one of the points of labyrinth walking is to relieve the thinking, analytical mind of its duties by following the obvious one path. So to figure it out as I walk would defeat the purpose methinks.

I’ve had 3 labyrinth visit requests in the past week and advised them that there really is not path to follow at present, and we will have to wait until the stones bordering the path, and the soft pine needles that carpet the path, are visible once again. On the new forest labyrinth web site you can find the labyrinth status I update occasionally as conditions change.

You can also find the story of building the forest labyrinth, a backgrounder on labyrinth history and patterns, and events. Yes, indeed, forest labyrinth events! I am already planning something for summer solstice, as well as an experience which pairs breath work and a labyrinth walk. And… for those so inclined… occasional yoga at the labyrinth sessions: a 40 minute all-levels outdoor yoga practice followed by a labyrinth walk. These sessions may happen on short notice based on weather and property conditions so be sure you are subscribed to the forest labyrinth news & notices! See Events page to learn more.

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