agents of transformation

The Solstice day has come and gone, December 21st (this year and most years in the UK) the Sun went into Capricorn. Shortest day, longest night, renewal of the light.

It really didn’t feel like it yesterday, despite it being a sunny day here. Sometimes it really does, or you feel it coming ahead of time, the rebirthing energy, dark and sparkly. This year the actual solstice felt more weighted down for me; I don’t know if that was due to the amount of garbled expectation there was about the end of the Mayan calendar, casting some kind of pall of commercial misinformation over the group mind, but I found yesterday more heavy and shadowy than open to rebirth. Today the energy has shifted, and even though it is grey and rainy, Yule has come.

Lying in bed this morning, half awake and half tranced, something or other was rising up, negative or worrisome, I can’t remember exactly what it was, or what collection of things, but I reached with my mind to release and transform that negativity, using the kind of “words of power” formula that Marion Weinstein teaches in her books. These are simple formulae that program intentional thought with clarity and purpose – no glamour, no mystification, just work. And it does work. And there it occurred to me, more acutely than usual, just how crucial the work of transforming negativity is.

There are obviously all kinds of spiritual practice, but most essentially I feel there is what happens with consciousness and mind, and what we do with that. Of course, that does not need to be separate from our bodies, and it is good to have integration, but most essentially it is all about consciousness. That is how people doing quite different things, and even apparently doing “nothing”, can be doing the same work. The translation into “way of life” surely flows from that.

As I noted in this post in 2010, the astrological signs that lie at the heart of Winter are both traditionally ruled by Saturn, and if there were ever a planet associated with work it would be this ancient agricultural god with his sickle. Capricorn and Aquarius are so different (just as Cancer and Leo are), but they both fall under his rulership (just as Cancer and Leo are both ruled by “luminaries”). Between these two, the natural opposition to light and eternity, and the resurgence of a redeemed light, are worked out. Which is which is sometimes the chewy bit lol.

It often seems in popular neopaganism that we just celebrate, mumble some platitudes about light and dark, death and rebirth, yin and yang, yadda yadda, and celebrate again. Like a free slot machine, it’s going to go round and round. But of course that’s not what our ancestors were doing, I don’t believe that, anymore than I believe that “the mysteries” were really about biological fertility. I have to give them more credit than that.

Naturally I don’t really know what “the ancients” were doing, but I believe it was spiritual, otherwise this would just be an extended feel good vacation. And that it ain’t.

So I have this here. To transform negativity. The work of transformation. Whether it’s a rebirth, an unbirth, or something else, the essential deals with our predicament, born into time, space and apparent separation, and through a spiritual work offers redemption.

Hans Sebald Beham [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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