I woke to my alarm at 4:45 a.m. By 5 a.m., a friend and I were in my car heading north to Starseed, a spiritual sanctuary (and hopefully small farm this spring) where we gathered with 25 people to honor the Winter Solstice.
The Solstice falls on what Alma Gloria Temaj Morales, a Mam Maya spiritual guide from Guatemala says is “the end of the Oxlajuj Baktun cycle, the end of the ‘long-count’ calendar that finishes up a 5,129-year cycle in the Mayan calendar.
The ancient Maya people were master astrologers and timekeepers, tracking the stars and planets and developing a cyclical calendar. The Mayan calendar predicts an alignment of the planets on December 21, 2012.
In the words of Alma Temaj, “In the Maya cosmovision, time is cyclical. Today, the long-count calendar culminates and planets align. It is not the end of the world, but the change of cycles, a new era, a new beginning. For us Maya, it’s the beginning of a cultural revolution that will enable us to recover our identities, traditions, and cultures. Spiritually, the change in cycles means a renewing of energies. Across Guatemala we are holding ceremonies and making offerings to mark the end of the old cycle and to receive the new era.”
Back in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, the wind howled with rage that could be felt deep inside my bones. Is this rage mine or is it Mother Earth’s? As we climbed elevation, rain turned to snow. The roads turned to ice and my car tried its best to grip the pavement below. My stomach tightened into a knot. I began to shake in fear.
“We might not make it,” I said doubtfully to my companion in the passenger seat. He remained calm and replied, “We can turn around if you don’t feel safe, but I want you to know I am very confident in your driving skills.”
How quickly doubt and fear sneak into my mind! No, we will persevere, I decided. “We’ve come this far,” I said. “We may as well keep going until we cannot go any further.”
For the last few miles of our journey, the car moved forward with confidence and safely carried us to our destination. It was as if we were being pulled on a long rope. I believe the loving energy from the people who sang together to honor the Solstice were actually pulling us to them. We arrived at 6:11 a.m., exactly when the Sun moved into Capricorn and the planets aligned in a New Way.
“Welcome! Welcome Home.” The circle of light bearers greeted us as we entered the meditation room. After we each lit a candle to signify our eternal light within, we joined in uplifting song. The darkness lifted and the snow covered trees became visible with each minute of returning light.
We sat in silence, listening to our Mother’s song outside. The wind blew threw the chimes. The rain pattered on the glass windows. The delicate blue light of dawn crept in by the time we opened our eyes. We sounded OM three times and bowed our heads to our hearts, honoring the light within. Our hands gripped one another’s like beads on a necklace as we circled around the breakfast table to say Grace. We broke delicious bread. Gratitude and nourishment filled our bodies.
Together we celebrated the Birthing of a New World.