We are moving into the shortest day of the year, the “dark night of the soul” with the Solstice next week. For years, the winter lodges at bear creek have been the most difficult, as we are on the Pacific Crest trail and get lots of rain and snow. The old pagan Ceremonies tell of the battle at Yule of the Oak King and the Holly King – the Holly King ruling from the summer solstice to the winter solstice and the oak king ruling from the Winter Solstice until the Summer Solstice. These turns of the wheel are so important to those on a spiritual path, and both the birth of Christos – and the return of the light. The highest that emerges out of the darkness into the light. As always, the tree symbolizes our connection to family, and at these times it is so important to give our “presence” to those we love and care about.
The gifts of the North are connected to our dream state – each night we die and enter the realm of the spirit world where our dreams carry messages from our ancestors. Among the North gifts are detachment, freedom from fear, freedom from love and hate, and the proper use of our mind. The North is the element of Air, coming from the waters of the west into the air of the north. Each breath dies to the next, and each evening, we detach into the dream time and each morning we can wake up refreshed and renewed or wake up with yesterdays unfinished business. In 12 step recovery, we learn that all we can stay sober is this day. Today, well lived makes my tomorrow hopeful. This Solstice, although we won’t be having a lodge I encourage you to create your own Ceremony. I will be praying with the pipe to have those barriers I have built against love to be removed by spirit. My gift buying has been less, yet I still love having a tree to remind to look within for the highest each day and to be grateful for my business, home and family that is Cedar Mountain. I will resume teaching classes beginning next year with “The Teachings of the North – 12 Steps and the Red Road.”