Celebrating the rhythm of the year

Saturday, June 22nd (tomorrow), we will host a gathering at Pleroma Farm in Hudson, NY, to celebrate the summer solstice. Activities will include an evening bonfire, as is tradition within the cultures that celebrate St. John’s Day, which falls at this time.

At 3:30 tomorrow we will kick off the festivities with a tour of the garden and medicinal plant area.

Join us! We have begun to explore the next iteration of this farm as medicine: local food, biodynamic agriculture, medicinal plants, and community. What’s to lose? It’s not like humanity’s future is in jeopardy or anything (please note the intended sarcastic but totally calm, collected and reassured tone).

Enter “Pleroma Farm” into your GPS for directions or use 149 CR14 Hudson, NY.

St. John’s Day / The Summer Solstice

St. John’s Day / the summer solstice time sits at one pole of the year where it’s like we have traveled up into the land of the sun.

The endless days are full of warmth and light, which surround and engulf us.

The Earth’s vital force spreads out from its core, reaches the surface, and stretches out into the surrounding universe. Almost in a dream we blissfully follow suit and blend with the natural environment. We joyfully commune. The natural world is our meeting place.

Our bodily tissues become more pliable and malleable. It’s a time of moving and doing. School is out. Set your thinking caps aside. It’s time to play!

Now contrast this time to the other pole of the year. It’s the completely opposite time, where the outer light is distant and faded. The cold and isolation awaken us to our individual reality and aloneness. The dark winter lends itself to quiet inner activities: resting, planning, preparing, and thinking. It’s an introverted time.

We observe that Christmas is also a festival of light, but not outer light. Christmas is a festival of our Inner light. As the outer light of St John’s Day/ summer solstice time fades, the inner light celebrated at Christmas becomes more and more bright.

Blending with the surroundings and getting lost in the outer light of high summer is balanced by the opposite time of the year where we are soberly drawn into our inner core by the icy darkness.

“He must increase, but I must decrease”.

— John the Baptist, prophet, and forerunner for the coming of Christ
What a combo!

It is in the rhythm of the year where we experience our full self, both extremes and the two balance points in between, spring and fall.

This is our year.

Takeaways

Celebrating the rhythms of the year informs us, grounds us, and reassures us. The rhythms in nature are embedded in our human make-up. The festivals resonate because we recognize ourselves in them and them in us. 

There are a few lessons we can learn from this festival and being in the land of the sun. Let’s examine what the St. John’s day/ summer solstice time teaches us.

1. Shine brightly

The sun lights up the whole world. Be like the sun and let your light shine into existence. St John teaches us to shine brightly for others. St John taught it’s best to lead “a brotherly life” seeking to equalize social inequalities. Add your light to the outer light. 

2. Movement

The sun quickens all life. Summer is a time for moving. Movement in summer is sweating and detoxing. It’s a reminder that our actions are a huge key. Our actions are where we love each other.

3. Rhythm

At times we are in the outer light, at other times inner light. They can’t happen at the same time. Invite a healthy rhythm into your days to help remember your wholeness. This could mean incorporating soothing morning or evening routines. It could mean going to bed at a healthy time. Or going for a regular walk.

4. Exposure
We have no secrets when the outer light is brightest. Everything is known. Examine who you are and how you do things. Don’t hide from yourself, says the Summer. Make steps everyday to learn and grow. The full outer light can remind you of your priorities. St John’s whole message was to optimize and prepare.

5. Baptism

“The term baptism has also been used metaphorically to refer to any ceremony, trial, or experience by which a person is initiated or purified.” The last lesson of the high summer is that your trials belong. They are your baptism and open the path to purification. Integrating all our experiences and being slow to judge the events of our lives and ourselves is the way we stay whole and keep moving forward!