Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Eclipse, Solstice, Yule, Blogaversary, Carols: Thoughts on Creativity and Recurrence

What a special, special Solstice night.  My daughter and I, in rooms at two ends of the house, were both awakened at around 2:40 AM (just as, it turns out, the eclipse was heading into its fullness) by what seems to have been an identical feeling:  a warm rush of happiness entering through the crowns of our heads.  I lay there for a while and felt the world, in every detail and in every commonality, united in a harmony of unity and love. Soon I went downstairs to look for the moon, which had been full and clear when I went to bed.  It was hidden by clouds, but I stayed there, mindful of astrologer Gretchen Lawlor's words in an email to me yesterday evening: " I've just realized it is important, at some time during this eclipse to stand up and feel the alignment, be part of the drama, another channel for the light. When you stand, the Earth and past it the Sun will be in alignment beneath your feet, and the Moon directly overhead, at your crown. Even if it's cloudy and we cannot see it."  I stood and felt the channel, exactly as she had described it.  

How different from last year's solstice celebration, described in the very first post on American Witch, which was also wonderful in a completely different way.  That was rousing, external and solar, this one, so far, peaceful, internal and lunar.  But each, incontrovertible.  I love how being a Wiccan gives me so much flexibility to find the Spirit how and why I need to find it.  This year we will also be partaking in many of the traditions of last year, but there is so much space for creativity every year as well. What will we be doing? Will I finish my own solstice carol? I know I will be posting here, soon, my new versions of Christmas carols, invented during a concert this weekend and suitable for Goddess-believers to sing along!

This morning, Starhawk is featured in an essay for the Washington Post, and also quoted in an article on this singular confluence of astrological events--the second in 2000 years:  "But for Wiccans, astrologists and others, Starhawk wrote, the coincidence offers an opportunity to "step out of time. We are free of the past, and we can consciously create the future, for ourselves, for our communities, for the earth.""

Creativity is, by definition, about stepping out of time.  And yet it is time that connects with it, inspires it, feeds it, stimulates it and gives it the otherness it needs to grow.  Just as, in a line of poetry, the words and the rhythm interact, so my own creative newnesses interact with the recurrences of time:  the dawns, the moons, the Solstices and the whole Wheel of the Year.  It does so often spontaneously and unpredictably, as befits a type B blood type—but that's all the more reason I treasure the recurrences that are there.  

I remember the feeling of excitement I had last year, just after Yule, to be starting this blog; I was a little scared to begin "coming out" as a Wiccan, stepping out into the moonlight, as it were.   A year later, here's Starhawk being quoted matter-of-factly in the Post.  In many ways (not least, Senate candidate Christine ODonnell's widely-noticed, inadvertent video advertisement for Wicca), it's been a year of mounting energy for Wiccans, ending with this awe-inspiring solstice eclipse, this twice in 2000 years moment of realignment betweeen the feminine and masculine energies.  

It's also been an inspiring year of blogging for you all.  Thank you, each one, for reading and sharing American Witch and for all your comments, good wishes, and support.  I love hearing from you and knowing you are here with me on this blogging adventure! Thanks also for the wonderful Solstice poems; it will be an annual call, so if you didn't send one in and would like to, you can get to work on next year's Yule poem.  For inspiration, you could check out these new Christmas carols (some very beautiful) solicited by Britain's poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, and also these incredible photos of last night's solstice eclipse.


dabneyfinch said...

That's a wonderful post! Even though I slept through the eclipse, now I feel I didn't completely miss it.


Tom said...

Hi Annie, I just wanted to tell you that your short post on FB on the confluence of astronomical events surfaced something for me in the form of a dream that woke me at 1:30 am. I woke my wife, recorded the dream, and we watched what we could see thru the cloud cover for a while. The dream was significant and this morning (after re-awakening) I asked the I Ching how best to use this. So, for this household, we were moved by the event.

Annie Finch said...

Tom, I'm so happy to hear this and thanks for sharing the story here!

Annie Finch said...

Yay Dabney! Thanks for posting. I wonder if you would have seen it in California? Love, Annie

Lyle Daggett said...

It snowed here, a few inches, the day before solstice. This on top of the 17 inches of snow nine days earlier. I slept through the eclipse that night, however earlier in the evening, walking home from the bus stop around 5:30 or 6:00, -- it was dark by 5 -- I did catch a glimpse of the full moon, faint and partially obscured by the clouds, a little way up in the sky in the east.

It seemed to be whispering -- the best way I can think of to say it. The moon, as you may have observed, has many voices, and what I heard from it that night was the softest and coolest whispering I can recall ever hearing from it. The moon seemed to be the same color as the clouds that partly hid it. The whispering of the moon was the color of the clouds.

Just a few moments of moon viewing, the short block from the bus stop to my apartment. Clouds filled in. All local reports indicated that the eclipse wasn't visible here -- I saw pictures and T.V. news video of it.

I read the Starhawk article you link to here. I couldn't help remembering, as I read it, that the short day and long night she refers to are only in the northern half of the earth -- the solstice is summer in the southern half. I haven't heard (and haven't gone looking, for that matter) whether the eclipse was visible in the southern latitudes. Solar eclipses, as I've always understood it, follow a fairly narrow "track" relative to the surface of the earth. But not sure if the same is true for lunar eclipses.