There's an old song that my parents used to listen to about how everything and time turns turns turns, and for every season there is a purpose, for everything... At least, that's my vague memory of it. My parents were fringe hippies, and are now in denial about it all. At least when their daughter might hear them.
And I really think this is a great time, and it is serving an important purpose. On many levels. We're coming up on Midsummer-- on the Summer Solstice. We celebrate our parents on their special days. We celebrate the turning of the Earth, and the longest day of Sun. We're coming to the fulcrum of change. On this day, traditionally, bonfires are lit, and couples dance around them and leap over the flames for good luck and prosperity. They celebrate courage and fire and the importance of the hearth and the home, around which the rest of our lives spin. From Spring Maiden to Summer Mother to Fall Crone to Winter's rest-- around and around we go.
Coincidentally, I've been doing a bit of deep research on Wisdom, on Hestia (Goddess of the Hearth) and Athena and a host of other central Goddess figures from the Ancient Past. Astarte, Inanna, Ishtar, Saraswati and others. Midsummer is a celebration of the Goddess, and a celebration of Abundance. An opportunity to ground ourselves in the warmth and the strength of the Harvest and the central hearth. I learned that Hestia is the One who receives first and last offerings-- always. Every altar and offering fire was considered a hearth, and Hestia-- who was first and last daughter of the ancient gods, and both oldest and youngest sister of Zeus-- Hestia's right was to receive the first of any offering or any meal or any honor.
Without grounding ourselves, without being centered around our home hearth (whether our childhood home, the home we created for ourselves as adults, or the core grounded center of our being-- the deep red of the root chakra at the bottom of our spine)-- Without that strong base on which to build, our lives would be only dreams and ideas and wishes and wind. Every chakra-- every sense and energy center in our bodies-- is important. But MOST important is our individual connection to Mother Earth-- to our root and our foundation of being, of existence.
Following this train of reasoning and awareness (it may not be yours, but it makes sense to me), I suddenly remembered that my journey into Paganism and into self-hood started with my root chakra. I was searching for a way to feel sturdy on my feet. My whole life was new, with only a few blocks for a foundation and the rubble of my old life laying all around. (divorce, move, new job, buy a mattress and a chair, start going to school...)
I found a book about Chakras on sale, and picked it up. It reminded me of the wise woman (my Aunt) who had once been my anchor, so I took the book home and began to read. I realized that I felt no connection to my physical world-- to my reality-- and I started to follow many of the book's suggestions about unblocking the first chakra, about strengthening my roots and my spiritual/energy foundation. This led me to remember my wise Aunt's work with Essential Oils, with crystals and rocks. And that, my friends, is how everything started. One random book.
It was exactly what I needed. More books followed the first, and I learned that there were names for the things I believed, for the energies I sensed and the ideas I had about how one could truly connect with Spirit. Other people had the same ideas, and had more knowledge to share with me-- via their books-- me, to whom each thing was somehow new. I became caught up in my journey of exploration. I studied herbs, crystals, oils, symbols, tarot cards and trees. My intellectual and spiritual world expanded. And I forgot about my root, my need for a sturdy foundation.
So here we are, nearly two years later. About to celebrate the foundation of society-- the Earth, her Bounty, the Goddess who gives us Life and Courage and Love, and the Fire that gives us light, heat, and a place to call home. And I am reminded of my own beginning steps along this path. I am reminded that my own foundations still need attention. I've been dreaming of my ideal job, living on student loans, and wishing for something amazing to happen. I've been searching for a job (which means I'd finally live someplace intentional-- have a home; I'd finally have a livable income-- have security and a way to create the things I've only dreamed; I'd finally have started a career-- have a foundation for my future to grow from) ...I've been searching for a job for six months. Granted, part of that time was spent still in school, but it's been long enough for something good to manifest.
I just couldn't figure out what was missing. Why all my aspirations remained as dust in the wind, and none of my grand plans seemed to work out in real life. But that's the thing of it. I may have built a foundation of education, of knowledge and ideas (all related to the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh chakras)-- but I didn't build a physical foundation, I didn't ground and center my dreams and my efforts in reality-- not even my Spirit had a solid grounding. How could I hope to build a fine big (earth-friendly) structure if I didn't have anything to build it ON?! So I've returned to my Root Chakra practices. I'm unblocking my connection and my Earth Energy. I'm choosing to embody my dreams in a very real sense, and I look forward to experiencing the results.
Best wishes this Season, to you and yours. May your harvest be plentiful, your family strong, and your dreams of a beautiful future grounded in the reality of today.