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" A good traveller has no fixed plans,

and is not intent on arriving "

Lao Tzu

The 2012 Solstice

Published by Philip Carr-Gomm

Happy Solstice! Here is the text of a meditation I gave at our pre-summer solstice gathering in Glastonbury. After relaxing and centering we imagined ourselves on the hillside of the Tor, asking ourselves:

“How can I stand between the Known and the Not Known?

On this Threshold of the Year?”

Imagine the time has arrived – for all humanity. The ending of a cycle.

The close of an era as we come to an awareness of all that we have done to this Earth that we love – that is our home.

And we know the cycle is ending, and we know we cannot know the future.

But we live in hope, and we know the wheel turns, and we trust in the power of the harvest – and in its goodness.

And we sense ourselves walking up that hill in the darkness before dawn.

Taking all our lives with us, summed up, brought with us to the summit.

For us – at this time – to unfold the wrapped gift we have been carrying: the sum-total of all that we have learned on Earth, and perhaps through all our lives: those lifetimes in Egypt and India, Peru and Mesopotamia, Europe, Tibet, Africa, wherever we have been – all that we have learnt, opening to us now at this harvest time of our lives, of humanity. This time of now.

And we reach the summit of the hill with the promise of dawn in the sky above us and before us.

And there are others who have gathered here too. One by one they arrive from every direction, to be standing and to be seated here. On the side of this hill awaiting the dawn.

And there are those who arrive who are not of the world that we know. There are the ancestors: the weathered faces of those who have gone before us, who stand as witnesses to the legacy of humankind that encompasses such beauty and such sorrow.

And there are beings present here whose nature is so mysterious we may never know their origins. They include creatures of wind and fire, of the rushing stream, of tree and flower, of rock and hillside. They include creatures of the Sidhe: the wild folk, the faery folk, the elemental powers of Mother Earth in their myriad forms of strength and consciousness and beauty. Here, present, on this Midsummer’s Eve.

And you pause in the stillness of this moment. All of your being, all of your awareness held in this moment.

And then – the first ray of sunlight appears over the horizon and strikes straight into your heart. Flooding it with light and warmth.

Gradually you feel that light and warmth spreading over your face, your body, as the sun rises before you.

The light and warmth flows into you, encouraging every flower in your soul to blossom, every leaf to unfurl. You feel filled with strength, filled with hope, filled with love and clarity.

You kneel down and touch the earth with the palms of your hands, sensing your love for the Earth. And you ask for a blessing on the land, a blessing on your life, a blessing on all life.

You lift up your hands and hold them to your heart…

And then you make your way down the hillside and as you do so, the scene fades from your mind and you become aware of being here in this place. Fully present. Here and now.

Philip Carr-Gomm
June 20th, 2012

Summer solstice sunrise over Stonehenge 2005. Photo Andrew Dunn

Summer solstice sunrise over Stonehenge 2005. Photo Andrew Dunn