The past few years I’ve been becoming more aware of natural rhythms. I know that it started with the moon. I began to look for her in the sky, to notice her shifting phases. Then a random Facebook post introduced me to the Celtic wheel of the year and I began to find out more. I’m especially conscious of this this week having recently celebrated the summer solstice. I’m still growing my practice around this and I find that after many years of following formal church liturgy I am enjoying finding creative ways of expressing spiritual practice. This solstice we gathered together with a few friends and family, lit a fire, blew bubbles as the light faded and shared some drinks and snacks. The next day we were up (it’s an early alarm for those here who commute so not too much of a shock to the system) and we were out in the garden with coffee looking for the midsummer sun as it rose, a pink sliver through early haze across the valley.
As the solstice moment passed I was aware of the sense of the world turning, I could imagine the days shifting, the sunlight hours dwindling all the way to midwinter and Yule. I am finding the rhythms helpful in regulating my own tendencies to overwork and over “do”. An awareness of the ebb and flow of natural cycles, of growth and rest around me reminds me of how important this is for my own health and well-being. For many years I wouldn’t acknowledge the need for this in my own life. Inevitably while I was hugely productive for a lot of the time this would be followed by spells of burn out and poor health. I kept wondering what was “wrong” with me and relied on caffeine and alcohol to help me speed up or slow down when my own reserves were failing.
Listening to our bodies is a lost art. Tuning in to the physical sensations of the everyday. There is a wisdom and knowledge in our physical selves that gets lost in modern life. We rely on our knowledge, our thinking. For someone like me, who has lived most of her forty plus years in her head, it can take an earthquake to shake us back into ourselves. The real wake-up call in my case was a complete physical collapse last summer. I was literally stopped in my tracks and I am in the process of relearning how to be in my body, to heed her whispers and wisdom, to trust a deeper knowing than that offered by clever thinking.
With this in mind I was fortunate enough to take part in a teaching session with April McMurty the other evening. April is the creatrix of The Moon is my Calendar, and teaches how to live in tune with moon rhythms and cycles. We were encouraged to reflect on how tuning in to the moon’s patterns can support us as we pay greater attention to our own radiance, to consider how we are shining in our lives, and to notice the periods of expansion and contraction. I found this enormously helpful, and timely given my own current healing process. April’s website has more information and a video tutorial if you would like to try this way of working with moon rhythms (https://themoonismycalendar.com/) I will be spending some time today, preparing for tomorrow’s new moon, reflecting on what is ready to be released, what needs to be allowed to fade, and which seeds I will be planting for the new cycle.