This will be the last Summer Solstice before the end of the Mayan long count and current precession cycle. It is aligned with the Winter Solstice Sun, that will be entering in the Dark Rift, a group of interstellar dust clouds that runs like a strip along the Galactic Equator, from the middle to the North of the Milky Way [ed. note, the Rift, pictured above, can be much more clearly seen in the gorgeous video “Under the Namibian Sky“). In Mayan this area is known as The Dark Path, or Xibalba Bé (pronounced “sheebalba bay”). About it, Dr. Eugenia Caserín affirms, “This entire area is part of the cross formed by the Milky Way and the elliptic between the constellation of Sagittarius and Scorpio. The Mayans call it, ‘The Crossway of the Sacred Tree.’”
In her book 2012 and the Galactic Center: The Return of the Great Mother, Christine Page calls the Dark Rift, “the birth channel of the Great Mother from which civilization will be born anew” as the Sun has its birthday (Winter Solstice), associating it with the re-emergence of feminine in spiritual practices.
The Solstice New Moon activates this configuration, giving us an opportunity to prepare for the reawakening of the divine feminine, whose energies are emphasized by the present, yearly portal.
The truth about solstice symbolism
Since ancient times, this change of season has been celebrated for its energizing potential. The Sun, symbol of light, bringer of warmth and photosynthesis, dominates the longest day of the year right before the solstice. Sun worship is the most common thread in most official histories of this celebration. Yet is the great luminary the main star of midsummer?
Before the establishment of patriarchy, many ancient cultures took into account the equilibrium of opposites: light and dark, inner and outer, yin and yang. Winter solstice originally marked the end of the darkening months and the birth of a cycle of light. Wouldn’t its summer counterpart hale the opposite, the return of night’s magic? In fact, all seasonal crossings triggered cycles in the ongoing play between archetypal feminine and masculine. Summer solstice certainly celebrates the sun, yet the solstice actually takes place as that sun moves into Cancer, under the influence of the moon with its powers of emotion, intuition and creative fertility.
Anyone who researches this portal will note the solar emphasis of the official version, but now and then a more complete picture shines through. The oral traditions of Mesoamerica—which I am fortunate enough to have direct access to through my shaman colleagues in Mexico where I live—includes teachings that are especially interesting and pertinent to accessing solstice magic today, as we will see a bit further on.
First, let’s consider some interesting symbolism from pagan nations around the world, retrieved from amidst reams of material centering on the sunlit aspect of this portal: For the Chinese, now is the beginning of the yin half of the year. In Ancient Gaul, the solstice deity was Epona, a Goddess riding a mare. In Rome of old, Vesta ruled this season change and her festivities were called Vestalia. This was the only time of year when married women could enter the shrines otherwise reserved for the vestal priestesses. There were more Roman goddesses associated with summer’s entrance, including Venus and Juno. The latter was called “Juno-Luna” during this particular portal. The Roman goddesses were derivations from Greek mythology, for which Hera, “the Mother of all things”, was the regent of the summer solstice.
Mesoamerican cosmology is solar-centric, but all beings are of dual nature, masculine and feminine, and each had a nahual, a magical, mysterious side. For the Mayans and related traditions, the yearly cycles of seasons were part of their system of “cosmic mathematics”. At Winter Solstice, the Sun was born as a “precious hummingbird”, whose force starts softly and then accumulates over the months, expressing itself as different animals.
Six months later, it becomes the most powerful of all birds: huehuecuauhtli (way-way-koo-outly), Grandmother Eagle. She is the Sun’s nahual, his shadow and magical side. Bringing a time of plenty, her greatest blessing is strength of will to carry out the most arduous work of the year: tending and harvesting summer crops, as well as the even more intense labor of self-discovery and improvement associated with solstice and developed through spiritual practices. Now Grandmother Eagle comes forth, her spirit strengthened further by the New Moon portal, fortifying our will as we reaffirm those goals established at the beginning of the year in relation to the feminine within.
Before sharing suggestions for doing this, let’s take a moment to consider why Mesoamerican pagans might have related this time of abundance with the power of will. Were they familiar with the alchemical force comprised by this virtue? As I’ve noted elsewhere, “the simple act of committing the will along certain lines” can greatly intensify the creative power of intent, “coordinating helpful events from the invisible plane, attracting multiple opportunities, resources and advantages to facilitate its consolidation”. These alchemical benefits are not produced by isolated or sporadic efforts; the seemingly magical difference can be felt when our willingness is such that, if necessary, we commit ourselves time and again, ready from within to do whatever it takes to reach the goals we have set.
The following ceremony is designed to establish or reaffirm your goals for developing the sacred energy of the feminine within, and to receive the energy of Old Lady Eagle to enforce your will power in those goals.
∞ Fresh cut or potted flowers (or do this in a garden or open space where flowers grow)
∞ Images or figures of the Sacred Feminine: The Goddess, Virgin Mary, Venus and so on
∞ Floral incense or copal (bark resin incense used in Mesoamerica)
∞ A pink or silver candle
∞ A representation of an eagle
Grandmother Eagle Ceremony
Light your incense, saying,
This is an offering for you, Grandmother Eagle, you who now come forth in the year’s wheel, with your wisdom working to resurrect the Sacred Feminine in me and in all humankind.
Light your candle, saying,
This is the light of Grandmother Eagle, whose fires touch me with their rays, energizing and filling my being with mature focus on the development of the Sacred Feminine.
Evoke Grandmother Eagle, imagining her mysterious force that shines into your mind and bloodstream, awakening you to your particular way of cultivating the Divine Feminine. Some examples may include:
- Developing intuition
- Dream work
- Heart consciousness
- Healing your wounded feminine self (and that of others)
- A prayer or meditative practice
- Developing natural self-care for hormonal changes
After clarifying what this area means to you, list some inner and outer initiatives that you can take to ground the priorities of the Sacred Feminine in the last half of this magical and quickly passing year.
Repeat words like those that follow during at least 10 minutes:
I have been given all the will power I need to participate in restoring the Sacred Female within. I strengthen the alchemical power of my will by declaring myself ready to do whatever may be necessary to achieve these results. My decision now multiplies the creative power of my intent, and, as Grandmother Sun touches me with her etheric rays, the Universe conspires to assist me. My initiatives enforce the Sacred Feminine energies that emerge in balance around the planet now.
From now until Fall Equinox, or at least until the next New Moon, each night before sleeping make a list of crucial initiatives for the next day. Then spend a few minutes repeating thoughts like those above during several minutes. (This can be followed up with the Mayan dream activation exercise provided at the last New Moon.)
Each morning, refer to your list, and then repeat affirmations like these again during 5-10 minutes. Keep your list on hand, along with images of eagles, female ancestors, flowers and the Sun, as well as paper slips with words like: Eagle, Grandmother Sun, Sacred Feminine, and so on.
When obstacles arise or inertia seem to hold you back, remind yourself:
Grandmother Sun sustains me, nothing can weaken my divine will power. I soar like an eagle to my personal heights.
You happen to be alive at one of humanity’s most exciting crossroads. Begin at this portal to join or intensify the dance as you support Grandmother Sun’s Solstice mission: to empower the Sacred Feminine within yourself and throughout the collective heart.