Have a spiritual solstice
Have a very sacred and spiritual solstice – may it be filled with understanding and renewal. My warmest wishes of light and learning over the coming months.
Mark and I are still working on the upcoming books. There are always so many details and things to add at the end, but we want them to be the best they can practically be. I am pretty sure they will be ready before the next equinox!
Thank you for your patience, and for those of you who keep on supporting us to get this important work done.
I am a practitioner and researcher into the ancient Religion of the Sun, and most specifically the Indo-European branch of it, which is my own native tradition. I am author of the book 'The Ancient Religion of the Sun,' - a religion that I believe is one of the most ancient in the world, and the origin of many spiritual traditions and sacred sites around the globe. I run the YouTube channel SakroSawel and the website sakrosawel.com ("sakro sawel" means "sacred sun" in the Proto-Indo European language).
I’ve been looking into getting more spiritually fit again. So I thought to share some things on that.
It’s been mentioned that one can train and become very proficient at a certain spiritual exercise, but that that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve studied and overcome their subconscious, which is the important thing.
However I do also see that beyond the studying we might need more to get out, out of our own mind that is. If, for example, by previous external difficulties our own subconscious/program in defence and worry became very active and strong, then those strong ways or patterns might still remain within us. And so there could very well be a perfectly fine and willing, good and pure, person within this human vehicle, but simply locked within these traumas or strengthened pathways and depressions of the mind. Because those pathways are carved deep and strong, and are moved along every day, it’s also easier to slip into them, and in that feeding them. Quite stuck. Btw. Along with the mind-chatter’s occupation of us, the emotions can also lock me in such a prison, so unwanted, so hard to shake.
Alongside the metaphysical part, I think there’s also a neurological side to it. Last year when being trapped in my own mind and emotions a lot and trying some exercises to get out I realised how the paths in my brain used for external perception, such as hearing, feeling, smelling must’ve become atrophied from lack of use over the years, ‘less inhabited’ let’s say as the go-to of my attention.
So to break out of the subconscious not only do we need to study it in depth, but even if done that, there might also need to a ‘getting spiritually fit effort’, a rewiring of the brain. Denying the old fostered daily songs, and instead exercise the pathways linked to the senses and external perception, to more time with a silent mind. “Correct the vehicle”.
How do I do this practically? (btw I think everyone intuitively knows what to do). I didn’t even know this, but if we haven’t worked out physically in a long time and we start working out again, we apparently actually grow new veins, to supply the oxygen and blood to the muscles we’re building up.
I felt this to be quite a profound, but maybe it’s very simple. To work our way out, I think the key to success is in the build up. In generation. What we put our time, attention, energy to is what grows. I guess a problem is we don’t dedicate ourselves seriously enough, you know that diligent consistency to one thing, and like that it doesn’t move even beyond the first threshold. Or perhaps, as mentioned, our thought cycles of the day are so strong, without realising we feel it that level is quite acceptable, which in reality means we give energy to it and then we can’t give that energy to that climb up.
Anyway I was trying, somewhat artificially, to choose what type of specific exercise to develop. And I think dedicated practices like that can be good. But for me right now I’ve decided to go with what has worked for me in the past according to my personal circumstances, which is a ‘back to school’ approach, as I have a lot of time available to use to acutely see what’s coming up in me, which makes me have an oversight and grip on my psyche and be clear. From there, with one extra step, I can re-direct my attention to the external world and be present.
I’m also employing some tricks to use my overactive mind to remember myself, as a little thing. Whatever I can to add to that build up momentum, eager get more spiritually fit again in practicing, repair this vehicle, prison break. I’ve only started to put a dent in it. I also had the thought that if, from where I am now, I manage to find a way and ‘feel’ it again, then anyone potentially could.
Wishing good luck to everyone!
Thanks for posting this. I feel that you’ve outlined something quite important that is definitely worth looking into. Developing true sincerity and depth within our practices takes a lot of sustained effort over a period of time. It also seems to involve a lot of patience, perseverance and dealing with failures as opposed to the notion of a magic pill which is often alluded to in many ways these days.
All the best,
Inspirational stuff Karim, it’s a pleasure to read; Thank You.
Thanks so much for sharing Karim. I can most definitely relate. I hope you can get out of prison permanently :)
Hi Karim. Thanks for sharing about your journey. I can relate a lot to what you are saying. I have been taking actions to be more connected to the Path of the Sun & have had many ups and downs over the years. But in general it’s felt like a great effort to connect and to stay connected. Additionally, I have lacked the motivation and enthusiasm needed to make consistent progress.
But now after a few months of consistent effort of giving more attention to my spiritual investigations, I feel like everything has become easier for me. It’s just like your analogy of exercise.
And as I feel like I’m getting more in tune with nature, the Sun and my ancestors & my own Spiritual journey, I’m starting to wonder if I’m really putting in the right effort to change myself internally on a day to day basis. And even though I need a little course correction I can feel that it’s so much easier to make the adjustment now that I have momentum and enthusiasm. I feel like I’m often off course but one thing that has helped me to keep finding my way back is my unwavering dedication to following the Divine Will for my life.
I’ve been listening to the Ramayana in the car as I drive to and from work and it fills me with so much inspiration and so many ways to become a more loving member of society.
It reminds me that even though the society I see around me is what exists in this time and place, that there is something much more wholesome that we can learn from our ancestors of the Path of the Sun.
I find that it’s difficult to stay connected internally while surrounded by the modern world. I order to mitigate this problem I have found that continually exposing myself to myths and sacred texts from different cultures, visiting sacred sites for the solstices & equinoxes and trying to join in with others who are reviving their traditional Solstice & Equinox practices gives me the connection I need to be filled & feel connected.
I can relate to the sentiment! I think it’s a great idea to start something and build it up!
A friend of mine once told me that the astral plan is the plane of emotions, and thus forming an emotional connection with what you’re seeking can make it easier to get information and experiences. As a very intellectual person, those words haunted me for a long time, but I’ve come to understand them more and more. I find there can be this feeling of aliveness and inquisitiveness that arrives when you can trap a sense of yearning for something. It could be wanting knowledge, connection with the divine, an intense dissatisfaction with the current state of things (inside or out), or even just yearning for peace. I find this is true to the point that without this yearning and inspiration, it’s very hard to do anything towards a spiritual aim, and perhaps it’s only possible to accomplish anything spiritually with the aid of that inspiration. It can also be a positive-feedback loop, as inspiration can lead to experiences and opportunities, which reinforce the inspiration.
I think different people arrive at this inspiration in different ways, so it’s useful to consider how that happens for you. I thought I’d share a couple things that have really helped me to shift from a more head-based person to a more heart-based person, and thus open myself more to that feeling of inspiration. Each of these things kind of flows into the next…
The first thing has been paying attention to dreams and intuition. Sometimes little hints can lead you somewhere incredible! This is how Aavya and I ended up in Peru. Even that hint came (I believe) out of fighting this sense of drowning in a monotonous and materialistic world. We have never regretted following those subtle cues, even though they sometimes don’t make sense until years later. Some things I’m working towards make no sense to me right now, but I have to believe that following my heart where it tells me will continue leading me to where I need to be, as it has done up to now.
The second is hard to describe, and it may not apply to everyone, but has worked for me, a very analytical person. It’s kind of a mindset, a way of looking at things… Basically it’s trying to make sense of something in as much depth as possible, while holding many loose threads of information in my mind, without settling or concluding about any of them. For example, the way I approach sacred sites, I kind of just watch and wait. I look at it from many angles, from satellite images, 3d images, I’ll read about it, hear different theories, trying to figure out what’s going on and what my best guesses are, always bouncing ideas off of things I know, but leaving it open-ended. Looking from many angles, then waiting with open eyes, mind, and no expectations. For me, the result of this has been an explosion of unexpected information, and importantly, inspiration.
Other people might approach the same sacred site in equally valid yet different ways, perhaps just being aware, or singing a song or poem inspired by the site, or meditating and visualizing. I think the important thing is to bring “heart” to the study in some way.
Studies done in this way seem to extend into your whole life, beyond what you would typically think of as study. When I really try to understand, I get guided through dreams, intuition, and OBE’s that drive me towards particular people, particular books, new areas of study, etc… Serendipity has brought me many interesting and fruitful leads.
The third thing is to find opportunities that exist. For me this included going on a tour with Graham Hancock, going to a conference on ancient knowledge, meeting and talking with druids, Incan spiritual leaders, Mayan spiritual leaders, artists, folk singers, sound healers, joining Native American dancers, shamanic retreats, Celtic retreats, festivals, workshops, kirtan circles, spiritual dances, solstice celebrations, etc…
I was in LA one year, planning to go to petroglyph sites for the equinox, and I had this dream that I was running around to all these abandoned hills, where there were no people. I changed my plans, and found events where people were gathering; it was one of the best equinoxes I’ve had, as I learned a lot from each event. Just by bringing sincerity, I added a lot, as well.
I gained so many tangible and intangible things from seeking opportunities. I notice how the divine touches people’s lives in many different ways, how it speaks to people through nature, music, dance, information, conversation.
The result of all those things have lead, for me, to an intense thirst for the divine, knowledge, art, music, and most of all an understanding that I need to become ever more thirsty, more humble, and more open to possibilities. The cosmos is ready to answer if we have the right questions, so for me, I try to think about what will get me to ask the right questions more often
I hope that helps, and best of luck with your new endeavor!
Thanks for this Karim, it really stayed with me like a haunting voice of conscience since I read it! The hard work needed to achieve an inner state that can lift us above the daily mire is very difficult to maintain, especially when you feel like a lone solidier. It is like exercise, or learning something new … constant effort needs to be applied to move forward and the ability to start again when there’s been a slump essential. I’ve been working on learning a language in the last six months, partly as an exercise in discipline, and I’m also working towards a fitness-goal, again partly because I can see it makes me overcome laziness and helps me to stay focused. Those analogies of developing muscle and forging new neuro-pathways seem really relevant to the establishing of a healthy habit and routine that support spiritual development. However, this added ingredient of an emotional component that Julian was talking about I know is really key too, and sometimes these seem to burst forth from a slow-burning inner agitation, a response to the inner call (or whisper) or can be conjured from a special effort made (like conducting a ceremony). I remember reading something once that said that while it takes a certain time to develop (or break) a habit, another way is to do the thing you want to habitualise INTENSELY for X amount of time (I think it was 10days) and I think this can really help to break out of a slump or take efforts to the next level.
For me, the key times are always mornings and evenings, the transition between wakefulness and sleep. If I don’t grasp these times for reflection and prayer, things unravel and much learning is lost, and when I try to grasp again the thread of the spiritual work, these are the first things I come back to to rebalance myself – like now.
Thanks again for this post, wishing you and everyone much spiritual strength and discipline!
I am so sorry that I am somewhat late for commenting here, I am sure that the latest solstice which had just passed had not been the best solstice I’ve had,I am still dealing with issues regarding my mental health but frankly what I’ve been through has also been a great opportunity for me to learn and grow on a personal level and I have came to some realizations that I believe to be important through experience instead of reading about them in books or from the Internet for instance. Learning about them this way makes me feel more motivated to apply spiritual principles into my own life whereas only reading about them from outside sources may not have gotten the message so deep down to a level that I would know it by heart as I take my walk on my spiritual journey. It can be hard to find and reach light when there is darkness everywhere in the world, but I always try to look for reminders from the Divine that would keep me going. Iooked at the sun through my window, which I hadn’t done in a while,and no doubt it had been a really refreshing experience. The spiritual community which I founded have grown a bit since the last time I commented, and with certainty I can say that more people around us are starting to show interest in the Religion of The Sun. Someone who is relatively new to the community has told us about a vision this person had where he saw parts of the world being destroyed by fire and others by flood at the very end of this era, similar to what have been described in an ancient Chinese legend we’ve been looking into,where it tells at the very beginning of the world, not long after Heaven and Earth had formed, a great catastrophe occured where it ruined many parts of the world with fire and flood, killed many people and turned almost everything into ashes. Afterwards two siblings named Nuwa and Fuxi were said to have repopulated the world. This person told us that according to his vision something similar is likely to happen again at the end of our current era, though he is completely clueless as to when exactly that will happen except for “at anytime in the future”, that has made us a bit anxious as we are unsure of how much time do we actually have left. On the bright side though, Lingling has offered me some insight on tips that can help me with my spiritual development. She has learned that a part of the brain known as the pineal gland holds the secrets to spiritual enlightenment and that activating it can help with one’s spiritual practices as well as resolving mental health issues. I’m not sure how exactly I could achieve that, but at least it is one point in the right direction. She was even informed by the Golden Sun Bird that this is one of the biggest secrets being covered up by the world’s medical community and that doctors working for the WHO actually know something about this, but they had swore not to reveal this secret to anyone. Even though there are those who have attempted to expose them. I can really only do what I can as a single person as well as my spiritual community, trying everything we can do make a difference in this world of darkness. It tries to drag us down, but we do everything within our power to resist it.
It’s so good to hear that you are learning and growing. As you’ve seen, just doing spiritual things as a hobby is much easier, but it is a fantasy. The real thing in life is much, much harder, but it comes with real change, real experience, and real rewards. It helps me to remember that no matter how bad I think I am and have done, I, and everyone, carry a spark of the divine within. It’s important to never forget that.
It’s great to hear that the community there is growing. You are now in the position where you carry on, not only for your sake, but for those others who now rely on you – and the many others who will do in the future.
Many in this religion have now had dreams about impending cataclysm, and of great darkness and difficulties ahead. The stakes for what we are doing are very high.
I write a bit about the pineal gland in my book – it was depicted in ancient artwork as a third eye, often symbolised by a sun disk. The Children of the Sun/giants used to have this third eye open, but in us it is much less functional. There are practices to begin connecting with this part of us though. Most think of the third eye as enabling us to see other dimensional things in the physical world, and with the Children of the Sun, it sounds like it was so. But there is more to it than that. It’s a point through which we can connect with the divine, and receive its guidance. There’ll be more about it in books coming up.
It is really interesting how the ancient knowledge of chakras/nadis/dantians/meridians etc gets connected with scientific discoveries about the human body.
The pituitary gland is closer to the eyes, the pineal gland is more central, in more alignment with the spinal column and the top of the head.
On phisiological level, both of them seem to be very important in spiritual/mystical perceptions and realizations, just as well-balanced, synchronized activation of different parts of the brain in general.
It does not surprising to me at all that scientific discovery abput the brain coincides with ancient knowledge. There is still a lot about this organ that modern science has yet to discover, and its connection to the nature of consciousness. There is a lot that we still don’t know, and I have reasons to believe that the Ancients knew something that we do not. Unfortunately today many think of this ancient wisdom as nothing more than superstition, they turn to the so-called science for answers,only to find that it doesn’t have all the answers. The biggest mistake that modern medicine has made,as well as science in general,is that they study the human body and the world around us from a strictly materialistic perspective, assuming there are no supernatural powers involved. This can be really dangerous as reality contains a lot more than what scientists can perceive from a materialistic point of view,at least from the way it’s been presented to us. More people adapting the materialistic worldview is a sign that we are losing connection to the spiritual realm, as we have been acknowledged from what we have observed in the society,as well as numerous spiritual experiences. Many think that this alone will lead humanity into a bright future, while in reality that is far from being true. Materialism is one of the contributing factors to the downfall of humanity and increasing desires for materialistic things is what lead us to where we are today. This is really alarming and I’m afraid that it’s only gonna get worse before the very end of this era comes and the Earth will be cleansed of the corrupted. It’s likely that it won’t be long before the end of this era comes as wars, famine, plagues as well as many natural disasters are becoming more frequent in many parts of the world. Lingling has had dreams about these things before,and she cried every time she woke up from those dreams and said that what she saw were more scary than “anything she’s seen in Hollywood” and felt that “These are not good signs. ” She doesn’t often see the impending catalysm itself in her dreams, but she’s very aware of the signs that she has seen. She has described them as “terrible”. But on the bright side she sensed that there will be hope for the most virtuous men and women who will survive into the next new era when they will be given opportunities to continue their spiritual practices in a much better environment than what the Earth has to offer today. And not forgetting about our spiritual nature in this dark age is the key to becoming one of the “chosen ones”,it is up to each one of us to decide whether we want to “go with the flow”,to continue being part of the darkness that exists in the world today,or to cultivate on spirituality so that we may find the Spiritual Sun within us. So we have been doing our very best to acknowledge people we know about this. The journey is hard and we faced oppositions from many, even some of our closest families and friends, but at the end of the day, we believe the work we’ve done is totally worth it.
just wanted to comment on your mention of materialism, as this is something I had been led (I believe) to explore more deeply lately. From what I can see so far, there is so much more to it than is normally seen, and there is a need for us, who want to reach to the Divine within us, to recognize the different traps of it within us, and to turn away from them. Something I have been paying attention to are the thoughts. Basically, different thoughts related to our survival, getting things done, different projects/occupations we have in our lives, all these are materialistic in their nature, and we need to be extra cautious not to get lost in them, only giving them the necessary space to resolve what needs to be done, before returning ourselves to awareness and the heart. As what our mind revolves around, that’s where we gravitate towards internally. What’s more, if we get too identified with these thoughts, they stir up our ego-responses like impatience, anger, frustration, etc., and negatively influence the way we relate to others.
To give a personal example, my husband and I have recently sold our house and are in a process of making an older, uninhabitable house ready for moving in, as that one has more opportunities for self-sustainability. But things have not been smooth, and we have been thrown different obstacles our way, which prevent us from making this transition happen, and we keep being stuck in the previous house, now having to pay rent for it to the new owner. This situation is of course making my mind overactive and over-identified, being attached to this project and wanting it to get done quickly, so that we can move on. But when I change my perspective, and internally give up on the whole project, just doing what is needed in any given moment without worrying about the future or the end result, centering myself in the spiritual, then things become much clearer and simpler, the heaviness is gone, and I can also relate much nicer to my husband. :-O Again and again, I am being reminded of the fact that our life is short, everything passes, and if we want to devote our life to the spiritual, we need to do it in each moment, regardless of our personal circumstances, projects going on, world situation, or anything else. To do things calmly, with our full attention but without identification, using any activity for sharpening our concentration skills and learning about ourselves, instead of being hooked on the end result. This is very hard to do when things get tough, but I guess is the only way out of the materialistic entrapments…
Thank you for sharing it, you really put it all well together.
The science separated from spirituality, is not a hope for mankind, but a curse, and ultimately, the nightmare. In ancient cultures such as in China, India, Egypt, and many other parts of the world, spirituality and art and science we all different expressions of the same thing.
Yes, it really looks totally worth it, to push towards the spirituality, in this dark age. Up to a certain point, dark times give a lot of spiritual opportunities too, they are just harder to take the advantage of, than in “good times”. The darker – the more challenging.
People are usually concerned about opinions of other people, friends, family, etc but how about being concerned of what Divine Beings think about one’s progress? Do we follow the standards of goodness from material world, or do we follow the standards of goodness from higher, spiritual realms?
If people are not interested in spirituality, that is their choice and karma; if people are interested in spirituality and really commit to it, somehow, there are different events and situations that make the practice of spirituality possible and fruitful.
Good to hear about your friend Lingling being able to tap into the perception of a greater reality through the world of dreams! There is so much that can be learned in this way about “what is really going on”.
Thanks for sharing those examples. I think you made some good points and I could relate to what you mentioned about becoming over identified with personal projects and goals, as it’s something I’ve also struggled with over the years.
Also the delays in completing planned projects is very familiar, as I still have various tasks from over 7 years ago, which I just don’t have the physical energy to undertake, so which have built up year after year. I find the resulting mess within my living space a challenge, as I’m much more comfortable in a clean and tidy, organised environment, particularly if it’s where I need to spend most of my time. But I guess we sometimes need to learn to adapt to ways of working within more chaotic environments and circumstances.
I’m familiar with the type of restrictions and set backs you mentioned, as it’s something I find occurs for me on a regular basis, sometimes even on a more or less continuous basis. The latest unplanned project I’ve become entwined in is fulfilling a responsibility to address a series of serious medical errors, in order to provide appropriate care for a close relative. It is of course very time consuming, which takes time away from the essential things I need to do for my own health and well-being and other priorities. So far, there is also a refusal of the relevant health care providers to accept any responsibility for their actions, which means I need to take matters to higher authorities, which is also time consuming.
I’ve found from past experience that by acting in a correct manner as best as I can though, it’s possible to go through these unforeseen events and situations and create a positive outcome in the end, even though the process itself may be very laborious and contain many layers of complication.
I’ve also dealt with far more challenging situations than my current one in the past, so kind of know what to expect, as I can make a fairly reasonable prediction of how certain people will act and what kind of obstacles will be put in place as a result, which therefore gives me a clearer set of strategies for overcoming these obstacles. I see it rather like a game of chess or cards, where I have a particular strategy, but need to make each move at a certain time, in order to work towards the overall goal. It’s not possible to make all those moves at the same time, as each leads onto the next.
Sometimes big projects can feel overwhelming, so it’s easy to delay starting them as it’s seems so daunting, or become so immersed in them that they become like an incessant drive, which we have very little respite from and can take away our focus from other important areas of life, such as nurturing the spiritual part within, as you mentioned. You made a good observation of the need to work towards fulfilling necessary personal projects in a responsible way, but without the identification with them that stops us being aware of our own inner states, particularly the negative reactions that can occur due to setbacks.
Otherwise we may succeed in one goal to the detriment of another, which reminds me of the English saying “robbing Peter to pay Paul”. I’ve fallen into this trap many times, including when working towards spiritual goals. Then when obstacles inevitably came along, I’ve resented those obstacles and the people who have put them in place. This is of course absurd – to be feeding negativity, because I thought other people were stopping me from achieving my spiritual goals!
I think patience and persistence are both useful qualities for each of us to develop. I can think of many examples of people who have had these qualities in abundance and succeeded against the odds as a result. I recently watched a movie on Nelson Mandela’s life and find it remarkable how someone could suffer the level of injustice he faced over so many years and yet be determined to not pass that onto others. His quote “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison” summed this up well. I think his comment “I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying” also applies to us all.
The “Serenity Prayer” attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, but which actually originates from Rev. Reinhold Niebuhr conveys a lot of wisdom in a succinct way: “Father, give us courage to change what must be altered, serenity to accept what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.”
Good luck with finding the right balance and getting the houses in order!
Thank you for your response Michael, its nice to read what other people are going through, and how they are dealing with it using more conscious approaches. :-)
Your sentence “But I guess we sometimes need to learn to adapt to ways of working within more chaotic environments and circumstances” stood out to me, as that’s precisely what I have been dealing with for a past few years, and looks like things are now getting even more chaotic! Having lots of stuff around, even without any visible organization can really make me feel down and heavy, especially if its too much and I have no power to change it. I remember Mark once wrote about how our consciousness naturally likes order, so its not surprising to me why I feel this way. Now the challenge is to overcome those low feelings of course, as when we can’t change external circumstances, we have to change something within, so that the unpleasant external conditions have no power over us, and we can feel peace no matter where we are – to “extract” ourselves from it so to speak.
Its also funny the way you described your “chess-strategies” with some people and situations! :-D I hope things work out for you in the end, and that your family member receives the care and/or reimbursements for the wrongdoings that have been done to them. We are indeed living in very unjust times, especially when it comes to the health “industry”. Fortunately, there has developed, over the years, a strong current of alternative medical practitioners and educators, which help people to navigate in this mess.
Also its the first time I have heard the phrase “Robbing Peter to pay Paul”, how interesting, as this saying seems to have many layers to it, right. ;-)
Thank you again, and wishing you a lot of strength and Divine support to move forward
Yes, that’s right—the challenge is to overcome lower inner states when circumstances around us give us little opportunity to feed the spiritual part within. It’s particularly challenging when the opportunities to have respite from a chaotic physical environment are also rare and restricted. For example, going out for a gentle walk around the block is simply unimaginable for me at the moment and going into the garden can also be restricted, as the noise levels are often unbearable, due to the industrial noise commonly near my house, living on a busy flight path etc.
I have some nice spiritual images I’ve been hoping to put up on my walls for some years, but I never seem to have the energy to do it. Instead they continue to reside in boxes and for now, I continue watching the dust gather on the boxes and hope I’ll be able to make use of the pictures at some point.
But despite these setbacks, I think it’s useful to appreciate what we do actually have. For example, I’m grateful that I know I have a home, which can be heated, has sanitation, access to power etc. I can also be confident that I won’t face famine or lack of access to drinking water. Billions of people around the world don’t have many of these basic necessities, so just by virtue of living in wealthier countries, we are already able to enjoy various luxuries that we have taken for granted, by privilege of our place of birth.
I agree the health care systems in many countries are in a poor state overall, but I’m still grateful to have access to basic medical care, particularly emergency care when needed. However, on the other hand, mainstream medicine tends to stumble when it attempts to address chronic illness, as although the initial diagnostic process may be thorough in some cases, the standard outcome is usually pharmaceuticals to suppress individual symptoms, rather than addressing the root causes of ill health.
I wish I could say that natural medicine is completely effective compared to mainstream medicine, or even that an integrated approach incorporating both fields is easily available, as it would mean we are moving back towards using the tools nature provides us with in an intelligent way. But I’ve unfortunately not found this has not always been the case. For example, I’ve found natural medicine has been effective at reducing some specific symptoms, which I’m grateful for. But I’ve also found herbal remedies to be ineffective at alleviating other relatively mild conditions, such as hayfever and insomnia.
Finding the right remedies to cure chronic illness would be a great gift. But I’ve found it takes a lot of effort to find the right practitioners who have sufficient knowledge to treat chronic illnesses, whether in mainstream or natural medicine. Fortunately, I’ve benefited from knowledgeable practitioners over the years, but the process of finding the right people who are qualified and experienced enough to help has been extremely time consuming and costly.
I could list numerous practitioners working within various areas of natural health care, but relatively few who have the knowledge of anatomy and physiology that would be expected from a medical doctor, coupled with a thorough grounding in how to use herbs and nutraceuticals in an appropriate and effective way. So I think it’s good to exercise some kind of discernment, as not everyone has the same level of knowledge, in the same way that not everyone who practices or teaches aspects of spirituality has the same level of experience.
The incident I previously mentioned involved some potentially fatal negligence within mainstream health care. But a few years ago, emergency treatment also narrowly avoided another potentially fatal incident involving another close family member. I wish I could say I knew how to treat the family member naturally, but I just didn’t have that level of knowledge, despite my various health care qualifications and good working knowledge within natural medicine. So despite the pitfalls of our often corrupted health care systems, I’m very grateful to have these various privileges, which are off limits to many throughout the world.
Similarly, although our educational and parliamentary systems often fall far short of an ideal standard, we at least have access to free education and the right to vote, which many even in Western societies didn’t have within our own lifetimes, and which many still don’t have, due to their place of birth or gender.
I find it helps me to put things into perspective when I observe the lives of those who don’t have the things I have. I recently looked at The Miniature Earth website again, which you’re probably familiar with. But for those who aren’t, it takes statistics from the global population and reduces the total number to 100 people, while retaining the same percentages.
These figures help to put our own lives into perspective, such as more than a third of people not having access to adequate sanitation, 80% living on less than $10 a day and almost half living on less than $2 daily. The lines at the end of the infographic and video at the bottom of the site are worth bearing in mind: “Appreciate what you have. And do your best for a better world”.
I’m sorry to hear about the ongoing difficulties you’ve been having, but I’m also glad to hear you say that going through those difficulties has lead to a greater level of understanding. I agree that we often learn a lot more through our own experience, compared with the more intellectual knowledge we gain from reading books or internet articles, or watching YouTube videos etc. Although these can all be very valuable resources too and Lara, Mark and those helping with production have done an amazing job of bringing unique content to the world in a clear and accessible way.
I can relate to what you mentioned about the spiritual feeling you got when the sun came into the room. I find nature can be a soothing carer for the spiritual part within and it helps me a lot to maintain a connection with it and the world beyond the mundane environment of everyday life. Regarding nature in general, I think there’s a truth in what your friend mentioned about floods and fires. The sad thing is that there is now ample evidence of this process being put into motion already, with the various losses of habitat, homes and sometimes lives due to these causes.
I am puzzled at how popular the belief that this has absolutely nothing to do with any kind of human activity remains. But in another way, it makes sense, partly as denial is such a powerful defence mechanism, but also because as you mentioned, intellectual knowledge is often a poor substitute for lived experience. So it’s easy to brush things aside that don’t impact us directly, such as the disruption to essential community resources in Bangladesh or among indigenous Canadians, loss of homes in California, increases in mental health issues among Australian farmers, or the possible gradual submerging of whole countries such as Tuvalu. Likewise, the chaos caused to entire ecosystems, such as the impact of water temperatures reaching a tipping point in coral reefs, deforestation in rainforests, or melting of polar ice caps can also be dismissed.
It’s really humanity’s loss, as we’re switching off our own life support mechanisms for greed and profit. The relentless destruction of our rainforests is tragic, not only due to the impact on the wider environment, but also due to the loss of biodiversity, including many unique medical plants, which are powerful rivals to Big Pharma. It seems the effects of human activity may be far closer to home than we care to admit though. For example, we’ve recently had a heatwave resulting in fires throughout Europe, with unprecedented temperatures reached in the UK and fires in London and elsewhere. Likewise, a landmark case in the UK ruled a young girl’s death from asthma as being caused by air pollution, and recent research has shown air pollution is a likely factor increasing the risk of dementia.
I struggle to understand the disconnection between our own behaviour and the consequences your friend described, even among some who are aware of the potential for this civilization coming to an end in the way Lara also referred to in one of her videos, as the laws of cause and effect seem far more logical than this being completely out of our control, unless it’s caused by an asteroid impact, for example. But even this kind of catastrophe has its wider cause and effect mechanisms of a different kind. As far as I can see, this disconnection in thinking seems to be influenced by an awareness of the corruption that is unfortunately so prevalent among some powerful and wealthy corporations and individuals, who use the discussion of a climate crisis to push ridiculous money-making schemes, such as fake food, chemtrails, blocking out the sun, etc.
There are many other alternatives to fossil fuels and carbon reduction than these though, such as protecting peat bogs and forests, or harvesting seaweed and plants of the hemp family, which have abundance of uses besides their nutritional value, such as for fuel, textiles, cosmetics and medicine, as well as providing alternatives to plastic that don’t take many lifetimes to break down. This is very beneficial for us and for nature in general, due to the prevalence of plastic waste and microplastics clogging up our oceans, which we then consume in seafood.
The oil industry really did an excellent job of squashing the use of hemp as fuel in the early days though and as far as I know, they remain the second biggest industry after Big Pharma, who also pushed out natural medicine in a ruthless way and continue to do so. It’s ironic that the suggestion of including freedom from medical tyranny was excluded from the US Constitution, as the founding fathers couldn’t envisage a time when it would become necessary to be enshrined in law.
The polarised response to climate change is similar to the public response to covid, where on one side, there are those who simply accept without question anything reported in the mainstream media, or the statements of corrupt organisations such as the WHO, CDC, FDA, NIH, or Big Pharma in general. Whereas on the other side are people who will believe anything about the hidden agenda behind covid, no matter how fantastical it is, simply because they feel that anything that originates from alternative media, chat forums etc. is automatically a reliable and trustworthy source.
But these are of course just opposite sides of the same coin, with the core issue being a lack of critical thinking and evaluation, and a search for solid evidence. Unfortunately I feel that some of the more improbable ideas actually support dark agendas around the wider schemes within powerful organisations, as it’s easy for people to associate these ideas with the wider discussion and dismiss the whole lot as “conspiracy theory”. Whereas people like Dr Robert Malone, who invented the mRNA technology are able to give a sound and logical argument against its mass use, which stands up to scientific scrutiny.
It’s a pity the mainstream media have blocked intelligent and informed debate in favour of a one sided argument, as there is such good evidence now on cheap and effective covid preventions and treatments, which are supported by robust peer-reviewed research, some of which I was able to apply in a practical and beneficial way when I had covid. Examples are the many research studies showing the effectiveness of vitamin D in bringing down the risk of covid mortality to effectively zero, or the solid evidence on the use of generic antivirals like ivermectin in treating covid. Both of these areas of research are well represented in the PubMed research database online and a British member of parliament raised the issue of why vitamin D isn’t widely used. If it were a new patented medicine like Merck’s or Pfizer’s, it would have been lauded within the media as a major discovery, yet I’ve seen absolutely no mention of vitamin D and have found most people I speak to are reluctant to use it, as it doesn’t have the official media stamp of approval.
It’s a shame that an either/or perspective is also so common among spiritual seekers, including some who seek alternative ways of exploring spirituality. For example, some pagans view anything Christian as automatically a mechanism of control or suppression. But this is of course just the opposite of the mainstream Christian belief that anything non-Christian is a threat and of darkness, so must be avoided. It’s so refreshing that Lara and Mark have stepped out of the “one size fits all” approach, in order to separate nuggets of pure gold from the dirt, in their research into the spiritual history of humanity. They’ve presented solid evidence, which draws from both science and religion, filling in the gaps that both lack to create a far more cohesive and inspiring whole picture.
I was recently reading about the ancient Greek principle of The Golden Mean, which was discussed by Plato and Aristotle and alluded to at The Temple of Apollo at Delphi. It emphasizes the need for our actions to be in balance and not to either side of extremes. For example, one extreme is cowardice, while its opposite is recklessness, but the Golden Mean is in the middle, which is courage. I feel Mark and Lara’s work is a good reflection of this balance, with a common sense and practical approach to spirituality, which encourages personal investigation and experience, to shed light on some of the greatest philosophical and spiritual questions, which humanity has pondered on throughout millennia.
Unfortunately in the wider world though, there seems to be an increasing shift towards polarisation, with extremes of opinion on either sides of the debate. I observed this “us and them” mindset during my psychology thesis around 20 or so years ago, when I designed and carried out an experiment that found a correlation between religious fundamentalism and the authoritarian personality. Then with 9/11, George W Bush’s statement “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists” and the Iraq war seemed to further entrench the divide in people’s beliefs, along with Donald Trump’s recent presidency.
Of course, many will automatically assume that any criticism of a Republican candidate automatically means unwavering support of any Democratic politician, but this is still part of the polarisation I mentioned. Whereas it seems the basic mechanism of control by powerful elites persists, regardless of who is in power at a particular point in time. So all the hype around election time is really just a smokescreen, like offering a choice between Coke and Pepsi, when they are actually controlled by the same parent organisations. Similar to the smokescreen that some well know philanthropic organisations use to divert attention from their sinister deeds.
I wish more people could step outside the conventional ways of thinking offered within society and live a truly more spiritual life, in harmony with nature and the universe itself. I think the community you’ve brought together is a positive step, which can bring a lot of benefits in your and your friends’ lives. I hope you’ll be able to continue to exercise your right to religious and spiritual freedom and exploration without any interference from local authorities or individuals.
Although I agree the world is in a bad way, I continue to be encouraged and inspired by the efforts many are making to move outside of the systems of society and its constraints. For example, with regards to living more in harmony with nature, I’ve found many individuals and small communities who have used a lot of creativity and ingenuity in living in a sustainable way, with minimal dependence on wider society.
I started looking into alternative lifestyles around 20 years ago and since then have seen documentaries on people throughout each continent who have found ways of creating their own energy, growing their own food, accessing fresh water supplies and being much more in harmony and in contact with nature and the ecosystem around them. Their positive actions remind me of Albert Einstein’s quote “Creative thinking may mean simply the realisation that there is no particular virtue in doing things the way they have always been done” and Mahatma Gandhi’s often misquoted statement “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change”.
Unfortunately I’m still very much chained to the mechanisms of the wider society, due to my current circumstances, but I try in the meantime to make lifestyle choices that cause the least harm to people, animals or nature, including being aware of who stands to gain from the money I spend and how it will be used. Fortunately it’s also very easy to buy second hand goods in the UK, which also breaks some of the reliance on constant manufacturing and diverts some unwanted goods from landfill dumps.
I hope that when circumstances allow that I’ll be able to gradually make the move towards a lifestyle that is more in keeping with my own values and principles. But as I mentioned in another reply, I’ve found that restrictions can also lead to new opportunities, as they can help us narrow down our focus to what is most important in our lives and put aside unnecessary distractions. I also hope that despite your current difficulties and concerns, you and those around you will be able to make positive changes that are of value to you and to humanity in general.
I was going through something heavy and dreaded getting up early for the solstice and feeling tired for the rest of the day. Ironically, I ended up staying up late, and I could feel the beauty of the night sky, the beauty of the solstice arriving. I then went to bed, waking up a few hours later to the sound of birds singing. I lit some candles and waited for the sun to show itself, unsure when it would rise above the treetops. I fell back asleep, only to be woken up again at the right time, so I could go outside and see the sun come up. It was lovely. I did very little for the solstice, and mostly I felt broken open. I didn’t want to do anything. I just wanted to sit and be and even cry a little bit. I felt bad for not making more out of the morning, yet there was an inner knowing of being loved and understood.
Wishing everyone a beautiful solstice time :)
Hello Anne Linn. Anyone who has seriously pursued spiritual goals knows exactly what you mean. Between physical health, the demands of going against our own passivity and the internal resistance that can arise, one can often feel beat down. Some challenges require extra efforts even if we don’t feel like it and other times it’s important to listen to the physical body. Putting in efforts when it’s hardest often leads to some of the best spiritual results and a greater internal strength. Despite how poorly you may have felt you still pushed forward and went against the resistance and experienced something beautiful regardless.
I remember one equinox/solstice quite vividly. I had a bag set to head up a mountain and the internal resistance was absolutely crushing. I went to go anyway. I picked up the bag and went to stand up… and then collapsed with a chronic back injury. Instead of being able to attend that spiritual maxim I had to spend a couple of weeks in bed until I could move again. Such is life.
The one lesson I have learnt, or still learning I guess. Is to know what’s going on with ones physical and spiritual realities. Sometimes we have to push more to go against obstacles and other times we need to take better care of our physical body to enable us to do more regardless. Either way, there can be a pitfall of which I know too well where one can get into a spiral of self-criticism which only causes more harm and destroys spiritual strength. It is integral to be honest with ourselves and where we are spiritually and where we need to put in more efforts, but not at the expense of the spiritual itself.
Either way, you pushed forward when you didn’t feel like it. It may not be perceived but you have more strength and ability from undertaking such ‘forging in the fire’ so to speak. Celebrate the wins, fight against the losses. But beware of the tricks of the mind and emotions who want to bring us down.
Take care, and all the best.
I think you offered some good advice about the need to recognise both our strengths and weaknesses by objectively seeing where we stand and making efforts to change, but without the constant internal criticism that is so counter productive.
I empathise with the incident you described, where you were trying to make efforts to celebrate the solstice or equinox, but were then thwarted by your chronic back injury. Having noble intentions, but then ending up in bed due to ill health is a familiar scenario for me too. I hope your back is more comfortable now.
I’m reminded of a radio drama based on the life of the jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, where he was frustrated by his lack of manual dexterity and said “I hate getting old! These hands used to be able to play all day!” His partner replied “It’s night now, and we work with what we’ve got”.
When I worked in health care, we used to talk about SMART goals, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. So if we were assessing a patient for hospital discharge, we needed to be sure they were either independent in completing basic daily activities, or had the necessary support or equipment in place instead.
For instance, a patient who had suffered a stroke was impaired in her balance, so a goal was to ensure that her balance improved enough for her to return home without risk of falls. It’s a relatively small goal, but a necessary one nevertheless, which took into account the reality of her current level of ability in deciding the next step forward. Setting a goal of her running a marathon would not be a SMART goal, even though it may possibly be a very long term aim, as attempting to run before she could walk would also cause a lot of frustration and most likely lead to further injury and impairment.
By taking step by step goals, it’s still possible to reach major milestones, although it takes a lot of persistence, patience and consistency. For instance, I was inspired by a guy who had a serious cycling accident and was wheelchair bound and unable to stand or walk. But with a lot of effort and support, he was able to gradually walk with equipment, then sticks, then independently and eventually to take up cycling again.
I recall a school teacher mentioning Thomas Edison’s quote “Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” to me, when she saw I had potential but wasn’t putting enough effort in. Edison’s comment on persistence in developing the electric lightbulb also stood out to me: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Something to keep in mind, in persistently working towards our own goals and not becoming disheartened by setbacks.
Hi Anne Linn,
Thanks for sharing your experience.
I’m hearing from a few different people who have experienced hardships during Solstice time. Here in Australia the weather was particularly bad, creating a very dark and gloomy atmosphere which in a way pushed my to spend lots of time in my practice room and within nature as much as possible. I’ve found that immersing myself in nature and making an effort to witness the sunrises has been like a spiritual food for the essence.
Thank you, Adam and Dave, for your beautiful replies.
The solstice felt a bit like an experiment to me. What would happen if I did very little? If I did what I had the energy for and nothing more? I spoke with my Divine Mother, asking her to wake me up when she wanted me to get up in the morning. So it’s interesting how it happened – that I woke up before my alarm to the sound of birds singing, as though they were rejoicing.
I’m sorting through my life, putting things down that don’t feel right for me at this moment in time. And later picking them back up if I want, from a different place and understanding. When I do this everything feels sparkling and new, like rain.
I want an intimate connection with myself and the Divine. What do I need at this moment? What guidance am I receiving right now? What messages can I perceive in the silence, in the world around me?
I’ve put a lot of “shoulds” on myself, and I’m letting that fall away. I’m making room for the new.
Sometimes I felt that what I was doing spiritually did not come from the right place. I wondered what would happen if I let things drop. How would the Divine react? Would they be upset with me? The tears I cried weren’t so much from pain (though that also) but from the sense of being loved and understood. It was as if the Divine were laughing, smiling, shaking their heads at how complicated I was making it for myself. I felt held and supported by something greater than myself and that it was ok to let go and be supported. – That I was not alone. I felt my heart open – like a rose.
It sounds like you are going through some changes toward a deeper understanding Anne Linn. What you wrote reminded me of some experiences that show how important having a connection with these practices might be.
I had stayed up quite late the night before preparing for a solstice. I went to bed deciding not to set an alarm because we normally wake before sunrise. However, I started sleeping in, as I found myself in bed and the sun started rising – but it wasn’t shining through the window, it was as though there was no wall and it was shining into the room and was so bright it woke me up as if saying, “you must get up now for the ceremony.” Then I woke in bed in the physical. Needless to say, I lept out of bed and we made it out to do our ceremony for sunrise.
The exact same thing happened another morning some time ago, after I had decided to go out and do a practice at the rising sun every morning. After some late nights, and a few mornings of failing to start, the sun rose into the room in the astral again as if saying, “get up and go do it.” Then I knew I seriously had to commit to doing it.
That sounds soooo beautiful Lara, about the Sun coming personally to wake you up a few times to your room… :-) That’s some incentive to keep going!
I can also relate to being tired from staying up late, as there are usually so many things to finish before going to sleep, especially for us women I find, and especially before some important events. And just like Anne Linn, I also often ask my Divine Mother to wake me up when she thinks is the best time for me to do this or that… and I have to say I don’t remember any occasion when she would not do it.
That sounds so beautiful Lara, thank you for sharing! It’s so inspiring and encouraging to have little glimpses into your living practice and relationship with the divine. I had a few weeks of staying under Glastonbury Tor before the summer solstice, and for a while it felt like I was being woken up by an inner voice and a real sense of needing to get up and go up to the Tor for sunrise. I would set my alarm but found I would often wake up just before it – which is really early in the UK in June! – and actually felt refreshed and ready to go.
Thanks for sharing that Lara I agree with Ella, its really inspiring to hear about your practises and experiences.
Amazing how the light came looking for you Lara – it sounded to me like a friend coming to get you to share that precious moment in time. It was really inspiring to read how important the sun rise can be and thank you very much for sharing it, it was lovely to read about, like everyone said.
Hi Anne Linn,
Sorry to hear about the difficulties you mentioned recently. It’s lovely to hear that despite it all, you were able to feel that connection with the divine and with the solstice itself. It sounds like a beautiful experience and I feel you were rewarded for your efforts, despite your initial resistance.
I can very much relate to some of the things you said, as I also had some difficulties on the solstice, but still managed to find some kind of peacefulness and stillness. I planned to spend time in prayer outside, but have major problems with processing noise, as it overloads my brain and eventually I need complete silence. It’s to such an extent that I commonly need industrial ear defenders to deal with everyday household sounds and most outdoor sounds (including bird song unfortunately!)
Unfortunately though, it’s common to have heavy industrial noise going on close to my house on a more or less constant basis and on the solstice there were ongoing roadworks with pneumatic drills, which have lasted for over a month. I still tried to find a break in the noise to spend some time in the garden in prayer and was pleased that it subsided just enough to let me sit down before solar noon. Then as if perfectly timed, a noisy low flying aircraft went over exactly at solar noon! It’s the sort of thing that can really disturb a peaceful environment, but I tried to see it from the perspective of a “fly past”, which the air force sometimes put on as a mark of honour!
I can also totally relate to what you mentioned about the feeling of “should” that we can place on ourselves. I’ve really struggled with that over the years, most recently due to my actual abilities being around 1% of what people imagine I can do, based on my otherwise healthy-looking physical appearance. But it’s also due to being too much of a “people pleaser” as a result of my earlier life experiences.
Unfortunately though, I’ve learnt that although I can try to give others what they want in the short term, or place similar demands on myself, it inevitably leads to suffering. I realised that I wouldn’t expect anyone else to suffer in a similar way, so why would I choose to punish myself due to placing unrealistic demands upon myself? I feel more competent now at making sure I fulfil my responsibilities to those close to me, while at the same time fulfilling my duty of care towards myself.
It’s hard to break these ingrained habits though and I can recall the characteristics of trying to “people please” from very early on. I moved schools a lot and was usually desperate to fit in and be accepted, as it was a lonely experience wandering round the play ground by myself.
One occasion that stands out was when I was about 7 and had started at a different school. I wanted to do the things the other children did and remember walking round the play ground crumbling up a little cake my mom had given me as a treat, as I wanted to have a chocolate bar like all the other kids had. But it makes me sad now to think of it, as there was so much more love and care from my mom taking the time to make some little cakes out of simple ingredients, rather than just dropping a multipack of chocolate bars into the shopping cart, particularly as she was recovering from a serious illness.
I wish I could have been more like the little girl who Dolly Parton wrote about in the song Coat of Many Colors, which she wrote from an incident in her own childhood, where her mom had sewn together a box of rags into a coat, as she was too poor to buy one. The other kids at school laughed when she wore it to school, as was sometimes the case for me when my family couldn’t afford the luxuries other kids had. But Dolly Parton portrays in the song how she took their ridicule in her stride and was happy to wear the coat nonetheless, knowing it was made with love.
Often the unique gifts we have are of far more value than whatever society considers to be en vogue at a particular point in time. I feel that you actually have quite a unique skill in writing, as you’re able to express things in a way that’s simple, but can touch people deeply.
I was listening to some songs today written by the folk collective Spell Songs, based on a book of poetry called The Lost Words. Both projects were created as a response to many words relating to nature being removed from The Oxford Junior Dictionary and replaced with tech-related words, such as social media terms. One of the songs is about the sea pink or “thrift” flower, which can be found in harsh coastal environments. Despite the seemingly uninhabitable conditions, it makes do with what it has and continues to thrive.
I thought you might like another song by the same group, which I find beautiful lyrically and melodically. I’ve listened to thousands of songwriters over the years, but can only think of a small number who consistently demonstrate the two qualities together. The song is called The Lost Words Blessing and it reminds me of the type of divine help you felt uplifted by on the solstice. I find music can have a similar effect for me, as although I maintain a personal relationship with the divine throughout each day, I only generally have the opportunity to talk about this deep longing for divinity with anyone in the physical world perhaps once or twice a year. So hearing another person touch upon things I’ve felt can raise my spirit too.
I particularly like the closing lines that reflect the feeling of being nurtured and cared for:
“In city and in forest,
let the larks become your chorus
and when every hope is gone,
let the raven call you home”.
I hope you like it too and wish you a lot of divine support and guidance, as well as the confidence in your own intuition to choose the things that are right for you in your own life.
That was lovely to read Anne Linn, the love and support of the divine embrace is very soothing and warm and I agree with you about seeing how we do things or approach our lives from the wrong place, which I’ve found to often stem from experiences in childhood, and sometimes as carry overs from past life experiences. Letting go of the shoulds and shouldn’ts is refreshing and allows us to be authentic and to then come home from there. I also love how funny and sweet the divine beings are and how their compassionate understanding of how we are helps me to understand myself from the same place. There is a lot of joy that I had missed out on because of the shoulds and shouldn’ts that were conditioned into me, which are remarkably very different from the abiding by principles which come from one’s own volition to be one with the Divine Source, and for a long time I didn’t know there was a difference, but its been liberating in itself to begin to see this and slowly peel away the conditioning and open up the new. Wishing you and everyone lots of joy and love always.
Thanks Lara! This solstice, the morning light, colors, birds, and nature were so beautiful, like being in a dream. Prayers were sweet and sincere. I found myself asking “what if I could live like this?” It was a small but powerful thought, one that I know will grow inside until I know what it fully means. Could it really be possible to live like that, in day-to-day life? Given the state of things, it almost seems taboo just to think it. It would be like an alternate reality or a dimensional vortex. I hope it’s possible.
Hi Julian I think this is very nice. Sounds like the right summer solstice spirit. So rare though, for me at least. Allowing oneself to be happy like that, I guess it comes naturally if we can but let go of our normal program’s grip of worries which feels it needs to grab us again with something – every day again. On the type of day you describe though it’s apparent that in fact we don’t need that stress at all.
I say these things but I find it difficult to get a healthy way of working going. I see lots of people living without an exaggerated pressure, by living a normal life. I’d like to be able to live days feeling more happy (I think), without the self-imposed pressure, however still working to progress in transforming within. In Daoism they also talk about a contendedness I believe. Anyhow, thanks for sharing that Julian, sounds simple, but a good aspiration. If not today then when? :- )
Thanks Lara and Mark, and all the community here – I hope everyone had a profound solstice period! I’m also looking forward to these books so much … :-)
I was in the south-west of England, and between the celebrations in Glastonbury, where we were lucky enough to see an amazing sunrise, and the ones I knew were happening in Stonehenge, Avebury and other smaller sites around the country, I felt a real uplifting sense of how the sun is still being honoured today, by hundreds of thousands of people. The celebrations are, sadly, much tinged with hedonism, but still for many people it’s one of the main times in the year of togetherness with others and time spent immersed in nature. Hopefully each effort will lead people further towards a connection with the spiritual sun, or deepen it truly.
We went to a lesser-known stone circle for the sunset and unexpectedly witnessed a special dance performed by some local Morris dancers – a kind of traditional dance in England. They usually have bells on their legs as they dance but their final dance was very quiet and peaceful with just a drum accompanying them. They only performed this dance at certain rare events we were told – I think they said weddings and funerals, and also at the summer solstice sunset. Watching it in the dusk among the stones was deeply moving.
I agree it’s lovely that so many people still honour the summer solstice (and other events) at Stonehenge, even though it’s tinged with hedonism, as you mentioned. At least it’s a step in the right direction, stemming from the light, rather than darkness.
What you mentioned about the Morris dancers is interesting too. I suspect there may also be some connections to The Religion of the Sun in some of their dances, as the term Morris derives from “Moorish”, as you probably know, after these traditions were brought back from North Africa. So I wonder about the possible pagan symbols they encode. Interesting to find out!
Thank you Lara for your wishes. I also wish that this solstice will become a catalyst for a serious inner change for everyone who longs for it. Awaiting the new books with anticipation :-)
Darkness and negative states have seemed overpowering lately. The solstice indeed brought a sense of spiritual renewal, hope, determination, and a sense of sacredness. Especially of serenity – I felt it in nature, in the forest, in the fluffy, peaceful clouds of the evening before the sunrise. We watched the sun rise from the sea – at first I regretted the clouds covering the immediate horizon, but there was a magnificent effect where the golden light of the sun highlighted aspects of the cloud first a little here, then over there, dimming and lighting different parts. It may not sound like much but there was such a spiritual feeling about it, as if the immortals were welcoming the ascending sun.
We almost didn’t visit a familiar sacred site as it seemed overcrowded. When we did go the next day, even with some tourists around the giant megaliths were exuding their age-old presence, wisdom, mystery, and peace. I felt spiritually recharged and uplifted even from this short visit. The reason for not going at first was that a few years back, we were lucky enough to witness its spectacular summer solstice sunrise alignment but however, many people came, I guess mainly out of curiosity/tourism, and the discordance and dissonance between the site and event, and the loud crowd seemed magnified, unbearable. It would have been so different to share a common spiritual purpose and effort amongst us all.
Reading the Spiritual Meaning of the Summer Solstice felt very impactful. The mysterious words on Jesus’s Vesture in Pistis Sophia had pulled me and I tried them as a mantra. I was just surprised of the power and peace, even healing I felt from that. Almost like the melody and my voice came not from my personality but some deeper part.
That chapter of the book is so beautiful. One of the passages that stood out to me was this: “The summer solstice expresses the principle of ascension, in which things of life and light will naturally grow and rise whenever there are the right conditions, as it is of the nature of the spiritual to ascend, just as the flame of fire always rises toward heaven.” I could relate to this – I felt the stirring of spiritual light and life where before it had been parched and starved. Like watering a wilted plant, like giving oxygen to a dying flame. The plant and flame then take on their own life and growth.
Thank you for writing here everyone. It gives me strength.
Wishing you a time of deep peace and being strengthened by the solstice Mark and Lara. Thank you for your unceasing hard work and efforts of great love. The light, and knowledge of the Religion of the Sun you are putting out into the world. Like an infusion of vital nourishment. A ray of light in deep darkness. An opening where it is all shut. A hand reaching out to those who are trapped. A way out of being hopelessly lost.
Thank you very much for sharing your struggles and inspirations, much appreciated!
What you said about the mysterious words on Jesus’s vesture catching your attention was especially interesting for me to read, as for the past few months I have been reading The Pistis Sophia on and off, and these words caught my attention too. Later on, while reading The Ancient Path of the Sun (also on and off), I came across the description of the El Castillo temple from the Mayan city of Tulum in Mexico, where Mark says that the original name of the ancient city of Tulum was Zama, meaning “the city of dawn”, as it faces sunrise. So I thought how interesting that this mysterious ancient word got preserved in this Mayan place. Mark also writes that the city is also connected to the Mayan wisdom bringer Kukulcan who was associated with the planet Venus as the Morning star, just like Jesus was. Therefore, another connection to the “dawn”.
Then when I finally made it to reading the Spiritual Meaning of the Summer Solstice article before this solstice, I found the third reference to these mysterious words in the part you spoke about, where Mark further states that the word “zama” is also an ancient Mayan word meaning dawn.
In that quote from Pistis Sophia, Jesus also says that those are the words “of those from the height”, and another author who has commented on Pistis Sophia in the past said that those were “the words of the language of the Light”, which I thought was so beautiful…
Anyway, it is so cool how you felt inspired to try this phrase as a mantra! I would not have thought about it. :-) Now after some more online searching I realised that there are actually a few recordings of it online, where people have been using this as a song or a mantra, even though I haven’t find any that would really resonate with me. But its nice that people are trying, and now I am inspired to try too, so thank you for the tip!
Also regarding The Pistis Sophia text again, I have read it in the past, and at that time I felt like I have extracted as much as I could for the time being. But now while reading it again, I am finding completely new things there, things I haven’t remembered from before, amazing esoteric things, especially in the ending chapters where the disciples, and especially Mary question Jesus on different workings of the laws, principles, and the fate of different types of soul after death.
Wishing everyone a spiritual uplifting solstice! Thank you Mark and Lara and the whole team. Thanks for the updates and all the best with the final edits.
Thank you Lara, hope you and Mark have a really wonderful solstice time, and to be divinely supported and nourished to keep carrying this light.
Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and knowledge of the deeper aspect of sun celebrations in so much detail.
Thank you for all your continuous work to be a true source of light in this world, in this time, now.
Beautiful solstice to everyone, and a big Thank You to Lara and Mark for working so hard on these books, I am sure it will be well worth the wait! When thinking of them, I feel like a child waiting for a really fancy treat, can’t wait! :-)
In the same time though, I have also been pondering on my own inner work lately, especially in connection to being dependent on external stimuli to keep going.
In the circumstances like this, when we are all on our own, separated by distances, and the situation in the world not really conducive to the meetings, I find myself especially “hungry” for any kind of spiritual communication or communion, often feeling really low states due to the lack of spiritual connection.
At the same time though, this “drought” period highlighted these low states in quite an obvious way, together with other ones latching onto the first, and I realised (again!), that while having a possibility of meeting or communicating with like-minded people is indeed very helpful and strengthening, ultimately, everything boils down to my own inner efforts and dedication to connecting with the Divine, and changing my behaviour in a much more dramatic way than I have been doing till now, in order to deserve their help and guidance.
Having received some glimpses of how my inner state during the day (and night) could be, I realised that its so much worth to renounce materialism in its different aspects to live like that! A quote from the Spiritual meaning of the Summer Solstice chapter stood out to me this year:
“The summer solstice signifies the regaining of the powers and pure state of consciousness – an inner state gained through the practice of energetic purification in alchemy and the death of the egos – and its ascent to the place it originally descended from, but with the knowledge gained from its experience in matter.”
And even though this quote describes the advanced states of the spiritual work where one merges with the Father, the “regaining of the powers and pure state of consciousness” in particular, really hit home somehow, as I feel it may be happening on different levels throughout the Path of the Spiritual Sun.
Wishing everyone a lot of the inner Light and spiritual guidance in these difficult times. <3
Thanks for your wishes Lara and for the update. It’s wise to make the books the best they can be, even if it takes a little longer. As they say “the best things come to those who wait” and I’m sure the new books will certainly be well worth the wait! :)
I also wish you, Mark and everyone here a happy and peaceful and spiritual solstice time, wherever you are in the world.
Came across this in the morning, Om so Hum, felt good, like waves of good hope.
Saw this yesterday ;- )
Along those lines wishing everyone the focus to put energy into new things through which the flow of life can manifest and you can grow anew.
Lara and Mark, thanks for always continuing your work like this. It’s amazing.
Thanks Lara for the update on the upcoming books, I’m certainly very much looking looking forward to their release. May you be you be successful by the next Equinox. Happy Solstice everyone.
Thank you Lara, I would also like to wish everyone a inspiring Solstice time with insights and in depth reflection
Thanks Dave very nice quote, helped to remind me that our inner states do not need to reflect what is happening around us ; ), we can still be at peace even in chaotic situations
Thanks Lara. Wish you and Mark a truly wonderful Solstice. I look forward to your new books – always inspiring and so needed in these times of darkness.
May the solstice bring a new sense of strength and purpose to all.
Wishing you and Mark a beautiful solstice too, and to everyone here as well. Also thank you so very much for all the amazing knowledge and wisdom that has awakened within us a memory and an experience of our connection to the Spiritual Sun, and that we are all really children in the eyes of the Father.
Happy Solstice and Shlamah min chil lorkun – peace be with you all.
Thanks, Lara. And a happy solstice to you and Mark! And happy solstice to all.
I’m sure the wait on the books will be worth it!
Thanks for your update, and happy solstice to you both and to everyone here.
Thanks so much Lara, found myself really looking forward to the Solstice. Hope you & everyone have a spiritually uplifting & meaningful one.
Also really looking forward to the new books.
Thank you for the kind comments Lara. I’m sure the new books will be well worth the wait.
Wishing everyone a special Solstice celebration and much guidance during this time.
I’d like to include a quote from Ancient Solstice that I found very beautiful:
“At the winter solstice-in the womb of the earth, in the midst of darkness and chaos-the Spiritual Son is born. “