Sunday, December 20, 2015

From Darkness to Illumination

These have been the darkest days of the year, marked by a visit from a great horned owl that has been singing his songs in the middle of the night and at first morning light in the woods. It has been a gift to have him here, as well as the female that he serenaded outside of my window. One of the qualities of owl medicine is that it asks us to see through the darkness as they have excellent night vision. 
I love these dark and velvety night skies that show off beautiful sparkly Winter constellations and distant planets. 
During this time of the year I dive into the classics of the medicine and savor each word and translation. They are delicious, like morsels of something sweet and rich. I recently read a beautiful description of the Water element and its energy as it relates to the famed and revered Kunlun Mountain by Lorie Eve Decher in her book Five Spirits. As the element of Water belongs to Winter, this piece feels perfect to share on the eve of the Solstice.
"As we descend into the labyrinths at the lowest depths of mountain caves, we enter the realm of the zhi, the spirit of water. The zhi are the psychological counterpart of the thermal geysers, the fiery springs that spurt up from the darkness at the center of the underworld...The zhi open the door to the palace of the dark goddess, the place of transformation and return, where yin becomes yang and inert matter comes back to life. Thus, in the place of deepest darkness, our return journey to the light begins." 

I took this picture today on one of the shortest days of the year near Alberts Landing in Amagansett. The sky was brilliant and clear and the winds were tickeling  the Phragmites as they swayed to and fro all the while making the most amazing sounds. 
Wishing everyone a beautiful solstice!