Rev. Nancy's Blog

December Transitions

Winter Solstice

We’ve anticipated Winter Solstice 2012 ever since the Harmonic Convergence in 1987. That astronomical conjunction was heralded as the start of a twenty-six year transition period leading up to the end of the Mayan calendar on 12/21/12 – our upcoming Winter Solstice.

Discussion about that date has ranged from doomsday predictions to labeling it all hogwash, and everything in between. Calmer voices try to soothe the near-frenzy – the “end of the world as we know it” may mean the beginning of a new era of harmony. Some say that recalculation of the Mayan calendar showed it ended in October 2011. Yet the mystery remains.

I recently overheard some workmen discussing whether 12/21/12 or 12/12/12 was most important. One suggested, “The Mayans just ran out of room on the stone.” His comment reminded me of the Y2K fear that moving from the year 1999 to 2000 would wreak havoc on computer systems. That didn’t happen.

But what about now? A lot has changed in the last two-plus decades. The world is changing, reshaping, and time seems to move faster. Information technology has seen exponential expansion, along with many other aspects of our lives – both beneficial and harmful. Familiar political, economic and environmental structures have changed.

Recently, the crows told me, “Change is coming. Prepare

“What changes” I asked?

“You’ll know,” they replied.

The Virgin of Guadalupe

December 12 is the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico’s patron saint. This year’s feast day, 12/12/12, also is the last of a series of twelve “gateway portal” days (01/01/01, 02/02/02, … 11/11/11). On those days, gateway portals are said to open through which new energies are transmitted to help the earth shift into a new age.

The Virgin Mary appeared to the Aztec Juan Diego on December 12, 1531. Her appearance as a woman of color bridged the two worlds of the Aztecs and the Spanish conquerors, and transformed the Aztec Earth Mother goddess into the Divine Feminine. She told Juan Diego, who was worried about his uncle’s illness, “Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who am your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything.”

The Virgin of Guadalupe is but one instance of the slow return of the sacred feminine and understanding that the Divine is neither male nor female, but both. Both the sacred masculine and the sacred feminine are part of All That Is, and both are necessary for balance in the world, in life, and in our selves.

The Nine of It

Both 12/12/12 and 12/21/12 add up to the number nine, which suggests reconciliation, completion and the accomplishment of a creative task. As three times three, nine has a sacred wholeness – the number of total perfection and balance. In the West, nine is considered to be the number of eternity; in India, it is the number of God and Yogi who will leave the wheel of birth and death. In dreams, the number nine suggests the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. Pregnancy lasts nine months.

Nine is the number of the Tarot’s Hermit card, which suggests wisdom in solitude, a wise teacher or inner voice that gives good advice. The Hermit carries a lantern, which represents knowledge lighting the path ahead. It is only by spending some time in solitude that we can reflect and gain wisdom – hear “that still, small voice.”

The number 12 card in Tarot is the Hanged Man, which represents reflection, turning points, and choosing a different perspective. The Tarot’s number 21 card is The World, the last of the Major Arcana cards. The World card represents fulfillment earned by overcoming obstacles. It also speaks of inner awareness, going with the flow, and being true to your self.

Times of Transition

So how do we prepare for massive change? I suggest that we have been preparing for many years. It’s a process, as is everything. A few months ago, Solomon the Golden Eagle said, “Release attachment. You can’t fly if you’re weighted down.” How many people do you know who are simplifying their lives, “lightening the load” of their material possessions, balancing the quickened pace of life with a deeper appreciation of relationships and the natural world around us.

This heralded Winter Solstice is not an event so much as a marker in a long process of change, like a river that flows downhill, gathering volume and force. When it reaches a ledge it tumbles in a waterfall, and in the process is re-oxygenated. Then it gathers in a pool at the bottom of the waterfall before continuing its flow to the ocean. Process.

Once, as I crumpled under too heavy a workload, someone asked me, “If you were leaving on a six-week trip tomorrow, what would you absolutely have to get done today?” We can rephrase that question for the upcoming Solstice: “If the world were going through a transition tomorrow, what is the most important thing for you to do today?”

The answer is clear. Say “I love you” to the people you care about. Say “Thank you” for everything. Smile. Do it with intention and gratitude. The Beatles were right. Love really is all there is.