Archive for the ‘solstice’ tag
It’s summer solstice today and I am writing this at approximately two hours past the peak of the solstice. I found this image as a representative image for the solstice, an image of the masculine. As most who follow symbolism are are aware, the sun is symbolic of the masculine where the moon is symbolic of the feminine. The summer solstice is all about the sun.
Solstice is representative of the midpoint of a man’s life in as much as it represents the midlife of the annual journey of the earth around the sun, the point where man is at his peak, the moment when the sun is in the sky longest in the year. It is the time when a man is the most conscious of the fact of being a man, most feeling the power of being male.
If a man has truly worked at becoming conscious, he comes to a point of crisis as he realises that the life of spirit, of logos doesn’t fill him. All that has been believed, all the effort, the struggle now seems to ring hollow. At this moment, a man “knows” that he has peaked and that it he is now engaged in a journey back to darkness. If he is lucky, he has a guide to help him descend from the peak.
With a focus on what has been attained in the work of being a man, the fact that reaching the pinnacle of his essence as a male has not resulted in a sense of fullness, but of a paradoxical emptiness, a hollowness, a man is graced with the opportunity to move towards balance, the balance of light and dark, the balance between his masculine aspect and his feminine aspect.
And it is this embarking on a new journey that is to be celebrated at the solstice, the end of the honeymoon and the real work to come, the real work which will give life meaning and purpose. Those who resist this journey get lost in addictions which promise meaning: sex, power, money, dominance of others.
It doesn’t make sense to the objective world that it is in a descent into a subjective world that one finds purpose and meaning in the outer world. But who said it has to make sense in a “logos” kind of way? Too much of one thing leads to burn out, to a searing of the soul.
Though it might seem a time for mourning of one’s ego, a time for anger and resistance; midlife is a blessing if one can only dare to continue a journey of individuation, a journey in which one learns to embrace the feminine, the soul.
The Temple of the Seven Dolls, a different Mayan structure from all others found in Mexico built in the 7th century, sits at the centre of the Dzibilchaltun Mayan ruins. It is a square building with four sets of stairs and entrances that correspond to the four cardinal directions – north, east, south and west. On each wall there are two sets of windows, one on each side of an entrance. During the spring and fall equinoxes, the sun’s rays flow directly through the east and west entrances to flow down the sacbe (white road) to a smaller square structure, a sundial, which also has four sets of steps. At the summer solstice, the sun’s rays enter the north-east window of the north wall and exit at the north-west window of the west wall. During the winter solstice, the sun’s light enters through the south-east window of the south wall to exit through the south-west window of the west wall. In this photo, I am looking out at the sundial and the sacbe that goes on through the Mayan grounds.
Again, I wondered at what is drawing me out here to speak. The sun, a quaternity – a mandala on a grand scale.
AS ITS fourfold structure indicates the mandala is a symbol of totality, forming, like the Platonic world-soul, a rounded whole “sufficient to itself,”1 a complete being “organised in accordance with its own internal laws”. 2 For Jung the mandala is a symbol of the Self, that psychic totality which is indescribable except in antinomies and indistinguishable from the imago Dei. Its essential nature is unavoidably irrational and irrepresentable, for the union of opposites is a paradox beyond our comprehension. But the age-old mandala is not a rational product of discriminating consciousness; like all true symbols it stems from unconscious sources of creativity, which transcend or predate the world-creating division of opposites. (The Meaning of the Mandala, Philip Williams, June 2000)
The “Self”, the unconscious well-springs of the “self”, the source of the unifying principal within each of us. It’s amazing how so many ideas of C.G. Jung’s are finding an outward expression in this ancient land of the Mayans.