First of all, let me apologize to all those who gathered here at the Green Acres Permaculture Village patio for our Solstice event, that when I, as an “astrologer,” was talking about the Solstice, my friend Ted had to remind me that it was also a Full Moon! So I did include that fact, and mentioned that it had actually taken place hours before the actual moment of Solstice, though how long before I didn’t know, and furthermore, at the time I had absolutely no idea that the conjunction of Solstice with Full Moon is a rare phenomenon. In fact, the last time these two conjoined was in 1948!
Here’s the chart for the moment of Full Moon —
— which as you notice, occurs in the 29th (thus karmic) degree of Gemini/Sagittarius. Symbolically, this to me, indicates that we must learn to balance and integrate our craving for more and and more information (Gemini) with a world-view that is flexible enough to accommodate and question any and all “facts” (Sagittarius). In practice, I see this Full Moon, occurring within ten hours of the Summer Solstice 2016 as a call for release of fundamentalism of all kinds. Any conceptual scheme that keeps us trapped within any kind of bounded view of the infinitely mysterious universe, is by definition, way too small.
That this lesson would be initiated during the final degree preceding Summer Solstice, i.e., during the final moments of the blooming of Spring, the greening of the northern hemisphere, is also, to me, fraught with significance. For as we release all limits to our way of thinking about the world, as we let go of the mind, we then plunge into 0°00 Cancer and renew our primal commitment to family, tribe and community, the felt need to nourish all that lives, an increased capacity to honor all Life on Earth and the larger cosmos in which she spins her eternal dance of being and becoming.
And, this year, the Summer Solstice Full Moon also happened to take place on the background of the Saturn/Neptune/Jupiter T-cross, as well as the Mars in Scorpio retrograde process, both of which continue to influence us with the need to open to larger vistas without being taken in by our own proclivity for deception (Saturn/Neptune/Jupiter) and the need to continue to allow the deepening of our experience of old wounds resurfacing for acknowledgement and hopefully, release. (Mars).
One other note about Mars: I personally have now noticed, and I’ve heard stories from others which confirm this, that Mars retrograde through Scorpio not only taps into old wounds that have been festering underneath, but also, can signify the climactic completion of nearly invisible healing processes that have been in motion for years. So both/and. Mars both triggers old wounds for healing, if they haven’t been visible, and consummates healing processes that have been gathering energy underground. In either case the gift of Mars retrograde in Scorpio encourages the flow of the full feeling nature of human beings. That deep well that has been poisoned and/or stopped up in some way. Mars in Scorpio thus magnifies the Sun’s ingress into Cancer, for both are water signs that refer to the emotional side of our nature, rather than the intellectual side.
Full Moon in Gemini/Sagittarius asked us to finalize our release of mental fundamentalism of all kinds, just in time for us to plunge into the Summer Solstice world of feeling our communion with all humans and other beings that feel, both small and large, including our garden plants, animals and insects, including Mother Earth herself.
Here at the Green Acres Permaculture Garden, we honored the Solstice on Sunday evening, beginning with an orientation for possible new members of the Bloomington hOURS Time Bank at 5 p.m. Ryan, Andruja, and Teddie have been patiently and determinedly spearheading this subtle, powerful way of moving below the money economy to value everyone’s time equally and encourage more and more participation in mutual exchanges of all kinds.
As Teddie said, at some point we want to let go of even needing to keep track, our attitude toward each other will be so full of trust and generosity; but for now, the Time Bank gives us a way to get one “credit” for each hour spent in service to another member’s needs. When we stop to really understand the Time Bank idea, we begin to see its radical implications. For one thing, it works to destroy the class system, where some people value their time more than others; Time Bank values the time of those who have been selflessly volunteering without recompense, as well as those who slave at work which others don’t even notice but which keep the entire human enterprise going.
Here’s a closer-up of Ryan, Andruja, and Teddie, talking about her experience with the Louisville Time Bank, which now, after a few years, has gathered huge momentum. We are still in the start-up phase here, in fact this orientation signals the one year anniversary of the Bloomington Time Bank. The key, as Andruja said, is diversity, not just numbers of members. We need people with all kinds of skills and needs, in order to for the Time Bank to really take off.
One more photo here, of the time bank audience, viewed from within one of the patio gardens, which just happens to have a new sculpture, thanks to our friend Shy. The meaning of this installation is ambiguous. I see it as a warrior’s helmet (and am not disposed to “like” it); others see it as an insect! So it stays.
Then of course, a potluck. Followed by a musical interlude, thanks to Peter.
Followed, in turn by an extended Solstice Ceremony, which began with me talking about the meaning of Solstice, then Brie talking about what we are doing here, how we are manifesting (Summer Solstice) on Earth here at the Green Acres Urban Farm the visions that begin at Winter Solstice; followed by Rebecca’s two tours of the connected permacultured grounds of this now three-house effort. Here’s a pic of those waiting for the second tour, continuing conversation on the patio.
Finally, after both tours were done, Ted, on right in photo above, who had agreed to come down here for the second time at Summer Solstice from Oakwood Retreat Center, led us in a Summer Solstice Ceremony to honor all that is and is coming in to life, both here and everywhere.
This part of the evening involved a close standing circle, all of us in silence as Ted spoke quietly from his heart.
All in all, we experienced very full, multi-leveled Solstice Full Moon event that included education, art, music, food, conviviality, and ceremony — just the way we like it.