Summer solstice: weaving the sunrise

Summer has arrived. The longest day of the year has come and gone, beckoning in warmth and possibility. We at Moon Woman Rising have been immersed in the ritual and celebration of solstice, crafting our own connections to our world and one another. So, we have not been so much at the computer, but celebrating the bright sky, the abundant earth. 

Guest blogger, fiber artist, and homesteader Jessica Green of A Little Weather shares her beautiful experience pulling fibers across the dawning of solstice--more or less on time. She shares her ritual, and encourages us to experience the world fully as it becomes around us, to weave ourselves into the moment of being. 

Weaving the sunrise

by Jessica Green

credit Olivia Siegel

A shifting of balance. A moment of equanimity before we begin marching down the other side of the great mountain of day into darkness.

How to gracefully treadle between dualities?

How to feed what feeds us and build a world based in reciprocity?

These quarterly seasonal shifts are beautiful places to practice, to try and fail, to try to try, to simply remember that we, too, are a part of the seasonal shifts of this planet and can find ways to integrate ourselves back within the living ecosystem around us- and live with a rooted sense of place.

I just finished teaching a weaving class at Penland School of Crafts in the hills of Southern Appalachia.

I experience weaving as both the mundane reality of simple repetitive tasks, as the creation of the cloth we take for granted as it embraces our everyday bodies, as the technicalities of threads interlacing to create a substrate- but also as the mythic reality of weaving the world into being, weaving the sun back into the sky and weaving the firefly stars into the night, as a gift and an offering that we little liabilities can humbly place our heartfelt efforts into, as an embodied lineage that contains all of human history, as a tangible chronicle of time spent.

Our class spanned the solstice and I am always playing with how to weave "ritual that doesn't suck" (i.e. appropriative or unimaginative) into my work and my role as a facilitator- and solstice at Penland seemed like a ripe opportunity. In the way of things, I thought the 21st fell on a Thursday this year- and realized on the morning of Wednesday June 21st, that I was 24 hours mistaken…it was an excellent mistake and my class and I were able to spend the night of the solstice casually drinking pink champagne and playing exquisite corpse- laughing really hard- time spent together as food for something holy. And the next morning, Thursday June 22nd, we met, as planned (only one day "late") just before sunrise on a bald hilltop to greet and thank and feed the Sun anyways. I love it when I can publicly fail, or flail, and still keep moving. I really appreciated the opportunity to realize that the world around us welcomes our heartfelt gratitude and quiet awareness no matter what the day is. The sunrise is beautiful every morning of the year, and our hearts are fed by quietly witnessing it. 

 

 credit Lydia See

 credit Lydia See

So if you missed the sunrise and sunset on this summer solstice, plan to rise in the dark tomorrow morning or any morning- step outside without your shoes, feel the chill that descends just before dawn, hear the first birds offer their song to the sun as they do every single day, listen to the world wake up around you, notice the wild painting of dawn on the sky, slowly shift your weight to one foot and lift the other to begin turning yourself around in a very slow circle- noticing everything you notice, as the light begins to pour in through your eyes and your skin- let it drip into your chest until it's over flowing, let that light flood through your body and metabolize into gratitude, radiate that gratitude back out towards all of creation, towards every aspect of the world that feeds you.

And in turn, some day soon, stop what you're doing before the world begins to darken, find a hill or a quiet place, bring your pals if you like- and commit to witnessing every single little shift and change that comes over right where you are as the sun makes his final descent into the jaws of night. Don't get up to leave, don't aimlessly chat, don't wonder about the past or the future until you are fully cloaked in night, until the fireflies have risen from their daytime nests in the grass, until peeper and bullfrogs are in full symphony. Don't get up to leave until you find the words that your heart is speaking in gratitude, let yourself bathe in the awe of existence- and thank every single being and all their habits that keep this world in all it's cycles.

 

It's a nuanced thing- feeding what feeds us. On the one hand, the sun certainly doesn't need me to offer it anything or give it permission to continue to rise each day- but on the other, our world is sunk if we don't take responsibility for all of us being a part of a living ecosystem which needs our imaginative attention in order to continue day to day. On a wholly other hand, it feeds me immensely to remember to slow down, to offer the welling up of my oceanic heart, the quiet depth of my acutely toned eyes and ears and skin- to try and fail and be rendered useless as I try and try again to be of service, real service to the more than human world- instead of just a destructive tornado, as I've been taught and deftly trained to be.

 credit Lydia See

 credit Lydia See

 

Midnight prayer, one week prior to the Summer Solstice 2017

The students each took a candle to the dark side of the hill walking towards croaking ponds and emergent flickering of insect phosphorescence...

My candle burnt out immediately, and I was graced with the far away experiences of everything else:

When I remembered and turned around, 

I mistook your warm glow

for fireflies who had lost their way

and thought

they were galaxies of burning stars-

who fell to earth

and grew roots

and those roots became bones

and bones fleshed and found heart -

I saw that it was you, becoming human.

 

About Jessica: 

Jessica Green is a weaver, homesteader, dweeby wiggler and myth protector out in Little Sandy Mush, North Carolina. She is most interested in being wholly herself, full of contradiction and whatever inconsistency the moment calls for. She wants to destroy what needs to be destroyed and build beauty beyond her broken imagination. Jess weaves to slow the world down.

Winter solstice wheel

As we enter 2017, multimedia artist Maralie offers her profound meditations on loss, transitions, and moving from darkness into light. Her father passed away recently, with the service honoring his life falling on winter solstice, December 21st, 2016.

Maralie created the below video and text work 'Winter Solstice Wheel' as a part of her ritual of honoring ancestors and letting go. 'Winter Solstice Wheel' is a powerful reminder of how after the darkest and coldest, the wheel continues spinning. 


The Sun moved so slowly
moved so slowly, so slowly,
so slow
as if standing still
succumbing to the longest night

Yule
the wheel continues spinning
we are returned
one Eternal round
the Sun is reborn after Winter Solstice

Evergreens
Pine, Rosemary, Bay, Juniper, and Cedar
ever - green
like the season waxing nearer should we survive
the darkest and coldest
we are returned
one Eternal round
the Sun is reborn

Ceased breathing
in the labor of dying
silver cord is loosed
and the spirit returns
the body labored living it’s dying well

Let go and say good bye
into the bowels of the earth
into the evergreens
into the legacy of ancestry

Where we’ve been all along

The wheel continues spinning
a bell is struck
we are returned
one Eternal round




My father passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by family. As profoundly sad as I am not to have him physically near, his presence in my life is inextricable. He imbued a love of music in me and taught me that through singing I could bare my spirit’s inner landscape. 

Due to weather and travel conditions his burial fell on the winter solstice. What an unexpected gift it was to celebrate his transformation on this symbolic day. Gathered with family and friends, I performed ‘Any Longer’ in the little chapel built by ancestors whom had homesteaded the land 200 years ago. Though my body may never be buried in this family cemetery, on this day I let the architecture and the fleeting darkness absorb me. A bell is struck and the wheel continues spinning…

 

Maralie’s multi-mediated works emphasize the evolution of spiritual and emotional expression via technology and seduces poetics from human-machine interaction. Their/her research probes the multifaceted interrelationships of gender and spirituality as well as appropriated uses of technologies throughout time. Seer sees the unseen and sings Hosanna! Maralie’s work includes performance, sculpture, photography, video, and sound.  As a performer/vocalist/dancer, Maralie has toured more than a dozen countries with the projectsValise (solo), Humanbeast, Assembly of Light, Tem Eyos Ki, Bloodhuff, and Soophie Nun Squad. Their/her collaborations in choreography and dance have been seen in a Nick Cave Soundsuit performance, Bonedust’s Fruit of the Ash, and in Hana van der Kolk’s The Third Thing. Maralie’s work has also been featured in Vice Magazine, The Fader, and RISD Museum’s Manual online, among other publications. They/she has taught in RISD’s Experimental and Foundation Studies program and Brown University’s Modern Culture and Media Department.

Maralie’s multi-mediated works emphasize the evolution of spiritual and emotional expression via technology and seduces poetics from human-machine interaction. Their/her research probes the multifaceted interrelationships of gender and spirituality as well as appropriated uses of technologies throughout time. Seer sees the unseen and sings Hosanna! Maralie’s work includes performance, sculpture, photography, video, and sound.  As a performer/vocalist/dancer, Maralie has toured more than a dozen countries with the projectsValise (solo), Humanbeast, Assembly of LightTem Eyos KiBloodhuff, and Soophie Nun Squad. Their/her collaborations in choreography and dance have been seen in a Nick Cave Soundsuit performance, Bonedust’s Fruit of the Ash, and in Hana van der Kolk’s The Third Thing. Maralie’s work has also been featured in Vice Magazine, The Fader, and RISD Museum’s Manual online, among other publications. They/she has taught in RISD’s Experimental and Foundation Studies program and Brown University’s Modern Culture and Media Department.

Tarot for 2017

As 2016 comes to a close, we at Moon Woman Rising turn to tarot to add to the guidance of the moon for the coming year. 

Determine your tarot card for 2017 through a simple process. Pull a favorite tarot deck. Shuffle holding intentions for the new year, then set aside. 

Now, add the number of the month and day of your birth with the year you wish to examine. 

So, if you were born October 2nd you would add 2 + 10 + 2017= 2029

Then, add those digits: 2 + 0 + 2 + 9 = 13

If that sum is greater than 22, add the digits together once more. 

Correlate your final number to the major arcana. So, for this example, the 13th card is the Death card.

Remember, there are no 'bad' cards. Each card holds different guidance and opens us to different challenges and possibility.

Find your card for 2017 in your deck. Take time to contemplate your cards meaning. Your intentions and actions will shape how your card manifests in your life in 2017. 

Deck shown from Slow Holler. 

Deck shown from Slow Holler. 

Determining your tarot card for 2017 is an auspicious activity for New Years Eve or New Years Day. And, it is an activity best shared with loved ones and friends. 

Altar Honoring Ancestors

This time of complexity calls for honoring the spirits who have come before us-- those ancestors and ancient ones who created space for the sacred feminine as we are able to manifest it now. We honor the past so that we may move forward in the present with fierce compassion and devotion to attending carrying forth light for ourselves, for our communities, for our world. 

Guest blogger, Danielle Vogel is a writer, practicing witch, and ceremonialist. She offers up images of her altar and shares powerful words that express her relationship to honoring those who have laid the foundation for our contemporary being. 

 

Excerpt from A Library of Light

Some of which can be read here.

,

To get through the door of me. Through the door of my mother’s body and her mother’s body before her and so on, straight into the mouth of the very first light emitted.

,

Language allows for connective resonance. I come to language because I want to heal something inside of me. Something hemmed into the cells, passed across generations, between mouths and mothers. To reattune myself through articulated frequencies. I yield to the hidden voice. Of bone and light at once. Having access to the unlit through what is illuminated.

I make myself fragile for you.

Because we hold vigil for one another in language.

Because we need to ingest light and release it.

Vogel—Altar—Mother's Handwriting.jpg

About Danielle: 

Danielle Vogel is a writer and ceremonialist who grew up on the south shore of Long Island. She is the author of Between Grammars, the artist book Narrative & Nest, and the chapbooks In Resonance and lit. Her installations and “public ceremonies for language,” which pay homage to the archives of memory stored within language, have been exhibited most recently at RISD Museum, The Nordic House in Reykjavík, Iceland, Temple University, Pace University, and The University of Washington at Bothell. She teaches at Wesleyan University and makes her home in New England with the prose writer, Renee Gladman. She has been a practicing witch since she was nine-years-old. 

 

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HARVEST MOON: SEPTEMBER 2016

FULL MOON & LUNAR ECLIPSE in Pisces | September 16, 2016


“In the end
I want my heart
to be covered
in stretch marks”

-Andrea Gibson

Peaks and swells of emotion and insight abound with the Full Moon (and Lunar Eclipse) energy today. It may have a stop and go sort of feeling, as opposed to just a full rush. Which means you will get breaks to integrate and process over the next day or two (Full Moon energy typically spills into the days on either side of the technical Full Moon) This is also the Harvest Moon and wonderful energy for us to literally harvest the insights we receive. Trust in possibility. Try not to worry what comes next, as worry and anxiety contract our hearts and close us off. Just be open to that initial possibility, that first spark. And then trust.