Letter from Cressida Pryor
December 19, 2016
Solstice Letter 2016
Part of the challenge of the Solstice’s particular power is its very binary polarity...in contrast to the Equinox’s mid way position, that is, in a way easier. There are many oft worn phrases and clichés encouraging moderation in all things and the importance of balance in our life.
No, now it seems to be ‘all or nothing’, in your face, shout and sing out loud...dark and cold, bright fires, warm toes time. Eat to excess...drink too; decorate your house with lights and buy, buy, buy...
Whilst many die of starvation and live in cities ruined by manmade attack and bombardment.
Despite 2016’s extraordinary democratic crashes nothing is able to stay so extreme; as within each is the kernel of the other. Under even the worst situation lies the complexity of the middling, muddling through way to be found in us all.
We can, for example, embrace the world of spirit, of the ‘other’ and yet be terrified by the prospect of ultimately reaching it, of dying and death...Olivia held this very paradox in herself and perhaps because of it she opened the door of spirit to so many...drawn by her rich and beautiful use of language, her images, her insights and visions of the beyond and yet also captivated by her very joy in the earth bound world that she relished and was so reluctant to leave.
So these are my thoughts this Solstice...I am pondering a confusion and paradox embodied in a recent friend I have had the privilege of meeting. This woman has just arranged and held three Advent contemplations in the weeks leading up to Christmas in three local Church of England churches. Each lasted two hours and allowed time to reflect with prayers and in silence on this period of preparing and waiting for the birth of the indwelling embodied divine there in all of us; I suppose, the ultimate Christmas message...but there too in other faith traditions.
And then after we’d finished the last two hours of silence, I followed her, stumbling into bright daylight adjusting my eyes after the small country church’s unlit interior. Turning to me, she waved gaily with her parting words: “I’m off next week to light Solstice fires in Stroud...”
I became aware in those periods of silence that this was a new practice for me... the importance of giving extended time, in fact several weeks, to the preparation, the self reflection and the honouring of this experience of divine spiritual unity so we grow to know and see this in everyone too. The ultimate paradox is that this is a solid basis for human sacredness and for universal belonging, something recognised in all world faiths in various ways. Thus bringing the sacred into the everyday; the human and divine connections that are so much part of our fellowship which are heart centred and life affirming.
We are, after all, our relationships, with each other, with our creature companions and the world of nature...our interrelationship with Eternal Wisdom with Sophia and the Divine feminine.
I know within the FOI that there is a strong sense of seeing the divine in all...but do we have a particular time within our calendar to acknowledge and focus on this? Do write with your thoughts on this...the new ‘Isian Voices’ will be an exciting forum for such conversations on our spiritual faith and journeys. Part of ‘our narrative’ is that Christianity ‘stole’ the ancient festivals of the year from native sacred wisdom and customs. But now I think we would throw the baby out with the bath water if we do not also absorb aspects of ‘their’ mystic wisdom as it can add greatly to our deepening spiritual quest too. Part of an ongoing relationship that is to everyone’s growth and benefit.
All well and good...I now await the sun’s return with excitement and relief, yearning for warmth in the soil again, the spring bulbs and nature’s rebirth after this necessary slumber and rest...
So I wish you all a restful and nourishing time ahead; the world is in need of beloved Isis’s discernment and energy, Sophia’s wisdom and Mary’s compassion. We are the beacons through which this is expressed, may our spirit be as strong as it needs to be.
With Solstice Blessings and in fellowship,
FOI Letters & Correspondence
(Many thanks to Cressida for her seasonal letters.)
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