Dear Dream Tending and Deep Imagination Community,
“Both the Winter and the Summer Solstices are expressions of love. They show us the opposition of light and dark, expansion and contraction, that characterize our experiences in the Earth school so that we can recognize our options as we move through our lives.” — Gary Zukav
I love this Zukav quote because of its inclusivity in recognizing that when one part of the globe is celebrating their Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, the opposite part of the globe is celebrating their Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. So often, our attention falls to our own immediate lived experience; it can take attention and intention to bring awareness to the opposite experience–even when that opposite experience is taking place within our fellow humans sharing the same Earth space as ourselves.
Though happening in opposition to one another, the solstices are paired in meaning, particularly when it pertains to ritual, mindfulness, and the dream space. In fact, Summer Solstice across history and across continents has been a day where the sun appeared to stand still, encouraging us as humans to do the same. The acknowledgement of the Earth moving in its own natural rhythm invites us to notice our own natural rhythms. Perhaps in these moments of noticing, a shift begins to take place.
Our dreams, too, acknowledge the Solstice and the stillness it invites. Today, even though the Solstice has passed, I invite you to invite dream and dream images into your Solstice rituals and practices.
Here is an exercise to inspire you:
1. Take a few moments to look back through your dream journal or think back to recent dreams. Notice if there are elements of stillness in them. Is the stillness present in a being, in the landscape, or elsewhere?
2. Find a comfortable position–sitting or lying down perhaps– close your eyes. Invite your breath to move more deeply but still naturally and unaffected.
3. Invite a dream companion to join you in this meditation. This companion could be a familiar ally figure or perhaps someone or something new is coming forward.
4. Sit in stillness with this dream companion. Even when the sun, suspended in the sky, appears to be completely still, we know there is still movement, shifting, taking place. Notice that movement, that shifting, taking place within you now. Notice it with your dream companion.
5. After a few minutes of noticing, slowly draw yourself back into conscious awareness. Take some time to write, draw, sing, or move your body as an expression of what came forward.
Myka K. Hanson, Ph.D.
Dream Tending Mentor
Inside The Curious Mind
A quote that resonated with me this week…
“One way of celebrating the Solstice is to consider it a sacred time of reflection, release, restoration, and renewal.”
— Sarah Ban Breathnach
Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D., is the founder of Dream Tending, Pacifica Graduate Institute, and the Academy of Imaginal Arts and Sciences. He is a world-renowned professor of depth psychology, an imagination specialist, and an innovator. He has served as an organizational consultant to major companies and institutions, and as a depth psychological content advisor to Hollywood film makers. He has lectured extensively in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. He is affiliated with the Earth Charter International project through the United Nations, where he has spoken. Professor Aizenstat is the Chancellor Emeritus and Founding President of Pacifica Graduate Institute. He has collaborated with many notable masters in the field including Joseph Campbell, James Hillman, Marion Woodman, and Robert Johnson.