Thursday, April 19, 2007

Nebular, Lunar and Stellar Adorations

I am certain that those of you who have tried the Solar Adoration have noticed something important about it----

The sun is visible at best, half of a day. What can you do those other times?

Here's a review of the Solar Adoration, Delsarte Style:

Attaining the Silence

The first step in the process is to find the small silent places within yourself. While some can find the Silence in a rave with flashing lights and sirens blaring, most of us need quieter settings to let go of the distractions that we encounter much of the time. It is something of a misstatement to suggest that the Silence can be hold continuously. My experience is that it is an intermittant state that we drift in and out of as our consciousness shifts towards--and away from this as a focus. Find a comfortable position in a safe place with suitable lighting. You don't need any specific seated, kneeling or standing pose. Choose something that is suitable and unique to this procedure.

1. Solar Adoration

Esoteric activities are generally divided into active and passive exercises. This is certainly one of the more powerful, if passive forms. A solar adoration is basically an opportunity to think like a plant in the eye of light, the sun. You'll need to determine the times for greatest intensity of light--generally 10 am to noon. Find a place where you can stand out in the sun.

Begin with your arms at your sides, head bowed slightly. Barefoot, if safe, is preferred for this exercise, and full or partial nudity (if appropriate and legal!) can enhance the experience.

Allow the arms and head to hang down towards Earth, our mother. Ennervate the arms and torso as follows:

i. Straighten your back slowly, taking care to not thrust the hips too far forward. The head will rise with this motion without any undue effort on your part. Begin to shallowly and slowly inhale. Allow all tension to fade from the neck, cheeks and jaw. Simultaneously with straightening the back, take a shallow gliding step forward with your dominant foot. The foot glides across the ground, it does not stomp.

ii. Simultaneously with your slow, insistent breath, ennervate the arms, beginning at the shoulder sockets. Both elbows follow the natural arc created as the upper arm moves forward from the torso. Once the elbow is slightly below shoulder level, extend breath, bone and movement to the lower part of the arm. Feel the arm coming alive, responding to the warm glow of the sun, opening to receive it.

iii. Ennervate the wrists, which will rotate outwards as they slowly rise, still finishing your step. As the wrist rises higher than the shoulder, feel the fingers extend upwards, palms cupped to receive the Solar Blessing. As your non-dominant foot completes its forward glide, the final portion of your inhalation should coincide with this action.

iv. If possible, wear loose clothing or nothing at all. Feel the warmth of the light as it plays on your skin and through your half-lidded eyes--but not for too long, as the strength of the sun is also its sword. Simply breathe, and feel the light and warmth fill you. How long should this take? As long as you need.

Note----as it is hard for a number of folks to inhale and chant at the same time, I suggest finding an appropriate word or sound for each adoration, something that reminds you of the sunlight. Let the chant fill your insides from memory, the sunlight extending this inner sound entirely through your body and down into the waiting earth.

#2--The Nebular Adoration

(This was actually the first one of the series that was written, c. 1997)

IN a foggy or misty day, face the mists, look and listen for the potentialities in mist. In lots of Celtic stories the mists are the unknown, the source of all manifestations. Breathe, but inhale more than the cool air around you. Raise your arms and feel the coolness of the mists flowing into you, filling you with the potential for manifestation. The gift of the mists is the power to create, to shape matter and energy into being out of potentials that lies hidden.

#3--The Lunar Adoration

Pick a time when the light of the moon is visible to you. Traditionally the moon is full seven or nine days, so there is a range of times that you can perform this.

Face the moon, letting its light fall on you. This is the power of the sun, the most active principle, wrought into a more subtle form. It is power, yes, but the energy is that of subtle workings and mechanisms. Raise your arms to it, and feel the song of the moonlight filling you, calling to the places in you where there are things that so far are undone or unfinished. The power of the Lunar Adoration is that of subtlety--a glance, a nod or the indirect application of force. Just as in Tai Chi Chuan a force of five ounces can move a thousand pounds, so can the lunar influence manifest while folks stand around and wonder how something happened.

The Full Series of Adorations as a Day Long Ritual

Taken together, the Solar, Nebular and Lunar Adorations comprise a ritual. You can choose almost any time to start the sequence, though dawn or dusk might be preferred. Pick a day close to the full of the moon. If needed, you could split the ritual into three sections for ease of experience, should your work or other daily schedule make a single 24 hour ritual impossible.

You've already laid out the simple foods and liquids for this ritual, turned off the phones, the computer, the lights and anything else that might prove to be a distraction. Sunscreen and sunglasses are essential to this ritual as well.

Provide yourself with a cleared ritual and practical space suitable for reading, writing and meditation. Ahead of this ritual, select appropriate poetry, passages from liturgies you like, pictures, objects, or anything else that can use words, music or other associations to link you to your day(s) for the Adorations. Keep notebooks, pen, pencils and crayons to hand, should you feel inspired.

One more thing--if at all possible, don't use a clock. Hide it, cover it, whatever. The goal here is to participate as fully as possible in the timeflow of the world as you experience it. The Goddess lives everywhere, even in the heart of Manhattan or Tyler, Texas.

You don't have to perform each adoration only once--they can be repeated throughout the time their energies are manifest. Try to hold a sound, thought or feeling for each adoration as often and as long as possible throughout this day. Write down your impressions, no matter how trivial or erratic they may seem.

Let's assume you choose to begin a bit before dusk, the beginning of the Celt's "day":

Feel the force of the waning sunlight play across the landscape and your body, the light turning into a dusty red color before disappearing entirely. Listen to the differences between day and night, the evening chorus of insects, the scents of night blooming plants, the skittering of raccoons, possums and the other hunters and foragers of the night. Salute it by performing the Solar Adoration backwards--near or at the moment of local sunset, feel the last of its direct power wane and withdraw your body, contracting into beginning position as discussed in the Delsarte Lecture in my main blog.

If near full, the moon assumes prominence in the night sky, softly illuminating the tops of clouds, should any be present. In autumn the moon sometimes assumes a golden color, a "harvest moon". Tides and the length of the day are a product of the moon's influence over earth. Its subtle presence influences thousands of organisms. This is the gift of natural time with its ebb and flow regulating conceptions and life on sea and land.

Let its soft light fill you with the energy of subtle action, energies that flow as gently as rainwaters or as irresistable as the pounding of tides. The gift of the lunar adoration is the power to effect change through subtle means.

The Nebular Adoration -- just as applicable to the interstellar medium as terrestrial clouds: after all, nebulae (clouds) are the places made by the death of some stars, and worlds like our own are born from these clouds. (And what gave birth to the first cloud that birthed the first star?)

As the appearance of the stars of the night fade in the growing light of morning, the Celtic night, the direct power of the sun is too great to look upon safely without protection. While the Solar Adoration fills us with the energy that supports surface terrestrial life, in and of itself the energy is sterile and can come as easily as destroyer as provender.

Solar Adoration ---refer to Section I in its entirety for these instructions.

NB--The Adorations do not derive directly from any extant tradition: they are my creations, though it is fair to say that they have been easily synthesized and developed from the writings of Genevieve Stebbins, Elizabeth Towne, George Hackenschmidt, Ruth St. Denis, William Walker Atkinson and Joseph Greenstein. Further clarification on many points was provided by the opening of a flower, and the morning stretch of an African Grey parrot that graces my life from time to time.

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