“The Kashmir Shaivites (the sage Bhaskara in particular) describe consciousness as light – not as a light that can be seen by the eyes, but rather as the inner ‘light’ of our awareness by which we see both the outer objects perceived by the eyes and the inner objects – thoughts – perceived by the mind. The main feature of Consciousness is that, like light, it is illuminative; it is that by which objects appear, the power of Consciousness is to make things appear. The name given to this illuminative power of consciousness is Prakasa.” 
 Doug Keller (otherwise known as ‘The Destroyer of Highlighters’)

This year out of all others I feel the teeming bombast of solar power that marks the Summer Solstice. Perhaps it’s the sudden appeal of these natured-based festivities to more of the masses which is sparking an amplified collective field (I spy a bunch of solstice events occurring in the city, promoted online or on posters lining the streets). Perhaps it’s that yoga studios I frequent are alive with solstice-inspired classes and events (of which I am fondly taking part). Stone Henge, I am told, thronged with 20 000 people this morn. It’s epic and beautiful. Meanwhile, on the other side of the coin, Brazil is fervent with a million + protest and unprecedented floods are sweeping southern Alberta. Related? Hard to say at this point, as we don’t have the know-how to necessarily be ‘scientifically’ aware of correlations of solar activity and human and ecological culture in elaborate detail (though I am aware of some profound connections made and please advise me of more—these are some of the most cutting edge revelations bridling us to earth!). Ultimately, there’s a culmination of energy, globally inspired and felt, that is huddling around the solstice and it’s setting many ablaze with passion.

        The point of drawing meaning from solstices, equinoxes and other nature-based vectors is it helps connect us to the earth and its multifarious cycles in meaningful ways that have escaped modern culture, and to our gross detriment I might add. Part of the most complex and important work to be done in our modernity is reconnecting with nature and the ecological principles which conduct the most fundamental life processes on the planet. Not the civilized processes. The biological ones. Though I can tell they are deeply related. Honouring these dates gives us a powerful way to anchor to the ecological cycles that govern our planet and keep us humbly part of something greater.

        I had a profound conversation with a friend and Chinese Medicine peer last night where we discussed how human societies are experiencing a widespread rebalancing toward lawfulness. As the deluge of corruption within both private and public sectors increasingly comes to light, there’s a relentless drive toward striking a balance. It’s evident that modern industrial civilization has acted in the most violent and horrific ways against the grain of ecology and the Earth. Unlawfulness in business somewhere down the line is connected to the murdering of a rainforest, or the dumping of toxic chemicals, or the disastrous consequences of an inevitable oil spill, brazen etc. The details are bubbling more and more to the surface. It’s as if humanity is going through a collective detoxification and the cleansing is pushing our most toxic and shadowy behaviours to the surface to be seen and hopefully released and transmuted.   On the other hand, this is a collective initiation and initiations traditionally have to do with encountering and seeking alliances with our shadow, to incorporate fragmentary selfhood into a more transcendent whole where all parts work cooperatively together rather than being opposed, destructively so. The parallels are dizzyingly apparent: the same schisms we see in our civilizations, fragmented by class, war, and environmental abuse are being waged in our own bodies who are ailed now by countless systemic diseases. This mirroring is revealing a massive law we all must understand and live by: what is outside is inside and vice versa. Moreover, it’s becoming crystal clear that if our own laws are disobeyed that the ecological laws of this planet are also transgressed somewhere down the line.  The continuum of nature is shrieking for our attention: we are part of nature and we are being called by earth and our own humanity alike to realize and mobilize a better organizing of civilization to honour the sacred balance.

            If we return to the notion of light as elaborated by the mystics, we apprehend that it has long been synonymous with consciousness. Traditionally, this is one of the primary ways the summer solstice is celebrated: we honour the great element of light which pervades our existence and its characteristics as force of consciousness and illumination--prakasa. This goes hand in hand with the great awakening sweeping the planet with the furor of revolution and galvanizing power of conscious communities coming together in resistance and impassioned creativity. It seems that the light within humanity has raised its frequency and its growing radiance is now spreading outward to illuminate all the shadowy aspects of our civilization and blaze brightly common values which growing numbers are encircling and actualizing. The solstice offers an apex; a paramount where the light climbs to a peak experience of its power. And yet, though the solstice sun also marks the beginning of the waning of the sun’s light toward winter, the raising to pinnacle triggers an overflowing of radiance which spills forth as the hot summer days that await. The waning shall come but the peak promises ecstatic explosion and welcomes revelling. Actually, revelry is essential! Just feel what the sun is doing in this season!

Prakasa is the pure luminosity of consciousness; the prefix pra means ‘to go forth,’ and the root kas means ‘to shine, to be brilliant’ and also ‘to be visible, to appear, to see clearly.’ Prakasa thus means that which shines and radiates, illuminates, reveals and brings objects forth, making them to appear or manifest.” ∞ Doug Keller

            The summer solstice, with its mightiest radiance beset by the sun and paralleled in our own injection of inner-vitality, initiates us into this fiery season. And fire/light is what is needed as we come to growing grips with the reality of our collective situation on our planet. It is dire that we continue to transform things on a massive scale and also on a deeply personal one (remember that continuum? ALL is connected). This solstice, let us forge allegiance to light as emblem of consciousness, inviting it to enter us not only in elaborate methods of dynamic meditation but also in the overflow and the deluge of luminosity which the summer solstice represents. We need to be infused, as if dropped in an ocean of light, allowing it to furiously light all of our darkened places where we choose ignorance and denial willingly or unwillingly. We turn the tables on our shadows and demons by hunting them, not with murderous rancour, but a ferocious affection that seeks to kill all division and melt all separativity in the big bang of cosmic coupling; the big love-fire of the Heart that leaves no one, no-thing behind. This isn’t easy work necessarily but the summer promises frolicking fun, inviting us to embody the higher emotions of transpersonal feeling in ecstatic dance moves and yearn-riddled chanting; in constant cuddles and indomitable belief in the goodness and omnipotence of the soul. This is where the ultimate asks the personal on a date. This is where the might-light of the Sun points a fiery ray-finger at us all and says: I’m a symbol for what is inside you as your deepest essence! This is where the next time you sit for meditation to scuba-dive into soul, imagine your spine is a candle and your head the wick and you're holding it up to the great fiery orb to get lit. Oh, my sweet brethren of relentless radiance and chaotic unity, LOVE WITH AWE…