Late winter reflections on Nature's balancing act
Here we are at the end of February, on the backside (finally) of what has been one of our harshest winters in years. And as for spring … are we there yet?
Between ice storms, polar vortexes and frost quakes it’s beginning to sound a lot like a bad sci-fi movie! But seriously, the extremes in Mother Nature’s moods are likely the result of her simply attempting to gain homeostasis, the method by which a system or organism adjusts their internal environment to maintain stable equilibrium. In short, our collective Mother is engaging in that elusive process known as ‘finding balance’.
I am often asked why I use the circle as a focus for my art. Well, there are many answers to that question but my first response is usually that it's because Nature is my inspiration. And everything in Nature is about equilibrium. From the smallest atom, to a flower, to a swirling storm, most things begin with a centre point surrounded by some form of circle. Science proves this fact, but so too does the ancient practice of sacred geometry, the study of the mathematical proportions and geometric shapes underlying all created matter… and that all begins with a circle too. The ‘sacred’ part refers to the ‘Great Plan’ or laws that keep everything in balance. Ah ha, there’s that word again.
Many earth-based spiritual traditions intuitively understand and follow the principle ‘as above, so below’. It just makes sense. When we look at Mother Nature we realize that just like her, we are the centre of our own circle because our physical bodies have a front, back and sides equivalent to the four directions of North, South, East and West. So when we ‘sit’ inside our circle of the Self, we are the point at its centre. From our centre point ever widening circles ripple out connecting us to family, friends, other life forms, our environment and the greater community. We also have a vertical axis linking us down into our past history and upwards towards future goals and aspirations.
This intersection of the four directions and the above/below is the ‘Within’, our Sacred Self. And this Self has a pretty good perspective - 360 degrees to be exact. From its central vantage point it sees the total picture and this is knowledge essential to our ability to maintain balance.
Of course, as we go through life we sometimes become polarized. “I’m being too emotional,” we might say, or “I’m thinking too much.” We may swing wildly back and forth between extreme thoughts and emotions. It is our Centre that can give assistance when we feel off kilter, by allowing us to see, to know, and to approach things from its unique perspective. Easier said than done, I know …
A good starting point though is simply asking yourself, what are my strengths and weaknesses in any given situation? Be sure to answer as if you were an impartial observer with no judgments or pre-conceived ideas. Connecting to our ‘watcher within’ in this manner can help us develop self-awareness, the first step toward learning to recognize out-of-balance patterns, behaviours and reactions.
Now try categorizing your answers elementally (earth = physical, water = emotions, air = thoughts and fire = willpower). Naming these things symbolically helps us realize that these ‘things’ are not us, but more like clothing we are currently wearing (or perhaps have been wearing a little too long!). But clothes can be changed… so we can choose to rethink things, seek deeper understanding, speak different words, take different actions and shift disruptive energy. And the more we develop this ability the more it becomes a consistent and reliable point of reference in evaluating everything else around us.
When we look to Nature, we realize she is a great teacher, (whatever her mood!) because she is modelling, all the time, how to self-correct and reshape our world by applying certain elements in order to balance ones that have run amok. Just look at our current winter: the extreme ice, the storms, the wind and bitter cold… then look at the global shifts in our climate. What imbalances is Nature self-correcting? How can we assist the ‘above’ by mirroring the balancing act in the ‘below’ of our personal sphere of being?
Hopefully these questions will provide plenty of food for thought to get you through the remainder of this long season. And as we all eagerly anticipate the arrival of the natural balancing energies of the Spring Equinox in March, be sure to check out upcoming workshops and events at my studio to see what might help in balancing your own ‘elements’. Creative pursuits always work wonders at helping us back to centre.
Late Winter Gifts .... late winter marks the ending of the ‘frozen’ cycle and the first sparks of life being set in motion. Click on the live links in this email to learn more about upcoming workshops in my studio. How about treating yourself to drawing lessons ... check out my new offering "Seeing With New Eyes". It could provide a whole new way of engaging with the wonder of the spring season. Or come learn how to create simple Celtic knotwork patterns and the symbolism and sacred geometry behind them in my upcoming Four Worlds Workshop. All ways to engage creatively with Mother Nature!
May you enjoy the dance! See you next month.
Artist & Shamanic Practitioner
Dancing Moon Designs
Illuminating the Creative Spirit ...