Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Meditation to the Stars

With Solstice behind us, the days are lengthening and every night the sun sets a few minutes later in my office window. In the Northeast we are still in the grip of a cold and dark winter. We wrap ourselves in blankets to warm our bodies. We drink mugs of hot cocoa, cider, tea and coffee to warm our insides. We light candles to warm our homes and blaze against the darkened nights.
In the flurry of winter, we look to the stars in the sky to remind us that there is always light to be found in the darkness. We remember, and know, that those stars still live in the sky above us, even when the sun obscures them from view. Light can always be found, if not outside of us, then within. We become the light in the dark.
            The earth beneath us is sleeping, even though we who walk upon it are in need of healing. The earth is in need of healing, too, still recovering from the flooding that ravaged our area in September. Normally, when we are in need, we pull our energy from the earth and the trees and plant life around us. We take only what we need and find ways to return in kind. Sometimes, the natural world’s needs matter more than our own and the caretaker must rest. Where do we turn for energy when the source we know is unavailable?
            In the stillness of a frozen world, I turn to the stars in the sky. Starlight is the ultimate ancestor fuel. It is history, a memory of light that began its journey across space and time in the past. The light we see in the sky, that moment of brilliance, has already ceased to shine by the time we view it. The star still shines, certainly, but that moment, that spark is long behind it and what we see is an echo. The light that permeates the dark is the Ancestor of the present moment, a conduit of luminous energy reaching out to us.
The closest star to our solar system, Proxima Centauri, is approximately four lightyears away, which means that the light we see from that star is four years old the moment we glimpse it. Polaris, the North Star, is 680 lightyears away so the light that twinkles down on us is 680 years old. That means the light originated approximately 9 generations ago.
Almost all of the stars that we see with our naked eye are a few hundred lightyears away, shining with light a few hundred years old, about four generations worth. It’s light that began its travel across the sky when my Great-great-grandparents walked the earth. It’s light born of their time, travelling across empty space to reach me in my time.
A scattering of the stars we can see are as much as 2,000 lightyears away. That’s approximately 25 generations old, our ancestors who walked the earth circa 12 C.E., before Vesuvius erupted and froze Pompeii under ash. What lands did your ancestors walk then? This light is only just now visible to our eyes, available for our use.

            I stand, slippered feet on wooden floorboards in my apartment. I feel the cold of the earth beneath my feet. I feel the chill seeping into my apartment. I take a deep breath and reach into the cold with my roots. I sink into the energy of the earth and feel it sleeping beneath me.
I become Tree, curling into earth. I feel my breath drawing in slow and deep, one breath, as if the entire season of winter is an inhale. I become an entire grove of trees breathing in unison and when we exhale, I know we will breathe out the warmth of spring.
            I am rooted in the earth, arms stretching up into the winter air. Above me thousands of stars twinkle in the night sky. Across the eons of time I sense energy, not heat, but power, source, strength. All of my arms sense it too and I am reaching past the boundaries of my edges to drink it in. I inhale deep and long. I hold the air in my heart, filling me and warming my core.
            As the human of me exhales, I drop the energy I don’t need down through my legs, through my feet, into the sleeping earth. I give back in gratitude for all I have been given. My human breath falls away to earth.
I am vulnerable, naked like the winter trees that lose their leaves. My feet are solid in the soil, roots curling through stone. I feel the stars swimming through the water of me. I am human. I am animal. I am nature.
All that I am stands strong, drinks in, refuels and falls away to earth. Everything but breath falls away to earth. The breath is the rhythm of the tides, the pulsing of light across empty space. The Ancestors are shining above me. Dawn approaches and they fade from sight but they are constant above. I drink what I need and let the rest fall through me into the earth. I am healed and I am healing. I am healer.
            The water in me mirrors and magnifies the brilliance of the stars above and a fire grows within, contained and white-hot. My waters are fire, warming me in veins through tissue and muscle. Edges flow and I feel full to the ends of my flesh. I am starlight shining in skin. I am the end of the timeline, the result of the past, burning through the present. I am breathing in seasons, like time, in and out, ebbing in the waters.

            Our Ancestors are more than our blood relatives. They live in every pocket of the natural world. I am because they were. I am because they will be. I am important because I am here. I am humbled because I do not matter, beyond the matter of this flesh. When I exhale the last time, my soul will cease its matter and will become star-dust, swimming through space to feed the needs of those who come after. We breathe in the wisdom of the ancestors of the past. They are in me and I am in them and in this life it is the only comfort I need.

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