This talk was delivered on Friday, June 19, 2015 as part of the Summer Solstice Service at Unity Campus St. Petersburg. It was followed by a chant of the mantra: “The Kingdom of God is within me; The Queendom of God is among us.”
stronomically speaking, Litha (Midsummer, Gathering Day, Summer Solstice) is the longest day of the year, representing the Sun God at his full power and utmost potential. In the sky overhead, ruling from on high — in his chariot, shining down upon us, giving light, heat and life to our Goddess, Mother Earth.
The term “solstice” is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because the sun seems to be literally frozen at its zenith overhead.
Father Sun and Mother Earth seem locked in this warm, life-giving embrace. And time has seemed to slow down so that we may honor that embrace and that consummation — the intimate relationship between God and Goddess, masculine and feminine.
Although the hottest days of the summer still lie ahead, from this point onward we enter the waning parts of the year. Each solstice (and equinox) marks a “turning” of the comic clock. To many cultures, the solstice can mean a limitation or a culmination. A climax or demarcation on the calendar. And even in summer’s beginning, we find the seeds of summer’s end. Each day the Sun recedes from the skies a little earlier, until the Winter Solstice (Yule) arrives and the days begin to become longer again.
Tonight, we honor the arrival of the Summer season, and celebrate the sacred union of God and Goddess, in which both of their energies are poured into the service and the substance of life.
We’ve done a lot in recent times to revive and give footing to the idea of the Divine Feminine. and rightly so. Spiritually and socially we have shifted to a place where female-ness is allowed it’s own voice, it’s own place at the table with integrity and without having to compromise any of its qualities or values.
Matthew Fox said, “If we liberate the Divine Feminine, she is deserving of a worthy consort — a cleansed and detoxified and resurrected Sacred Masculine.”
This union is of course reflected and manifested in our relationships. How we treat one another. Our partners, our spouses, our children, our co-workers, even strangers. It is a constant dance, sometimes tug-of-war, with one party exerting power or will in one moment, and the other party bending and allowing. But a healthy relationship is not one-sided. A healthy relationship is dynamic, is constantly growing and flowing, and allows for rhythmic exchanges in this power struggle.
We’re not talking about gendered men and women, we’re talking about the masculine and feminine energies that show up in us all.
Keeping those energies in a constant flow, a constant balance. Allowing them to feed, sustain, nurture each other as well as to challenge and push against each other when the time is right.
In the teachings of Charles Fillmore, founder of Unity, there is a process called “chemicalization” that usually happens after a time of prayer or meditation — of grief or intense upheaval — when the body, mind and spirit start to experience a shift in their very makeup, their composition, in the way they interact with each other. Sometimes we say things “come up” for us after such an experience. Part of the “chemicalization” process is allowing the masculine and feminine particles to settle back into place and find their natural order — the peaceful state of both grasping and sitting.
Emotionally, we’re pretty familiar with what have been considered to be masculine forms of love — possessiveness, or a love that is “won” or “earned” through achievement. Neither are expressions of love, but instead expressions of power. But as we move away from these behaviors and toward the ability to express more so-called feminine forms of love — a nurturing, limitless and unconditional compassion, we bring these types of love into balance. We begin to develop a real, true love for all beings in all worlds.
And so tonight, while we acknowledge and call in the punitive and wrathful father God of the Old Testament — Yahweh, The “I am,” we also honor and call in the divine feminine — the sacred power and potency of the Hebrew Shekinah, fertility goddesses, the Gnostic feminine wisdom of Hagia Sophia, the loving heart (and womb) of Mother Mary, Gaia and Mother Earth.
We recognize the masculine and agentic qualities or drives within ourselves that are balanced by the feminine and communal qualities.
The active mountain of Yang and the passive valley of Yin.
Tonight, we raise our voices in song and celebration to the future generation of beings who will be born from this union — born out of this planet, to inhabit and care for her. We affirm for them, that they will be brave, strong, and know when to stand firm and “be the rock,” but that they will also be open, flexible, know when to bend and “be the tree.” They will be honest, playful, present and productive. They will know how to love and be loved.
They will be completely human, receiving not only intergenerational wisdom from the community but blessed with the ability to understand the wisdom that comes to them from their own inner and outer dimensions.
We affirm that this sacred union makes all of this possible.
We affirm this revolution of values. This marriage of sense and soul.
We affirm that the sacred union is fully present right here, and right now, in all of us.
We allow it. And so it is.