The Queendom of Mother Sun and Daughter Moon

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They are lovely, their Queendom bright
who light the sky through month and year,
who stir the sea in tide and heat,
who meet the land in cloud, and rain, and rest.
It all begins, the year not dawned,
the Sun has gone, our Moon grown old,
the cold has taken, mists have cleared,
the world awaits, awaits, awaits…
and then…
At Dark of New Dark, birth of Sun,
so comes the one to reign as queen,
to shine and warm the world—not yet:
she waits unseen, but from the womb, just born.
* Dark of the month: new moon
* New Dark: Dec-Jan
At Rising next, of Sun Appears
she hears a plea: the soil aches;
she makes new rays, the clouds alight,
and white the sky, her face yet veiled, til soon…
* Rising of the month: first quarter
* Sun Appears: Jan-Feb
At Peak of Fields Thaw comes her touch,
and such an air, so warm a scent
is sent to greet her, now with child:
our old Moon gone, a lonely time, yet hope!
* Peak of the month: full moon
* Fields Thaw: Feb-Mar
* Old Moon gone: the moon is reborn at Winter’s end
At Rains Come Rising, she is near,
not clear, the clouds so heavy sigh;
the sky that bore the sea now rains,
the Sun grows round, she hides, her hour close…
* Rains Come: Mar-Apr
* Sun grows round: the Sun is pregnant with her daughter
At Dark of Rains Yield, First Moon born!
Now warm compassion, thin Sun-veil bright:
alight through Winter, revealed in Spring,
her young Moon marks the hours of her reign.
* Rains Yield: Apr-May
* Hours of her reign: the months of the year
At Fields Sown Rising, furrowed Earth,
dispersing clouds, round flying Moon:
she looms, she rises, tides swell high;
this while we rest, our work so blessed, we sing.
* Fields Sown: May-Jun
At Peak of Sun’s Peak, ascendant Sun:
the mother gives, most generous one;
our Moon her daughter, rejoices bright!
Ignite the dancing fires, share her light!
* Sun’s Peak: Jun
At Fields Thirst Passing, fierce her gaze
that stays the seas til tides recede,
for cedes our Moon her sky, withdraws,
so soft her heart—her seas must take the sky…
* Passing of the month: last quarter
* Fields Thirst: Jun-Jul
At Dark of Storms Break, seas arise:
her skies fall dark, spark bright, resound;
the ground awakes—her scent, her life,
revived at touch of rain—her thirst is sated!
* Storms Break: Jul-Aug
At Passing next, Fields Ripen, blush
with colors full, and fruit and seed:
Great Sleep draws near as breezes cool;
our Moon looms large—we gather what is needed.
* Fields Ripen: Aug-Sep
* Great Sleep: the Winter months
At Peak of Winds Rise, year at dusk:
in gusts, with rattling husk and branch
we dance, our labor past, we sigh;
at Height of Great Moon, so our Sun retires.
* Winds Rises: Sep-Oct
* Height of Great Moon: the harvest moon
At Frost Takes Passing, stores are full,
the whole land quiet, footsteps crisp,
and mists shroud all—the world may sleep:
weep not! Our Moon still keeps her mother’s fires!
* Frost Takes: Oct-Nov
At Dark of Old Dark, old Sun gone:
long beloved night makes new;
to womb embrace our Light returns,
emerges soon, but wait, first wait, be still…
* Old Dark: Dec
* Old Sun gone: the Sun is reborn on the Winter solstice
For so it ends, all breath drawn in, and then…
begins again: from dark of womb, the breath of all!
* Dark of womb: Old Dark and New Dark, also known as Great Dark

Light and Laughter

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White fire of sun,
that comes, that plays,
ablaze her smiling eyes in mists of morning…
I meet her, bless her skies and breathe:
one breath,
one splash of light,
my soul aflame!
Sweet bath of air,
so clear it bites,
ignites all waking life, delightful wellspring…
My heart, with laughter’s lightness, drinks:
one drought,
my eyes are joy,
my voice is song!
She comes each day,
arrayed in white,
her sight, her breath so sweet, all life rejoicing…
My world in dance to see her eyes:
one glance from her,
one call,
and I am with her!

Oh love, my light, my breath and song, I’m here!

To See Her as She Is

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To see her free…
as a gleam in the eye,
as the air in a breeze,
as a whim of the sky!
Free in her heart,
at her work,
where she stands:
May all that she does show her true!
To see her alight…
is a blessing of hope,
is a star in the night,
is a breath of the soul!
Bright as her mind,
to be seen,
to be known:
How the world needs her truly to show!

Touch of the Stars

Photo by Fabio Marciano
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They are always with us, mothers of myriad worlds, lighting countless nights, each the pivot of her own system, pouring out her own flame whether there be a planet there to catch it or not. They are patterns in the sky, bright orbs, guiding lights, shining spheres—our own compassionate sun a sister among them.

I’m so happy for the touch of the stars in my life,
even if their touch is the touch of sorrow.

A star, though equally exposed on all sides, cannot be taken from behind. She is fully herself, so transparent one may not look on her long: a beautiful picture of empowered vulnerability. She illumines all her own, effortless in her generosity, as each shines for her sisters of her mother’s light. Once, upon seeing our own world’s sister (the morning star), the Buddha said:

I and all beings together on earth
attain enlightenment at the same time.
Shakyamuni Buddha

It is lovely to know the stars at the Summer Solstice, just as the sun dips below the Northwestern horizon, and before the moon rises high and bright to add her own magic to the clouds. We can see them only in the lee of our sun’s bathing light, hid behind our own world’s shoulder…oh for the beauty known only in the shadow of the earth!

You must know the number of last night’s stars,
the number of the drops of this morning’s rain.
Hakuin Ekaku

How well do you know the touch of the stars? Have you ever pondered their pattern, felt their tides of sorrow or joy? Have you looked for them late in the evening, or come out to them before dawn? Have you let their light reach you?

But the touch of the stars is the song from which all things were made. It is the fire of all suns, a chorus of radiance, the music of their tug upon one another, their worlds, and their beings. It would be a sorrow to have lived, and to have missed it.


Autumn Ocean

Photo by Artem Saranin
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Fair Autumn…
Her morning light, so like her dusk—
her dusk, the fading light of year that glows,
and blows her cool winds til leaves in flight,
alight with all her colors fall…
Autumn morning, bright and clear:
your dusky light and crispy air enthrall!
Lovely Sea…
Her cloudy waves, obscure and clear—
so clear as crystal turquoise waters crest,
and catch the sun, then crash in hiss of foam,
til rows of tumult gray give way, show all…
Restless sea, in passion’s press:
your dusky waters breaking call my soul!


Photo by Min An
Photo by Min An on Pexels
under drops, under cloud,
in the air, toward the ground,
and in that moment brief between,
drifting—ever so slowly.
like a leaf, once so green,
then so bright and to be seen—
but now so faded, brittle, brown:
free at last to be lowly.
not unwilling, never wronged,
neither fatefully drawn along,
but for goodness—for the earth!
To my source I go wholly.

The Harmony of Tension

Photo by Stein Egil Liland
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Tension is the nature of diversity, and diversity is beautiful, whether it resonates of harmony or dissonance. Harmony is itself the resolution diversity asks for, and dissonance is the asking. The I Ching says it this way:

After seeking harmony, all things respond to you.
I Ching, Hexagram 14

But harmony is only possible after there has been a parting, and dissonance, the agony of desire, only intensifies as resolve nears, yearns until unison is found. Songs are born of them:

My heart aches,
my grip weakens…
as the world grows more beautiful to my seeing eyes,
and I grow more weary looking through them—
standing here, embodied…
and so far apart.

Genders diverge this way, then long to meet. They are diverse and expressive as they evolve within individuals, cultures, and species like language and thought. They are an expression of who we are through what we are made of, the shape of our own restless flames: they have never been confined to Male and Female.

In our own gestation process, Female is first, Male comes later, a specialization. But they are not two, not only two: they are as fluid as the process they are born from, like the path of water pulled from sea into cloud, then drawn from cloud back into sea, forever in dance whether in sparkle of dew or turbulence of storm. They are like the romance of Sea and Sky.

But in between they are beauty and mystery, neither Sky nor Sea, expressing our world. They are mists rising from rivers, clouds hanging between hills. They are the dust of falling flakes, the flare of sun showers, bouts of cloudburst; they are tricks of hovering haze, spells of steaming hot springs, and plumes of erupting geysers. They are colors of coming and going, songs of departure and reunion.

We are born just as we are into the heat of such tension, springing brightly as sparks from the blaze, leaping lightly as melodies from taut strings. Embrace it, for it is from the chaos of tension itself that harmony is born.


A Soul So Bright

Photo by Min An
Photo by Min An on Pexels
A soul so bright, even without eyes to see her…
clearly reflecting the beauty of the natural world,
truly expressing through her being her own vibrant light.
But she is more than her appearance, she is herself;
not made for anyone else, she is her own—
even among those who fail her, she is free.

My Earnestly Speaking World

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My love, how quiet comes your call;
summoned out, I yearn to come…
How soft your voice, and yet I come,
receptive as a soul to hope:
your every breath arouses hope—
so sounds your soft and quiet call.
My land, how lovely comes your scent
if I but meet you when you stir—
How sweet, so often as you stir,
if roused, I hear you as you speak.
In lull and rise you always speak…
so falls your sweet and lovely scent
My own, how beautiful your sight:
soulful light of cloud and shade…
How gentle hints of colored shade
so summon me to come to see,
to breathe of you, breathe all I see,
so beautiful your gentle sight!

The Alchemy of Storytelling

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Alchemy: level the furnace, add the ingredients, prepare the catalyst and the harmonizing agents, seal the cauldron…and then begin the firing process. These are the demands of the work, and once begun, timing is everything. The work itself is volatile, but that’s why the results are transformative.

Stories are worth making, worth telling. They say much in a few words, because in fact they are not made of the words themselves. Instead they become a vessel in which their words have meaning, presenting a context that brings their words to life. But the storyteller is to stories, what stories are to words: a cauldron that gives them life. But this process doesn’t just happen by chance.

The work is difficult, but worthwhile, because once accepted, stories change minds, redirect flows of thought, spark new ideas or create interactions between old ones. They can be rejuvenating, or potent like a medicine (an imbalance to correct an imbalance), or they can become infectious. They are an alchemy of thought from which perspectives arise, and not even the teller will come away unaffected. In this they are like the dangerous work of internal alchemy.

So what is leveling the furnace? It’s making sure of your ground, of your basis. As the alchemist, you have the most at stake. Your thought should be in accord with reality as is or it will not hold up. A false story will reveal you; your bias will show. You should be sure of this beforehand: will you come out of this process with your sanity, or will you lose something? If it’s level, the cauldron won’t spill.

The ingredients are what is to be transformed. They are the behaviors or thought patterns you want to affect. You must know them as your own, and be able to choose them wisely: the wrong ones will turn out badly, and too many saturate the brew. How well do you know the subject matter you are working with? There cannot be any guesswork or the elixir will be ruined.

Preparing the catalyst and readying the harmonizing agents is a practice; it is the apothecary’s craft. It takes time to develop these, because it is already difficult to be a vessel for evocative ideas, let alone being capable of administering them to others. Catalysts ignite, harmonizing agents make receptive: have you refined your ideas, tempered them, worked them out with others? Will they be medicine or poison? Regret will be useless once the firing process has begun.

When the contents are ready it’s time to seal the cauldron. The work is delicate: it must proceed without interruption, and you must be vigilant. You must respect the work, commit to it: you are the alchemist, you cannot look to others or it will boil over and the ingredients will be wasted. Are you ready to embrace the fierce internal pressure of the transformative work? It depends on you alone.

Finally, there is the firing process itself, where it all comes to life. This may be in the writing or in the telling, but it has a life of its own. The writer draws from her living connection, the storyteller from her source and the listeners themselves. There is no room for doubt or further considerations at this point: light the fire, stoke the flame, cool and hot, listen and watch, add the mercury, stabilize it with the lead. If the furnace is level and the cauldron sealed, the work will progress, and the elixir will take form. Are you ready to risk the alchemical process?

The alchemy of storytelling is your own task of self transformation.