Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice 2012

What Now! A Time for Ceremony

By Jack Allis

We’re moving at warp speed through 2012, a year that many, including myself, see as hugely significant in the history of our planet. We are also rapidly approaching a specific date, the winter solstice (12/21/12), or Oxlaju Baktun in the Mayan calendrics, which most of those same people see as the dawning of a new world. So what better time to stop and look at how this is going? Does what’s happening in our world match the prophecies telling us this is a time of monumental transformation? And then let’s look at where we’re going. If we are in the midst of massively transformative energies, what can we do to participate in these energies and play our parts in this transformation?

Other than for those who are totally oblivious, there are really only two ways of seeing all this. Let’s refer to them as the old and the new paradigm perspectives.

Western Civilization?

The old paradigm perspective reflects the decadent world of our Western civilization. This is a world that is dying, its energy dissipating because it is out of balance with natural and divine law. This sounds something like this: “All the hubbub about 2012 is a lot of fuss over nothing. We’re going through an extremely rough time. We’ve been through these things before, and it seemed like the world was ending then too. But we survived, and we became even stronger. You can’t argue with the fact that the institutions of the mainstream system are on historically shaky ground, but this is still the greatest system in the world, and it’s still working. We’ll be fine.”

Are We Being Guided?

The new paradigm perspective reflects a world where people have chosen a completely different lifestyle. This is world where the first priorities are our connection with spirit and living in harmony with Mother Earth and with the web of life. Here is how it might express itself: “Yes, everything is right on schedule. The old world is dissolving. We can see and feel that. This is a tremendous challenge for us too. But the old world is no longer our focus. Our new focus is to resonate with the transformative energy of these times, and to flow where the forces of nature and the divine spirit guide us. Many of us, and many more all the time, are doing this, and we are experiencing incredible healing and personal and spiritual transformation. As we continue on this path, we also learn that we cannot do this alone, and we are guided to reach out to others to form communities of like-mind spirits. If we are going to re-create our world, these must be the foundation.”

For many people, this sounds too vague. This is because they are obsessed with specific dates and predictions, such as Jack AllisDecember 21, 2012, and they need to be told precisely what’s going to happen, when, and where. This is not how this process works, nor how our world works. In a divinely ordered universe, we are not passive bystanders. This also applies to this time of shift. This is not something external to us that is going to happen to us. It is something we must participate in, and nothing is going to happen unless we make it happen.

When it comes to specific dates, the only one that matters is this moment now. This time of transformation is not one single big-bang event, but rather it is a process, taking place through time, during which there will be many big bangs. And we know that this process has begun. We can see it happening, and we can feel it. And don’t be fooled by the soothsayers. Nobody knows the outcome of this or how long it will take. We know we are close, and we know we don’t have much time.

The same can be said for winter solstice 2012. This is a highly significant date, as has been the entire year 2012, which has seen an unusual number of rare and powerful astronomical and astrological events and alignments. At sunrise on winter solstice, there will be an exceedingly rare alignment between the sun and galactic center, as well as numerous other forces that converge around this date. Does this mean we can expect a big-bang event? Maybe, but it’s just as likely to happen tomorrow, or in five years, or at any point during this process, which we can only estimate how to measure.

The time is now, and we must take action now. But let’s get specific. How do we do all this? The answer is a simple one. We must prepare. We must prepare both physically and spiritually.

Preparation

Preparing physically consists of one basic thing, but this branches out and touches every aspect of our lives. Preparing physically means reassuming complete responsibility for our lives. The old paradigm system, into which we have all been brainwashed, is a dependency system, in which we are tricked into bartering away our freedom and our spirits in return for the promise of being taken care of from cradle to grave. Reassuming complete responsibility means reclaiming our power as multidimensional spiritual beings, who are not only capable of taking care of every aspect of our lives but who insist on it. This is primarily a practical task, taking place in the physical world and involving such things as growing and storing our own food, finding clean sources of water, alternative sources of energy, and in general, doing for ourselves what the system now does for us. We must do this individually and then collectively, pooling our skills and energies in sustainable communities.

What Is Ceremony?

We must also prepare ourselves spiritually. Contrary to what many believe, this too doesn’t just happen by itself. This is one of the many lessons we can learn from our indigenous sisters and brothers, who work tirelessly at their spirituality. Their primary tool to do this is ceremony. Ceremony is anything we do for the purpose of connecting with spirit with our intent, with our vibration, and with our actions. Common forms of ceremony are prayer, fire circles, music, singing, and smoking the sacred pipe.

But ceremony can take many different forms. It can be very simple, for example sitting comfortably, lighting a candle, breathing, and saying a prayer, which is talking to spirit. Or it can be far more elaborate. I recently completed a 13-day Mayan ceremony, called “the 9-Fires,” which was facilitated by a traditional Mayan wisdom keeper, Tata Erick Gonzalez (www.mayanshamanism.com). Ceremonies such as this are intensives. We camped out in the remote mountains of north-central California, and everything we did for 13 days and nights was ceremony. The energies and the lessons of the 9-Fires have become a part of the fabric of my total being. This is how it goes when we commit to the ceremonial path. Ceremony becomes the most important thing in our lives.

What Now?

Which leads us to the answer to our question, “What now?” Never has a time been riper for ceremony, the more intensive the better. And this is indeed the way things are stacking up. There are an unprecedented number of ceremonies, both indigenous and nonindigenous, set up for the upcoming solstice at sacred sites around the world. Christmas is going to have some major competition this year. Places such as Guatemala and Peru are going to be absolutely insane.

Spirit has guided me to lead a candlelight ceremony on December 21 in sacred Mount Shasta at the Shasta Yoga Center (see ad in this issue). Tata Erick will be hosting a gala five-day ceremony at Lake Atitlán in Guatemala December 18-23, where he will be joined by other Mayan elders and indigenous elders from around the world. Or you may find a sacred site of your own, which might be your own living room, and celebrate the dawning of this new era in your own way. Either way, don’t miss this opportunity to resonate with these transformative energies and to play your part in this great transformation.

Jack Allis is the author of the recently released Prophesy, Challenge & Blessing—Visions of 2012 & the Shift and the DVD 2012 & the Shift—The Power of Ceremony. Jack’s message focuses on these times of monumental transformation and how we can take advantage of this blessed opportunity to transform ourselves and our world. Jack practices what he preaches, living minimally and close to nature in a tiny cottage in Mount Shasta, California. In his talks and workshops, he also shows people how to practice and enhance their spirituality through the use of ceremony. Learn more at www.jackallis.com.